Sexual Assault Case Study

Sexual Assault
Case Study
Amanda Cox, Arie Gee, and Angelina McCloskey
University of Florida
Our Assumptions
Large Public Research University
35,000 Students
Large Greek Population
Predominantly White Institution (PWI)
Students come from mostly affluent backgrounds
The institution already has an award winning alcohol
education program and initiatives.
Literature Review
• A spring 2011 letter from the Office of Civil Rights states that institutions are
required to “take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its
recurrence, and address its effects.”
• Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE) will require that schools provide
sexual assault victims with contact information for legal assistance, counseling
and health services and campus crime reports would be expanded to include
cases of stalking and domestic violence beginning in 2014.
• The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to provide students with
information about campus crime and security policies, including the number of
sexual assaults and other crimes that occur on campus.
• Title IX of the Education Act includes protection against sexual harassment,
sexual violence and sexual assault and governs how campuses respond to sexual
assault cases.
“We need staff and faculty from all departments on campus to be aware of these
issues, know how to respond if an assault is disclosed to them, and be engaged
in dialogue on how to best serve students through preventing these crimes and
supporting those who are victimized.”
Defining Consent
• Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as voluntary, positive agreement
between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity.
• Communicating consent:
• Consent to sexual activity can be communicated in a variety of ways. In the absence of
clear, positive agreement, one should presume that consent has not been given.
• While verbal consent is not an absolute requirement for consensual sexual activity,
verbal communication prior to engaging in sex helps to clarify consent.
• Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual
• The absence of "no" should not be understood to mean there is consent.
• A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.
• Alcohol and drugs:
• A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the
effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent.
• The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with the participants' judgment
about whether consent has been sought and given.
The TIERR Approach
Training - Faculty, Staff, and Student
Intervention – Students Helping
Environment – Evolving a Campus
Report – Making reporting clear and
Respond – Refer and Follow-Up
Target Audience
• Faculty and Staff
• Student Staff and Leaders (Residence Life, Orientation
Leaders, Campus Ambassadors)
• Leaders in the Greek Community
• By identifying key leaders in the community, we are able
to efficiently train and transmit educational material and
resources into the campus and community. Through the
use of social media and various forms of technology,
accessibility to the training is consistently available.
Training – Faculty and Staff
• Each faculty and staff member is required to complete the
interactive training module every two years
• The module will include:
• Recognizing faculty, staff, or students who may be victims
• Strategies for supporting the victim and the accused
• How and where to refer individuals to campus and community
• Reporting Policies – FERPA: Does it apply to you?
• Information on the University Consensual Relationship Policy,
local, and state laws
Training – Student Leaders
• Campus Clarity: Think About It online program
• Won the Gold NASPA Excellence Award for "transforming higher
education through outstanding programs, innovative services,
and effective administration."
• In addition to training students to confront and prevent
serious campus problems such as sexual violence and
substance abuse, the program helps schools comply with the
training requirements of the Campus SaVE Act and Title IX,
while also providing administrators important insights into the
culture of their campus and student body.
Training Leaders in the Greek
Sexual Misconduct Prevention
• Training module that covers sexual assault and bystander
• All students must complete this module before they are able to
register for courses
• A hold will be placed on each student’s account through the
Intervention –
Bystander Intervention
• STEP ONE: Notice Events. Social norms often reinforce the normality of
sexism and sexual assault so that they escape notice. Therefore, the first
step is to notice when someone is crossing a line.
• STEP TWO: Identify Events as Problems. If we understand the potential
impact that a sexual assault can have on a survivor and the survivor’s
friends, family, and co-workers, we will see someone crossing the line as a
problem requiring action.
• STEP THREE: Feel Motivated to and Capable of Finding a Solution. Many
times we feel stuck in situations where we might intervene. Providing
students with frameworks like primary prevention, dominant/counter
stories of masculinity, and bystander intervention can motivate them to
become unstuck.
• STEP FOUR: Acquire Skills for Action. This key step underlines the necessity
in helping men to develop strategies leading to effective action.
• STEP FIVE: Act. The first four steps are very important, but they only have
an effect if an emphasis is placed on action.
• STEP SIX: Evaluate and Revise. After having intervened, we should consider
what worked well, what did not, and what we might do differently the next
time an opportunity arises.
Adapted from
Environment – Evolving a Campus
• Creating a Culture of Care between Students
• Students caring for students
• Enable and encourage students to act – Bystander
• Transmitting Information
Utilizing on campus resources and media marketing
Mobile applications
Dispelling myths through educational programming
• Benchmarking: ASKDC App
• How we would implement this:
• Use a similar app and work with IT
Services at our institution to add a
“Report Now” button on the app.
• Under “Report Now,” we would have the
institution’s definitions of sexual
misconduct, sexual assault, and rape.
• Students would be able to report an
incident through the app, either
anonymously, or by submitting their ID
number and contact information.
Respond – Refer and Follow-Up
• The TIERR Team would respond to any student who may have
experienced a traumatic sexual violence act.
• Some ways we can help students are:
• Crisis Hotline: Available 24/7, 365 days a year
• A TIERR Team member can talk a student through their options as
well as any possible consequences of their choices.
• A TIERR Team member will work with students to help them
receive appropriate medical care.
• A TIERR Team member will provide counseling and/or referrals to
campus and community resources, including academic and
personal support
• A TIERR Team member will provide support for any third parties
affected by the violence or trauma, including but not limited to
friends, roommates, family members, classmates, etc.
Helping Survivors
Believe the survivor
Be patient
Do not be judgmental
Validate her/his feelings of fear and anger
Let her/him know they do not have to go through this alone
Avoid Victim Blaming – Remind her/him that sexual assault is never
the victims fault
Let the survivor make the decisions
Keep it confidential – Chances are, this person confided in you
because they trust you. Do not break that trust.
Know the resources – Offer to go with them if they choose to visit
any of these resources, but do not insist
Take care of yourself – Ask for help if you need it. Do not be afraid
to talk to someone about how you are feeling.
Adapted from Northwestern University
Rights of the Accused
• The university will provide a timely and thorough investigation, and will
treat the accused with respect before, during, and after the student conduct
• Accused students have the right to have one advisor throughout the student
conduct process, including meetings and hearings.
• The university will make reasonable efforts to protect confidentiality, within
the parameters of FERPA (Family and Education Privacy Act of 1974) and the
university conduct process.
Adapted from Northwestern University
Making this happen…
• Ideally the institution receives grant from the US Department
of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to purchase
programs and fund new positions
• Campus Clarity – Online Training Module
• Work with ASKDC developers to create an app for our campus
• Create a Title IX Coordinator position
• Realistically, we may not receive the grant. In this scenario,
we would:
• Work with IT to create our own online training module, accessible
through student portals
• Develop a user-friendly mobile application that provides
immediate access to resources and reporting structures, both on
campus and in the community
• Work with Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office
A huge Thank You to and the Case
Study Coordinators for giving us this opportunity!

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