It is the policy of this district to maintain a safe school environment for all students while attending school and district-sponsored activities on school premises or other locations. Sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying, regardless of the specific nature of the student's behavior is disruptive to a safe school environment and will not be tolerated. Students who engage in such behavior will be disciplined as determined to be appropriate, up to and including suspension and/or dismissal.
If you are a victim of violence you have options. You are encouraged to report incidents of assault and violence to school administration or local law enforcement.
Violence Against Women Act
On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed a bill that strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Included in the bill was the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE), which amends the Jeanne Clery Act and affords additional rights to campus victims of sexual violence, datingviolence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Under VAWA, every post-secondary institution participating in Title IV financial aid programs will be required to:
- Report domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates;
- Adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and
- Adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular aspects of prevention and awareness.
Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, unwanted sexual comments or advances, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person's sexuality regardless of their relationship to the victim. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, battery and sexual coercion; domestic dating violence, and stalking.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activites such as: forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodimy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. Sexual Assault does not happen due to uncontrollable lust, or simple miscommunication, though these acts are often written off as such. Sexual Assaults are acts of aggression for which there is no excuse. No matter how a person is dressed, or behaves, no one asks or deserves to be assaulted.
Rape is defined by the United States Department of Justice as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
For the first time ever, the definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women being raped by men. It also recognizes that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Furthermore, because many rapes are facilitated by drugs or alcohol, the new definition recognizes that a victim can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion of drugs or alcohol. Similarly, a victim may be legally incapable of consent because of age. The ability of the victim to give consent must be determined in accordance with individual state statutes. Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.
Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim is dating violence. The existence of such a relationship is typically determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship
- The type of relationship
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationshipngth of the relationship.
Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can include:
- Obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim's garbage, following the victim, contacting victim's friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.
- Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
- Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email or repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
- Harassing victim through the internet.
- Damaging or threatening to damage the victim's property.
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends, or pets.
- Following or laying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place.
A bystander, or witness, is someone who sees or hears a potentially harmful situation but might not know what to do, think others will act, or be afraid to do something. Research on the causes of sexual violence and evaluation of prevention efforts indicates that bystanders (also referred to as witnesses, defenders, or up standers) are a key piece of prevention work. Every situation is different and there is no universal response when intervening to prevent sexual violence. Safety is vital in deciding when and how to respond to sexual violence. Every person must decide for themselves the safest and most effective way to become an engaged bystander.
Here are some ideas how you might safely intervene as an engaged bystander:
- When you witness violence, get support from people around you; you do not have to act alone.
- Practice with friends and family about what you would say and how you would say it.
- When intervening, be respectful, direct, and honest.
- If you see or hear something and you do not feel safe, contact such authorities as the police, Child
Protective Services, or Adult Protective Services.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
It’s On Us
Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
National Network to End Domestic Violence
St. Louis Domestic and Family Violence Council
National Center for Campus Public Safety
The Stalking Resource Center