Immediate Response Options for Sexual Misconduct
NOTE—-CHANGE IN POLICE PROCEDURE
One should understand that if a crime has occurred, police officers in the State of Texas MUST pursue an investigation even without the victim’s consent. Therefore, reporting an assault to the police no longer remains a confidential process. If one chooses to file a report, the police encourage the student to bring a trusted friend or family member for support. One can also request to have an SU counselor or an advocate from Williamson County Crisis Center to accompany her/him through the reporting process.
- A student who believes s/he has had an unwanted sexual experience (even if s/he is unsure), may contact SU Police twenty-four-hours a day by calling 512-863-1944, or by dialing 0 from a campus phone (if the assault occurs on campus). The SU Police will help the student get to the appropriate hospital for medical treatment, if necessary. One can also call 911, if the assault happened off campus. The student does not have to press charges; however, the student should understand that, if a crime may have occurred, police officers in the State of Texas (including SU Police) are obligated to pursue an investigation without the student’s consent.
- A student may talk with an SU counselor by calling 512-863-1252 during business hours. After 5:00 p.m. or on weekends, one can call the SU Police (dial 512-863-1944) and tell them it is an emergency that they do not want to report to the police. They can then connect the student with a counselor.
- A student may contact Health Services at 512-863-1252. After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, a student can call the SU Police (dial 512-863-1944) and tell them it is an emergency. They can then connect the student with the campus nurse practitioner or nurse.
- The University Chaplain may be reached by dialing 512-863-1056, or by calling the campus operator (dial 0 on campus).
- If one chooses to go directly to the hospital, it is recommended that s/he have someone trusted accompany him/her for support—the Williamson County Crisis Center 1-800-460-SAFE (7233) can provide accompaniment to the hospital.
- The Southwestern University booklet, “Help for Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct: Where to go? Who to talk to?” may be obtained here - download pdf version. The booklet is also available from Counseling Services, the University Chaplain, any RA, SUPD and the Dean of Students Office.
Southwestern University seeks to complete the investigation of all reports of sexual misconduct within sixty (60) days. That time frame is meant to be guideline rather than rigid requirement. Circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames, including extension beyond sixty (60) days. Such circumstances may include school breaks or holidays, the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, or other unforeseen circumstances.
Resources for Sexual Assault and Dating Violence
If you have been sexually assaulted and would like to receive medical treatment, click here to find local hospitals that offer SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) programs.
Help for Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct: A resource guide that can be downloaded by the SU Community.
What is SU’s policy on sexual misconduct? Is sexual misconduct the same as rape or sexual assault?
Rape and sexual assault are legal terms that apply under Texas’ criminal statutes. SU has its own personal conduct policies that include “sexual misconduct” (see Appendix C of the resource guide that is immediately above this passage). The University defines sexual misconduct as any non-consensual contact, including but not limited to, unwanted sexual touching and/or sexual intercourse.
Consent to sexual acts requires an affirmative verbal response to a specific sexual suggestion. Without an affirmative verbal response, consent is not present. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes” and consent may be withdrawn at any time. It is also important to recognize that a person whose judgment is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol, by other physical or mental impairment, or by various forms of coercion cannot give consent to sexual contact.
Students who violate the sexual misconduct policy may be subject to the University’s disciplinary system, if the victim elects to file a complaint with the University or if an official of the University is made aware that an assault has occurred.
In compliance with Title IX, whenever a University official learns of any sexual misconduct, an investigation must be pursued, even if the victim does not want to file a complaint. The goal behind Title IX’s mandate is to maximize the safety of all students on campus.