A discussion about campus sexual assault and relationship violence
Why do I need to take this training?
- 1 in every 5 women will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate
- 1 in every 16 men will be subjected to sexual assault while in college
- Nearly half of bisexual men and 4 in 10 gay men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime
- Approximately 1 I 8 lesbian women and nearly half of bisexual women will experience rape in their lifetime
- More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault
- In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the perpetrator is known to the victim
- Of rapes of college students, 59% of completed rapes occurred in the victims residence, 31% occurred in other living quarters, and 10% took place in a fraternity house
- 1 in 4 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are victims/survivors of violence committed by a partner
- All statistical data and estimates of same sex domestic violence are proportional to heterosexual violence statistics
- The leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44 is relationship violence
Syracuse University is committed to the maintenance of an environment which is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from all exploitation and intimidation.
Syracuse University does not tolerate:
- Sexual Assault (including rape)
- Domestic of dating violence
- Sexual coercion and non-contact sexual abuse such as voyeurism
- Sexual exploitation or other forms of sexual violence or non-consensual sexual activity
Syracuse University also prohibits retaliation, including retaliatory harassment, and retaliation by third parties.
Students who are found responsible for violations of this policy are at risk for expulsion from the university. Students found to be responsible for violence related violations as defined by the Clery Act who are suspended or expelled will have their university transcript issued with a notion of a code of conduct violation.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that relates to the gender or sexual identity of an individual. The behavior has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating or hostile environment.
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Request for a sexual act
- Sexual coercion and non-contact sexual abuse such as voyeurism and sexual exploitation
Key Concepts of Sexual Harassment
Welcome versus Unwelcome
- A person does not have to express discomfort or tell the person to stop to be considered harassment
- The personal may have even appeared to go along with the behavior
- To tolerate does not mean you consent to something. “I was only joking,” or “I thought it was okay” are not defenses.
Intent versus Impact
- Harassment is determined by the impact of the person and not the intent of the harasser. “I thought it was all in good fun,” or I didn’t mean to offend” are not defenses
Relationship or Dating Violence
This video will provide examples of what relationship violence can look like. Take note of the signs of relationship violence you saw during the video to answer the question that follows.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is defined as intentionally and for no legitimate purpose engaging in a course of conduct directed at a person knowing (or should reasonably know) that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm or does cause material harm to the other person. This includes:
- Following their movements or communications on Facebook or other social media
- May involve behaviors such as repeated unwanted contacts, monitoring of movements, or regularly following an individual across campus
- Can occur regardless of relationship status
Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault included any actual or attempted nonconsensual physical contact of a sexual nature perpetrated against another person, including but not limited to: sexual touching committed with coercion, threat or intimidation (acted or implied) with or without physical force.
Rape refers to sexual intercourse without consent, committed with coercion, threat, or intimidation (actual or implied), with or without physical force by a person(s) known or unknown to the victim. This can involve anal, oral, or vaginal penetration, no matter how slight.
What Behaviors Perpetuate Rape
- Prevalence of alcohol intoxication and casual sex
- Subtle or implied pressure to “get laid”
- Dehumanization of women with the use of some language: bitch, hoe, slut…
- Viewing women or men as objects to be conquered
- Using alcohol as a predatory drug
- Societal norms around masculinity and femininity
- Encouraging secretiveness or silence
Affirmative Consent Policy
Affirmative Consent is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does NOT demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participants sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Got Consent? Be S.U.R.E.
- Voluntary and freely given (not coercive)
- Mutual: all participants want “this” to happen
- All participants have agreed to whatever “this” is
- Informed: What kind of information would be important to share to be informed?
- Clear-minded, able to judge
- Incapacitated people cannot consent
- Not passive
- Wanting to participate
Consent and Alcohol?
A person cannot consent when incapacitated.
Intoxication is never an excuse to harm another person. The initiator is always responsible for getting consent.
Examples of Consent
Watch this Laci Green video to learn more about what consent looks like.
What Consent Isn’t
Do not assume “blanket consent”
- For example, someone consenting to kissing does not automatically consent to oral sex or any other sexual activity
- Even if you are in a relationship, consenting to sex once does not mean you automatically are consenting to future sex
- Someone can change their mind, even after they initially give consent
- It doesn’t matter who the initiator is, you still need to be sure you have consent
A lack of “no” does NOT mean “yes.”
Consent cannot be given:
- Through coercion: “If you don’t have sex with me, I’ll break up with you.”
- Through intimidation: “I’ll tell everyone what you do in the bedroom if you don’t have sex with me.”
- Through force or threat of harm
- When incapacitated
Syracuse University recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time of the violence may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences of their own conduct. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to SU’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to SU’s Code of Student Conduct for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the rime of the commission of [the incident].
Retaliation against a complainant or anyone involved in the case is prohibited. Retaliation may include:
- Intimidating or threatening a person because such person filed a complaint, furnished information, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, review, hearing or other activity related to the administration of university policies.
- Contacting or threatening other parties and witnesses for the purpose of interfering with the investigation, and encouraging others to contact or threaten parties and witnesses for the purposes of interfering.
What can you do to prevent sexual assault and relationship violence?
Being a prosocial bystander
- Everyone has the ability to be a prosocial bystander
- Everyone has the ability to act in a way that can move us toward a society with fewer incidents of violence
- There are many ways to be a prosocial bystander
- To be a prosocial bystander, one must trust one’s feelings of discomfort and then think about how to best respond in a particular situation.
Watch this video to see some examples of how you can make a difference and intervene!
How to support victims/survivors
The support and concern of someone who cares can make a big difference to someone who is being abused. Here are some suggestions for how to help individuals who are being abused:
- Let them know you are concerned and why
- Listen to them
- Let them know that they are not alone
- Let them know that they deserve to be treated with respect
- Support their right to make their own choices and decisions. Avoid telling them what to do
- Talk with them in private and keep the conversation confidential
- Become informed and offer to provide information
- Offer to research information on resources and programs that could be helpful
- Let them know you are available to talk
- Help them to identify their personal strengths
- Stay focused on your friend/family member, their feelings, safety and options and do not talk negatively about the abuser. Negative statements about the abuser could lead your friend or family member to feel the need to stand up for their partner and could shut down any further conversation
IMPORTANT: Victims/survivors are never obligated to report and can do so in their own time if they do decide to.
Student Bill of Rights
All students have the right to:
- Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police.
- Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault treated seriously.
- Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violations and participate in the judicial or conduct process and participate criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution.
- Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and meaningful opportunity to be heard.
- Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair and respectful health care and counseling services where available.
- Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations.
- Describe the incident to as few institution representatives a practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident.
- Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused or the respondent and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution.
- Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination.
- Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process.
- Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.
- May be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to University officials.
- Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team in the Counseling Center
- Counseling Center therapists
- Health Services providers
- Hendricks Chapel Chaplains
- Athletics Department Physician
Sexual & Relationship Violence Response Team (privileged and confidential): 315.443.4715
The Counseling Center (privileged and confidential): 315.443.4715
Hendricks Chapel: 315.443.2901
- May be offered by an individual when such individual is unable to offer confidentiality under the law but shall still not disclose information learned from a reporting individual or bystander to a crime or incident more than necessary to comply with laws.
- Title IX Coordinator
- Department of Public Safety
- Office of Student Assistance
- Academic Coordinators/Advisors
- Residence Life Staff/Resident Advisors
Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS): 315.443.4018
Office of Student Assistance: 315.443.4357
Office of Health Promotion: 315.443.3514
Office of Student Assistance (315-443-4357)
- Serves as a central support hub to help students and their families manage crises, life traumas, and other concerns or barriers that impede success.
- The office works to address the needs of students who are impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence and other forms of gender related bias through a variety of interventions, referrals, advocacy and follow-up services.
- Student Assistance is available to provide support to all students involved in University processes, including the University Student Conduct Process, and with all Title IX related concerns as well as providing interim relief explanations and follow up.
- Vera House (315-468-3260—24 hour crisis and support line) is an off-campus agency providing confidential and privileged resources to those affected by domestic and sexual violence
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline 1-800-942-6906
- New York State Division of Human Rights (http://www.dhr.ny.gov/)
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (http://www.eeoc.gov/)
- U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/know.html)
- Syracuse Police Department Abused Persons Unit (315-435-3016)
The Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the efforts of Syracuse University to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX:
- Oversees the University’s response to reports and complaints
- Ensures a fair, equitable and prompt process for all involved
- Oversees investigations involving sex discrimination
When informed works with others by doing an initial assessment which includes:
- a pattern check,
- who is point person with reporter/victim,
- what does the reporter/victim want,
- what is necessary, if anything for campus safety,
- who else (if anyone) needs to be notified.
Working with others, ensures:
- that interim relief, if requested and available, is provided and that follow-up is done with complainant.
- that the necessary steps are taken to ensure a fair and appropriate resolution.
- that steps are taken to remedy the effects of any misconduct.
- that steps are taken to prevent recurrence.
- No contact orders
- Allowing complainant to change academic, living or employment situations
- Changing class course sections
- Extended deadlines
- Changing exam dates
- Taking an incomplete for a class
- Finishing a semester from home
- Safety escorts
- Interim suspension
The process through which the targeted individual expresses a desire for resolution other than through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or through criminal processes.For example, the affected person might want some interim relief such as a no contact order, class or work schedule adjustment, or an educational conversation with the alleged offender.Once a report is filed with the University, options for informal resolution will be reviewed with the Title IX Coordinator, who coordinates the informal resolution process.The Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team members are available to advocate for interim relief on behalf of students.
The process through which a formal complaint is filed with the Syracuse University Title IX Coordinator for the purpose of investigation and formal resolution through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. In these cases, the matter is evaluated using a preponderance of evidence standard (more likely than not) as to whether the respondent violated the Code of Student Conduct.
Health Promotion Specialist
Office of Health Promotion
111 Waverly Avenue, suite 006
Training & Development Specialist
Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services
Steele Hall, room 007