Sexual Assault Seminar
The welfare of our students is our top priority. Sexual assault awareness and prevention are important issues within our campus community. Each year, the Office of Residence Life teams up with local professionals to sponsor specific training to the professional and student Residence Life staff. Hall Directors and Resident Assistants provide a most valuable resource to students in times of challenge. The Sexual Assault Response Plan provides staff with specific guidelines on how to respond in these situations. In addition to their response to incidents, staff also promote educational programs aimed at raising student awareness on the issue of sexual assault and prevention.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
The University educates the student community about sexual assaults and date rape through mandatory freshman orientations each fall. The University of Dubuque's Resident Life Department offers sexual assault education and information programs to University students, and the Human Resources Department provides it to employees upon request. Literature on date rape education, risk reduction, and University response is available through the Office of Resident Life and the Human Resources Department. Anyone who is a victim of a sexual assault should make getting to a place of safety his/her first priority, and once safety has been established obtain necessary medical treatment. The University Safety and Security Department strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident immediately. Once reported, the victim will receive the necessary medical treatment and tests as well as free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact that takes place without consent; it's a crime of violence and control that can happen to anyone. The Dubuque Department of Public Health trains, certifies and supports registered nurses and physicians to provide quality care and collect forensic evidence pertaining to sexual assaults. Victims who have been sexually assaulted or abused and whose primary language is not English can work with (trained interpreters) who will accompany the Counselor/Advocates. The interpreters can help with telephone communication, counseling, and advocacy, allowing Victims/Survivors to address their feelings as well as their logistical needs in their native languages.
If a University of Dubuque student who is a victim of sexual assault or relationship violence requests a change in her or his living arrangements or academic schedule, the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Residence Life will assist the student in making changes to the student's living or academic arrangements as long as those changes are reasonably available.
Sexual Assault Intervention Plan
An assault is a crisis situation for the person assaulted. Reactions may be similar to reactions to any major crisis; such as death or an accident. An intense, disruptive reaction is normal as well as a quiet reserved reaction. The person needs a comfortable and supportive atmosphere and you and the others need to stay calm and collected. The person will be extremely sensitive to reactions and treatment by other people. Responses from significant people in the person's life will be important.
You should accept what the person says about the assault and the feelings associated. Things may have happened that you believe were poor judgment on the person's part, but accept it. You may ask open-ended questions or ask the person to clarify a statement that is not clear to you.
Make sure that the victim is moved to a private room out of the public eye and call the RD or RD on-call. The RD will contact Director of Residence Life within one hour. Campus Security should also be alerted immediately.
Support for Assault Victim
In addition to staff, ask the person if there is someone to call to be present for support (friend, relative, clergy). Offer the advocacy services available through the Riverview Center.
Consider the person's health. In consultation with the victim, decide what sort of medical attention is needed. There are several options for medical attention. Finley Business Health is available during normal business hours. Victims may also go to Finley hospital and emergency room. Remember that staff are not allowed to transport residents directly to facilities due to liability reasons. However, they are allowed to go along for support. Ask the victim if there is a friend or relative he/she would feel comfortable with.
NOTE: In order to have a better case for filing a criminal complaint, medical evidence will need to be collected. Solid evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after the assault even if the person has showered, however, the sooner the better. Showering or changing clothing could interfere with the investigation. Try not to move or touch anything where the assault occurred.
Talk with the survivor about reporting options. Campus Security should be notified if the assault occurred on campus. The report will remain confidential when given to Campus Security. This confidentiality cannot be guaranteed when dealing with other authorities. For instance, Dubuque Police may be required to respond differently. When a person files a report, charges are not automatically filed. Reporting leaves all the options open. If the person is uncertain about pressing charges, ask that the name of the perpetrator not be revealed. If the identity is revealed, the victim may lose the option to not press charges and may become an unwilling witness for the state.
Inform the victim of counseling services available to them. Student Life staff are available. The Riverview Center offers free counseling and runs a 24-hour crisis line.
Staff must inform their RD or RD on-call of any assault. Staff will then file the necessary reports. Please talk with the victim about the confidentiality of this report and our respect for their right to privacy.
Refer any and all questions from media representatives or from the public to the Director of Residence Life. You are expected to make no comment about an alleged assault to media personnel.
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