Title IX FAQ
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is the commission of an unwanted or coerced sexual act, further defined as:
- 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
- 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- Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated by the person withdrawing consent through words or actions.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. Victims of gender-based misconduct, sexual assault, or interpersonal 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 gender-based misconduct, sexual assault and interpersonal 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 gender-based or sexual misconduct 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 complainants 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 complainants with contacting local law enforcement, if desired, and obtaining injunctions for protection.
- Stetson University can assist complainants 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 gender-based misconduct, sexual assault, and interpersonal 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 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.
The Volusia Rape Crisis Center is a confidential resource. They have a 24/7 sexual assault helpline (1-800-503-7621) 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.
The Pinellas County Rape Crisis Center has a 24/7 sexual assault helpline (1-727-530-7273) 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.
Medical and Behavior Health Options
- Florida Hospital, DeLand: 386-943-4650
- Florida Hospital, DeLand – Behavioral Health Crisis Help Line: 1-800-539-4228
- St. Anthony’s Hospital, St. Petersburg: 727-825-1100
General Resources, Referrals, and Support
- Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-500-1119 or 386-255-2102
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- National Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474
- The Federal Government’s Sexual Violence Resource Website
- 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: 1-888-956-RAPE (7273) | 813-964-1964
- Trauma Counseling Services: 813-264-9955
Injunctions for Protection
Local law enforcement may also assist complainants with filing an Injunction for Protection (commonly referred to as a restraining order). Information for obtaining an Injunction for Protection is provided below:
Osceola County Clerk of Court Office
2 Courthouse Square
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Pinellas County Clerk of Court Office
545 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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 Counseling Center, Stetson University Health Services, Eckerd College and Health Services, and the University Chaplain.
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.
Do I have to report my experience and pursue disciplinary action?
Complainants maintain 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 complainant. 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 complainant 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 complainant as much as possible.
A student told me something personal that may have violated the Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Interpersonal Violence policy. As a faculty/staff member of the University, do I have to report this to someone?
Yes, unless you are a designated confidential resource (Counseling Center, Health Services, or Chaplain), you must report the incident so that the University’s Title IX Coordinator(s) can provide the appropriate response and support to the complainant and the University community.
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
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty, Staff and Third Party Reports (DeLand and Celebration Campuses)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty, Staff and Third Party Reports (Gulfport and Tampa Campuses)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Gender Equity in Athletics (DeLand Campus)
Associate Athletic Director of Internal Operations, Senior Woman Administrator
Office Location: Edmunds Center, Room 113 | 421 N. Woodland Blvd. | DeLand, FL 32723
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students (DeLand and Celebration Campuses)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students (Gulfport and Tampa Campuses)
Can someone help me through the investigation process?
Yes. Both the complainant 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 complainant 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 complainant 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 (Counseling Center, 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.