Sexual Assault Information
The Office of Counseling Services is a safe place for survivors/victims of sexual assault. We can provide support, consultation, and a confidential place to talk. Following a sexual assault you may find that this time is frightening, confusing, and full of various emotions. We hope that Counseling Services can serve as a starting point for understanding those feelings, finding resources, and taking the steps towards healing. It is important to know that you are not alone and sexual assault is never your fault. Regardless of how much time has passed since the sexual assault, help is available through the Office of Counseling Services. The impact of sexual assault is unique for each individual, and many find it helpful to talk to someone who is trained to understand and assist victims/survivors of sexual assault. Please schedule an appointment or stop by the Health and Wellness Center, Dean Hall 126, for more information. Please see further information about the Arkansas Tech University sexual misconduct prevention programs and policy below.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program and Policy. Sexual misconduct is specifically prohibited on the Arkansas Tech University campus or in connection with any of the programs and activities it sponsors. Students committing sex offenses, whether on or off campus, are subject to University disciplinary action as well as criminal action. A sex offense is defined, in general, as any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that persons will or not forcibly or against the persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent (FBI National Incident Based Reporting System).Sexual misconduct includes: sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse. The complete Sexual Misconduct Policy is located here.
Awareness and Prevention Programs. Sexual aggression and assault awareness and prevention programming is presented regularly during the year through the collaborative efforts of Residence Life and Student Services departments including Counseling Services and the Department of Public Safety. Educational and informational programming related to sexual aggression and assault awareness is an essential part of freshman orientation and residence life programming. Guest speakers with related expertise are also brought to campus by Registered Student Organizations. Counseling Services provides a variety of related educational and informational media for campus community use upon request.The Counseling Services website contains a link with additional information regarding sexual aggression and assault at http://www.atu.edu/cslcenter/ . Upon request, the Department of Public Safety provides safe rides after dark on campus to students in residence halls. Through these combined efforts, students are educated and informed about preventative, sensitive and responsible actions which they can take to increase personal safety, including the following tips.
- Clarify for yourself what you want, what you don’t want and define your limits ahead of time -- before you meet an acquaintance or go out on a date.
- Communicate your intentions clearly. Tell your date or acquaintance what your intentions and limits are. “No” means no, and “yes” means yes. Be clear, firm, and specific. Polite approaches are sometimes misunderstood or ignored.
- Be assertive. Others sometimes interpret silence or passivity as permission. Be clear, straightforward, and firm with someone who is sexually pressuring you.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol. Alcohol interferes significantly with judgment and communication. Most incidents of date rape involve alcohol use by the victim, the perpetrator, or both.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- When dating a person for the first time, double date. Attend social events with two or three people and watch out for each other. Commit to go together and to leave together.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
- Trust your intuition. If you sense you are in danger, leave the area or situation immediately.
If you are the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you reduce your risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Clearly communicate your intentions and allow your partner the chance to clearly respond.
- Always ask first. Listen for the response. If the response is not clear, ask again. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication you should stop and communicate better. You must respect their timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries.
- Respect the wishes of the person. “No” means “no.” Do not read other meanings into responses or behavior, even if he/she initially gives permission, then changes his/her mind. Respect the wishes of the other.
- Never assume previous sex is permission for future sex. Again, listen to what the person is saying to you.
- Never assume that others enjoy force or pressure to have sex. In reality, most persons wish to be treated with care and respect. Forced sex is a criminal act of violence. Be aware that your potential partner could be intimidated by you or even fearful. Don't abuse that power.
- Never assume that others who show up in revealing clothes or who may seem to be acting provocatively want to have sex.
- Realize that alcohol and drugs are not an excuse to have sex. It is against the law to engage in sexual activity with someone who is intoxicated or incapable of saying “no.”
The Arkansas statute of rape is genderless, which means that rape victims/survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault may be either men or women. Sexual assault occurs when consent has not been given freely by the victim, whenever the victim fears that he or she will be injured if he or she does not submit, whenever the victim is incapable of giving consent or resisting due to alcohol or drugs and whenever the perpetrator uses physical force, threat, coercion or intimidation to overpower the victim. Sexual misconduct may violate both a University policy as well as constitute criminal activity.
Reporting a Sex Offense. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual misconduct, you are encouraged to contact the police by dialing 911 and seek medical attention (and/or evidence collection) at the hospital emergency room. For assistance or for further information, any of the following campus departments may be contacted:
Chief Joshua McMillian, Department of Public Safety, 968-0222, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristy Davis, Associate Dean for Student Wellness, Counseling Services, 968-0329, email@example.com
Amy N. Pennington, Dean of Students, 968-0239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Fleming, Title IX Coordinator, 498-6020, email@example.com
Further information may be found by calling the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 1-800-421-3481 to report any education discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, etc., request information on civil rights compliance programs, procedures for filing discrimination complaints, or access to civil rights regulatory and policy documents. The local number in Washington, D.C. is 202-453-6100. TTY: 1-800-877-8339. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sexual assault victims are entitled to certain rights which shall be recognized and accorded by all Student Services personnel. Among these are:
The right to be informed of their option to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to have the assistance of campus authorities in notifying such authorities.
The right to have an incidence of sexual assault investigated and adjudicated by the campus conduct system.
The right to full and prompt cooperation and assistance in the campus conduct process.
The disciplinary process is outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions imposed for disciplinary purposes by the University against those found responsible for sexual misconduct may include suspension or expulsion from the University. A list of all possible sanctions can be found in Article IV, Section D of the Student Code of Conduct.