What are VAWA and the Campus SaVE Act?

These terms refer to laws that are designed to address sexual misconduct and violence on-campus. They were signed by President Obama in 2013 and become effective in October, 2014. VAWA refers to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes the Campus SaVE Act (or Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act).  In addition, comprehensive implementing regulations adopted by the Office of Civil Rights, in the federal Department of Education and became effective in 2015.

Why Does Drew Now Have Two Policies – A Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and a Human Rights Policy?

The White House Task Force To Protect Students From Sexual Assault has recommended that schools adopt a discrete sexual misconduct policy.

What must schools do to meet their obligations under VAWA and the Campus SaVE Act?

These measures impose new and expanded responsibilities upon institutions of higher education, in part, by specifying new sexual offenses that institutions are now required to comprehensively address. These offenses include domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, and certain bias or hate crimes. Schools must implement a variety of primary prevention and awareness programs to prevent these offenses, adopt new policy statements, and incorporate new procedural requirements. Schools are also required to tabulate additional, serious criminal offenses in their required Clery Act Reports, which are required statistical compilations of reports of certain serious criminal offenses.

How can I Report Offenses?

If you are the victim of a crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other sexual misconduct, you have a variety of options:

  • You can report the incident to law enforcement directly, or if you request, Drew will assist you in contacting law enforcement;
  • You can also contact Drew staff to make a report and initiate an internal administrative disciplinary process.

More information about who to contact and how to make a report is provided in the Contacts and Resources section of the Sexual Misconduct Procedures and here:

http://www.drew.edu/titleix-eeo/how-to-file-a-human-rights-or-sexual-misconduct-complaint/

What Should I Do If I Observe Sexual Misconduct

If you observe dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other sexual misconduct, effective bystander intervention, including a simple statement, word of caution, offer of assistance, or phone call to Public Safety or the Madison Police, can protect others and prevent serious harm. Always take reasonable and prudent actions to protect the safety of others and yourself. If off-campus, you should immediately seek assistance from a person in authority, or the local law enforcement.

What Is Sexual Assault?

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is sexual intercourse or penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), without effective consent, however slight, with any object. It constitutes sexual assault under State law and can result in criminal prosecution.

Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; and oral copulation, involving contact between the genitals and the mouth, no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

What is consent?

Under Drew’s Policy, effective consent is clear, informed, and freely given. It is communicated by mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity by persons of legal age. Consent as a result of coercion, intimidation, threat of force, or force is not effective consent. Effective consent may never be given by individuals below the age of consent, mentally disabled persons, and those who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary) or those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless.

Effective consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other sexual acts.  A previous relationship or previous consent, including a dating relationship or previous sexual involvement, does not imply consent to future sexual actsConsent may be withdrawn by either party at any time by an outward demonstration through words or actions effectively indicating intent to end sexual activity. Consent cannot be effective when it results from threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion.

Can Someone Who is Incapacitated Give Consent

Incapacity means an individual is not capable of making a rational, reasonable decision because he or she lacks the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of their sexual interaction. Incapacity may also result from involuntary physical restraint as well as from voluntary or involuntary drug or alcohol use. Incapacity can arise from alcohol or drug use, or from ingestion of substances often referred to as date rape drugs, including, but not limited to Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, or Burundanga.

Adding drugs, including prescription drugs, high-proof alcohol, or over the counter medication, to anything that can be ingested, is prohibited under this policy.  A person who has sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug use, unconscious, or in a blackout state is in violation of this policy.

Sexual interaction while incapacitated as a result of drugs or alcohol represents a threat to the well-being of persons engaging in sexual acts and can result in charges of sexual misconduct, including claims that a party was unable to provide effective consent to sexual acts. Use of alcohol or other drugs by the person complained against will not excuse behavior that violates this Policy or diminish his/her responsibility.

Possession of date rape drugs or other incapacitating substances is a serious criminal offense under the laws of the State of New Jersey and violates University standards and policies. Administering alcohol or any drug to another person for the purpose of inducing incapacity, in order to engage in sexual misconduct, is in violation of this Policy.  Such conduct, whether alone, or in concert with others, is a crime, and represents a serious breach of community norms and standards and, if a person is found responsible, may result in expulsion.

If I am Intoxicated or Under the Influence Too, How Can I Be Accused of Sexual Assault?

Being drunk is not a defense to a charge that you engaged in a sexual act without the consent of your partner.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence involves a variety of serious offenses, including acts of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner. It can also be committed by a person who has a child in common with the victim, a current or former cohabitant, or by someone who is similarly situated. It includes persons in a relationship, as well as children with respect to their parent or guardian.

Under New Jersey criminal law, domestic violence can include acts, such as homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, and stalking.

What Is Dating Violence?

Dating violence refers to violence committed against another person with whom you have been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The character of the relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statements, and considers the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in that relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. It applies to individuals who are in a dating relationship, a romantic relationship, or have sexual relations with each otherIt can include a pattern of behavior where one person threatens to use, or uses, physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control their partner.

What Is Stalking?

Stalking is a course of conduct that is directed at a specific person on at least two or more occasions and would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or another’s safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking can be accomplished, by direct action, indirect action or through third parties. The type of actions that can constitute stalking include following another, monitoring another, surveilling another, threatening another, communicating with another or by interfering with another’s property.

What Happens If I Report A Offense?

First Steps

Initially, efforts will be made to make sure you are safe and receive appropriate medical attention, if necessary. You will be provided a notification of your options and rights. Among those options is your right to report criminal offenses to law enforcement, and if you request assistance, Drew staff will assist you in making that report. At the earliest point, you should take steps to preserve evidence, and the law enforcement resources listed at the end of this document can provide you additional information on what to do. You also have the option to file a complaint internally with Drew.

You will also be told of the confidential counseling services that are available to you, both on- and off-campus. If you have concerns about making a report or have questions you would like answered before you do make a report, these resources can provide you confidential advice and counseling as you work through your options.

Interim Measures

Interim measures or restrictions, such as no contact orders or geographical restrictions, may be imposed at the discretion of the University. Suspensions are administered when an immediate threat of harm to the health, safety, or well-being of a member of the campus community is identified prior to a determination of responsibility or no responsibility. Drew may also impose a variety of other interim restrictions and/or remedies designed to meet the goals of this Policy. Interim measures are imposed by the Office of the Dean of Students

Drew will attempt to work with the parties to implement interim measures to address concerns, including room changes, no contact orders, geographical restrictions, class changes, tutoring, other academic support, suspensions, expulsions, or check-in requirements.

Fact-Finding

Drew will ask you if it can begin fact-finding into your complaint. In most circumstances, Drew will not initiate an investigation without the complainant’s consent, however, in some circumstances where there are additional, ongoing, or other threats, Drew will be required to go forward. The federal government has indicated that going forward in these circumstances should be the exception, not the rule.

Administrative Meetings

In some matters, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards will review the report, meet with the parties separately, and be able to resolve the matter relatively quickly. In other matters, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards will request that additional fact-finding be conducted. Parties will be asked to identify pertinent witnesses and information, and witnesses will be interviewed and information or records gathered. Once concluded, a summary of the fact-finding will be prepared, the parties will meet separately with Drew staff to learn about the next steps in the process and review the summary. Parties again will have the opportunity to identify or present new witnesses or information pertinent to the report, but must do so at least two days after the administrative meeting and must identify a reasonable basis to support its consideration.

The Director will then schedule and meet separately with the parties to hear from them their account of what happened.  At the conclusion of these meetings, the Director will make a determination, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, as to whether or not the conduct occurred, and, if so, whether it constituted a violation of the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy. The parties will receive notice of the outcome at the same time, including a sanction, if appropriate. In determining the sanction, prior conduct may be considered.

Parties have a right to appeal in writing within five working days of receipt of the outcome. An appeal must be based on an identification of pertinent new information that was not known to the person appealing at the time of the meeting, or, that a procedural error was made that precluded a fair and impartial hearing. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.

In the case of students, appeals will be heard by the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Affairs or designee.

Additional Information

This information represents a summary of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. For more specific information, you should review full Policy and in the event of any conflict, the full Policy and Procedure govern.