Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
At the start of each academic year, the Security and Safety Department of Saint Joseph's College sponsors an educational program for all first year students that includes a presentation to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape and other sex offenses. This presentation is repeated for all student athletes. Resident Assistants also cover the topic of sexual assault during their first floor meetings with new residents, and individual RAs sponsor programs on sexual assault throughout the year as requested by their residents.
In addition to the Indiana Statutes that define rape, sexual battery, and criminal deviate conduct, inappropriate sexual behavior at Saint Joseph's College includes: Unwelcome touching of another person; indecent exposure; acts of voyeurism; the use of force (actual, implied, or threatened) to gain sexual favors; sexual activity with a person who is unconscious or substantially mentally impaired* (including impairment through intoxication). *At Saint Joseph's College, "substantially mentally impaired" means that a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not "capable" of giving informed consent to sexual activity. If you have sexual contact with someone who is "under the influence," you are responsible for committing an act of inappropriate sexual behavior as defined by the College.
If you are a victim of a sexual assault, your first priority should be to get to a place of safety. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. Saint Joseph's College strongly advocates that a victim of a sexual assault should report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault should be reported directly to a Security Officer or Campus Life professional staff member. Filing an incident report with Security will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions. Filing a report will:
- ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives necessary medical treatment and tests,
- provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, eat, drink, rinse mouth, or change clothing prior to a medical exam,
- assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling.
When a sexual assault victim contacts Security, a staff member from the Division of Student Development and, (with the victim's permission), the Jasper County Sheriff's Department will be notified, and the victim will be transported to the Jasper County Hospital for an exam to be conducted by a specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). The SANE examination will involve evidence collection as well as providing victim support.
The victim of a sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and the College judicial system, or only the latter. To the extent desired by the victim, a representative from the College will help the victim understand available options and support the victim with his or her decision. Counseling services will be available from the College Counselor and support may also be obtained from the SAFER Program sponsored by Jasper County Hospital. Additional assistance from the College could include a change in housing assignment and options involving academic arrangements.
The Puma Guide outlines College judicial procedures, and provides in part that the accused and the victim may each have a faculty member, student or staff member present to serve as their advisor, and both the victim and accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found responsible for sexual misconduct may be suspended or dismissed from Saint Joseph's College.
Tips to Help You Avoid Sexual Assault..as a victim or an assailant
Any sexual assault is a crime of violence, and although rape by a stranger can and does occur in our imperfect world, it is much more likely that a victim of a sexual assault knows their assailant. Here are a few things for you to consider that might help keep you from becoming a victim or an assailant.
- Know who you are with, and know them well before being alone with them.
- Don't leave a beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- Express your boundaries clearly and remember that "NO" means "NO." You have the right to say NO at any time.
- If your partner says "NO," and you choose to ignore it, you have become a sex offender. Please note that a person who is "under the influence" of drugs or alcohol CAN NOT give consent. Having sex with someone who is drunk EQUALS rape.
- ANY use of force, threat or coercion is unacceptable.
- Tell your friends where you are and who you are with.
- Avoid isolated places.
- The use of alcohol or drugs interferes with your ability to think and communicate clearly.
- If you feel uncomfortable, call a friend and/or remove yourself from the situation.
- Unwanted touching is a crime.