Occurrences of sexual assault are an unavoidable fact of college life but having the right resources can help survivors, as well as prevent future cases.
As far as reporting and seeking help after a sexual assault incident, victims or survivors have three main options: the Survivor Advocacy Services, the Title IX office or the University Police Department.
Each of the departments work in accordance to ensure the safety of the university and its students, the comfort and support of the victim, and justice toward the accused.
The outcome and use of the resources are entirely dependent on the victim. Should he or she wish to report the incident, there are a few options for following that through.
One option might be to visit the Survivor Advocacy Services (S.A.S.).
S.A.S. provides confidential emotional and crisis support through counseling and referral services to those who have been affected by sexual violence.
Naomi Chu, S.A.S. coordinator, said the department works closely with professors, the test center and other services on and off campus to provide the survivor with the support he or she needs.
“The intersectionality of an individual is very complex. They may identify as a survivor, but their immediate need may be food insecurity, for example,” Chu said.
A large part of what S.A.S. does is raise awareness and educate students in preventative measures against sexual violence through different programs, activities and trainings.
They provide events and workshops to get students engaged, from painting the Cal Poly Pomona letters in different colors to represent awareness months to a clothesline project and group activities providing safe spaces to talk about issues.
Providing support through counseling, referrals, or wraparound services which provide an individualized plan using resources that cater to each situation, Chu works alongside the survivor throughout the entire process.
Title IX Department
There are several means to report a sexual misconduct incident. One would be to report to the Title IX coordinator, Linda Hoos.
The primary role of the Title IX coordinator is investigating reported incidents, education and prevention, training and general oversight of issues relating to sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking on campus.
A complainant can report in a number of ways to the Title IX department. He or she could file an incident report on the website, call the department, email, or simply walk into the office.
When a complainant reports the incident, the Title IX coordinator conducts an interview with the victim and records who the complaint is against, if known. Evidence is also collected.
“My office has an obligation to investigate where necessary,” Hoos said.
If, after an investigation, the situation is in violation of Title IX policy, the department would work with the Office of Student Conduct & Integrity to determine disciplinary action.
The Title IX office holds an administrative hearing and determines whether there needs to be a change in the environment on campus for the student(s) involved.
When looking at incidents, the main points to be considered when moving forward are: the desire of the complainant, what’s in the best interest of the university, and morally, what is the right thing to do.
“The way I decide whether to move on with an investigation or not is ‘What does the complainant want?’” Hoos said.
She said if the conduct is in violation of Title IX policies or is severe enough, other measures would have to be taken.
“In those cases, I have to weigh what’s in the best interest of the university.”
Campus Police is another resource that should be used if the victim wishes to report and possibly pursue a criminal investigation.
A criminal investigation would lead to a hearing, should the evidence warrant it.
The reporting process between the two is relatively similar. The difference is that the Title IX office deals with the administrative process, while university police deals with the criminal aspect.
Lieutenant Aaron Eaton said all departments work collectively to support the victim throughout this process.
“There is a series of supportive services that happen when they decide to report,” Eaton said.
While it is an option to not report the incident, Lieutenant Eaton encouraged students to talk with someone, whether they choose to follow through with an investigation or not.
“They can process the incident and be healthy in the end and stop the offender from doing it again. No blame. No judgment. Get healthy and be able to move on,” Eaton said.
Awareness is an important part of preventative measures.
University police provides lectures and uses social media platforms to highlight information relating to prevention and to educate students on safety measures and preventive action.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act lays out the annual security activity on campus.
It provides policy statements, statistics on crime activity, information on crime and sexual assault prevention and education as well as detailed information on risk reduction strategies.
It also includes a comprehensive list of resources, programs and orientation lectures available throughout the school year.
Resources: How to Contact
Sexual violence is a serious issue and the campus seeks to ensure the safety and support to its students.
More information can be found on each of the department’s websites.
For Survivor Advocacy Services, one can visit Naomi Chu in Building 66-119 or call 909-869-3102 for a consultation.
To contact the Title IX coordinator, Linda Hoos, call 909-869-4646 or visit the department in Building CLA 98-B1-35.
University Police is in Building 109.
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