Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Violence
|1.||What does sexual assault have to do with the sexual harassment?||+|
Answer: Sexual assault is the most severe form of sexual harassment.
|2.||Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, spouse, friend or acquaintance?||+|
Answer: Yes. The relationship status of involved individuals is irrelevant. If sexual activity takes place without consent, this is sexual assault.
|3.||How do I know whether someone is incapacitated (i.e., by drugs or alcohol) and thus cannot consent to sexual conduct?||+|
Answer: Common signs or context clues include, but are not limited to: bloodshot eyes, stumbling or difficulty maintaining balance, vomiting, inability to focus eyes, inability to communicate/comprehend situation, and unconsciousness. Incapacity can also be inferred if you witness someone consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. If you are unsure whether someone is incapacitated, it is recommended that sexual activity be avoided altogether.
|4.||What if someone is incapacitated but still gives signs of consent to the sexual activity?||+|
Answer: If the other person knew or should have known that the individual was incapacitated, there is no consent, regardless of any signs of consent.
|5.||What if I am underage but was intoxicated at the time of the sexual assault –
will I get charged with underage drinking if I report the assault?
Answer: The “Good Samaritan Statement” provides as follows:
The expectation of the University of Connecticut is that all community members will advocate for the
safety of others. Students are expected to seek immediate medical assistance for themselves or others
when necessary. The act of calling for medical assistance for the aid of another person falls within the
spirit of the University Creed. Accessing medical assistance for a person suffering from overconsumption
of alcohol and/or drugs must be the first priority over any other consideration.
A student’s seeking of medical assistance will be considered a favorable factor by Community
Standards in an effort to promote responsible student behavior and respect for the health and welfare
of all members of the University. Community Standards will consider whether a student sought
medical assistance for a person in need and in most cases view the act of seeking medical assistance as
good judgment as well as not deserving of sanctioning. This does not excuse or protect those who
flagrantly or repeatedly violate the Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code. This Good
Samaritan statement applies to straightforward cases of alcohol or drug over-consumption only. If
other infractions occur including but not limited to, destruction to the University community, assault,
or property damage, then this statement does not apply. To decrease the likelihood of future
occurrences, follow-up evaluation for the involved parties will be conducted to determine appropriate
measures to prevent future occurrences.
|6.||What do I do if I suspect I’ve been drugged and sexually assaulted?||+|
ANSWER: Urgent & Medical Care: http://titleix.uconn.edu/get-help/urgent-medical-care/
Chances of getting proof that you were drugged are best when the sample is obtained soon after the substance has been ingested, but depending on the substance used, the test can be reliable even on a sample obtained 72 hours later.
|7.||How can I reduce my risk of being drugged and sexually assaulted?||+|
Answer: Remember that it is never your fault if you have been drugged and sexually assaulted. That said, there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of that occurring such as:
- Be aware of your limits and honor your instincts.
- Communicate with your friends and those you’re partying with ahead of time about your plans for the evening.
- Do not leave beverages unattended.
- Do not take any beverages from someone you do not know well or trust.
- At parties, do not accept open container drinks from anyone.
- Be alert to the behavior of friends and ask them to watch out for you. Anyone extremely intoxicated after consuming only a small amount of alcohol may be in danger.
|8.||What if I went on the date willingly or started talking to the person first,
doesn’t that mean that I consented?
Answer: No. Consent needs to be affirmed at each stage of sexual activity.
|9.||In order to establish that I have not consented to specific sexual activity,
am I required to physically resist the sexual activity?
Answer: No. Physical resistance is not required. The absence of a negative response does not constitute affirmative consent.
|10.||I’m feeling so many different emotions. Is this normal?||+|
Answer: Reactions to a traumatic experience such as sexual assault vary from person to person. The following are examples of some of the physical and emotional reactions that a victim of sexual assault might experience:
- Aches and pains: headaches, backaches, stomach aches
- Sudden sweating and/or heart palpitations
- Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, interest in sex
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
- More susceptible to colds and illness
- Social Withdrawal
- Concern for the assailant
- Lack of concentration, resulting in academic difficulties
|11.||What can I do if I or someone I know was sexually assaulted?||+|
|12.||Does it matter when I report the sexual assault?||+|
Answer: You can always report a sexual assault to the police and/or University regardless of when it occurred. The sooner you file a report after the incident, the better the chances that helpful evidence can be collected with a more clear account of what happened able to be conveyed. Generally, the police and/or University investigators will also be able to more quickly identify and contact witnesses closer in time to what happened.
|13.||Do I have to go to the hospital in order to have a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) completed?||+|
Answer: It depends. During the Academic Year, Storrs students have access to no-cost sexual assault forensics exam (SAFE) in the familiar environment of Student Health Services.
|14.||What are the benefits of reporting the sexual assault to the police?||+|
Answer: The benefits of reporting the assault to the police are that the police can preserve evidence of the assault; the police can advise a victim on safety planning techniques, including how to obtain a restraining order and/or protective order; the police can escort a victim to obtain the necessary medical treatment; the police can inform the victim of their eligibility for state crime victim compensation funds (compensation for medical and dental expenses related to the crime; counseling, lost wages, and other assistance); and the police will assist with prosecuting the accused, which can lead to punishment of the accused and protection of the victim and others in the community from being victimized.
|15.||What if I don’t want to file a criminal report?||+|
Answer: You are not required to file a criminal report. The decision whether to report the assault to the police is entirely your decision to make. If you choose not to report the assault to the police, you are still encouraged to obtain any necessary medical treatment and/or contact available on and off-campus support resources.
|16.||If I don’t feel safe, what can the University do for me?||+|
Answer: The University will work with you to identify options that will help you feel safe – for example, identifying alternative living arrangements, parking and transportation issues, and/or academic/social concerns, as well providing you with information regarding obtaining a protective order or restraining order. The Title IX Coordinator and representatives from other on-campus resources, such as the Dean of Students Office and Office of Institutional Equity can assist you with this. Please see: http://titleix.uconn.edu/get-help/how-uconn-can-help/
|17.||What if I share a class or residence hall location with someone who assaulted me?||+|
Answer: While every case is different, efforts will be made to assist impacted students so that additional stressors and/or ongoing safety concerns are mitigated and/or eliminated. Remedial measures available include, but are not limited to, temporary or permanent reassignment of one’s on-campus residence and course section change. Impacted students are encouraged to inform the University and/or the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible if they need assistance with living arrangements and/or academic schedules.
|18.||I don’t want to engage the University’s disciplinary processes after filing my complaint.
Do I have to participate?
Answer: No. The degree to which you participate is entirely up to you, if at all. An investigator is able to discuss all of these options with you at the time you submit a complaint.
|19.||What if I am sexually assaulted in another country on a University-sponsored
study abroad program?
Answer: Staff in Education Abroad work to ensure that the appropriate resources and reporting options are available to students and these vary depending on your host site. While laws in each country may vary on what constitutes a sexual assault and how such matters are handled by local police and/or courts in comparison to the United States, your Title IX rights accompany you while you are traveling via a University-sponsored study abroad program. Please contact Education Abroad for more information.
|20.||What rights do I have if I am accused of sexual assault?||+|
Answer: The rights of the person accused of sexual assault and the person reporting a sexual assault are set forth in detail in The Student Code. Please also see: http://titleix.uconn.edu/get-help/info-for-the-respondent/
|21.||What if I believe that I’ve been falsely accused of sexual assault?||+|
Answer: University Policies state that anyone who knowingly files a false complaint, or who knowingly provides false information to, or intentionally misleads University officials, is subject to discipline, up to discharge for employees and expulsion for students. If you have concerns related to these community expectations, you may contact Community Standards and/or University Police.
|22.||Are there warning signs to look for in a potential stalker?||+|
Answer: There is no guaranteed way to identify potential stalkers, but there are some common personality traits. Here are some warning signs in intimate partner/domestic violence stalkers: Self-centered, extremely jealous, possessive, obsessive, needs to control, unwilling to consider someone else’s viewpoint, refusal to cope with rejection, quick and frequent swings from “rage” to “love,” manipulative, and constantly questioning or interrogating.
However, the lack of these qualities is not a guarantee of safety – a stalker can be adept at concealing certain characteristics. Also, these traits might not be apparent until the person is threatened by a loss of control, such as a breakup of the relationship.
|23.||Is stalking dangerous?||+|
Answer: Yes, extremely. The stalker is someone who is not willing to listen to anyone else. Stalking often occurs over an extended period of time and may result in serious physical and mental health consequences to the victim. Without a swift, strong, consistent response, stalkers may feel justified in continuing and even escalating their behavior.
|24.||What should I do if I’m being stalked?||+|
Answer: Review If You Are Being Stalked.