Responding to specific emergencies

Sexual Assault Policy

I. Statement

Sexual assault is a criminal act that violates the standards of our community and is unacceptable at Missouri Southern State University. Sexual assault can be devastating to the person who experiences it directly and can be traumatic to the person's family, friends, and larger community as well. Anyone who believes she or he has been sexually assaulted is encouraged to report the incident and to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Consideration And Rights to be afforded to students who are victims of sexual assault on University property or at University sponsored or supervised events:

  1. The right to have all sexual assaults against them investigated and the right, as victims, to be treated with dignity.
  2. The right to have sexual assault committed against them investigated and adjudicated by the Dean of Student's office at MSSU.
  3. The right to be free from pressure that would suggest that the victim:
    • Not report crimes committed against them to civil and criminal authorities, or to campus law enforcement and disciplinary officials.
    • Report crimes as lesser offenses than the victim perceives them to be.
  4. The right to be free from suggestions that sexual assault victims not report, or under-report crimes because:
    • Victims are somehow "responsible" for the commission of crimes against them.
    • Victims are contributory, negligent, or assumed the risk of being assaulted.
    • By reporting crimes they would incur unwanted personal publicity.
  5. The right to full and prompt cooperation from campus personnel in responding to the incident.
  6. The right to access counseling services established by the University or other victim-service entities.
  7. The right to require that campus personnel take the necessary steps or actions reasonably feasible to prevent unwanted contact or proximity with alleged assailants.
  8. The right to be informed of any campus disciplinary proceedings and the outcome of such proceedings.
  9. The same right to assistance, or ability to have others present, that is afforded to the accused during any campus disciplinary proceedings.

II. Policy Application and Resources

The University's sexual assault policy applies to all students, staff, and faculty. For these individuals, the University provides education and sexual assault prevention resources, offers numerous support services and referrals for anyone who has experienced sexual assault, encourages and facilitates reporting and prosecution of sexual assault, and is committed to disciplining anyone who violates this policy. The University may also investigate alleged violations of this policy received from individuals outside the institution regarding individuals within the University if, for example, the alleged violation occurred on University property.

III. Definitions and Important Principles

The University's definition of sexual assault encompasses the State of Missouri's Revised Statutes Chapters 566-568.

Forcible Sexual Offense: The involvement in any sexual act with another person, without the consent of the other person, in which there is force which overcomes reasonable resistance; or the threat of force, expressed or implied; or the use of duress or deception.

Non-forcible Sexual Offense: The involvement in any sexual act with another person, without the consent of the other person, particularly when the other person is incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, mental deficiency, or other disability.

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional touching, without the consent of the other person, of the genitals or anus of any person, or the breast of any female person.

Sexual Related Offenses: Obscene or indecent behavior that is sexually motivated, including but not limited to indecent exposure and voyeurism.

Intimate Partner Violence: Intimate partner violence is conduct between people who are or were involved in a sexual or romantic relationship when one person in the relationship causes harm or significant alarm or distress to the other person. This includes but is not limited to threats, assault, or other action against the person or their property when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge.

Sexual Assault: Sexual intercourse with another person knowing that (s) he does so without that person's consent.

Retaliation: This policy prohibits retaliation against a person who reports sexual offenses, assists someone with a report of sexual offenses, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a sexual offense report. Retaliation includes but is not limited to threat, intimidation, reprisals, and /or adverse actions related to employment or education.

Stalking: Repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted. Additionally, the conduct may cause the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or cause substantial impairment of the other person's ability to perform the activities of daily life. It can include but is not limited to:

  1. Repeated undesired contact (phone calls, emails, letters, showing up unexpectedly, etc.)
  2. Following a person from place to place
  3. Making threats to the individual or her or his family
  4. Any behavior used to repeatedly contact, harass, track, or threaten the individual

Cyberstalking: A pattern of threatening behaviors and unwanted advances directed from one individual to another over the Internet and other online and computer communications. Cyberstalking include but is not limited to:

  1. Threatening/obscene emails and text messages
  2. Live chat harassment or flaming (online verbal abuse)
  3. Tracing victim's computer and internet activity
  4. Can happen in conjunction with off-line stalking/harassment

Domestic Violence: includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offences committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

Dating Violence: means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Forcible Rape MoRS-566.030. A person commits the crime of forcible rape if such person has sexual intercourse with another person by the use of forcible compulsion. Forcible compulsion includes the use of a substance administered without a victim's knowledge or consent which renders the victim physically or mentally impaired so as to be incapable of making an informed consent to sexual intercourse.

Sexual assault MoRS-566.040. A person commits the crime of sexual assault if he has sexual intercourse with another person knowing that he does so without that person's consent.

Deviate sexual assault MoRS-566.070. A person commits the crime of deviate sexual assault if he has deviate sexual intercourse with another person knowing that he does so without that person's consent.

Sexual misconduct MoRS-566.090-566.095.

  1. A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct in the first degree if such person purposely subjects another person to sexual contact without that person's consent.
  2. Exposes his or her genitals under circumstances in which he or she knows that his or her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm;
  3. Has sexual contact in the presence of a third person or persons under circumstances in which he or she knows that such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm; or
  4. Has sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person.
  5. A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct in the third degree if he solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which he knows that his requests or solicitation is likely to cause affront or alarm.

Important Principles

Confidentiality

Missouri Southern State University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual's privacy and protect the confidentiality of information related to sexual assault within the parameters imposed by law. The University may issue a safety awareness alert, a brief description including time and location, to notify the community about the occurrence of a serious crime or pattern of crimes that might put the public at risk. The University is also required by law to tabulate and annually report sexual assault and other campus crime statistics to the public. These statistics and the list of people to whom a crime may be reported for it to be included in the statistics appear on the MSSU website http://www.mssu.edu/offices/police/pdfs/annual-report-2012.pdf.

Neither safety awareness alerts nor campus crime statistics contain specific victim-identifying information. The confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings deserves special mention. Honoring the confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings and their outcomes is the responsibility of the accused, the victim, the institution, and all others participating in or privy to those proceedings. Unless disclosure is authorized by the specific individuals involved, failure to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings and their outcome may result in disciplinary consequences within the University, as well as potential civil liability.

Institutional Obligation

Because sexual assault is a serious crime that may threaten the community as a whole, in some instances the University may be obliged to pursue an alleged sexual assault through internal disciplinary procedures without the cooperation of the victim. Always in such instances, the University will inform the victim of its obligation to address a community safety issue.

IV. Support Services and Resources

The needs of someone who has been sexually assaulted vary from person to person and may vary over time. The University offers a diverse array of services and external resources, many of which may be accessed 24 hours a day, so that a person may choose what she or he would find most helpful and healing. The University urges anyone who has been sexually assaulted to seek support as soon as possible to minimize and treat physical harm, assist with processing the unique and complex emotional aftermath, and help preserve and understand options for pressing charges. Even for someone who does not wish to report the event to the police or pursue disciplinary action, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important.

Resources for Everyone

University Police – 417-626-2222. Police Department located in the lower campus area between Ummel and Plaster Hall's

Wilcoxon University Health Center. Billingsly Student Center 242. 417-625-9513 (Hours 8:00-5:00 M-F).

Counseling Department. Hearnes Hall 314. 417-625-9324 (Hours 8:00-5:00 M-F)

Dean of Students Office/Title IV Coordinator. Billingsly Student Center 347. 417-625-9531

V. University Discipline Procedures

The appropriate University disciplinary avenue is determined by the status of the person accused of sexual assault. Anyone may choose to bring forward a complaint within the University instead of, or in addition to, seeking redress outside the institution in the legal system. Someone with a complaint of sexual assault may also opt to pursue his or her case via the legal system without engaging the University's disciplinary process, although, in the interest of community safety, the University may be obliged to pursue an alleged sexual assault through internal disciplinary procedures. The University does not impose a time limit after which it will not consider formal complaints of sexual assault. However, timely disciplinary processes take advantage of the most recent recollections and evidence and can facilitate more prompt resolution to what is often a traumatic and painful situation for the victim. If the accused is a student, a complaint is addressed within the procedures for student discipline described in the Student Handbook. The complaint should be addressed to the Dean of Students - Billingsly 347, 417-625-9351.

If the accused is a staff or faculty member, Human Resources will guide the individuals through the appropriate process – Hearnes Hall 217, 417-625-9805

Sanctions for a member of the University community found to have sexually assaulted another person may include termination of employment or expulsion.

 

  • University Police 417- 626-2222
  • MSSU Student Health Center 417-625-9323
  • Student Support Center 417- 625-9324
  • Lafayette House 417-782-1772
  • Ozark Center 417-781-2410 (24 hours)
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