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Sexual violence is a social epidemic that is growing at alarming rates. Specifically, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking have become more prevalent on college campuses. As a campus community, it is important that all community members have a clear understanding of the complex issues surrounding sexual violence. Thus, Bowie State University, University of Maryland College Park and the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women developed the Partners in Peace program to bring awareness to this societal problem and help prevent future violent acts.
The Partners in Peace program at Bowie State University aims to raise awareness about and effectively respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
- To establish sexual violence awareness, educational programs and training offered to Bowie State University students, faculty and staff
- To develop and promote a campus environment that supports victim/survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
- To develop and promote a campus environment that encourages victim/survivors to report incidents of sexual assault and intimate partner violence without fear of retaliation and intimidation.
- To establish and implement a campus and community response team where public safety officials, administrators, staff and other campus constituents understand their roles and responsibilities regarding the response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking victim/survivors, the investigation of allegations and the appropriate administrative and disciplinary action.
- To create a campus environment that reduces and prevents sexual violence
Sexual Violence Prevention Workshops
Bystanders, or third parties who are witnesses to sexual crimes, play a major part in the movement to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Thus, the Wellness Center Partners in Peace program sponsors workshops in an effort to raise awareness about sexual violence and create a campus environment conducive to learning and working. During these workshops, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about sexual violence prevention strategies. Most importantly, students and campus community members will learn about what they can do if they or someone they know has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking. Workshops on the following themes are currently being offered in partnership with the Office of Residence Life, Office of Student Life and Academic Advisement: sexual violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and bystander intervention.
Please call 301.860.4173 if you are interested in having a sexual violence educator conduct a workshop for your peers and or colleagues.
Campus and Community Response Team
As campus community, it is important that we have a uniformed approach to addressing sexual violence on campus. The University recognized this vital need and subsequently created the Campus and Community Response Team (CCRT), a sexual violence task force comprised of BSU students, faculty and staff members and other community representatives. CCRTs mission is to provide domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking training to campus administrators, judicial members, police personnel and other stakeholders. The task force is also responsible for developing and revising the University's sexual assault policy and procedures.
General Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Sexual Violence?
A: Sexual violence is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape), an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment).
Q: What is Sexual Assault?
A: Sexual assault is generally defined as engaging in intercourse by force or threat of force and without the consent of the other person or, with a person who is incapable of giving consent due to a disability or intoxication. Bowie State University adheres to the University System of Maryland Policy on Sexual Assault which recognizes two levels of sexual assault:
Sexual Assault I.
By stranger or acquaintance, rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual penetration, however slight, of another person's anal or genital opening with any object. These acts must be committed either by force, threat, intimidation or through the use of the victim's mental or physical helplessness of which the accused was aware or should have been made aware.
Sexual Assault II.
By stranger or acquaintance, the touch of an unwilling person's intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering them) or forcing an unwilling person to touch another's intimate parts. These acts must be committed either by force, threat, intimidation or through the use of the victims' mental or physical helplessness of which the accused was aware or should have been aware.
Q: What is consent? How do I know if I have it?
A: Consent is a positive affirmation of the desire to engage in sexual activity. If a person is not verbally agreeing and not making any action to initiate or pursue sexual activity, then this person is not consenting. The phrase "freely given" means that consent cannot be coerced. Consent which is obtained through the use of physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion, is ineffective consent. According to the State of Maryland, if a person is incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol he or she is considered incapable of giving consent.
Q: What is Domestic Violence?
A: Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. 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.
Q: What is Dating Violence?
A: Dating violence or relationship violence is defined as the physical, sexual or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship
Q: What is Stalking?
A: Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Victim/Survivor Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the University's sexual assault policy and procedures?
A: Bowie State University's sexual assault policy and procedures can be found on the following webpage: http://www.bowiestate.edu/about/cabinet/general_counsel/policies/ga/#vi130
You may also refer to the Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Procedure Checklist for additional information.
Q: What should I do if I've been sexually assaulted?
A: Immediately after the assault you may be in a state of shock. Usually, your first reaction will be to take a bath or shower. Please do not take a bath. Instead, wrap yourself in something warm such as a blanket or coat. Please save your clothes for evidence by putting them in a paper bag. Call someone to help you immediately. We recommend that you call campus police at (301) 860-4040. You may make a request to speak with a female office on duty. You may also contact the Office of Counseling Services located in the Martin Luther King Jr. Building, third floor, (301) 860-4164 or the Henry Wise Wellness Center located on the lower level of Christa McAuliffe Residence hall facing the side of Alex Haley Residence Hall, (301) 860-4171.
It is very important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after a sexual assault. A medical examination serves two (2) purposes: it ensures that you receive whatever medical aid you need and that any available evidence is collected.
The University's initial contact person(s), campus police at (301) 860-4040, the Henry Wise Wellness Center, (301) 860-4171 and/or the Office of Counseling Services located in the Martin Luther King Jr. Building, third floor, (301) 860-4164 will assist a victim in obtaining medical attention if the victim chooses, including providing transportation to the hospital or other emergency medical facility. A medical examination is always recommended even if you decide not to officially report the crime. It's a good idea to have evidence collected initially in case you decide to take legal action at a later date.
The nearest sexual assault/rape crisis center is Prince George's Hospital Center Domestic Violence - Sexual Assault Center, 3001 Hospital Drive, Cheverly, MD 20785. The center provides free 24 hour support services for victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. The telephone number is (301) 618-3154.
Q: I want to file criminal charges. What do I do?
A: Contact Bowie State University Department of Public Safety at (301) 860-4040 for more information.
Q: Does the University have an anonymous reporting process?
A: Yes. A student can anonymously report a sexual assault to any BSU staff, faculty and administrator. This means that a disclosure can be made without initiating an investigation or police involvement. In addition, a student can anonymously report as a third party if he or she witnessed a sexual assault or if a friend was sexually assaulted.
Q: I was assaulted by another student. How do I press charges through the University judicial process?
A: Contact the Office of Judicial Programs at (301) 860-3394 for more information. You may meet with the Student Conduct Coordinator in order to explore your options under the Code of Student Conduct.
Q: I was drinking before I was assaulted, so is it my fault?
A: No. You are not to blame for the assault. We recommend that you call Counseling Services for more information about victim/survivor support and resources. The Office of Counseling Services located in the Martin Luther King Jr. Building, third floor, (301) 860-4164.