Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment. A sexual assault is any sexual act, including, but not limited to, actual or attempted intercourse, sexual touching, fondling, and groping, perpetrated upon a person without his or her meaningful consent. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic status. The university is committed to providing a consistent, timely and caring response to anyone who is sexually violated or assaulted within the campus community.
- The perpetrator uses physical force, threat, coercion or intimidation to overpower or control the complainant.
- The complainant fears that she or he or another person will be injured or otherwise harmed if she or he does not submit.
- The complainant's ability to give or withhold consent is impaired due to the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In situations where the complainant is incapacitated or incapable of giving meaningful consent, which includes but is not limited to when the complainant is unable to consent due to consumption of alcohol or drugs, the accused is responsible for misconduct if the accused sexually violates the complainant.
- The complainant is a minor.
- Consent is not freely given due to an imbalance in power, such as situations between a faculty member and a student, or between a supervisor and a subordinate.
In certain circumstances, there is no meaningful consent. Consent means that there must be positive cooperation, and should be informed, knowing, and voluntary. Those circumstances in which consent is not freely given include any of the following:
Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. When people consent to sexual activity, they will have indicated, verbally or otherwise, that they are participating willingly, freely and voluntarily. Consent is an ongoing process in any sexual interaction. Consent may be withdrawn at any time during a sexual interaction. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
If you have sexual activity with someone you know to beor should know to bementally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, or in a "passed out" or unconscious state), you are violating this policy. Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because he or she lacks the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of the sexual interaction.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted
Please know that there can be time-sensitive decisions to make about preventing sexually transmitted infections, preventing pregnancy and collecting physical evidence.
Immediate action to take
- Go to a safe location.
- Students may contact the confidential Center for Women and Men at (213) 740-4900 (24/7) for medical resources, emotional support and advocacy.
- Staff and faculty may contact the Rape Treatment Center, (310) 319-4000, or Peace Over Violence, (213) 626-3393 (both 24/7).
- Get medical care as soon as possible from a hospital, emergency room or a specialized forensic clinic that works with sexual assault survivors. Some options in Los Angeles include the Rape Treatment Center mentioned above and the Violence Intervention Program, (323) 226-3961 (also 24/7). Both locations provide medical care and the collection of forensic evidence. You may also request medications for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and emergency contraception. If you think you may have been given a rape drug, request that the hospital or clinic take a urine and blood sample. These samples need to be collected as soon as possible as these drugs leave the system quickly.
- To report the crime immediately, notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (213) 740-4321 (24/7) and/or call 911 or (626) 793-3385 (24/7).
- Preserve all physical evidence of the assault, even if you are unsure whether you want to report the crime. Do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, wash your hands or brush your teeth until after you have had a medical examination. Save all the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault and bring it and any other potential evidence to the medical exam. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag (do not use plastic bags). Do not clean or disturb the area where the assault occurred.
- Call a trusted friend, family member or someone else who can provide support.
- If more than one week has passed since the assault, or if you are certain that you do not want the collection of forensic evidence, you may wish to consider consulting a healthcare professional for emergency contraception, and testing for sexually transmitted infections.
To make a confidential report
Students may make a confidential report of sexual assault at the Student Health Center and Counseling Center, although some limited data, without identifying information, will be shared with the DPS as part of the university's obligations under the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act (otherwise known as the Clery Act). Please note that this will not necessarily start the investigative process unless the student notifies our office or DPS.
Reports made to other offices will be kept as confidential as possible, but are not considered entirely confidential. The university has an obligation to maintain the safety of all who work and study here. Therefore, information reported to student advisors, faculty, administrators, or human resources staff will be forwarded to our office for investigation.
It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against anyone for exercising the right to make a complaint. This includes attempts or threats of retaliation, or efforts to impede an investigation. Retaliation is a violation of this policy whether or not the underlying claim of harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault is proven. Anyone who perceives retaliation should immediately notify our office.