Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual violence and sexual harassment are not tolerated within our community. Forms of
sexual violence and sexual harassment are crimes punishable by both civil and criminal legal
action and are a serious violation of the University's standards of
conduct. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence. Sexual
violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual
battery, and sexual coercion. Allegations of such behavior will be
investigated and acted upon on campus, regardless of where it occurred,
and all reports will be reviewed by the University's Title IX
Coordinator. If you feel that you have been a victim of sexual
violence or sexual harassment, please read the policy section below on
"What to do if you've been raped, sexually assaulted, harassed, coerced or exploited,"
for help, options, and possible remedies.
- Proscribed behavior and definition of terms
It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome
and must stop. The victim is encouraged, but not limited, to use any SMU complaint mechanism.
When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, the institution
will examine all evidence of the incident. A determination on
the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Effective consent: Informed, freely, and actively given or mutually
understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate
in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent may never be given by:
- Minors to legal adults (statutory rape).
- Developmentally disabled persons
- Physically incapacitated persons (one who is physically incapacitated as a
result of alcohol or other drug consumption - voluntary or involuntary -
who is unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless).
- Rape: Rape is defined as any sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal), however
slight, with any object by a man or woman upon a man or woman, by forcible
compulsion or without effective consent (please read above).
- Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is defined as any sexual touching, however slight,
with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without effective
consent (please read above).
- Sexual Coercion: Sexual coercion is an act of using pressure or force to have
sexual contact with someone who has already refused.
- Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation is defined as one person taking nonconsensual,
unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another that does not
otherwise constitute rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. Examples of
sexual exploitation include knowingly transmitting a socially transmitted disease
or HIV to another person or inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or
sexually assault another.
- Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to,
unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal
or physical conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct explicitly
or implicitly affects an individual's educational or work
performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive
educational or work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including by
not limited to the following:
- The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim
does not have to be of the opposite sex.
- The harasser can be the victim's instructor, supervisor, an agent of an
employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, a student, or a nonemployee.
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone
affected by the offensive conduct.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or
discharge of the victim.
- The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome
- Steps to take if you've been raped, sexually
assaulted, harassed, coerced, or sexually exploited
- Tell someone. It is important that you
find someone you trust to talk with about what has
happened. You probably will feel stunned and
confused, and you will need support, understanding and
assistance.; Don't isolate yourself. On
campus, you can visit the Counseling and Wellness
Resource Center in OM room 203 (360-438-4513/4371).
If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone face to
face, you can use any of the following services over the
- The Crisis Clinic, 360-586-2800 (information/referral to community resources)
- St. Peter Hospital, 360-491-9480
- SafePlace (rape relief/women's shelter), 360-754-6300
- Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-562-6025
- You are encouraged to report any incident of sexual violence to the police. You
can report what has happened to the local police without taking legal action
against the assailant. You also can contact the local police department to press
either civil or criminal charges.
- Get medical attention within 72 hours. Any hospital emergency room can
provide you with necessary care including, but not limited to sexually
transmitted disease/infection (STD/I) testing and a rape kit. Locally, St. Peter's
Hospital will perform examinations free of charge in cases of sexual violence.
Remember, you should seek medical attention BEFORE you shower or even eat, drink, or smoke.
- Conduct may constitute a violation of University policy even if it would not
constitute criminal activity; therefore you are encouraged to report any incident
which you believe may be an act of sexual violence or sexual harassment on
campus whether or not law enforcement authorities have been contacted.
Several different options are available to you to report what happened. You can
report to the Dean of Students (360-438-4367), Director of Housing and
Residence Life (360-486-8856),
Director of Public Safety (360-486-8876), or the
University's Title IX Coordinator (360-486-8131).
After normal business hours, you may contact Public
Safety (360-438-4555) or the on-call Housing staff
(360-507-2511/2512) for assistance. University
personnel will be available to assist you should you
choose to report the incident to law enforcement.
- While promptness in reporting is desirable, the
case may be investigated as long as the alleged
perpetrator continues to be a student or employee at the
- Depending on the circumstances, some of the possible remedies available to you
as a result of reporting the incident to the University include: temporary or
permanent no-contact orders, providing escorts to ensure your ability to move
safely between classes and other campus activities, removal of alleged
perpetrator from classes you both attend, moving to a different residence hall,
counseling services, medical service, academic support services, and/or
accommodation for re-taking classes without penalty.
- University investigation and resolution of complaint
- Once reported, the University will begin an investigation and, if warranted,
initiate disciplinary proceedings in keeping with the Code of Conduct (in cases
involving another student) or University grievance procedures (in cases involving
staff or faculty). Regardless of the type of complaint proceeding, no form of
mediation will be used to resolve sexual violence complaints. Generally,
investigations will be completed within 30 days and conduct cases resolved no
more than 60 days from the report; however, the University reserves the right to
extend the process under reasonable conditions and with appropriate notice.
- If you request confidentiality or ask that the complaint not be pursued, the
University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the
complaint consistent with your request. The University prohibits retaliation and
University officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take
strong responsive action if it occurs. If you insist that your name or other
identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the
University's ability to respond may be limited. If you continue to ask that your
name not be revealed, the University will evaluate that request in the context of
its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all
students. The University may weigh the request for confidentiality against
several factors and will inform you if it cannot ensure confidentiality.
- Even if the University cannot take disciplinary action against the alleged
perpetrator because you insist on confidentiality, it will pursue all other steps to
limit the effects of the alleged misconduct and prevent its recurrence.
- The University will take steps throughout the process to protect you from further
intimidation, harassment, trauma, or retaliation. You will be afforded all rights
available to the accused including the right to review reports and statements, to
make an impact statement, to present evidence and witnesses, to be notified of
the outcome of the case, to appeal that outcome, if necessary, to be notified of
any appeal by the accused, and to be notified of the outcome of any appeal. The
University will utilize a preponderance of evidence standard ("more likely than
not")in reviewing the case, whether through the Student Conduct Committee,
an administrative hearing, or a University grievance body.