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Sexual Assault Policy Standards of Conduct

Regardless of whether a victim reports a rape to authorities, victims are urged to consult a trained rape crisis counselor or mental health professional.

Lack of Consent
• Forcible Compulsion – whether through actual physical force or expressed implied threat of death, injury or kidnapping of the victim or anyone else.
• Incapacity to consent – whether the incapacity is based on mental illness, retardation, is temporary due to drug or alcohol use, or is due to physical helplessness due to unconsciousness or inability to communicate.
• Inability to consent – by law, being less than seventeen years old, being mentally defective or incapacitated or being physically helpless.

The College policies on sexual harassment and sexual assault can be found in the College’s Student Handbook. All students should review them carefully. The College includes information about rape and date rape as part of its FYE (First Year Experience) course. All students receive written materials on this subject and training programs are offered through campus programs. College counselors are also available for students who are in need of counseling or who may not be sure whether or not they were raped.

Students' Rights
Students have the right to press criminal charges and will be assisted by the College in doing so. If the accused is a College of Mount Saint Vincent student, the victim also has the right to press College disciplinary charges. The victim is not required to press charges immediately following the sexual assault. The victim has the right to a counselor or advisor who will accompany her/him through the hearing and has the right to know the outcome of any disciplinary procedure in which she/he has charged sexual assault.

The College also provides the victim with assistance in obtaining medical assistance, rape crisis counseling and academic or residency relocation or adjustments, if requested. Such assistance and counseling will remain confidential.

A student accused of sexual assault has the right to a fair hearing following the student conduct process; the right to have an advisor, counselor or other person accompany her/him throughout the hearing and the right to know the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought against her/him.

If found guilty of a sexual assault or rape, depending on the severity of the charge and other considerations, the student will likely face at least removal from residency, probation and restricted access to campus, and at most suspension or expulsion from the College. Campus disciplinary actions do not prevent charges from being filed with city and state authorities.

Procedures to Follow
If a student believes she/he was raped, the student must remember to preserve evidence.
• Do not wash or douche until you have had a medical exam
• Save your clothing and do not wash it
• Report the incident either to the police, Office of Campus Safety and Security, Vice President for Student Affairs, Director of Counseling, your Area Coordinator, or your Resident Assistant immediately.
• Whether you report the rape to the authorities or not, contact a trained rape crisis counselor or mental health professional to help you through the crisis. You will need support to assist you in handling the emotions that emerge following a rape.
• You may want to stay with a friend or close relative immediately following the rape.