What You Can Do To Help Stop Sexual Misconduct
Sexual contact requires mutual consent. An incapacitated person (for example, a person who is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol) is incapable of giving consent. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted, stalked or victimized in any way. Don't engage in any behavior that may be considered dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or any other form of violence. Never use force, coercion, threats, alcohol or other drugs to engage in sexual activity. Take responsibility for your actions. Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Remember "no" means "No!" and "stop" means "Stop!" Report incidents of violence (including coercion) to law enforcement and campus authorities. Discuss dating/domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking with friends—speak out against violence and clear up misconceptions. Don't mistake submission or silence for consent.
What You Can Do To Help Minimize Your Risk of Becoming a Victim
Be aware. Does your partner: Threaten to hurt you or your children? Say it's your fault if he or she hits you and then promises it won't happen again (but it does)? Put you down in public? Force you to have sex when you don't want to? Follow you? Send you unwanted messages and gifts?
- Be assertive.
- Speak up.
- Stay sober and watch out for dates and/or anyone who tries to get you drunk or high.
- Clearly communicate limits to partners, friends, and acquaintances.
- Never leave a party with someone you don't know well and trust.
- Trust your feelings; if it feels wrong, it probably is.
- Learn all you can and talk with your friends. Help them stay safe.
- Report incidents of violence to law enforcement and campus authorities.
What You Can Do If You Are a Victim, in General
- Go to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Preserve evidence.
- Report the incident to University Police or local law enforcement.
- Report the incident to your campus Title IX Coordinator.
- Call a domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking hotline.
- Call a friend or family member for help.
- Know that you are not at fault. You did not cause the abuse to occur and you are not responsible for someone else's violent behavior.
What is Dating Violence or Domestic Violence?
Dating/Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. Dating/Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.
Dating/Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, social economics, education, age, religion, etc. Dating/Domestic violence can also affect family, friends, co-workers and members in the community, in addition to the victim and abuser. Domestic violence can occur regardless of the relationship status, including individuals who are dating, co-habitating, or married.
Types of Dating/Domestic Violence That Includes Sexual Misconduct
There usually is a pattern or a repeated cycle of dating violence, starting with the first instance of abuse.
General Pattern of Behavior:
- Tension Building: Relationship begins to get strained or tense between partners.
- Explosion: Outburst that includes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
- Honeymoon: Apologies where the abuser tries to re-connect with his/her partner by shifting the blame onto someone or something else.
Definitions of What Dating/Domestic Violence Looks Like
Any actions used for the intent of gaining power and control over a person:
- Physical Abuse: any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause injury (i.e. grabbing in a way to inflict pain, hitting, shoving, strangling, kicking)
- Emotional Abuse: non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, silent treatment, or stalking
- Sexual Abuse: any action that impacts the partner's ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstance which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control
Warnings or Signs of Potential Dating/Domestic Violence
Ask yourself if your partner engages in one or any of the following activities:
- Checks my cell phone or email without my permission.
- Monitors where I'm going, who I'm going with, what I'm doing.
- Repeatedly says or does things to make me feel inadequate or inferior to him/her.
- Extreme jealously or insecurity.
- Isolates me from my friends and family.
- Explosive temper.
- Mood swings.
- Assumes financial control over my access to financial resources.
- Tells me what to do.
- Physically hurts me in any way.
Sexual Violence - Risk Reduction Tips
Sexual Violence is a form of Sexual Harassment and means physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (when based on gender or sex), perpetrated against an individual against his or her will and without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to that individual's use of drugs or alcohol, status as a minor, or disability. Sexual Violence may include physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication).
Men as well as women can be victims of these forms of Sexual Violence. Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (statutory rape) occurs even if the intercourse is consensual when the victim is under 18 years old, because the victim is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
"What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being a victim of sexual violence?"
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:
- If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
- Tell a sexual aggressor "NO" clearly and firmly.
- Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
- Find someone nearby and ask for help.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
- In an emergency, call 9-1-1
"What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being an initiator of sexual violence?"
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries.
- DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, about someone's sexual availability, about whether they are attracted to you, about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
- Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
- Don't take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves. Incapacitation means a person is unable to give valid consent.
- Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don't abuse that power.
- Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
- Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
Rape, Acquaintance Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery and Consent
Rape is a form of Sexual Violence, and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability renders the person incapable of giving consent. The accused’s relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant. 2 (See complete definition of Consent below.)
Acquaintance Rape is a form of Sexual Violence committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. See above for definition of Rape.
Sexual Assault is a form of Sexual Violence and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex. 3
What is consent?
Consent for sexual contact means that an individual is a willing participant in the sexual act. Individuals are unable to give consent if incapacitated by the influence of drugs or alcohol or they suffer from a physical or mental disorder that makes them incapable of giving consent. Likewise, a minor is unable to give legal consent for sexual intercourse.
- Consent must be voluntary, and given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent requires positive cooperation in a particular sexual act, or expression of intent to engage in that sexual act through the exercise of free will.·
- Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity (or other sexual acts). Consent to sexual activity given on one occasion does not constitute consent to sexual activity on another occasion. The fact that two people are or were in a dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity. There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent to a sexual act may be withdrawn or revoked at any time, including after penetration. The victim’s request for the perpetrator to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, constitute consent. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
- Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. For example, a person cannot give consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person is incapacitated if s/he lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments. Examples of incapacitation include unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Whether an intoxicated person (as a result of using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.
- Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish a person’s responsibility to obtain consent from the other party before engaging in sexual activity. Factors to be considered include whether the person knew, or whether a reasonable person in the accused’s position should have known, that the victim did not give, or revoked, consent; was incapacitated; or was otherwise incapable of giving consent.
- Sexual intercourse with a minor is never consensual when the victim is under 18 years old, because the victim is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
In order for a sexual act to be considered rape or sexual assault, the act must be non-consensual.
Crimes of a sexual nature may be reported to campus or local law enforcement in addition to being reported administratively on campus. Both men and women can be victims of rape or sexual assault.
Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don't want them to or threatens you. Stalking behaviors can include:
- Damaging your property.
- Knowing your schedule.
- Showing up at places you go.
- Sending mail, e-mail, texts and pictures.
- Creating a website about you.
- Sending gifts.
- Stealing things that belong to you.
- Calling you repeatedly.
- Any other actions that the stalker takes to contact, harass, track or frighten you.
You can be stalked by someone you know casually, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you dated in the past or a stranger. Getting notes and gifts at your home, on your car or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people. But if you don't want the gifts, phone calls, messages, letters or e-mails, it doesn't feel sweet or harmless. It can be scary and frustrating.
Sometimes people stalk their boyfriends or girlfriends while they're dating. They check up on them, text or call them all the time, expect instant responses, follow them, use GPS to secretly monitor them and generally keep track of them, even when they haven't made plans to be together. These stalking behaviors can be part of an abusive relationship. If this is happening to you or someone you know, you should talk to a trusted person.
Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. California Penal Code section 646.9, in part, states, "Any person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking..."
How You Can Help Yourself
Think about ways you can be safer. This means thinking about what to do, where to go for help and who to call ahead of time:
- Where can you go for help?
- Who can you call?
- Who will help you?
- How will you escape a violent situation?
- Let friends or family members know when you are afraid or need help.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Avoid isolated areas.
- Avoid putting headphones in both ears so you can be more aware of your surroundings.
Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself.
- Vary your routine, your driving routes and where you park your car.
- When you go out, tell someone where you are going and when you'll be back.
- In an emergency, call 911 or your local police department.
- Memorize the phone numbers of people to contact or places to go in an emergency.
- Don't load yourself down with packages or bags restricting your movement.
- Keep your cell phone handy; check to see that you have reception and that your cell phone is charged.
- Have money for a cab or other transportation.
- Save notes, letters or other items that the stalker sends to you. Keep a record of all contact that the stalker has with you; these items will be very useful in an investigation.
How You Can Help Someone Else
If you know someone who is being stalked, you can:
- Encourage your friend to seek help.
- Be a good listener.
- Offer your support.
- Ask how you can help.
- Educate yourself about stalking.
- Avoid any confrontations with the stalker; this could be dangerous for you and your friend.
Who to Contact If You Have Complaints, Questions or Concerns
Title IX requires the university to designate a Title IX Coordinator to monitor and oversee overall Title IX compliance which includes, but is not limited to sexual assault and gender-related violence. Your campus Title IX Coordinator is available to explain and discuss: your right to file a criminal complaint (sexual assault and violence); the university's complaint process, including the investigation process; how confidentiality is handled; available resources, both on and off campus; and other related matters. If you are in the midst of an emergency, please call the police immediately by dialing 9-1-1.
Campus Title IX Coordinator
Julie Johnson, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, Compliance
Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 320
Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
Campus Victim & Survivor Advocate
Science Bldg, Room 234
University Police Department
University Police Dispatch and Officers are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year
U.S. Department of Education, regional office
Office for Civil Rights
50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105
TDD (877) 521-2172
U.S. Department of Education, national office
Office for Civil Rights
Know Your Rights about Title IX
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
1215 K. Street, Suite 1850
Sacramento, CA 95814
- Domestic and Family Violence
- National Institute of Justice: Intimate Partner Violence
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- Office of Violence against Women
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Intimate Partner Violence
- Defending Childhood
- Cal. Penal Code §§ 261-263
- Cal. Penal Code § 240.
- Cal. Penal Code § 242.
- Cal. Penal Code § 13700(b) and Cal. Family Code § 6211.
- Cal. Penal Code § 13700(b).
- Cal. Penal Code § 646.9.