Who We Are
News & Stories
May 25, 2023
May 18, 2023
June 24, 2023
June 29, 2023
August 20, 2023
University Wide Events
No Communication Compromises
Areas of Study
Changing the world
Community & Innovation
Research Experiences & Services
Our Global Presence
Global at Home
Global Learning For All
Your Journey Starts Here
Tools and Resources
Explore Our Campus
May 24, 2023
Administration and Operatio...
3.02 Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy
College Hall 106
Last Revised: September 24, 2021
Refer Questions to: Title IX Coordinator
Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center, hereinafter referred to as “the Institution” are committed to providing a workplace and environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, free from sexual harassment and retaliation. To ensure compliance with federal and D.C. civil rights laws and regulations, and to affirm its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational program or activity, the Institution has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of sexual harassment or retaliation. Gallaudet values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to respect the rights of the parties in the grievance process during what is often a difficult time for all those involved.
This policy is intended to guide University and the Clerc Center community members that may have observed, become aware of, or experienced sexual harassment. Gallaudet strictly prohibits retaliatory discrimination or harassment against any person(s) for reporting an incident of sexual harassment or for participating, or refusing to participate, in any manner, in procedures to redress complaints related to a report of sexual harassment. This policy pertains to acts of prohibited conduct committed by or against Gallaudet or the Clerc Center community members on University property (i.e., on campus) or other property owned by the University, or at Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus or occurring in the context of a University employment or education program or activity, including, but not limited to, University-sponsored study abroad, research, or internship programs; when Clerc Center students are under the care of the Clerc Center; and/or online and social media conduct that may affect the educational experience.
All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates respect for the rights of others. Creating a safe and non-discriminatory educational environment is the responsibility of all members of the campus community. Every member of the campus community also has a responsibility to become familiar with the Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center Sexual Harassment Policy.
The core purpose of this policy is the prohibition of sexual harassment and discrimination, and ensuring that sexual harassment and discrimination does not interfere with the ability of members of the Gallaudet University community to participate in Gallaudet’s educational program and activities. When an alleged violation of policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution using one of Gallaudet’s grievance processes, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator or designee*, and as detailed in the links below.
When the respondent is a member of the Gallaudet or the Clerc Center community, a grievance process may be available regardless of the status of the Complainant, who may or may not be a member of the Gallaudet community. The Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center community includes individuals having an official capacity and includes, but is not limited to, students, student organizations, faculty, teachers, administrators, staff, and third parties such as guests, visitors, volunteers, independent contractors, vendors, alumni, interns, invitees, and campers, and any individual studying, living, or conducting business at/or for the Institution.
The procedures below may be applied to incidents, to patterns, and/or to the campus climate, all of which may be addressed and investigated in accordance with this policy.
The Title IX Coordinator* oversees implementation of this policy. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating the Institution’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, and resolution of notices and complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation prohibited under this policy and for the implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent sexual harassment and retaliation.
* Anywhere this procedure indicates “Title IX Coordinator,” Gallaudet or the Clerc Center may substitute a trained designee.
This policy is intended to guide University and the Clerc Center community members that may have observed, become aware of, or experienced sexual harassment. This policy pertains to acts of prohibited conduct committed by or against Gallaudet or the Clerc Center community members on University property (i.e., on campus) or other property owned by the University, or at Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus or occurring in the context of a University employment or education program or activity, including, but not limited to, University-sponsored study abroad, research, or internship programs; when Clerc Center students are under the care of the Clerc Center; and/or online and social media conduct that may affect the educational experience.
The University and the Clerc Center may concern itself with conduct off University property (i.e., off campus) or outside the University’s educational programs and activities when such conduct may have a substantial and/or continuing adverse effect or could create a hostile environment for any member of the Gallaudet community or the University. All actions by a member of the University community that involve the use of the University computing and network resources on campus or from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, are under the scope of this policy.
Gallaudet has an obligation to maintain a safe and non-discriminatory educational environment and may also address the behavior of non-members of the University community who have been accused of violation(s) of this policy. The University typically will not conduct an investigation of non-members of the University community (including where the respondent has graduated or left the University and/or the Clerc Center) but may address the situation and provide appropriate resources to impacted individuals and, where appropriate, the broader University community. A non-member of the University community’s role in the University’s investigatory and disciplinary procedures may be limited.
The University may also take appropriate action against non-members of the University community that may include, but is not limited to, barring the non-community member from University property or other property owned by the University, or at University or Clerc Center sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus, and reporting the incident to another school or community law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the individual’s behavior.
It is the policy of Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. Any Gallaudet or Clerc Center employee, student, applicant for admission or employment, or other participant in Gallaudet University and Clerc Center programs or activities, who believes that they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, age, disability, veteran status or other items listed in the D.C. Human Rights Act may direct complaints of discrimination and harassment to the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP).
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the District of Columbia regard sexual harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice. As a result of the U.S. Department of Education’s Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 issued on May 19, 2020, the Institution must narrow both the geographic scope of its authority to act under Title IX and the types of “sexual harassment” that it must subject to its Title IX investigation and adjudication process. Only incidents falling within the Final Rule’s definition of sexual harassment will be investigated and, if appropriate, brought to a live hearing through the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy defined below.
Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center remains committed to addressing any violations of its policies, even those not meeting the narrow standards defined under the Title IX Final Rule.
Specifically, the Institution has a Code of Conduct that defines certain behavior as a violation of campus policy, and a separate Sexual Misconduct Policy that addresses the types of sex-based offenses constituting a violation of campus policy, and the procedures for investigating and adjudicating those sex-based offenses.
To the extent that alleged misconduct falls outside the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, or misconduct falling outside the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy is discovered in the course of investigating covered in the Title IX Sexual Harassment, the institution retains authority to investigate and adjudicate the allegations under the policies and procedures defined within the Sexual Misconduct Policy through a separate grievance proceeding.
The elements established in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy under the Final Rule have no effect and are not transferable to any other policy of the College for any violation of the Code of Conduct, employment policies, or any civil rights violation except as narrowly defined in this Policy. This Policy does not set a precedent for other policies or processes of Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center and may not be cited for or against any right or aspect of any other policy or process.
Gallaudet has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment in order to address the unique environment of an academic community. Any conduct on the basis of sex that meets the following definition may be considered a Title IX violation, and will be addressed using the appropriate Title IX procedures.
Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the actual or attempted offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
Other prohibited conduct on the basis of sex that does not satisfy the above sexual harassment definition under Title IX is also prohibited by Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center. For clarification purposes, the following acts of sexual harassment will be classified as sexual misconduct violations and will be addressed using the appropriate sexual misconduct procedures.
It is a violation of this policy to commit these acts or attempt to commit them; attempts to commit acts prohibited by the policy may be disciplined to the same extent as completed violations. The following conduct is considered sexual misconduct violations, and are as follows:
Sex discrimination is defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities on the basis of sex or gender. Sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy or discrimination in athletics. Such discrimination is addressed by Policy #2.28 (Anti-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure) in the Administrations and Operations Manual.
Complaints should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP).
Where there is an indication that reported harassment may be based on both gender (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression) and another protected class basis (e.g., race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status), the Title IX Coordinator and the Director of EOP will assess the available information in order to determine whether the matter is most appropriately addressed under this Policy, under Policy #2.28, or for different aspects of the matter to be addressed separately under each.
The University’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism in University employee relationships with other employees and students. University employees may be in positions of authority; trust and respect are diminished when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their power.
There are special risks in any sexual or romantic relationship between individuals of inherently unequal power. Such relationships have the potential for conflict of interest, favoritism, exploitation, and bias, and may undermine the real or perceived integrity of the supervision and evaluation provided. There is the potential for sexual harassment when inappropriate personal attention occurs between individuals of inherently unequal power. Such relationships seriously undermine the atmosphere of professionalism, trust and respect essential to the University and hinder the fulfillment of the University’s educational mission.
For these reasons, sexual or romantic relationships or encounters – whether regarded as consensual or otherwise – between individuals of inherently unequal power are strongly discouraged, and in some circumstances, are strictly prohibited by this policy. The fact that a relationship was initially consensual does not insulate the person with greater power from a sexual harassment or sexual misconduct complaint.
No Gallaudet University faculty member shall initiate or accept offers for sexual or romantic encounters or relationships with any undergraduate student.
Sexual or romantic encounters or relationships between faculty and graduate students in the instructional context, or under their academic supervision is prohibited. Sexual encounters or romantic relationships outside of the instructional context or academic supervision can lead to difficulties.
Instructors or other officers should be sensitive to the possibility that he or she may unexpectedly be placed in a position of responsibility for a graduate student’s instruction or evaluation, including mentoring, advising, serving on an admissions or selection committee or being called upon to write a letter of recommendation.
Even in consensual relationships there are certain conditions where a faculty member, by virtue of their special responsibilities and the core educational mission of the University, could be held accountable should a problem arise.
*The Handbook of the University Faculty, #3.2, contains a more detailed policy governing faculty/student relationships.
Relationships between staff with direct or indirect authority over the other (deans and directors of any rank, coaches, academic advisors, residence hall professional staff, security personnel, and other similar employees who advise, mentor or evaluate students) and students can be potentially problematic and is prohibited. Other consensual sexual or romantic relationships between staff and students is not prohibited but should generally be avoided; one needs to be mindful that one may unexpectedly be placed in a position of power over the student in the future.
Sexual or romantic encounters or relationships between students and student paraprofessionals in a teaching, evaluating, advising, mentoring, disciplinary or other position of inherently unequal power is prohibited. Existing relationships that existed prior to obtaining such paraprofessional relationships must be disclosed.
Consensual relationships between employees is not prohibited by this policy. However, relationships between employees who have direct or indirect authority over the other are potentially problematic and must be disclosed. This includes relationships between supervisors and their employees.
The Clerc Center prohibits relationships between all employees and Clerc Center students. Refer to Administration and Operations Policy 1.13: Code of Conduct With Clerc Center Students.
The University is a small community, where there exist many opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to form relationships prior to a situation that creates a potential power imbalance. In such instances, employees and student paraprofessionals are required to disclose to their supervisor(s) in writing of the relationship prior to or immediately when there will be inherently unequal power. It may require recusal from certain supervision, evaluation, or oversight over individuals with whom they have a prior relationship. This ensures that alternate supervisory or evaluative arrangements are put in place. Such notification is always required where recusal is required. This obligation to notify and recuse is required, and the failure to disclose a prior relationship in a timely fashion will itself be considered a violation of the consensual relationship policy.
Consent represents the basis of respectful and healthy intimate relationships. Consent is effective when it is clear, knowing, and voluntary by using mutually understandable words or actions that give permission for specific sexual activity or contact. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the accused individual knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk. There should not be unreasonable pressure for sexual activity, which is coercive conduct.
Passivity is not permission; consent is not the absence of resistance, and silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent to one form of sexual contact or activity does not imply consent to another form of sexual activity. Consent also has time boundaries; consent given at one time does not imply future consent or consent at any other time. The existence of a prior or current relationship does not, in itself, constitute consent. Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. Once consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must stop immediately.
Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on Gallaudet or the Clerc Center to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.
Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center follow the laws of the District of Columbia concerning sexual activity, including regulations regarding age of consent and the age differences between participants in consensual sexual activities.
Specifically, in the District of Columbia, the age of consent for sex is 16 years old. The exception to the age of consent law is if the individuals involved in sexual activity are both minors (younger than 18 years old) and close in age (less than four years apart). While the Clerc Center is in session or while Clerc Center students are under the care of the Clerc Center, all types of sexual activity, on or off campus, are prohibited. Clerc Center students who engage in sexual activity receive consequences outlined in their school Parent-Student Handbook. Consequences differ for sexual activity determined to be consensual than for sexual activity determined to be nonconsensual. A student who engages in sexual activity that violates the District of Columbia age of consent law and/or without the effective consent of the other individual is committing a crime and may be prosecuted.
The standard of proof used to make an outcome determination about facts that are in dispute in all cases and appeals under the purview of this policy is a preponderance of the evidence, which is based upon whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred.
Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. The Institution will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
The Institution and any member of the Institution’s community are prohibited from taking materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and procedure.
Filing a complaint within the Sexual Harassment process could be considered retaliatory if those charges could be applicable under the Title IX process, when the Sexual Misconduct Process charges are made for the purpose of interfering with or circumventing any right or privilege provided afforded within Title IX Process that is not provided by the Sexual Misconduct process. Therefore, the Institution vets all complaints carefully to ensure this does not happen, and to assure that complaints are tracked to the appropriate process.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
Gallaudet and the Clerc Center have developed resolution processes related to this policy to address alleged violations of the Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct policies. For a complete copy of the policy and the resolution processes please visit the Gallaudet University website at gallaudet.edu/title-ix.
Gallaudet and the Clerc Center reserve the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any offense under this policy.
Questions regarding Title IX, including its application and/or concerns about noncompliance, should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. For a complete copy of the policy or for more information, please visit [web link] or contact the Title IX Coordinator. Individuals who believe they have experienced sex discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation in violation of Gallaudet University/Clerc Center policy should contact the following:
Individual with Oversight for All Non-Discrimination
Director, Equal Opportunity Programs
College Hall 322
Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 651-5462 (voice)
Gallaudet University Title IX Coordinator Office
Title IX Coordinator
Office of Human Resources – College Hall B18
Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 759-1734 (videophone/voice)
Gallaudet University Deputy Title IX Coordinator (students)
Director, Student Accountability and Restorative Practices
Student Center Programs and Services – Ely Center 103
Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 759-5598 (videophone)
Clerc Center Title IX Team members:
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Clerc Center
KDES, Room 3202
Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 651-5788 (voice) || (202) 250-2960 (videophone)
Title IX Investigator for Clerc Center
MSSD, Room 214F
Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 250-2798 (videophone)
The above individuals are Officials with Authority (OWA).
The Institution has also classified most employees as Mandated Reporters of any knowledge they have that a member of the community is experiencing sexual harassment and/or retaliation.
The section below on Mandated Reporting details which employees have this responsibility and their duties, accordingly.
A person may also file a complaint with the appropriate federal, state, or local agency within the time frame required by law. Depending upon the nature of the complaint, the appropriate agency may be the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and/or the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights.
Washington, D.C.’s Office of Human Rights
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Washington Field Office
131 M Street, NE – Fourth Floor, Suite 4NWO2F – Washington, DC 20507-0100
Videophone: (844) 234-5122 || Phone: (800) 669-4000 || Facsimile: (202) 419-0739 || TDD#: (800) 669-6820
OCR District/Field Office
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education – 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481 || Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 || TDD#: (877) 521-2172
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Office for Civil Rights, National Headquarters
U.S. Department of Education – Lyndon Baines Johnson Dept. of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-1100
Telephone: 800-421-3481 || Fax: 202-453-6012 || TDD: 800-877-8339
For complaints involving employees:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Washington Field Office – 131 M Street, NE Fourth Floor, Suite 4NW02F Washington, DC. 20407-0100
Phone: 1-800-669-4000 || FAX: 202-419-0739 || TDD: 800-669-6820 || ASL Video Phone: 844-234-5122
Notice or complaints of sexual harassment and/or retaliation may be made by filing a complaint with, or giving verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator or any other internal administrative official as listed above. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone/VP number or email address, or by mail to the office address, listed for the Title IX Coordinator or any other official listed.
Within any resolution process related to this policy, Gallaudet University provides reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and religious accommodations, when that accommodation is consistent with state and federal law.
If a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend the hearing, or because they attend but refuse to participate in some or all questioning, then the Decision-maker(s) may rely on any relevant information available through the investigation and hearing in making the ultimate determination of responsibility. Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may also be considered.
The Decision-maker(s) may not draw any inference solely from a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration
THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY WAS DEVELOPED IN PART FROM THE USE AND ADAPTATION OF THE ATIXA 2020 INTERIM MODEL SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES WITH CITATION TO ATIXA IS PERMITTED THROUGH A LIMITED LICENSE TO GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY AND THE CLERC CENTER. ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED. ©2020. ATIXA. SOME MATERIAL WAS ALSO DEVELOPED IN PART FROM THE USE AND ADAPTION OF THE SUNY STUDENT CONDUCT INSTITUTE MODEL TITLE IX POLICY FOR MEMBERS OF THE STUDENT CONDUCT INSTITUTE, WHICH GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY IS A MEMBER. ©2020 THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Resources and Support
Gallaudet is committed to treating all members of the community with dignity, care and respect. Any individual who experiences or is affected by sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, whether a reporting party, responding party, or third party, will have equal access to support and/or counseling services through the University. Gallaudet takes the necessary steps to reduce the need for reactive intervention by providing preventive and risk education and training and by preparing and disseminating educational print material, videos, workshops, training seminars and academic course offerings related to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Gallaudet encourages reporting of incidents and also attempts to eliminate pressure that might lead University community members to choose to not report a sexual harassment or sexual misconduct incident or to minimize its seriousness by providing a process whereby the parties involved are treated with dignity; privacy and confidentiality are maintained to the fullest extent possible; allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are investigated promptly and thoroughly; and that all members of the Gallaudet University community are provided with full support and assistance.
Your health, safety, and well-being are the University’s primary concern. If you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of sexual harassment or sexual assault including intimate relationship violence, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Individuals who may be victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault (the term used in the District of Columbia Criminal Code) should first go to a safe place where you or the victim is in no immediate danger. Any individual in a medical or other emergency situation should consider going immediately to the Washington Hospital Center for a sexual assault exam or an intimate partner violence (IPV) examination. On-campus contacts identified in the On-Campus Resource listing can provide guidance and support in such instances.
Medical Attention and Preserving the Evidence
Immediately following a sexual assault incident, medical attention and preserving the evidence is first and foremost, as the evidence will be helpful if one decides to pursue criminal action. Many sexual assault violations are also crimes in D.C. or the locality in which the incident occurred; for that reason, individuals experiencing sexual assault often have legal options that they can pursue. Regardless of whether an incident of sexual assault is reported to the police or the University, Gallaudet encourages individuals who have experienced sexual assault to preserve evidence to the greatest extent possible, as this will best maintain all legal options for them in the future. While the University does not conduct forensic tests for parties involved in a complaint of sexual assault, the results of such tests that have been conducted by law enforcement agencies and/or medical assistance providers may be submitted as information to be considered in a University investigation or proceeding, provided that such information is readily available at the time of the investigation or proceeding.
Following a sexual assault incident, one should not douche, bathe, shower, urinate, or change clothes before seeking medical attention, if possible. The location of the incident should not be disturbed, if possible, also to collect evidence for reporting purposes. If there is suspicion that a drink may have been drugged, an individual should inform a medical assistance provider (SANE nurse, for example) and/or law enforcement so that they can attempt to collect possible evidence (e.g. from the drink, through urine or blood sample). Screen shots should be taken of information from electronic communications (text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, or other electronic communications) and photos should be retained. These steps will help to preserve the evidence, if one should choose to report the incident.
Washington Hospital Center is the only local hospital that has a survivor-advocate program and sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) in the District of Columbia. Washington Hospital Center also offers intimate partner violence (IPV) examinations. Other hospitals or health centers may be visited, but SANE at Washington Hospital Center are specifically trained to work with sexual assault survivors. It is recommended to have a sexual assault nurse examine you within 96 hours of the incident, but even if 96 hours has passed since the incident, a medical examination should be conducted as soon as possible. The sexual assault nurse examination may include STI, HIV, and pregnancy testing and medical treatment. The victim has the right to decline any medical services.
DAWN and the Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) offer a survivor-advocate program, if one wishes to have someone with them during the medical exam. The authorities will be contacted to take a report of the incident at the hospital, if requested. An interpreter will be provided by the Washington Hospital Center.
Regardless of whether or not a student chooses to formally report sexual harassment including sexual assault, it is important that he or she get appropriate medical attention and emotional support. University community members can contact any of the listed confidential resources for confidential help in deciding what to do next or for assistance in accessing other resources. Individuals who choose not to formally report an incident can still receive services from the offices listed under On-Campus Resources and Off-Campus Resources.
Educational and Prevention Programs
Gallaudet is committed to the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct through educational and awareness programs. Gallaudet takes the necessary steps to reduce the need for reactive intervention by providing preventive and risk education and training and by preparing and disseminating educational print material, videos, workshops, training seminars, and academic course offerings related to sexual harassment, misconduct, intimate relationship violence, and stalking throughout the year. Prevention program topics include an overview of the Universities’ policies and procedures, relevant definitions, including prohibited conduct, effective consent, the impact of alcohol and illegal drug use, safe and positive options for bystander intervention (including “Green Dot” training), awareness campaigns such as “Take Back the Night” and “Dare to Utter”, and information about risk reduction. Incoming first year students are required to take an online course, “Haven” that addresses sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, and receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation. An online training module provided by EverFi is also offered to all students and employees on an annual basis. A majority of educational programs and materials include a review of resources and reporting options available for students.
Sexual Misconduct – Risk Reduction Tips (from the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual misconduct are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. The following are suggestions to help individuals reduce their risk of being victimized and their risk of committing acts of sexual misconduct.
Reducing the risk of victimization:
Reducing the risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:
Safe and Positive Options for Bystander Intervention
Bystander intervention is an act of standing up against power-based personal violence. It can be any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that promotes safety for all our community members and communicates intolerance for violence. We want to have the best college experience and should be able to feel safe on campus. One way to do that is for peers to watch out for each other. The following strategies of bystander intervention (from the Green Dot program) are options to try when you see something that concerns you.
On and Off Campus Resources
The on-campus resources listed below are able to assist those who come to them with a concern related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, or stalking.
University community members have the right to file a report with the District of Columbia Police and are provided information on how to access them. Individuals are advised of options, as provided by District and Federal laws and regulations, with regard to testing sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and the concomitant (accompanying) right to be notified of the results of such testing.
A variety of external resources are available for victims, including the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, which provides counseling sessions and referrals to legal, medical, and counseling facilities and resources.
DC Code Definitions and Statutes
The District of Columbia criminal law does not define the term “sexual assault”, as such. However, the District of Columbia has defined crimes known as sexual abuse. The crimes distinguish between sexual acts and sexual contacts. The specified meaning of those terms is set forth below.
Sexual act means:
Sexual contact means the touching with any clothed or unclothed body part or any object, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3002)
A person commits First Degree Sexual Abuse if that person engages in or causes another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act in the following manner:
Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3003)
A person commits Second Degree Sexual Abuse if that person engages in or causes another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act in the following manner:
Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3004)
A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree if that person engages in or causes sexual contact with or by another person in the following manner:
Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3005)
A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the fourth degree if that person engages in or causes sexual contact with or by another person in the following manner:
Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3006)
Whoever engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with another person and who should have knowledge or reason to know that the act was committed without that other person’s permission, is guilty of misdemeanor sexual abuse.
Consent means words or overt actions indicating a freely given agreement to the sexual act or contact in question. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by the victim, resulting from the use of force, threats or coercion by the defendant shall not constitute consent. Consent is a defense to sexual abuse (in the 1st through the 4th degree) and misdemeanor sexual abuse.
In the District of Columbia, domestic violence can be defined as 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, dating partner, or family member.
The term “domestic violence” includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This consists of any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone. The District of Columbia also defines domestic violence by reference to the terms intimate partner violence and IntraFamily Violence.
The term intimate partner violence means “an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:
The term intrafamily violence means “an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person to whom the offender is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership or with whom the offender has a child in common.”
The District of Columbia does not define the term dating violence, as such. However, reference is made to dating relationships and other intimate relationships in the definition of domestic violence. Accordingly, dating violence is a form of domestic violence.
Dating violence can be properly defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any romantic, dating, intimate or sexual relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner or dating partner. The term “dating violence” includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This consists of any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.
The act of stalking occurs when a person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual with the intent to cause that individual to:
“To engage in a course of conduct” means directly or indirectly, or through one or more third persons, in person or by any means, on 2 or more occasions, to:
Definitions and Terms: Violence Against Women Act (from 42 USC § 13925) and The Clery Center for Security on Campus
Domestic violence: The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed:
Dating violence: The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:
For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Stalking: The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
For the purposes of this definition, course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Sexual Assault: The term “sexual assault” is an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape.
Sex Offenses: The term “sex offenses” means any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
 Not to be confused with those mandated by state law to report child abuse, elder abuse, and/or abuse of individuals with disabilities to appropriate officials, though these responsibilities may overlap with those who have mandated reporting responsibility in this Policy.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Copyright © 2023 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.
800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002