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It is the policy of this district to maintain a safe school environment for all students while attending school and district-sponsored activities on school premises or other locations. Sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying, regardless of the specific nature of the student's behavior is disruptive to a safe school environment and will not be tolerated. Students who engage in such behavior will be disciplined as determined to be appropriate, up to and including suspension and/or dismissal.

If you are a victim of violence you have options. You are encouraged to report incidents of assault and violence to school administration or local law enforcement.

 

Violence Against Women Act

On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed a bill that strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Included in the bill was the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE), which amends the Jeanne Clery Act and affords additional rights to campus victims of sexual violence, datingviolence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Under VAWA, every post-secondary institution participating in Title IV financial aid programs will be required to:

  • Report domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates;
  • Adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and
  • Adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular aspects of prevention and awareness.

Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, unwanted sexual comments or advances, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person's sexuality regardless of their relationship to the victim. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, battery and sexual coercion; domestic dating violence, and stalking.

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.

Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activites such as: forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodimy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. Sexual Assault does not happen due to uncontrollable lust, or simple miscommunication, though these acts are often written off as such.  Sexual Assaults are acts of aggression for which there is no excuse.  No matter how a person is dressed, or behaves, no one asks or deserves to be assaulted.

Rape is defined by the United States Department of Justice as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” 

For the first time ever, the definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women being raped by men.  It also recognizes that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape.  This definition also includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Furthermore, because many rapes are facilitated by drugs or alcohol, the new definition recognizes that a victim can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion of drugs or alcohol. Similarly, a victim may be legally incapable of consent because of age. The ability of the victim to give consent must be determined in accordance with individual state statutes.  Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim is dating violence. The existence of such a relationship is typically determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • The length of the relationship
  • The type of relationship
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationshipngth of the relationship.

Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can include:

  • Obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim's garbage, following the victim, contacting victim's friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email or repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
  • Harassing victim through the internet.
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim's property.
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends, or pets.
  • Following or laying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place.

Bystander

A bystander, or witness, is someone who sees or hears a potentially harmful situation but might not know what to do, think others will act, or be afraid to do something.  Research on the causes of sexual violence and evaluation of prevention efforts indicates that bystanders (also referred to as witnesses, defenders, or up standers) are a key piece of prevention work. Every situation is different and there is no universal response when intervening to prevent sexual violence. Safety is vital in deciding when and how to respond to sexual violence. Every person must decide for themselves the safest and most effective way to become an engaged bystander.

Here are some ideas how you might safely intervene as an engaged bystander:

  •  When you witness violence, get support from people around you; you do not have to act alone.
  •  Practice with friends and family about what you would say and how you would say it.
  •  When intervening, be respectful, direct, and honest.
  •  If you see or hear something and you do not feel safe, contact such authorities as the police, Child
    Protective Services, or Adult Protective Services.

 

Additional Resources:

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Not Alone
Information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault.

SLEVAWN
The mission of the St. Louis Ending Violence Against Women Network (SLEVAWN) is to end domestic and sexual violence.  SLEVAWN is a network of individuals, agencies and organizations who serve in the interest of victims of domestic and sexual violence and whose priorities are:
– providing networking opportunities for all professionals and community organizations working with women and families.
– promoting awareness of public, private and community organizations as well as resources in the area of violence against women.
– providing education focusing on the prevention, advocacy and treatment of women who experience violence in their lives.

It’s On Us
Public awareness and education campaign to engage all members of campus communities in preventing sexual assault.

Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The NSVRC’s Mission is to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.

National Network to End Domestic Violence
NNEDV is the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their advocates. As a membership and advocacy organization of state domestic violence coalitions, allied organizations and supportive individuals, NNEDV works closely with its members to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs. Then NNEDV makes sure those needs are heard and understood by policymakers at the national level.

St. Louis Domestic and Family Violence Council
The St. Louis County Domestic and Family Violence Council is tasked with building a collaborative community  process to increase the awareness and understanding of domestic and family violence and its consequences and to  reduce the incidence of domestic and family violence. The Council is comprised of community-based organizations, law  enforcement, court representatives, education, and public and private organizations.

PreventConnect
PreventConnect is a national project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The goal of PreventConnect is to advance the primary prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence by building a community of practice among people who are engaged in such efforts. PreventConnect also builds the capacity of local, state, territorial, national and tribal agencies and organizations to develop, implement and evaluate effective prevention initiatives.

National Center for Campus Public Safety
The National Center for Campus Public Safety's (NCCPS or the National Center) mission is to bring together all forms of campus public safety, professional associations, advocacy organizations, community leaders, and others to improve and expand services to those who are charged with providing a safe environment on the campuses of the nation's colleges and universities.

The Stalking Resource Center
In 2000, the National Center for Victims of Crime partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to create the Stalking Resource Center (SRC).

VAWnet
Our resource library is home to thousands of materials on violence against women and related issues, with particular attention to its intersections with various forms of oppression.