VI - 1.30 - Policy and Procedures on Sexual Assault

I.  Purpose

The policy serves to implement the University of Maryland System Policy on Sexual Assault. It also serves as a guide to students, staff and faculty when incidents of sexual assault occur on campus.

II. Applicability

Bowie State University's Policy on Sexual Assault is applicable to all Bowie State University students and employees, both faculty and non-faculty.

III. Policy Statement

A. Introduction

Bowie State University is committed to maintaining a working and learning environment in which faculty, staff, and students can develop intellectually, professionally, personally and socially free from intimidation, fear, coercion, and reprisal. Sexual Assault is illegal. The University will not tolerate illegal activity of any kind. Persons found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action and may be subject to arrest. To educate our community, the Henry Wise Wellness Center, Counseling Services and Residence Life will sponsor seminars and workshops emphasizing safety and awareness of sexual assault will be sponsored by the University Health and Wellness Center, the Counseling and Student Development Center, and Housing and Residence Life.

B. Definitions

This policy recognizes two (2) levels of sexual assault.

1. 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.

2. 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.

C. Protective Measures and Confidentiality

All persons who investigate sexual assaults or who assist victims of sexual assault shall use their best efforts to keep confidential all information relating to the victim. Failure to exercise good faith in maintaining confidentiality may result in disciplinary actions and other serious sanctions.

IV. Procedures to Follow If a Sexual Assault Occurs

If you are raped or sexually assaulted, you should:

  • get to a safe place as soon as you can;
  • try to preserve all physical evidence;
  • get medical attention;
  • contact the University police by calling 301-860-4688 or the Prince George's County Police by dialing 911;
  • talk with a counselor; and
  • contact someone you trust.

A. Initial Contact

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 are Bowie State University's initial contact person (s) to assist you following a sexual assault. When a report of sexual assault is made, (s)he will encourage you to contact law enforcement officials and obtain medical assistance as soon as possible following the incident so that you can receive guidance in the preservation of evidence needed for proof of criminal assaults and the apprehension and prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. If you request it, (s)he will also assist you in contacting the proper law enforcement authorities, assist you with obtaining medical attention and provide transportation to the hospital or other emergency medical facility. The Director of Counseling and other campus personnel retain the right to contact law enforcement officials directly where an issue of campus security is involved.

B. Campus Police

You may also wish to contact campus police at 301-860-4688. If you are off campus, you can call 911 for local law enforcement officials.

C. Immediate steps for self-care and safety

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 don't. Instead, wrap yourself in something warm such as a blanket or coat. Call someone to help you immediately. We recommend that you call 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 for an initial contact. Victims react to this state of shock in different ways: some are upset, angry or calm. Whatever your reaction, you may be able to make better decisions by talking to someone you trust or someone trained, instead of responding to your initial feelings immediately after the crime. Staying warm, instead of cleaning up right away, will help you accomplish two important things: (1) you will be helping your body to recover from the shock due to the assault; and (2) you will not have disturbed or destroyed any evidence needed if you decide to prosecute.

It is extremely important that you:

DO NOT

DO

  • shower or bathe
  • get to a safe place
  • brush or comb your hair
  • call the police for help
  • douche
  • lock doors and windows
  • urinate (if possible)
  • keep warm
  • change clothes
  • get medical attention
  • eat or drink anything
  • write down all that you can remember
  • brush, rinse your teeth or smoke
  • take a change of clothes to hospital/sexual assault center. If you must change your clothes, put them in a paper bag to give to the police (plastic destroys evidence).
  • touch things at the crime the scene

 

E. Seek medical assistance

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) located in either 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.

F. Victim Services

1. The nearest hospital equipped with the Department of State Police Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit is Prince George's Hospital Center, 3001 Hospital Drive, Cheverly, MD 20785. The telephone number is (301) 618-3154.

2. The nearest sexual assault/rape crisis center is Prince George's Hospital 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.

3. The University Office of Counseling Services provides individual and group counseling for victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse and incest. The telephone number is (301) 860-4164.

4. The Dean of Students, Division of Student and Academic Services, will provide assistance to students who report they are victims of sexual assault with a transfer to alternative classes or housing, if such alternatives are requested by the victim and are available, feasible and appropriate to the facts of the sexual assault reported. The telephone number is (301) 860-3390.

5. The Director of Human Resources will provide assistance to employees who report they are victims of sexual assault with an alternative employment situation if such an alternative is requested by the victim, and an alternative situation is available, feasible and appropriate to the facts of the sexual assault reported. The telephone number is (301) 860-3450.

V. Victim Complaint

In addition to any criminal or civil procedures available under law, any act of sexual assault is a violation of this policy on sexual assault and is subject to disciplinary proceedings under Bowie State University's judicial system and appropriate faculty and employee disciplinary procedures. If you wish to file criminal charges against a perpetrator of a sexual offense, contact Public Safety, (301) 860-4688 or dial 911. If you wish to file a complaint under the University's disciplinary systems, follow the information outlined below:

A. Filing a complaint

1. If the accused is an employee, the victim may file a complaint with the Director of Human Resources, (301) 860-3450.

2. If the accused is a student, a complaint may be filed with the Dean of Students, Judicial Affairs Officer who is in charge of student discipline. The telephone number is (301) 860-3394.

B. Disciplinary Proceedings

The accused (alleged perpetrator) and the accuser (alleged victim) are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a University disciplinary proceeding. Further, both the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim shall be informed of the outcome of any investigation by campus police or any University disciplinary proceeding brought pursuant to the alleged victim's complaint against the alleged perpetrator of an alleged sexual assault. The offense must be reported according to federal reporting mandates and Maryland State law.

C. Possible Sanctions

1. Students - The range of judicial system penalties for students  shall include, but not be limited to, the following: alteration of class schedule, disciplinary reprimand, loss of privilege, restitution, disciplinary probation, disciplinary suspension, disciplinary dismissal and disciplinary expulsion.

2. Faculty and other employees - The range of employment penalties for faculty and employees shall include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following: counseling, reprimand, suspension or termination of employment.

VI. Education Coordinator

The Director of the Wellness Center located in the Henry Wise Wellness Center, (301) 860-4171, is the University coordinator for educational programming promoting awareness of sexual assault, including but not limited to, rape, acquaintance rape and other sexual offenses defined on page 1 of this policy. (S)he can be contacted for information about programs that promote awareness of what constitutes sexual assault, how to prevent it and what the University's procedures are for handling reports of alleged sexual assaults. Upon request and as needed, (s)he can also be contacted to provide specialized training to those who might be involved in providing services to or interacting with alleged victims. (S)he also ensures that copies of the USM policy and the University's procedures concerning sexual assault are distributed to all students, faculty members and employees, are posted in appropriate locations throughout the campus and are published in appropriate University publications.

 

Effective Date:  08/20/1997