Stetson University

Sexual Assault

Stetson University is committed to providing an educational atmosphere in which students can achieve their goals and maximum potential. When students experience sexual assault, their sense of safety and trust is violated, which can seriously interfere with their lives and educational goals. Sexual assault is a serious, violent crime which is a flagrant violation of the Code of Community Standards. The university does not tolerate sexual assault, including acquaintance rape, in any form.

Sexual assault (rape) is non-consensual sexual intercourse involving force, manipulation or coercion. It is an act of aggression, violence and power and is a felony. The assailant can be either a stranger, relative, acquaintance or date. Although usually a crime committed against women, rape can also happen to men. Examples of sexual assault include, but are not limited to:

  • Having sexual intercourse with an unwilling person or using threats or physical force to obtain sexual favors; or
  • Having sexual intercourse with a person who is physically unconscious or asleep; or
  • Participating in a sex act with someone so under the influence of drugs or alcohol that they are unable to voluntarily consent to the activity. Use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish the violation.

This policy also covers any other sex-related assault or offense including any form of sexual battery under the criminal statues of the State of Florida.

Stetson University will pursue disciplinary action when there is reasonable cause to believe the university's regulations against sexual assault have been violated. Further, the university will give timely notification to the campus community of a reported incident of sexual assault. Other related behavior not specifically defined as sexual assault may also result in disciplinary action. Refer to Article II of the Code of Community Standards for a general listing of prohibited conduct.

Reporting Procedures

In case of emergency, dial 911. The university encourages the victim to report an attempted or completed sexual assault to the Office of Public Safety at 386-822-7300. It is always the victim's choice as to whether or not to report a sexual assault, but reporting an assault (or attempted assault) is extremely important for the protection of the victim and the community. Reporting an assault does not mean that the victim must press criminal charges. However, it begins the process if the victim decides to press charges later and ensures that the victim receives counseling and guidance.

Others on campus to whom a victim of sexual assault may go for assistance include the professional staff of the Counseling Center, Student Health Service and other Campus Life and Student Success staff members. Once the Office of Public Safety or a Campus Life staff member learns of a sexual assault, these offices will cooperate to provide the victim with counseling and guidance.

In reporting a sexual assault, the victim controls the process. The university will:

  1. Encourage the victim to receive crisis counseling and medical attention through the Rape Crisis Center;
  2. Encourage the victim to report the incident to the local police and/or the Rape Victim Advocate in the State Attorney's Office; and
  3. Assist the victim in receiving counseling and guidance through the Counseling Center.

The Office of Public Safety will, if requested, assist the victim in notifying local police. If the victim chooses not to report the incident to local law enforcement, the university must report the incident to the Rape Victim Advocate's office in keeping with federal legislation. The university will give the victim the choice of providing his/her name to the Rape Victim Advocate's office. The university will not provide the victim's name without the victim's permission. The Rape Victim Advocate can explain the system and give needed support so that the victim is comfortable with whatever decision is ultimately reached.

Three important factors for the victim to remember include:

  1. It is critical for a police agency to be informed as soon as possible after the incident so that appropriate steps, such as gathering crucial evidence and information to prove criminal sexual assault, can be taken;
  2. Florida State Law prohibits the publishing or broadcasting of information that would identify the victim of a sexual offense; and
  3. The victim can decide at any point not to press criminal charges, even if already filed.

Options and Resources

Stetson University students who are sexually assaulted have a number of options as well as campus and community resources available to them. Options include:

  • Assistance in contacting professors and work-study supervisors about absence, etc.;
  • Confidential counseling services and/or referral, as well as counseling and guidance for medical treatment; assistance with possible changes in on-campus residential housing assignment and academic class assignment if reasonably available; and
  • Assistance in disciplinary proceedings and/or reporting the incident to local police.

Resources

Resources include:

  • Public Safety: 386-822-7300
  • Dean of Students: 386-822-7348
  • Office of Community Standards: 386-822-7205
  • Student Health Service: 386-822-8150
  • Counseling Center: 386-822-8900
  • Sexual Assault Recovery Center (located in Daytona Beach): 386-254-4106
  • Rape Victim Advocate (state attorney's office): 386-239-7710
  • DeLand Police Department (non-emergency): 386-734-1711

Seeking assistance from any of these resources does not obligate victims to take further action. However, whether or not a victim desires to take further action, medical assistance is essential. A physical examination, by a physician of the victim's choice, will take care of obvious and/or hidden injuries and provide opportunity for the victim to discuss with a physician potential pregnancy or communicable disease concerns.

A number of university offices, departments and student organizations offer prevention services and/or programs designed to promote awareness of sexual assault and other sex offenses. Programs and services include crime prevention, the Public Safety escort program, the emergency telephone system, alcohol awareness, safety orientation for new students on health issues and communication skills.

Disciplinary Action

Victims have an option to request that the university initiate a disciplinary proceeding against a student assailant. Although university disciplinary proceedings do not require that a police report be filed, doing so enables the victim to consider the full range of responses. The university's judicial process is administered by the Executive Director for Community Standards and shall take precedence over any other university committee process when incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment are reported.

Specific details concerning the disciplinary process are outlined in Article III: Judicial Policies of the Student Code of Community Standards.

Disciplinary action against students committing sexual assault is administered by the Executive Director for Community Standards. Persons found in violation of sexual assault in a university disciplinary proceeding are subject to disciplinary sanctions, which may include suspension or expulsion from the university.

Victims are under no obligation to pursue disciplinary action by contacting the Office of Public Safety. The initial consultation will clarify the disciplinary process and explain the options available to the victim, as well as review the incident. Crisis counselors or other support persons are welcome and encouraged to accompany the survivor. During disciplinary proceedings, the victim and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity to have an adviser present. Further, the victim will be afforded the opportunity to remain present throughout the disciplinary proceeding, to submit any oral or written statement concerning the incident, to have previous sexual history excluded from the hearing, and to ask questions during the proceeding. Upon the conclusion of the disciplinary proceeding, both the victim and the accused shall be informed of the decision.

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