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Title IX FAQ

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What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is the commission of an unwanted or coerced sexual act, further defined as:

  1. non-consensual sexual contact: the deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks), or clothing covering any of those area(s) without consent, or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts
  2. non-consensual sexual intercourse: penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object that occurs without consent, however slight the penetration, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, that occurs without indication of consent of both individuals, or that occurs under threat or coercion.

    Sexual assault can occur either forcibly and/or against a person's will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent.

    Under federal and state law, sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling (unwanted touching or kissing for purposes of sexual gratification), and threat of sexual assault.

    » See Fla. Stat. 784.011 (assault), 784.046(c) (sexual violence), 794.011 (sexual battery)

What is consent?

Consent means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

  • Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity can never imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent is not the lack of resistance; there is no duty to fight off a sexual aggressor.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated by the person withdrawing consent through words or actions.

A person shall not knowingly take advantage of another person who has an intellectual or physical disability, who is incapacitated by the use of prescribed medication, alcohol or other chemical drugs, or who is not conscious or awake, and thus is not able to give consent as defined above.

Further, a person shall not physically or verbally coerce another person to engage in any form of sexual conduct to the end that consent, as defined above, is not given. In addition, certain states have designated a minimum age under which a person cannot give consent.

In the state of Florida, the age of consent is 18.

How do I help a friend who doesn't want to report an incident?

Students with concerns about a friend are encouraged to consult with a confidential resource about how to support their friend. Individuals that experience sexual harassment, sexual violence, or intimate partner violence may want to maintain control of the information that is shared with the University and others. There are many ways to assist a friend and more information about available resources at Stetson and in the local community.

Is there a time limit for making a report?

There is no time limit for invoking this policy in responding to complaints of alleged sexual harassment, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence. Nevertheless, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to report allegations immediately in order to maximize the University's ability to obtain evidence, and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation. Failure to promptly report alleged sexual harassment, sexual violence, or intimate partner violence may result in the loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony, and may impair the University’s ability to enforce this policy.

Why should I report an incident to the University?

  • Stetson University is committed to providing all students and employees with a safe and secure learning and working environment that is free of sex- or gender-based discrimination.
  • Stetson may provide interim measures and remedies to assist and support Reporting Party in their academic journey.
  • Remedies may include, but are not limited to: providing Public Safety escorts on campus, when available; assistance with academics, modifications in living arrangements, academic and/or employment schedules; no-contact orders; and counseling and support referrals.
  • Stetson can also assist a Reporting Party with contacting local law enforcement, if desired, and obtaining injunctions for protection.
  • Stetson University can assist a Reporting Party with the University’s formal resolution process, which may determine if a violation of University policy occurred, and if so, appropriate sanctions for the Respondent.
  • Reports assist the University in understanding the frequency and magnitude of these occurrences within our community and develop strategies for preventing and ending sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence. 

Someone has accused me of violating the Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence policy. What can I do?

If you have been alleged of a policy violation, the first step is to read the policy and understand the allegation. Respondents (those alleged of a University policy violation) are afforded rights throughout the investigation process. Attend the meeting requests to meet with the Title IX Coordinator(s) as requested to go over the process and answer your questions.

What should I do if I witness sexual harassment?

There will undoubtedly come a time when you are faced with a situation in which you can intervene and help stop a potentially dangerous situation such as stopping someone from driving drunk, eliminating bullying behavior, or preventing sexual harassment from occurring. As a friend, classmate, family member, or even a stranger, you are in a unique position to do something about abuses you see and to be an empowered bystander. Everyone can help someone. You can take a stand utilizing bystander intervention strategies such as distraction, group intervention, authority, and/or preparation.

  • Distraction – Call your friend’s cell asking them a question or suggesting it’s time to go.
  • Group Intervention – Ask your friends to help out with distraction or separation. They can pull the potential victim aside to check in.
  • Authority – Ask a bartender, faculty member, staff member, or any other authority figure to help support the intervention.
  • Prepare yourself –Be aware of the pressures we face not to take a stand and choose what kind of person you want to be.

I don't want to tell the University about what happened, but I need help. Who can I talk to about an incident?

If you are in immediate crisis, call 911.

Local Resources

Volusia County
The Volusia Rape Crisis Center is a confidential resource. They have a 24/7 sexual assault helpline (800-503-7621) and can serve as advocates for survivors but are not required to report the assault. They also accompany survivors during forensic exams and guide them through the legal process, as requested.

Osceola County
The Victim Service Center of Central Florida provides a 24/7 sexual assault helpline (407-497-6701) and can provide advocacy and support resources.

Pinellas County
The Pinellas County Rape Crisis Center has a 24/7 sexual assault helpline (727-530-7273) and can advocate for survivors. The Rape Crisis Center's mission is to educate about sexual violence intolerance, provide medical and forensic emergency response and offer advocacy and therapeutic services to survivors of violence.

Hillsborough County
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay provides support and advocacy (813-264-9961) resources.

Medical and Behavior Health Options

  • Florida Hospital, DeLand: 386-943-4650
  • Florida Hospital, DeLand – Behavioral Health Crisis Help Line: 800-539-4228
  • St. Anthony’s Hospital, St. Petersburg: 727-825-1100

General Resources, Referrals, and Support

  • Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-500-1119 or 386-255-2102
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • National Dating Abuse Hotline: 866-331-9474
  • United States Department of Justice-- Sexual Violence Resources
  • Betty Griffin House - 24-hour Crisis hotline: 904-824-1555
  • Family Life Center - 24-hour Crisis hotline: 386-437-3505
  • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay | One Crisis Center Plaza | Tampa, Florida 33613
  • Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
  • Rape Crisis Hotline: 888-956-RAPE (7273) or 813-964-1964
  • Trauma Counseling Services: 813-264-9955

Injunctions for Protection

Local law enforcement may also assist a Reporting Party with filing an Injunction for Protection (commonly referred to as a restraining order). Information for obtaining an Injunction for Protection is provided below:

Volusia County
Volusia County Clerk of Court Office
101 North Alabama Avenue
DeLand, FL 32724
386-736-5915

Osceola County
Osceola County Clerk of Court Office
2 Courthouse Square
Kissimmee, FL 34741
407-742-3500

Pinellas County
Pinellas County Clerk of Court Office
545 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
727-464-7000

Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Office
George E. Edgecomb Courthouse
800 E. Twiggs Street
Tampa, FL 33602
813-276-8100

Campus Confidential Resources

There are options for individuals to confidentially discuss incidents of gender-based or sexual misconduct. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected depends on the professional role of the person being consulted.

Pastoral counselors, professional counselors, and medical staff are able to provide confidentiality (within reasonable limits as described below) and will not disclose the details of a report to any outside source. They include counselors such as those employed by the Stetson University Student Counseling Services, Stetson University Health Services, and the University Chaplains.

Exceptions to maintaining confidentiality are generally set by law; for example, confidential resources may need to report certain incidents. The grounds for breaking confidentiality include when a minor or elderly person is involved in an allegation of abuse, there is imminent harm to self or others or an individual has been subpoenaed to testify in a criminal case.

Title IX Resources

Do I have to report my experience and pursue disciplinary action?

The Reporting Party maintains control over who to talk to and what information they choose to share; however, the University’s response may be limited based on the information shared by the Reporting Party. When the University receives a report, it has a duty to evaluate the report to determine the appropriate response and safety of the individual and the community.

Even if a Reporting Party does not wish to participate in any form of resolution, the University is still required to provide reasonable remedies. Remedies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing Public Safety escorts on campus, when available;
  • Assistance with academics, modifications in living arrangements, academic and/or employment schedules;
  • No-contact orders; and
  • Counseling and support referrals.

Any interim measures taken will be designed to minimize the burden on the Reporting Party as much as possible.

As a University faculty/staff member, am I required to report Title IX incidents to the University?

Yes, all University employees are required to report incidents involving sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence to the Title IX Office.  The University’s Title IX Coordinator(s) can provide the appropriate response and support to the Reporting Party and the University community. Designated confidential resources (Student Counseling Services, Health Services, or Chaplain), you are not required to report such incidents to the Title IX Office.  Report it now!

Who can I talk to if I want to learn more about Title IX?

You may contact any of the Title IX Coordinator(s) for more information regarding this policy and available resources.

Title IX Coordinator, University-wide

Cathy Downes
Executive Director and Title IX Coordinator
386-822-7960

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty, Staff and Third Party Reports (DeLand and Celebration Campuses)

Drew Macan
Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Allen House
421 N. Woodland Blvd. Unit 8327
DeLand, FL 32723
386-822-7472

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty, Staff and Third Party Reports (Gulfport and Tampa Campuses)

Pam Skoularakos
Director for Human Resources
Tower Building – F Wing
1401 61st. S., Unit 293
Gulfport, FL 33707
727-562-7807

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Gender Equity in Athletics (DeLand Campus)

Alicia Queally
Associate Athletic Director of Internal Operations
Senior Woman Administrator
Edmunds Center, Room 113
421 N. Woodland Blvd.
DeLand, FL 32723
386-738-6676

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Interim) for Students (DeLand and Celebration Campuses)

Colleen Vanderlip
Director of Wellness and Recreation

Hollis Center, Room 132
421 N. Woodland Blvd.
DeLand, FL 32723
386-738-6680

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students (Gulfport and Tampa Campuses)

Tammy Briant
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Student Center, Room 203
1401 61st. S., Unit 293
Gulfport, FL 33707
727-562-7808

Can someone help me through the investigation process?

Yes. Both the Reporting Party and the Respondent in an investigation are provided with a University support person who can assist with providing support during the process. The University support person may be present during all meetings with University officials to serve as a guide during the disciplinary process. If the University’s support person is not utilized, the Reporting Party and Respondent may select an alternative advisor of their choice (i.e., parent, friend, attorney, etc.). This person will act as a support person but will not represent either party. The Reporting Party and Respondent are entitled to have one support person present during all meetings with University officials during the investigation process.

How do I request University support?

You have options for requesting support from the University. You may choose to meet with a confidential resource (Student Counseling Services, Health Services, or Chaplain) to review your options. Or, you may contact a Title IX Coordinator who can review your request and assist you with remedies and support.