Protocol for Responding to
Sexual Misconduct and Assault
This document explains procedures to be followed by respondents to victims of
sexual assault and outlines the victim’s options of reporting any incident(s) of sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a complex and very real issue on college campuses today. In order to address this reality, all members of the campus community and relevant outside agencies must work together. The University values the health and safety of every individual on campus and expects students to treat others with respect and dignity. In the aftermath of an assault, it is important to remember the University has two main responsibilities:
- to provide victim-centered, compassionate, and comprehensive services to the victim;
- to protect the University community from immediate and further sexual assaults.
The University has created the Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team (SAIV-RT) to assist in meeting all victim needs. The SAIV-RT is trained to provide victim-centered, compassionate, and comprehensive services directly on campus. Click the tabs below to learn more.
• Be non-judgmental.
• Ensure the immediate safety of the victim. If the victim is in immediate danger, in need of immediate medical attention, or if the assault presents an immediate danger to the University community, the University Police will be contacted.
• Be respectful. They will talk to the victim in a place that insures privacy. The person will validate their feelings and convey support, responding in an honest manner without displaying anger, shock, disbelief or an insinuation of guilt.
• Use a victim-centered approach. They will speak with the victim to validate and normalize their responses to being assaulted.
• Contact the appropriate SAIV-RT member. From there, the SAIV-RT member and victim can meet to insure that the victim is empowered to give “informed consent” throughout the entire process.
• Be confidential. They will honor the victim’s and the accused’s privacy and confidentiality to the extent possible.
• Be offender-focused. They will hold the perpetrator accountable. There will be no victim-blaming.
• Baseline and follow-up STD testing
• Pregnancy testing, if needed
• Emergency contraception, if desired
• STD prophylaxis, if indicated
• Documentation of injuries
• Recommendations or referrals to outside agencies for evaluation and treatment
• Education about the impact of sexual trauma on physical health, including the risk of STDs
Windham Community Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, available 24/7, will:
• Administer the sexual assault forensic exam, and test for rape-facilitating drugs. This is ideal within 72 hours of the assault
• Advise the victim not to wash, bathe, shower, douche, brush teeth, comb hair, change clothes, eat, drink, smoke, or go to the bathroom before going to the hospital. This allows evidence to be preserved until the victim makes a final decision. Evidence collection does not require a police report.
• Directly pay for the examination through State funding. Additional medical costs can be reimbursed through Victim Compensation from the Office of Victim Services.
• Collect evidence and save it, even if a victim is not ready to press charges. The evidence is not sent to the hospital lab. The evidence envelopes and swabs are returned to the kit, labeled, and turned over to the police within the appropriate jurisdiction. The rape kit will be held for 60 days and then destroyed if no police report is made. The statute of limitations in Connecticut for sexual assault is five years from the date of the assault. A victim has up to five years to file a report. A report can be made with or without a kit.
Provide referrals for safety planning and support systems.The university police department can take legal action if requested. The Dean of Student Affairs can make academic accommodations for the victim. The Office of Judicial Affairs can take disciplinary measures for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Each of these options is independent of the other. The victim chooses whether to pursue one, more than one, or no options.
Whether the victim chooses to file a report or not, steps will be taken to ensure the victim’s immediate safety. Some steps include:
• Separating the victim and the alleged perpetrator, through referrals for changing the residence room, changing class scheduling, or other accommodations
• Urging the student to track and report behaviors imposed by the alleged perpetrator
• Helping the victim gain emotional and physical self-care
• Meeting with the victim, the SAIV Response Team and SAIV Resource Team to ensure support for the victim
Any university employee informed of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a student is expected to file an informational report with the SAIV-RT Coordinator. The SAIV-RT Coordinator will make any required reports, such as a Clery Report.
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