On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) into law. The statutory changes made by VAWA require Reinhardt University to compile statistics for certain acts that are reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies including incidents of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Additionally, Reinhardt University is required to include certain policies, procedures, and programs pertaining to these acts.
Reinhardt University supports the rights of all students to live and study in an environment free from sexual assault. Sexual contact with another person without consent or with the use of threat or force violates the standards of civility, decency, and respect expected of all members of the campus community. The University prohibits interpersonal violence of any kind, including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. Every member of the University community should be (a) aware that such behavior is prohibited by the University‘s student code of conduct as well as by state and federal law, and (b) familiar with the University protocol for responding to reported violations.
Reporting an assault does not in any way obligate a student to pursue legal or institution disciplinary action, however; the University has the right to pursue disciplinary action at its discretion. If the victim chooses to report and pursue criminal charges against an alleged assailant, the institution will be supportive and compliant during the criminal justice process.
Reinhardt University is furthermore committed to promote healthy gender relations through dialogue and education toward the elimination of sexual violence. These educational activities include the dissemination of information, interactive educational programming, referrals for survivors as well as for their friends and family, and structural intervention within Reinhardt University. Reinhardt University strictly prohibits acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual violence hate acts.
|Cherokee County Sheriff/Fire/EMS||911||www.cherokeega-sheriff.org|
|Public Safety Emergency||770-720-5911||www.reinhardt.edu/publicsafety|
|Public Safety Non-Emergency||770-720-5789|
|Campus Health Services||770-720-5542|
|Campus Counseling Services||770-720-5549|
|Hazing Hot line||1-888-668-4293||www.hazingprevention.org|
|Grief and Loss||770-953-4744||www.powersferrypsychology.com|
|Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)||404-525-3178||www.atlantaaa.org|
|Rape, Abuse, and Incest (RAINN)||1-800-656-HOPE||www.rainn.org|
Intimate Partner Defined
Reinhardt University defines an “intimate partner” as a person who is legally married to one another; persons formerly married to one another; persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons are married or have lived together at any time; couples who live together or have lived together; or persons who are dating or who have dated in the past, including same sex couples.
Reinhardt University defines “consent” as the affirmative, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter. An individual who was asleep, or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, or who was under duress, threat, coercion, or force, is not able to give consent. Further, one cannot infer consent under circumstances in which consent was not clear, including but not limited to the absence of “no” or “stop,” or the existence of a prior or current relationship or sexual activity.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated defines the legal age of consent for sexual contact as sixteen years of age.Rape Defined
Sexual Assault Defined
Reinhardt University defines “sexual assault” as a forcible or nonforcible offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape defined under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
Commonly Used Drugs
Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
Dating Violence Defined
Reinhardt University defines “dating violence” as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship would be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence would include, but would not be limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
Controlling behavior may include:
Verbal and emotional abuse may include:
Physical abuse may include:
Sexual abuse may include:
For more information visit: victimsofcrime.org
Reinhardt University defines “domestic violence” as the use of abusive or violent behavior, including threats and intimidation, between people who have an ongoing or prior intimate or familial relationship, including individuals who are or have been married, living together, or dating. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings
Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats
For more information visit: helpguide.org
Reinhardt University defines “stalking” as the act of engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking may include, for example, non-consensual communication, including in-person communication or contact, surveillance, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on web sites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear.
Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technology to monitor a person.
Reinhardt University defines “sexual violence hate act” to mean a sexual violence act that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Categories of bias that may serve as the basis for a determination that a sexual violence act is a hate crime would include the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability.
A student who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of a sexual misconduct incident should not be reluctant to seek assistance for fear of being sanctioned. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student (or against a witness) for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g. underage drinking) if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct. This Policy only provides amnesty from violations of the Reinhardt University Code of Conduct. It does not necessarily grant amnesty for criminal, civil, or legal consequences for violations of Federal, State, or Local law.
You are not required to report a sexual assault. If you do talk to the police and/or Reinhardt University Department of Public Safety, they may be able to take steps to protect others from experiencing sexual assault. In addition, the police can inform you of your legal rights and options should you decide to prosecute. The University is strongly committed to providing medical and emotional support to victims/survivors of sexual assault regardless of whether they decide to take legal action. You may wish to notify Public Safety that a sexual assault has occurred. If you do choose to make a report, the Department of Public Safety and you will then determine whether the assistance and/or intervention of the police is necessary to protect other members of the community and/or to arrest the assailant. The Director of Public Safety or designee will inform the Vice President of Student Affairs that an assault has occurred. If it is necessary, they will arrange to alert the community at large that an assault has taken place. The Department of Public Safety and the Vice President of Student Affairs will make every effort to protect the privacy of the victim. If it is necessary to disclose confidential information (in cases involving legal requirements, requirements of the University policy on sexual assault, or if personal safety is at issue), the University will inform you that this is taking place. If you do decide to report the assault to the police, the University will make every effort to provide a support person if you would like help through the process. Making a police report concerning the assault does not mean that you must prosecute the assailant.
A Reinhardt University student who believes she/he has been sexually assaulted or that an act of sexual assault has taken place may notify any Campus Security Authority, such as the Vice President for Student Affairs, a Resident Adviser, an associate or assistant dean, the Director of Public Safety, Public Safety Officer, or Director Residential Life or an Athletic Coach. Any one of these people will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs as soon as possible that an accusation of sexual assault has been made.
The first concern of any official to whom an assault is reported will be the well-being of the student reporting the assault. In particular, the official will inform the student of both on- and off-campus resources available to her/him and help the student make contact with the resources she/he chooses. If the student requests the assistance of local law enforcement, the University official will notify the Reinhardt University Department of Public Safety (770-720-5789 or 5911). The Department of Public Safety will notify Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
The second concern of University officials must be the safety of the Reinhardt University community. If there is reason to believe that an assailant is at large who poses an immediate threat to other members of the community, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Director of Public Safety will take action to protect the campus. The identity of the victim will not be revealed during this process.
After seeing to the well-being of the student reporting the assault and to the immediate security of the campus, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Director of Public Safety will assist local law enforcement in the investigation of the charge, if requested by the student. Such investigation may involve the examination of physical evidence, the interviewing of persons with relevant information, or other steps which particular circumstances make necessary. In conducting this investigation the confidentiality and privacy of the student bringing the charge will be respected.
The confidentiality and privacy of any persons under suspicion will also be respected. Charges of sexual assault brought by a Reinhardt University student against a member of the Reinhardt student community, or a guest in the community, will be heard by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Director of Public Safety. Charges of sexual assault brought by a Reinhardt student against a member of the faculty or staff will be handled through the University’s procedures concerning sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and discrimination.
An individual accused of sexual assault may be subject to prosecution under Georgia criminal statutes. A victim is free to bring charges through the University system and the criminal system simultaneously; however, the two processes are separate. It is not necessary for a student to pursue the matter in a criminal court in order to initiate a University proceeding. Also, the University is not obligated to wait until prosecution procedures are initiated or until a judgment is reached in court in order to proceed with its own decision-making process or to impose penalties.
The University shall proceed with disciplinary and/or remedial actions as needed when it appears that the university prohibition against any form of sexual assault has been violated. A student charged with sexual assault may be disciplined under the applicable University Student Code of
Conduct as well as prosecuted under Georgia's criminal statutes. Whether or not a criminal prosecution occurs, the University retains the right to proceed with disciplinary action at any time; and the University need not await the disposition of any criminal prosecution. University disciplinary action shall be handled in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct of the University. Under these proceedings, the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sexual assault (the term "outcome" meaning only the University’s "final determination with respect to the alleged sex offense and any sanction that it imposes against the accused"). The accuser and the accused will be given the opportunity to have others (the role of these individuals is non-verbal support) present during a disciplinary proceeding. Sanctions that the University may impose following a final determination of a Student Code of Conduct violation include the following: written warnings; University and/or residence hall probation; loss of visitation privileges; restitution; discretionary sanctions, (i.e., work assignments or service to the University or community); suspension or expulsion from the University.
Plan of Action for Responders to Sexual Assault
Following a Sexual Assault:
Additional Information for Responders
Most victims blame themselves. Do not let misplaced feelings of guilt stop a victim from getting help. Keep in mind that alcohol and other pharmaceuticals are a factor in many sexual assaults involving university students. As a result, sometimes victims are reluctant to seek medical attention. Do not let alcohol or other pharmaceutical (legal or illegal) consumption deter victims from getting medical attention. Their health and safety are top priority.
Plan of Action for Victims of Sexual Assault
Following a Sexual Assault:
In preparation for medical services, here is some advice for the victim:
Note: Your body and clothing can hold clues called “transfer evidence”; it’s what’s left behind by the assailant and the environment. Dirt, hair, body fluids, and traces of skin under your fingernails can be collected and used as evidence. If you have already compromised potential evidence by showering, bathing, changing, or laundering the clothing worn during an assault do not let this dissuade you from reporting the assault, as such actions may not prevent further action from moving forward.
Assistance and Support for Victims of Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence
The University is dedicated to providing assistance and support to students who have experienced intimate partner and/or sexual violence through our Counseling Services as well as other resources. In addition to cooperating with law enforcement officials in the prosecution of perpetrators, the University will take appropriate action to respond to and invoke sanctions for behavior through the Student Affairs office for any student found to violate this policy. Any staff or faculty member found in violation will be addressed from an employment perspective. Support is available for all aspects of the reporting process.
Additional Information for the Victim
Medical attention is vital, as you may have injuries of which you are unaware, possible exposure to a sexually transmitted disease, or pregnancy. You have the right to a rape kit examination, even if you choose not to report to the police. The rape kit examination is free of charge and should be billed to the Crime Victim’s Compensation program. The medical provider can test you, provide the needed medications, and provide emergency contraception if desired.
You will be afforded assistance in seeking counseling, follow-up medical care, making changes to your academic situation, living situation and reporting to the appropriate criminal authorities after an assault has occurred. Campus personnel will take reasonable and necessary steps to prevent any unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity with the alleged assailant(s). You also have the option to file a Temporary Protective Order (TPO.) A TPO is a court order to help protect you from someone who is abusing, threatening or harassing you.
What to do in the Event of Sexual Assault
While the University attempts through its programs and policies to prevent sexual assault from occurring, it recognizes that significant numbers of women throughout the nation are sexually assaulted while they are college students. The University is committed to helping any of its students who have experienced sexual assault. Counselors, health center nurse, residential life staff, public safety officers, and deans will support a student as she/he goes through the recovery process. The University is also committed to investigating all reported cases of sexual assault; assisting a student in lodging charges with local police, if she/he so desires; holding disciplinary hearings to adjudicate formal accusations; and disciplining any student or guest found to have violated the policy concerning sexual assault.
The University also recognizes that most campus sexual assaults involve people who are acquainted with one another. Coercive or violent acts between people who, because of their membership in the University community, must continue to interact with each other are particularly traumatic to the victim and violate the trust that is essential to the University’s mission and sense of community. Therefore, should a sexual assault be reported, the University shall take reasonable action to protect the accusing student from any unnecessary or unwanted contact with the accused.
Options for Students who have been Sexually Assaulted
Any student who is sexually assaulted is strongly encouraged to seek help either from resources available through the University or from outside sources. The following is a short list of options available to students seeking help at Reinhardt University. More detailed information about each option is provided below.
You are strongly encouraged to receive some type of medical care after an assault.
Because sexual assault can be physically and emotionally traumatic, you may not know whether or not you have been injured. The Nurse at the Health Center or the hospital can answer questions you may have about health concerns. A follow-up exam is recommended to retest for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to be sure that no other injuries were sustained during the assault.
The Health Center is able to counsel you on your options for medical care after an assault. An examination done at the Health Center is NOT admissible in court as evidence that an assault has taken place. If you think you may wish to press charges at any time, the Health Center personnel will recommend that you go to a local hospital, where medical evidence (Rape Kit) can be preserved for the police.
The Health Center will keep all information confidential; the assault will not be reported to the police, Reinhardt University Public Safety, parents or other University personnel without your permission. If it is determined that you or another member of the University community is in danger, necessary information will be released to the appropriate administrators without revealing your identity. The Health Center can assist you in finding any medical or emotional support that you need, including counseling on- or off-campus.
A local hospital is able to provide medical services that fulfill legal standards of evidence — a “rape-kit” examination. The rape-kit examination preserves medical evidence that can be used in court. Having a rape kit done does not require you to press charges. It merely gathers evidence should you wish to prosecute at some time. It is recommended that you do not shower, bathe, douche or change clothes if you want to preserve evidence. You may want to bring a change of clothes to the hospital in case you are needed by the police.
A local hospital will test for pregnancy and STDs, offer medication to prevent STDs, and prescribe emergency contraception. The hospital is required to notify the police that a sexual assault may have occurred.
Sexual Assault/Harassment Survivor Advocacy Policy
Reinhardt University is equipped to assist survivors of sexual assault/harassment issues. An on campus sexual assault advocate can assist survivors to get the help they need such as emotional support, medical examinations, and serve as a referral source for legal options. Another role of the advocate is to help educate all members of the campus community about what can constitute sexual assault/harassment and the harm caused by such activity. Persons with questions relating to sexual assault/harassment are encouraged to consult with the University Counselor for assistance. The campus advocate works closely with the Cobb County YWCA of Northwest Georgia. To contact the campus advocate please call 770-720-5549. The hot line contact for the YWCA of Northwest Georgia Sexual Assault Center is 770-427-3390 or visit The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) which is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization at their website www.rainn.org for more resources.
A bystander, or witness, is someone who sees a situation but may or may not know what to do, may think others will act or may be afraid to do something. Bystander education programs teach potential witnesses safe and positive ways that they can act to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for sexual violence. Furthermore a bystander is any person who is present at an event or incident but does NOT take part.
Five Steps Toward Taking Action
Rules for Bystander Intervention
Three "D" of Bystander Intervention
Good Samaritan Policy
Reinhardt University holds a fundamental commitment to the safety of its community. It is vital for students to call Emergency Medical Services by dialing 911 when a student needs medical help. The “Good Samaritan Policy” offers a clear message to students that they should report any potentially dangerous cases of intoxication, drug overdose or medical emergencies; they should not be concerned about disciplinary consequences at such a time.
The Good Samaritan Policy is as follows:
Students or student organizations that seek emergency attention for dangerously intoxicated/overdosed or ill individuals will not be subject to punitive university disciplinary sanctions. This policy applies both to the person requiring help and the person or organization reporting their concern. When students encounter another person who may be dangerously intoxicated, overdosed or ill, they have a responsibility to call EMS by dialing 8-911 from a College phone or 911 from a cell phone. After calling EMS, the student or organization should immediately notify a person in a position of authority at Reinhardt University such as a Residence Life Assistance (RA), Residence Life Coordinator (RLC), Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, or a University Public Safety Officer to report the emergency.
This policy reflects Reinhardt University’s priority on “safety first.” The policy does not rule out educational sanctions for those involved with the incident however, an educational sanction is NOT a punitive sanction like being removed from the residence halls or expelled from Reinhardt University. In addition, the student’s permanent educational record will reflect no formal college disciplinary action.
In situations where a student’s life may be in jeopardy, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may contact the student’s parents as a health precaution and may require a professional alcohol/drug evaluation to return to the residential community.
This policy refers to isolated incidents only and does not protect those students from punitive judicial sanctions who choose to flagrantly and repeatedly violate the Reinhardt University’s alcohol/drug policies.
If you fail to immediately report such incidents that seriously endanger the life of another person(s) and if that student is incapacitated or dies as a result of you taking no action you may face Reinhardt University sanctions along with criminal and civil legal action.
Reinhardt University cannot stress enough the value we place on human life and the importance of you getting help for persons who are in need of medical attention. Please don’t run away from or turn your back on a sick or injured person. Do the right thing and call for help.
The sensitivity of the issue of harassment and the very real legal ramifications emanating from charges of harassment make it imperative that an institution of higher education address the problem thoroughly for both employees and students. Legal basis for claims of harassment may be made under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments; and Executive Order 11426. An offender is subject to criminal liability for assault and battery and civil actions for tortuous interference with an employment contract, intentional infliction of emotional harm, breach of contract, or interference with the performance or progress of students. Harassment will not be tolerated by the University and may be grounds for immediate suspension, dismissal, or other appropriate action. Students who believe they have been harassed are asked to report any acts to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students for immediate disposition.
Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has in good faith made a report under the policies of Reinhardt University or participated in an investigation of a complaint of any act as defined in the student handbook is prohibited. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, or engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person's educational, living, or work environment, threatening, intimidating, or coercing the person, or otherwise discriminating against any person for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy. Depending on the circumstances, retaliation may also be unlawful. Retaliation under this policy may be found whether or not the complaint is ultimately found to have merit. Complaints of retaliation should be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student and/or the President of Reinhardt University.