Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, Stalking and Harassment Policy

The university is committed to the preservation of human dignity and the protection of students, and is particularly concerned about the possibility of student harassment, whether sexual, racial, ethnic, or any other type. Harassment in any form - verbal, physical, or visual - is strictly against university policy and will result in immediate disciplinary action. Harassment of any type is strictly prohibited. It is a violation of state and local law and University regulations to commit a sexual assault (including rape).

Definitions of Harassment

1. Harassment is difficult to completely define but certainly includes slurs, threats, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes, teasing or sexual advances, and other similar verbal or physical conduct. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person because of his/her race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s opportunities. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the campus or at outlying centers, or circulated in the workplace. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited.

2. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

3. Sexual assault is attempted or unwanted sexual activity. Rape is defined as sexual penetration without mutual consent.

4. Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

5. Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

6. Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

7. Exploitation occurs when an individual takes sexual advantage of another person for his/ her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Consent

Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome or nonconsensual if it is offensive or not requested or invited. Silence, acquiescence or failure to complain prior to or during the conduct does not imply that the conduct is welcome or consensual. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing.

Consensual romantic relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party poses a conflict of interest and may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. As such, persons with direct supervisory or evaluative responsibilities must bring those relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor.

Notice Of Nondiscrimination Or Nonretaliation

These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in academic and social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in exclusion in order to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of John Brown University prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of attendance. The prohibitions against harassment and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

The prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment, including sexual violence [domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, etc]. Inquiries concerning the application of nondiscrimination, violence against women act and the campus crime act may be referred to the Title IX Compliance Officer, currently Vice President for Finance, Kimberly Hadley, at complianceofficer@jbu.edu.

Reporting Procedures

If a sex offense, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred there are several options available:

  • Contact Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis Center (NWARCC) www.nwarcc.com, 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-794-4175. This is an advocacy agency that offers free services (including a free medical exam) at all hours. This option is highly suggested.
  • Contact Campus Safety to make a report if the assault happened on JBU property. (This can be done anonymously.) www.jbu.edu/campus_safety/report_incident/
  • Contact police (from the area where the assault happened) to make a report if the assault occurred off-campus.
  • Go to a primary care physician. If the assault happened in the past, this might be an option to follow up with the student’s primary care physician. If the assault happened in the last 72 hours (or at any time), it is preferable to refer the student to NWARCC.
  • Make a decision to do one or more of the above at a later date or take no action.

In whatever option the individual chooses, it is vital to note the importance of preserving evidence as it may be necessary to the proof of criminal domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or exploitation in obtaining a protection order from law enforcement.

John Brown University strongly encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct are strongly encouraged to discuss their concerns with their Resident Director, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Development, or the University’s Title IX compliance officer (currently, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, Kimberly Hadley) at complianceofficer@jbu.edu. John Brown University encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken. While no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment. Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated in a prompt, fair, and impartial manner. 

The victim has the right to file a criminal complaint. There are several options regarding how to file a complaint with law enforcement and campus authority:

1. The victim may themselves notify proper law enforcement, including Campus Safety or local police.

2. The victim may be assisted by Campus Safety in notifying law enforcement.

3. The victim may decline to notify such authorities.

Retaliation

The institution will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed. Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be addressed.

When needed, the institution will assist the victim in attaining protective measures, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders.

Protective Measures

The victim may request and have the option to protective measures such as changes in academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if such accommodations are reasonably available regardless of whether the incident is reported to campus safety or local law enforcement. These may include, but are not limited to, providing an escort between classes, moving residence halls, providing academic services, and changing work positions or time schedules.

Campus And Community Services

Victims may contact any of the following resources for confidential information concerning counseling, mental health, or medical services:

  • Campus Safety Department: 479-524-7403
  • University Health Center: 479-524-7320
  • Student Counseling Office: 479-524-7251
  • The Office of Christian Formation: 479-524-7213
  • Any University Resident Hall Director
  • NWA Rape Crisis 24 Hour Hotline: 800-794-4175 or 479-927-1020

Institutional Procedures

The institution will work diligently to investigate all reports of harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and exploitation. The institution shall provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation in a manner that protects the safety of the complainant and promotes accountability. The investigation will be conducted by officials that have received training on issues related harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and exploitation and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process.

The institution will use a preponderance of the evidence standard, simply, that it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct or violence occurred.

All parties will have equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and evidence.

The complainant and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during institutional proceedings, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice.

The institution will begin investigating all reports immediately. A full investigation of the complaint, pending consent from the complainant [see “Confidentiality” section for more information] will begin within 7 calendar days. A typical investigation can take up to 60 calendar days, after this time, both parties will receive a response regarding the outcome of the complaint. If either party wishes to file an appeal, this needs to be received within 7 calendar days of receiving notice of the official outcome.

Written notification of the outcome of proceedings will be sent to both parties at the same time. At that time, the procedures for the accused and the victim to appeal the results will also be provided.

The institution will take steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment and correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant.

Responsive action to the incident of harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or exploitation may include, but is not limited to, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, housing reassignment, temporary suspension, dismissal or employment termination, as JBU believes appropriate under the circumstances. Additional policies and procedures as relevant may apply. See the Employee Handbook and the Student Handbook.

Confidentiality

The institution will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before beginning an investigation. If the complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the investigation not be perused, the institution will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality. If the complainant asks for his or her name to not be disclosed, the institution’s ability to respond will be limited but will include steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence.

Publicly-available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the complainant, to the extent permissible by law.

Preventative Programming

The institution will take proactive measures to prevent and create awareness of harassment, sexual 52 53 harassment and violence. This will include educational programs to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and exploitation.

The institution will provide these programs for incoming students and new employees that will include what constitutes harassment, sexual harassment and violence; the school’s policies, filing a complaint, and disciplinary procedures; and the consequences of violating these procedures. These programs will also include safe and positive options for bystander intervention that an individual may take to “prevent harm or intervene” in risky situations; recognition of warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks; and information on what to do if a student has been a victim of sexual harassment or violence, including the contact information for counseling.

The institution will also provide ongoing prevention campaigns for students and employees on the above.

Bystander/Community Intervention

John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and exploitation. If any person witnesses an incident occur, he or she is encouraged to report it to Campus Safety, a Resident Director, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Development, or the University’s Title IX compliance officer. Any person who reports a situation shall be provided a written explanation of the Complainants’ rights and options.

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