Sexual Harassment/Violence & Prevention
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA)
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
Faith International University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in university programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation or intimidation. The university prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence. Such behavior violates both law and the university’s policy. The university will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, discipline behavior that constitutes sexual harassment and/or sexual violence, or otherwise violates the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (hereinafter referred to as “VAWA Policy”).
SCOPE OF POLICY
The VAWA Policy applies to all FIU employees and students.
PROHIBITED ACTS AND DEFINITIONS
In compliance with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the VAWA Policy prohibits sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and other acts that as defined below:
SEXUAL HARASSMENT is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is conduct that explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education or interferes with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an environment such that a reasonable person would find the conduct intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence (see definition below). The College will respond to reports of any such conduct in accordance with the VAWA or other applicable Policy. Sexual harassment may include incidents between any members of the College community, including faculty, staff or other employees, students or third parties such as, but not limited to: vendors, contractors, and visitors. Sexual harassment may occur in hierarchical relationships, between peers, or between individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. To determine whether the reported conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record of the conduct as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the conduct occurred.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE is defined as physical sexual acts engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, battery, and sexual coercion; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is defined as any felony or misdemeanor crime committed by a current or former spouse of the victim; person the victim has a child with; an individual who lives, or has lived, with the victim as a spouse, or a person similarly situated to a spouse; and any other person committing an act “against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
DATING VIOLENCE is defined as abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
SEXUAL ASSAULT occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. The activity or conduct may include physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication).
FORCIBLE SEXUAL OFFENSE is defined as any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
NON-FORCIBLE SEXUAL OFFENSE is defined as unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.
CONSENT IS INFORMED is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is voluntary. It must be given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act pursuant to an exercise of freewill. Consent is revocable. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. A person cannot consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person cannot consent if s/he is under the threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion. A person cannot consent if his/her understanding of the act is affected by a physical or mental impairment. For purposes of the Policy, the age of consent is the age consistent with Washington Law.
INCAPACITATION is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, unconsciousness, sleep, and blackouts. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or other drugs consumed affects a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent. The factors to be considered when determining whether consent was given include whether the accused knew, or whether a reasonable person should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
STALKING is behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.
The VAWA Policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Consensual romantic relationships between members of the FIU community are subject to other FIU policies outlined in the Employee and/or Student Handbooks. While a consensual romantic relationship between members of the College community may begin or continue for some time without issue, as relationships change they may evolve into situations that lead to charges of sexual harassment or sexual violence.
GENDER IDENTITY, GENDER EXPRESSION, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION
Harassment that is not sexual in nature but is based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex or gender-stereotyping, or sexual orientation also is prohibited by FIU, as part of its Nondiscrimination Policy, if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from College educational programs, employment, or services. While discrimination based on these factors may be distinguished from sexual harassment, these types of discrimination may contribute to the creation of a hostile work or academic environment. Thus, in determining whether a hostile environment due to sexual harassment exists, the University may take into account acts of discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex or gender-stereotyping or sexual orientation.
REPORTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Any member of the FIU community may report conduct that may constitute a violation of VAWA, including sexual harassment or sexual violence, to any supervisor, manager, or the Title IX Officer. An individual who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual violence may file a complaint or grievance pursuant to the applicable complaint resolution or grievance procedures as outlined in the Employee and/or Student Handbooks. Such complaint or grievance may be filed either instead of or may be filed either instead of, or in addition to, making a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Officer. A complaint or grievance alleging sexual harassment or sexual violence must meet all the requirements under the applicable complaint resolution or grievance procedure, including time limits for filing. If the person to whom harassment normally would be reported is the individual accused of harassment, reports may be made to any manager, supervisor, or designated employee. Managers, supervisors, and designated employees are required to notify the Title IX Officer or other appropriate official designated to review and investigate sexual harassment complaints when a report is received.
Any manager, supervisor, or designated employee responsible for reporting or responding to sexual harassment or sexual violence who knew about the incident and took no action to stop it or failed to report the prohibited act may be subject to disciplinary action.
Reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence should be brought forward as soon as possible after the alleged conduct occurs. Prompt reporting will better enable FIU to respond, determine the issues, and provide an appropriate remedy and/ or action. All incidents should be reported even if a significant amount of time has passed. However, delaying a report may impede FIU’s ability to conduct an investigation and/or to take appropriate remedial actions.
An individual who has made a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence also may file a separate complaint or grievance alleging that the actions taken in response to the report of sexual harassment or sexual violence did not follow the VAWA Policy. Such a complaint or grievance may not be filed to address a disciplinary sanction imposed upon the accused. Any complaint or grievance regarding the resolution of a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence must be filed within EEOC time limits for filing a charge. The time period for filing begins on the date the individual was notified of the outcome of the sexual harassment or sexual violence investigation or other resolution process pursuant to the VAWA Policy, and/or of the actions taken by the administration in response to the report of sexual harassment or sexual violence, whichever is the latter.
RESPONSE TO REPORTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
The university will provide a written explanation of available rights and options, including procedures to follow, when the College receives a report that the student or employee has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus or in connection with any university program.
The Vice President of Student Services will issue a written statement of the findings of the investigation within fourteen (14) days of the completion of the investigation. The Findings Statement will be sent to the Complainant and Respondent via certified return receipt through the U.S. Postal System.
The Findings Statement will include a determination as to whether or not discrimination or harassment took place and any appropriate remedy or disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the university. Disciplinary actions shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. Discipline decisions that affect a student or students shall be made in accordance with the terms of the Student Code of Conduct found in the university’s catalog.
Upon a finding of sexual harassment or sexual violence, university may offer remedies to the individual or individuals harmed by the harassment and/or violence consistent with applicable complaint resolution and grievance procedures. Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator will be notified, in writing, about the outcome of the complaint and any appeal.
The VAWA Policy prohibits retaliation against a person who reports sexual harassment, sexual violence or other types of harassment, or someone who assists another person with a VAWA complaint, or a person who participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complain under the VAWA Policy. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/ or adverse actions related to employment or education.
FIU supports safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual(s) to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
FIU shall protect the privacy of individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence to the extent permitted by law and School policies. A report of sexual harassment or sexual violence may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals in the School community. While such information is considered confidential, School policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information concerning a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence. In such cases, every effort shall be made to redact the records in order to protect the privacy of individuals.
An individual who has made a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence may be advised of sanctions imposed against the accused when the individual needs to be aware of the sanction in order for it to be fully effective (such as restrictions on communication or contact with the individual who made the report). In addition, when the offense involves a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act permits disclosure to the complainant the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged accused, regardless of whether the School concluded that a violation was committed. Information regarding disciplinary action taken against the accused shall not be disclosed without the accused’s consent, unless permitted by law as noted above, or unless it is necessary to ensure compliance with the action or the safety of individuals.
REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidential resources, outside/third party counseling sources are available for individuals who may be interested in bringing a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence with a safe place to discuss their concerns.
Individuals who consult with confidential resources shall be advised that their discussions in these settings are not considered reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence and that without additional action by the individual, the discussions will not result in any action by the School to resolve their concerns.
An individual’s requests regarding the confidentiality of reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the university’s legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment and sexual violence and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the university will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible.
EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF VAWA POLICY
FIU reserves the right to determine on case- by-case basis, with regard to proven or admitted violations of the VAWA Policy, disciplinary action to be taken with regard to any School employee.
Disciplinary action resulting from a determination that a violation of the VAWA policy occurred, may include but are not limited to: unpaid suspension from work, altered work schedule, training or education specific to the offense, and termination of employment without the opportunity to re-apply for future employment. FIU, and at its sole discretion, may also combine various disciplinary actions it deems appropriate for the violation finding.
The final decision for any disciplinary action taken will be made at the sole discretion of the School’s responsible officers and communicated by the Title IX Coordinator. This decision may not be appealed.
STUDENT DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF VAWA POLICY
The School reserves the right to determine on case by case basis, with regard to proven or admitted violations of the VAWA Policy, disciplinary action to be taken with regard to any FIU student.
Disciplinary action resulting from a determination that a violation of the VWA policy occurred, may include but are not limited to: suspension from school, altered class schedule, training or education specific to the offense, community service requirements at a location determined by the school, and withdrawal from the school without the opportunity to re-enroll. FIU, at its sole discretion may also combine various disciplinary actions it deems appropriate for the violation finding. The final decision for any disciplinary action taken will be made at the sole discretion of the School’s responsible officers and communicated by the Title IX Coordinator. This decision may not be appealed.
ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION
The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates complaints of unlawful harassment, including sexual violence, in employment. The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates complaints of unlawful harassment and sexual violence by students in educational programs or activities. These agencies may serve as neutral fact finders and attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of disputes with the parties. For more information, contact the nearest office of the EEOC or OCR.
RESPONSIBLE TITLE IX OFFICER(S)
Title IX Administrator: John Wheeler, Vice President of Student Services, (253) 752-2020, ext. 120, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAITH INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY SEX OFFENSE PREVENTION
FIU is dedicated to the prevention of sexual assault, and promotes the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses. For additional resources please visit the website listed below to learn what is considered abuse, what to do if one finds themselves in an abusive relationship and how to create a personalized safety plan.http://www.loveisrespect.org/. FIU communicates prevention annually to ts students, faculty, and staff via email and conducts annual Sexual Assault Prevention Training.
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
In accordance to the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000, which amends The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the School Office of Campus Security is providing the following link:
The “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” requires sex offenders who are enrolled in or work at institutions of higher education to register with the state’s sex offender registration program. In turn, the state is obligated to notify the school’s law enforcement unit as soon as possible.
Information on criminal incidents and other campus emergencies that occur, either on or off campus, that, in the judgment of the School Campus Safety Authority constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat to the campus community, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. The information included in the warning may include but is not limited to the type of incident, the location of the incident, the date and time of the incident, and how the campus community should respond. Distribution will be made through email and written notifications placed strategically throughout campus. The warning will only be issued after it is determined that it will not compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency.