BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY
SEXUAL ASSAULT REPORTING AND RESOURCE GUIDE
(revised July 2009)
Boise State University exists to educate people to become knowledgeable citizens who are actively involved in the communities where they live. Critical to the development of this educated citizenry is fostering an atmosphere of respect and civility. Any form of harassment or sexual assault is contrary to these values and the mission of Boise State and will not be tolerated.
All members of the university community must be able to pursue their goals, educational needs, and working lives without intimidation or injury.
Every member of the university community should be aware that the University is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and sexual assault and that such behavior is prohibited both by federal and state law and by university policy. It is the intention of the University to take whatever action may be needed to prevent, correct, and if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this policy.
All forms of sexual assault and all attempts to commit such acts are regarded as serious university offenses, which may result in suspension or expulsion. Prosecution for the criminal law violation may also take place independently of charges under university regulations.
Many survivors of sexual assault struggle to identify what has happened to them. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks before a person can think clearly and recognize that they had experienced a sexual assault. It is important to seek help regardless of how long ago a trauma may have occurred. Hopefully, these guidelines here can help you identify what happened to you and the options you have.
VICTIM’S BILL OF RIGHTS
You have the right….
• to be informed of all reporting options.
• to be free from pressure to make a criminal report.
• to have any allegations of sexual assault investigated and adjudicated by the appropriate campus, civil, and criminal authorities.
• to be notified of existing campus and community medical, counseling, and mental health services whether or not the crime is reported to campus or civil authorities.
• to receive, when required, the full, prompt cooperation of campus personnel when obtaining, securing, and preserving evidence.
SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE FROM UNIVERSITY SECURITY
To report a sexual assault that occurs on campus, call University Security and Police Services at 426-1453. In an emergency situation, always dial 911. Campus police services are provided through a contract with local police services; police officers are fully trained in working with victims of sexual assault and know the requirements for preserving evidence. We strive to provide quality of service to victims and survivors.
• We will meet with you privately or at a place of your choice to file a complaint report.
• We will not release your name to the public or to the press. However, crime statistics and incidents are made public record.
• Our officers will not prejudge you, and you will not be blamed for what occurred.
• We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding, and professionalism.
• If you have a preference for either a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
• We will assist you in receiving hospital, medical, counseling, and other support services that are available.
• We will fully investigate your case, and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect(s). You will be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
• We will consider your case seriously regardless of your gender and sexual orientation, and regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of the suspect(s).
DEFINING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
The term sexual misconduct encompasses the legal definitions of rape contained in Idaho state law as well as any sexual act committed against the wishes of another person. It can include force, either physical or psychological, but the use of force is not prerequisite to the finding of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes a range of behaviors from sexual harassment to rape. Idaho state law has specific definitions that you can access at http://www3.state.id.us/idstat/TOC/idstTOC.html. However, BSU recognizes that there are many more behaviors that violate others and these are covered by our Student Code of Conduct.
Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Sexual Harassment, which includes:
a pattern of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
a. submission to such conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly of employment, services, housing or education, including status in a course, program, or activity.
b. submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, reception of service, housing, or participation in a course, program or activity.
c. such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work, housing, or performance in a job, course, program, or activity, or it creates an intimidating and hostile work, living, or educational environment.
It may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• threats or insinuations that lead the victim to reasonably believe that granting or denying sexual favors will affect her or his reputation, education, employment, advancement;
• repeated phone calls and/or email message from someone who has a crush on you, though you clearly have indicated that you have no interest;
• continuous references to sexual activity and sexual terms that make you uncomfortable;
• unwelcome and persistent sexually explicit statements or stories that are not related to employment duties, course content, research, or other University programs or activities;
• repeatedly using sexually degrading words, gestures, or sounds to describe a person;
• recurring comments or questions about an individual’s sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment can occur with any combination of genders and sexual orientations.
2. Sexual Battery, which includes:
intentionally touching the person’s intimate parts (primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttock, or breast) without or against the person’s consent. This touching is either directly on the body part or on the clothing covering that body part. It is also sexual battery if the person is forced to touch the intimate areas of another individual.
Sexual battery can occur with any combination of genders and sexual orientations.
3. Sexual Assault, which includes:
any sexual act carried out without or against a person’s consent, under coercion, with the threat of force, or by using or employing a weapon, through a position of authority, or when the victim/survivor is mentally disabled or physically helpless including by reason of drug or alcohol consumption, sleep, or unconsciousness.
Sexual assault includes but is not limited to verbal threats that coerce, force, intimidate, threaten, or persuade someone to engage in unwanted sexual activity.
Sexual assault can occur with any combination of genders and sexual orientations.
The University Student Code of Conduct, Article 3, defines sexual assault as the following (note: current criminal law and university policy may differ in definition): Section 8-Sexual Harassment and/or Sexual Assault.
Any actions or statements of a sexual nature which are abusive, intimidating, harassing or embarrassing along with implied or stated threats are prohibited. This policy includes but is not limited to:
a. unwanted touching or comments;
c. threats of violence;
d. use of violence;
e. and sexual assault.
Sexual assault can occur with any combination of genders and sexual orientations.
4. Rape, which includes:
attempted or actual penetration, no matter how slight, of the genital, anal, and/or oral openings of a person by any part of another person’s body or by the use of an object, without the person’s consent or against the person’s will. Rape includes sexual contact, consensual or not, with a minor (under 18 years of age).
Rape can occur with any combination of genders and sexual orientations.
UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL ASSAULT
A stranger, an acquaintance, or a family member can commit sexual assaults. According to a Department of Justice report, “Ninety percent of college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape know their assailant. The attacker is usually a classmate, friend, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, or other acquaintance (in that order).” Victims of sexual assault can be women or men, and sexual assault can occur between individuals of the same sex or gender. While more than 90% of victims are women, men are also sexually assaulted and raped, usually by other men; 98% of men who rape other men identify themselves as heterosexual in consensual sexual relationships.
“Acquaintance rape” is a common term used to describe sexual assaults by someone the victim is acquainted with or knows. However, many organizations are challenging this term recognizing that it may “soften” the reality of the criminal act. Rape is rape, whether committed by a stranger or an acquaintance.
There are many philosophies about the nature of sexual assaults, but most advocates agree that sexual assault is not about “sex,” per se. According to Susan Brownmiller in her book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, rape is a crime of violence, not of passion.
Sexual Assault is never the fault of the victim. Offenders are always responsible for the choice to assault someone else. The only person that can prevent this crime from occurring is the perpetrator of it.
PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING A SEXUAL ASSAULT
If sexual assault occurs, safety and medical assistance are the first considerations.
1. Go to a safe place as soon as possible.
2. Call 911 to report a crime or call Boise State University Security and Police Services at 426-1453 to receive information and resources. During business hours (M-F, 8 am -5 pm) you can call the Violence Prevention and Support Coordinator at the Boise State University Gender Equity Center at 426-4259. She can meet with you or talk with you on the phone to provide options about police reporting, medical, and counseling services, student conduct options, and a variety of other resources. Your communication with the VPSC is confidential.
3. It is important to preserve physical evidence of any assault, especially if the victim seeks to prosecute the offender. Evidence collection is best done by a police officer and a sexual assault forensic examiner within 72 hours of the assault and best collected immediately following an assault. Technological advancements are making it more likely to collect evidence even after 72 hours. However, it is important to remember that the more time that passes between the sexual assault and reporting to the police, the less likely it will be to collect physical evidence which may be very important to the prosecution of a criminal case. Victims of sexual assault should NOT shower or bathe, wash hands, use the toilet, change clothing, or wash clothing or bedding. If the victim has changed clothes and is at a location other than the crime scene, clothing worn at the time (or bedding) should be carefully placed into a paper bag by the police.
4. Seek medical attention. Faces Family Justice Center, at 417 S. 6th Street (577-4400) is a specialized facility close to campus that conducts sexual assault exams with experienced SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) nurses and physicians. For medical treatment, you can go to an emergency room at St. Alphonsus or St. Luke’s hospitals, both have response teams specially trained to assist victims of sexual assault.
5. When an incident is reported, a police detective will come to the emergency room to talk with you and will be accompanied by a Victim-Witness Coordinator (a female staff member who works with the prosecuting attorney’s office or local Sheriff’s Department or city Police Department to support you through the judicial process).
6. At the hospital a “rape kit” (also known as a forensic examination) can be administered to gather evidence in the event of prosecution. This procedure includes a physical exam where a doctor collects the evidence of the assault.
7. Students may also file a complaint through the campus judicial proceedings. In that case, Boise State University does not require this type of physical evidence to file a complaint through the Student Conduct Program.
8. A criminal investigation may occur separate from a judicial proceeding on campus if the offender is a member of Boise State University.
9. Seek counseling or other support. There are many services available on campus and in the community to support students in crisis. In Boise there is also a 24-hour crisis line operated through the Boise Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) and crisis line operators are available to respond to anyone’s concerns and provide referral information (343-7025). You may also call Boise State Counseling Services at 426-1601 during business hours (M-F, 8am-5pm). Remember, it is important that victims of sexual assault seek medical treatment immediately and get counseling as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not a report of the incident is made to the police.
INFORMATION SHARING AND REPORTING
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, codified at 20 USC 1092 (f) as a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime and security policies. All public and private institutions of postsecondary education participating in federal student aid programs are subject to it. Violators can be “fined” up to $25,000 by the U.S. Department of Education, the agency charged with enforcement of the Act and where complaints of alleged violations should be made, or face other enforcement action.
The Clery Act, originally enacted by the Congress and signed into law by President George Bush in 1990 as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, was championed by Howard & Connie Clery after their daughter Jeanne was murdered at Lehigh University in 1986. They also founded the non-profit Security On Campus, Inc. in 1987. Amendments to the Act in 1998 renamed it in memory of Jeanne Clery.
Boise State University acknowledges the importance of officially reporting all crimes and will provide assistance with reporting. The University also knows that reporting a crime is different from pressing charges. AS PROVIDED UNDER FEDERAL LAW, THE UNIVERSITY REQUIRES ALL BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS, OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES, AND FACULTY TO REPORT ANY AND ALL CRIMES THAT STUDENTS MAY REPORT TO THEM. When the student reports a crime in confidence it may be reported anonymously to campus law enforcement. Professional and religious counselors are exempt from these reporting requirements. However, the University encourages anonymous reporting when at the discretion of the counselor, as she or he feels it is appropriate. The University stresses the importance of supporting victims in whatever decision they make with regard to pressing charges. Services are available to help victims whether or not they choose to press charges. In regards to sexual misconduct, most Boise State University employees are required to report:
Sex Offenses, Forcible
A. Forcible Rape
B. Forcible Sodomy
C. Sexual Assault with an object
D. Forcible Fondling
Sex Offenses, Non-Forcible
B. Statutory Rape
You can access the current Idaho statutes on criminal codes at http://www3.state.id.us/idstat/TOC/idstTOC.html. Title 18 is the code that covers sexual misconduct.
ON-CAMPUS SERVICES AND SUPPORT
The Gender Equity Center – Victim Advocacy
426-4259, 8am-5pm, Monday – Friday
The Gender Equity Center is staffed by a full-time coordinator and a Violence Prevention and Support Coordinator (VPSC) who can assist students with consultation and information about available campus and community services. Students seeking assistance at the Gender Equity Center are NOT making a report or a formal complaint. Where practical, all discussions are private and confidential and do not commit students to further action.
However, if it is determined that an imminent threat to community safety exists (for example, a serial rapist), action may be taken to protect community members from further harm; this would be done in consultation with the victim and with great sensitivity and discretion. At the request of the student (female or male) staff will contact police, health and counseling services, local women’s shelter, and any other appropriate agency, while acting as an advocate in the process. The Gender Equity Center does not investigate or adjudicate complaints of sexual assault or rape; rather the staff works to support a student who has been victimized, at her or his request. If students choose not to formally report the crime, the only information that will be shared with University Security and Police Services is the type of crime, location, and date of perpetration – no names and specific information will be given. Boise State University must comply with the federal Student-Right-to-Know Act, which requires reporting these statistics.
Health, Wellness & Counseling Services
Counseling Services, 426-1601, 8am-5pm, Monday – Friday
Medical Services, 426-1459, 8am-5pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 9am-5pm Tuesday; summer hours may vary
Counseling Services provides “crisis intervention” for students who have experienced any upsetting situation (e.g., traumatic event, rape, health problem, unplanned pregnancy). Students should call 426-1601 or come to the Counseling Services temporarily located on the second floor of the Technical Services Building.
If students seek care at the Health Center, a trained provider (Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant or Registered Nurse) will assist them. Students should call 426-1459 or go to the facility temporarily located on the top floor of the Technical Services Building.
If a sexual assault has occurred within 72 hours, students will be referred to Faces Family Justice Center for evaluation and treatment (to gather evidence and ensure proper chain of custody of evidence). If the student chooses to decline the referral to Faces Family Justice Center, they may be referred to the Health Center. Emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections and HIV are available.
All information is private and confidential. Health care providers who are made aware of any criminal act, including sexual assault, are required by the federal Student-Right-to-Know Act (the Cleary Act) to report it to the appropriate criminal investigative agency. If the student chooses not to formally report the crime, the only information that may be shared with University Security and Police Services is that a sexual assault was reported – what, when, and where the assault occurred but it would not include the names of victim(s) or assailant(s).
Students should refer to the Health, Wellness & Counseling Services web site for hours of operation and after-hours access options: http://healthservices.boisestate.edu
Reporting to the Office of University Security and Police Services
426-1453, 24 hours per day or 911 in an emergency
In compliance with federal Student-Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, the Department of University Security and Police Services will notify the campus community of any sex offenses reported to them without using the names of the victim. These statistics appear in the annual crime reports available through University Security and Police Services or on their web site. Reporting the assault to University Security and Police Services may help the university investigator identify the offender and prevent victimization of other people. University Security and Police Services will provide confidentiality to the parties involved. However, the Director of University Security and Police Services is required to inform the Vice President for Student Affairs of the incident and the Violence Prevention and Coordinator (Gender Equity Center staff).
447-1001, 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday
The residence halls are staffed by full-time, professional hall directors who supervise a student staff of resident advisors trained to assist students with resources and referrals. Staff members receive training on how to supportively assist victims of sexual assault and will help connect students with vital support services. All communication with resident advisors regarding such matters is confidential. However, in such matters, resident advisors are required to inform their hall director to ensure that appropriate action is taken regarding the student’s concerns and the safety of the campus community.
Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Student Conduct Program)
426-1583, 8am-5pm, Monday – Friday
The Student Code of Conduct exists to assist in the effort of providing the best possible learning and living environment for all students. It is the obligation of students to treat all other members of the academic community with dignity and respect-including other students, faculty members, employees, visitors, and neighbors of the University. The enforcement of campus rules is critical to the existence of such an environment for all members of the academic community.
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is a resource for students, faculty, and staff to utilize in holding students of Boise State University accountable for misbehavior without the requirement of filing legal charges. People may file complaints of sexual assault or other acts of misconduct through the Student Conduct Program by scheduling a meeting with the student conduct officer at 426-1527.
OFF-CAMPUS SERVICES AND SUPPORT
The Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA), Serving Ada County and surrounding counties
Rape crisis line – 345-7273, 24 hours a day
Since 1980, the nonprofit WCA has been in the forefront of protecting women and their children escaping violent circumstances. The WCA also helps these vulnerable individuals build safer, better lives. The WCA Crisis Center’s secure residential shelter is devoted exclusively to abused women and their children from Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley counties. The agency also provides uniquely comprehensive local support services to those affected by domestic and sexual violence. The staff provides counseling and advocacy (both in the hospital and at court). Presentations and awareness seminars are available upon request.
Faces Family Justice Center, serving Ada county and surrounding counties
577-4400, 8am-5pm M-F, for afterhours exams or reporting, call security number posted on the front door
Faces Family Justice Center (located at 417 S. 6th Street in Boise) is a specialized facility close to campus that conducts sexual assault forensic exams with experienced SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) nurses and physicians. Staff members are also on site to offer safety planning, assistance with protection order requests, and referrals for counseling and other services. For urgent medical treatment, you can go to an emergency room at St. Alphonsus or St. Luke’s hospitals, both have response teams specially trained to assist victims of sexual assault.
The Nampa Family Justice Center (NFJC), serving Canyon county and surrounding counties
475-5700, 8am-5pm M-F, for afterhours reporting, visit a local hospital or Faces Family Justice Center in Boise
The Nampa Family Justice Center (located at 1305 3rd street S., in Nampa) is a centralized location to access a variety of services you might need following an assault. You may request to meet with an officer, apply for a protection order, complete a safety plan, or meet with a victim’s advocate. You can also access referrals for counseling, forensic examinations, or other resources.
PREVENTION AND RISK REDUCTION
Typically the term “primary prevention” is used to describe educational efforts directed at trying to prevent crime from occurring. Since men commit 99% of all sexual assaults, these types of prevention activities are typically focused on ways men can reduce and prevent gender violence against women and other men. Jackson Katz (www.jacksonkatz.com), a leading male anti-violence activist who came to Boise State in 2004, focuses his research and work on primary prevention. For example, some of Katz’s primary prevention programs teach men ways to confront peers and interrupt violence they may see, and to teach men how to be better allies to the women in their lives. Katz has also produced numerous films and programs that discuss the ways society “creates masculinity” and promotes sexual violence and aggression among men in the culture. These educational activities are geared at deconstructing stereotypes and teaching concrete ways to stop, interrupt, and prevent violent acts from being committed.
“Risk reduction” programs typically focus on ways victims (who are predominantly women) can examine the “culture of rape” in our society and identify potentially harmful situations and risks. In this way, it is believed that a potential victim could “reduce the risk” of being sexually assaulted. For example, self-defense classes and safety programs examine the tactics that perpetrators use to compromise situations and force or coerce attacks. These programs allow women in particular to learn and practice physical self-defense tactics to fight off an attacker. However, these methods will still not prevent an attacker from committing acts of violence. As another example, alcohol is the most common drug used by attackers on their victims. Some attackers intentionally “feed” victims drinks to get them drunk in order to rape them. Knowing this, one may try to “reduce the risk” of assault by not accepting multiple drinks to avoid getting drunk and being sober, therefore, more likely to resist an attack. It has been noted in a Department of Justice Community Policing report that in over 75% of rapes on college campuses, the offender, the victim, or both had been drinking. However, alcohol is not the cause of sexual assault, and the offender who is under the influence is always responsible for behavior that harms another person.
It is essential to recognize the difference in prevention and risk reduction activities and to offer both types of models on campus. As an on-going effort, the University will provide a variety of sexual assault prevention and risk reduction programs during the school year. In efforts to increase awareness about the issues of sexual assault and rape, staff members will make themselves available to any student organizations and departments that would like additional information or presentations regarding sexual assault. You may call the Gender Equity Center (426-4259) or Counseling Services (426-1601) to request a special presentation for your organization. For examples of programs and services provided please visit the websites for the Gender Equity Center (genderequity.boisestate.edu) and Health, Wellness, and Counseling Services (healthservices.boisestate.edu).