Report of the Task Force on Sexual Violence February 2014 Overview • University Mission: Our Guidepost • Key Issues Regarding Sexual Assault at Francis • Task Force Recommendations University Mission: Our Guidepost In order to make an effective university-wide plan for sexual violence response and prevention, it must be integrated into the overall mission of Francis University: “Francis University seeks to form its students to be loving and wise by providing an education rooted in the Catholic tradition and critically engaging the modern world.” “Francis University seeks to form its students to be loving and wise” • Our policies and actions need to be informed by an ethic of loving, whether dealing with victims, bystanders, or the accused. • Our fundamental mission is to educate students for life, so that they are not only prepared for their careers, but capable of exercising wisdom and good decision-making. “Rooted in the Catholic tradition” How does the Catholic tradition approach sexual violence? • Dignity of the Human Person – All humans possess a special dignity by virtue of their being made in the image and likeness of God (Gaudium et Spes, 12). – This dignity can be violated, but never taken away. • Justice – As a community, we have a moral and religious obligation to protect the vulnerable and act for justice. – “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25:6) – Who are the “least” among us? Who remain suffering and voiceless? “Rooted in the Catholic tradition” How does the Catholic tradition approach sexual violence? • St. Augustine on the Rape of Lucretia (The City of God) – Augustine writes against pagan culture, which encouraged suicide for rape victims, in a context where many Roman women had been sexually assaulted during an invasion. – The victim must not be blamed, and must be valued on account of their undeniable worth as a person. – All possible support must be given to prevent further harm, including self-harm. “Critically engaging the modern world” • We have an obligation to remain engaged and informed about critical issues, including sexual violence, which plagues institutions worldwide. • Are we being a prophetic voice? Do we hold ourselves and the greater culture accountable? Key Issues Surrounding Sexual Assault On Our Campus Unclear Definitions Students and staff should be aware of key terms and issues. Some of the most important terms: • Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. 1 • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Includes all forms of sexual violence.1 Unclear Definitions (ctd.) Students and staff should be keenly aware of the concept of Consent. • Must be freely given • No physical or verbal coercion, social pressure, or power disparity • By both parties, who are physically and mentally capable of giving consent – Not under the influence of alcohol or drugs • Explicitly given: the absence of a “no” is not a “yes.” • May be withdrawn at any point or limited to certain actions. – Consent to x doesn’t mean consent to y. – “Yes” today doesn’t mean “Yes” tomorrow. Commonality of Myths about Sexual Violence • “It’s their fault for doing ____ or wearing ____” • Statistically, men are significantly more likely to be perpetrators and women to be victims, but men can be victims, women can be perpetrators, and same-sex sexual violence does occur. • Consent-related issues (alcohol, “assumed consent,” limited consent) • Most assaults are committed by acquaintances, not strangers. Insufficient Integration of Existing Literature • Sexual misconduct results from the convergence of three factors:2 – The choice of a perpetrator • May be for satisfaction of a desire or for power/dominance – A general culture which promotes or allows inappropriate actions and speech. • Party culture, hook-up culture, the objectification of women – Particular settings which facilitate sexual misconduct • Off-campus house parties, especially Greek life, co-ed residence halls, the presence of alcohol Task Force Recommendations We propose that St. Francis undertake a threepronged approach rooted in University mission in order to address sexual violence on campus: a) Transform Campus Culture b) Establish Appropriate Policies & Procedures c) Prepare Resources for Responding to Crisis (a) Transform Campus Culture St. Francis culture should reflect our university mission through student willingness to love and protect one another. We will support this culture by implementing a University-wide awareness campaign called #Francis4others. This campaign will be integrated into campus activities for two primary purposes: 1. Promote Healthy, Positive Choices 2. Train Students About the Issues #Francis4Others • The Office of the Dean of Students will be responsible for overseeing this initiative. • As part of a wider program focused on service and student formation, #Francis4Others branding will be used across platforms (within programming, educational resources, and social media) to remind students to look out for one another, especially at high-risk times. • This campaign integrates our University Mission into every aspect of its use. Use of #Francis4Others • T-Shirts: – Distribute T-Shirts at #Francis4Other events (such as educational workshops sponsored by the Dean of Students), Orientation, Women’s Center, etc. Provide to staff as well. Designate a Friday each month as “#Francis4Others Friday” and offer prizes to those in their tshirts. • Twitter Program: – Each Saturday, provide prize incentives for students to Tweet with the #Francis4Others hashtag and a message of how they will concretely embody the university’s mission through their actions that day. #Francis4Others Objective 1: Promote Healthier, Positive Choices • Foster respectful relationships & dating culture • Invite Kerry Cronin to speak on campus about “Bringing Back the Date.” • Partner with local community and find nighttime and weekend activities that will appeal to more students and take social focus away from riskier behaviors. • Provide better opportunities for interaction between men and women and for relationship-building • An on campus late-night venue, and more comfortable, safe, and accessible lounge spaces outside of residence halls. #Francis4Others Objective 1: Promote Healthier, Positive Choices (ctd.) • Sexual Violence Awareness campaign early in the academic year. – Early interventions may help more vulnerable students, including first-years and transfer students, who may engage in binge drinking & enter risky situations as they attempt to integrate socially. – Using #Francis4Others branding, offer workshops, information sessions, and outreach events to students. #Francis4Others Objective 2: Educate Students • Orientation: – Provide materials and explicitly mention how to access resources, in the context of explaining other physical & mental health resources. – Distribute #Francis4Others tshirts. – Educate new students! Dispel myths and clarify definitions of key concepts such as consent. • Train Residence Life and Campus Ministry staff – Educate them on potential risk factors and signs of sexual assault, and to be able to intervene and provide initial support when they have become aware of an incident. #Francis4Others Objective 1: Educate Students • Bystander Intervention Training – Involve high-status students (student leaders, upperclassmen, athletes) to educate peers – Empowers men as allies and promotes positive views of masculinity.3 • Design Francis University Smartphone App with easily accessed resources about sexual assault. – By adding these resources to a commonly-accessed and widely downloaded app (with information on what food is in the dining hall, whether classes are cancelled because of snow, etc.), students may read it out of curiosity on their own time, and will have the information on hand in case of an emergency (2) Establish Appropriate Policies and Procedures What actions can victims take against perpetrators? - Victims can choose to report assaults to their university - This is separate from bringing legal charges against an attacker Disciplinary action is pursued by the university after an investigation - Victims can report assaults to local police and pursue legal charges - The Violence Against Women Act provides funding for investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women and offers guidelines for appropriate sentences4 What are the legal obligations of Francis University? - Title IX - Overarching purpose is to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex in an educational setting Mandates that all reported sexual assaults must be investigated within 60 days, even if a victim chooses to remain anonymous All instances of sexual misconduct must be reported to government officials; the Clery Act mandates this as well1 - Dear Colleague Letter - Sets guidelines for investigating incidents of sexual assault Dictates that an accused student can be found guilty if there is a greater than 50% chance that he or she committed the assault1 It is essential to protect the rights of the accused: - Every effort should be made to ensure that an accused student has full access to education until he/she is found guilty - Confidentiality must be maintained during and after an investigation - “Preponderance of Evidence” standard to find a student guilty is much lower than the standard used in court - Students must be given a fair hearing process and the chance to defend themselves against allegations In cases where dismissal from the University is possible, students should be allowed to seek legal counsel (3) Prepare Resources to Respond to Crisis (a) Know and coordinate amongst all on-campus support services for victims: – Francis already has a Counseling Center, Women’s Resource Center, Health Center, Campus Police, & Campus Ministry – Representatives from these offices should meet regularly with Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students to review resources available, communicate news & updates, and coordinate outreach efforts – Counseling Center should coordinate training for faculty and staff (see next slide) (b)Train all faculty and administrative/professional staff to respond to crisis: – Unplanned disclosures by victims to staff/faculty (even a year later) are a common occurrence6 – Staff should be proficient in basic helping skills while knowing personal limitations (when to refer to counselor) – Staff should participate in annual workshops offered by Counseling Center (see next slide for details) – As members of our community, proactively engage staff in #Francis4Others via Twitter campaign, events, roundtables, and t-shirt days Sample Outline for Staff Training: • Introduction – Review Institutional Mission – Introduce #Francis4Others Campaign – Explain Purpose of This Training & Relevance to ALL faculty & administrative/professional staff • Basic Helping Skills – – – – Common Coping Trajectory Acknowledging Situational Specifics (Victim’s age, ethnicity, race, etc.) Knowing Personal Limitations (When to refer to counselor) Following up with student • Resources Available to Survivors – How to refer resources while respecting autonomy • Reporting to Title IX Coordinator • Conclusion: #Francis4Others & our vision for Francis University (c) Know & partner with community resources: – Because of our location in a metro region, numerous local resources for survivors of sexual assault already exist in our community – We should reach out to these resources to gather information to offer to students (via our website, pamphlets in Counseling Center, etc.), as well as learn when we can refer students to them – Involve these resources in #Francis4Others campaign so that their names are recognized on campus; • We want students to feel comfortable reaching out to a community partner References 1. Office of Civil Rights. (2012). Title IX and sex discrimination. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html 2. Armstrong, E. A., Hamilton, L., & Sweeney, B. (2006). Sexual Assault on Campus: A Multilevel, Integrative Approach to Party Rape. Social Problems, 53(4), 483–499. Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., & Plante, E. G. (2007). Sexual violence prevention through bystander education: An experimental evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 35(4), 463–481. Whitehouse. (n.d.). Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act. U.S. Whitehouse. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/vawa_factsheet.pdf Lauerman, J. (2013). College men accused of sexual assault say their rights violated. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/college-menaccused-of-sexual-assault-say-their-rights-violated.html Caldwell, R., Wilson, N. L., Harper, R. (2010). Sexual Assault. In R. Harper, N. L. Wilson, & Associates (Eds.), More than listening (pp. 47-84). NASPA. 3. 4. 5. 6.