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Relationship Violence Policy

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The University strives to allow students to live in a campus community free of sexually intimidating circumstances. St. Ambrose University strictly prohibits and will not tolerate any act of sexual violence. St. Ambrose University will treat sexual violence survivors and the accused offenders with respect and make their rights and options clear.

Definition of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes sexual contact done by force, by the threat of force or without the consent of the victim. Also included is sexual contact while the victim is under the influence of a drug-induced sleep, unconscious, lacks the mental capacity to make a rational decision, or is incapacitated. It is not necessary for the victim to have physically resisted in order to establish an act of sexual violence was committed.

Definition of Consent

Consent is an act of reason and deliberation. A person who possesses and exercises sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent decision and voluntarily agrees to another person or persons' proposition or proposal is said to have given consent. Consent assumes a power to act and a reflective, determined, and unencumbered exertion of this power. Consent may not be given or assumed if the person making the decision is known to be or should be known to be incapacitated, has an intellectual disability which prohibits the individual from consenting, or is under the age of 18.

Educational Programs

St. Ambrose University engages in many programs that promote awareness and prevention of rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Primary resources include information in the student handbook that provides definitions of sexual violence, how to recognize signs of abuse, and information on bystander intervention. Written information on sexual violence is available in the Dean of Students Office, and may be periodically provided to students. Resident advisors and security officers receive training in victim sensitivity and the University's philosophy and procedures in dealing with sexual violence. Student Affairs provides ongoing campus sexual violence awareness programs. Specifically these include programs offered to all new students and staff on bystander intervention, programs in New Student Seminar that teach recognition, avoidance and awareness of signs of both sexual assault, and domestic violence along with techniques for reducing the likelihood of stalking, sexual violence and dating violence. Annual programs on these subjects are also offered by Student Affairs and the Kinesiology class 125 which is a women's only Rape Aggression Defense that is available to all students and staff. These programs are offered each semester and begin with e-mails targeted to students and staff at the beginning of each semester.

Sexual Assault Awareness Team (SAAT)

The St. Ambrose Sexual Assault Awareness Team (SAAT) is comprised of campus community members who have been trained to assist students who have experienced sexual violence. SAAT members provide support and help the student explore her/his options and rights. SAAT members' contact information is available online.

Rights of Students Involved in Incidents of Alleged Sexual Violence

St. Ambrose University follows these principles regarding individuals involved in allegations of sexual violence:

1. A student subject to sexual violence is encouraged to report to the Security or Dean of Students Office.
2. Every report of sexual violence will be taken seriously and prompt action will be taken as appropriate. Students who are survivors of sexual violence have the option of notifying campus security and/or the Davenport Police Department. University officials will assist students in contacting the above departments, if desired. However, a student is not required to file a report to receive support and accommodations where reasonable and appropriate.
3. When appropriate the University will issue a campus alert or timely notice to campus if the incident reported indicates an on-going risk to the campus community. Any release of information will protect the identity of the victim when notification is issued.
4. Supporting students involved in allegations of sexual violence is of primary consideration, as are exploring options and protecting the rights of those involved, including the individual's right to privacy as provided by law and policy and to determine what options to pursue (see the Equity and Grievance policy and Conduct Review Process for more information about maintaining privacy).
5. The University will do everything reasonably possible to provide a climate that is sensitive, respectful, and supportive of individual needs of both the reporting person and respondent [individual alleged to have violated policy].
6. During a campus conduct review procedure the survivor will be free from any suggestion that they are responsible, or "contributorily negligent", or assumed the risk of being assaulted. This right cannot be construed to limit such claims in any criminal or civil action for or against the University.
7. During a campus conduct review procedure students will have access to information as outlined in the conduct review procedures.
8. Involved students will have access to existing campus counseling and support services.
9. If reasonably available, academic and living arrangements may be changed upon student request and no contact directives between involved parties may be issued, regardless of whether a formal report has been filed. See the Dean of Students, Counseling Office, or a SAAT member for further assistance.

Disciplinary Action for On-Campus Proceedings

In cases where alleged sexual violence occurs, University conduct review procedures will be followed, and the University will make a determination in accord with the Equity and Grievance Policy. Additionally, both the reporting person and the respondent will be notified of the outcome. For details on conduct review processsee the Conduct review procedures section.

Sanctions for Sexual Violence

Possible sanctions for sexual violence and other sex offenses can include, but are not limited to, admonition, warning, restitution, probation, suspension or expulsion. For definitions of these terms and a more comprehensive list of possible outcomes see the Conduct review Procedures Section.