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SAIV-RT Response Protocol

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:

  1. to provide victim-centered, compassionate, and comprehensive services to the victim;
  2. 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.

  • Most victims of sexual assault turn to a friend, student leader, faculty or staff member for help. When a victim reports a sexual assault, all rights and services will be explained by a member of the Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team (SAIV-RT). Through the SAIV-RT, victims are given tools to empower themselves as they go through the process. All the SAIV-RT members respect the rights of the victim to make their own choices based on their unique definition of what they need to recover, to feel safe and to gain a sense of justice. The SAIV-RT serves to provide victims with resource information and options as choices. Regardless of how recent the sexual assault occurred or the location of the assault, the SAIV-RT is available to students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. The SAIV-RT can also help students who have experienced interpersonal violence while studying abroad.

  • When an incident is disclosed, university employees will:

    • 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.
  • Student Health Services, available during business hours, will provide:
    • 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.
  • Normal business hours for campus offices are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm unless otherwise stated. Victims are encouraged to contact the SAIV-RT Coordinator, Starsheemar Byrum Taylor at 860-465-4314. When the victim places the call, they should be given complete privacy. If the victim is not comfortable, offer to place the call for them. If a victim would like to disclose to someone with full confidentiality, they can speak to a therapist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a staff member at Student Health Services, a clergy member of the Interfaith Campus Ministry, or an advocate from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut (SACCEC). View contact information for all SAIV-RT members.
  • Victims are encouraged to contact the Eastern Police Department. When the victim places the call, they should be given complete privacy during the call. If the victim is not comfortable, offer to place the call for them. Do not ask the victim questions about the assault. This is best for the victim’s personal well-being and potentially for legal reasons. While being supportive, you want to limit the number of times the victim discusses details of the incident. If a victim would like to disclose to someone with full confidentiality, they can speak to an advocate from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut (SACCEC). If the SACCEC Advocate is used, the SAIV-RT Coordinator will be contacted. This member will follow up with the student on the day after the report. The SAIV-RT Coordinator, Eastern Police or SACCEC Advocate will offer options as choices for the victim to make to address the assault issues. Some of these options, especially for sexual assault, are time-sensitive.

  • The victim has the right to make choices without pressure. With this, the victim should not be pressured by any university employee, friend, or family member to report, to not report, or to under-report a sexual assault. Without pressuring the victim, inform them that not involving the police in a timely manner can jeopardize the integrity of physical evidence at the crime scene or the identification of witnesses who may be helpful in supporting prosecution and the accuracy of witness recollections.

    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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