Academics
Areas of Study

Important Links

Administrations and Operations Policy #1.13 (Clerc Center)

Administrations and Operations Policy #1.27:  Bullying in the Workplace

Administrations and Operations Policy #2.28:  Anti-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure Title IX Office

Administration and Operations Policy #3.01:  Equal Employment Opportunity

The Handbook of the University Faculty

Appendix

  1. Glossary
  2. Resources and Support
  3. Educational and Prevention Programs
  4. Sexual Misconduct Risk Reduction Tips
  5. Safe and Positive Options for Bystander Intervention
  6. On and Off Campus Resources
  7. DC Code Definitions and Statutes
  8. Definition of Terms: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Clery Center for Security on Campus

A.  Glossary

  • Advisor means a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
  • Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could sexual harassment based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
  • Complaint (formal) means a document submitted or signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the Institution investigate the allegation.
  • Confidential Resource means an employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of notice of harassment and/or retaliation (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
  • Day means a business day when the Institution is in normal operation.
  • Education program or activity means locations, events, or circumstances where Gallaudet or the Clerc Center exercise substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.
  • Final Determination: A conclusion by preponderance of the evidence that the alleged conduct did or did not violate policy.
  • Finding: A conclusion by preponderance of the evidence that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged (as in a “finding of fact”).
  • Formal Complaint means a document submitted or signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment by a Respondent.
  • Formal Grievance Process means “Title IX Process,” a method of formal resolution designated by the Institution to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of the Title IX regulations (34 CFR 106.45).
  • Grievance Process Pool includes any investigators, decision maker(s), appeal officers, and Advisors who may perform any or all of these roles (though not at the same time or with respect to the same case).
  • Hearing Decision-maker or Panel refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within the Institution’s Formal Grievance process.
  • Investigator means the person or persons charged by the Title IX Coordinator or designee with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
  • Mandated Reporter means an employee of Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of harassment and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. [8]
  • Notice means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.
  • Official with Authority (OWA) means an employee of Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for sexual harassment and/or retaliation on behalf of the Institution.
  • Parties include the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
  • Title IX Process means the Formal Grievance Process detailed below and defined above.
  • Sexual Misconduct Process means any process designated by the Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center to apply only when the alleged misconduct falls outside the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
  • Gallaudet University means a postsecondary education program that is an Institution of federal funding.
  • The Clerc Center means an elementary and secondary education program that is an Institution of federal funding.
  • Remedies are post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to Gallaudet or the Clerc Center’s educational program.
  • Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity 
  • Resolution means the result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
  • Sanction means a consequence imposed by the Institution on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
  • Sexual Harassment is the umbrella category including the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence and domestic violence.
  • Title IX Coordinator is the official designated by Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center to ensure compliance with Title IX and Gallaudet University/the Clerc Center’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this policy may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.
  • Title IX Team refers to the Title IX Coordinator, any deputy coordinators, and/or any member of the Grievance Process Pool.

B. 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.

Immediate Response

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.

Follow-up Care

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.

C. 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.

D. 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:

  • If you have limits or boundaries, make them known as early as possible.
  • Clearly and firmly articulate consent or lack of consent.
  • Remove yourself, if possible, from the physical presence of the sexual aggressor.
  • Reach out for help, either from someone who is physically nearby or by contacting someone via phone/text message. People around you may be waiting for a signal that you need help.
  • Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug consumption. Alcohol and/or drugs can increase your vulnerability to sexual victimization.
  • Look out for your friends and ask them to look out for you. Respect them, and ask them to respect you, but be willing to challenge each other about high-risk choices.

Reducing the risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Show your potential partner respect if you are in a position of initiating sexual behavior
  • If a potential partner says “no”, accept it and don’t push. If you want a “yes”, ask for it, and don’t proceed without clear permission.
  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your potential sexual partners, and give them a chance to share their intentions and/or boundaries with you.
  • Respect personal boundaries. If you are unsure what’s OK in any interaction, ask.
  • Avoid ambiguity. Don’t make assumptions about consent, about whether someone is attracted to you, how far you can go with that person, or if the individual is physically and mentally able to consent. If you have questions or are unclear, you don’t have consent.
  • Don’t take advantage of the fact that someone may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if that person made that choice. Others’ loss of control does not put you in control.
  • Be on the lookout for mixed messages. That should be a clear indication to stop and talk about what your potential partner wants or doesn’t want to happen. That person may be undecided about how far to go with you, or you may have misread a previous signal.
  • Respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which others are comfortable, and understand that they are able to change their minds.
  • Recognize that even if you don’t think you are intimidating in any way, your potential partner may be intimidated by or fearful of you, perhaps because of your sex, physical size, or a position of power or authority you may hold.
  • Do not assume that someone’s silence or passivity is an indication of consent. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal signals to avoid misreading intentions.
  • Understand that consent to one type of sexual behavior does not automatically grant consent to other types of sexual behaviors. If you are unsure, stop and ask.
  • Understand that exerting power and control over another through sex is unacceptable conduct.

 E. 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.

Direct!

  • Ask someone if they are ok or if they need help
  • Make eye contact with a person, and make a questioning face and mouth, “ok?”
  • Tell someone to stop what they are doin
  • Make eye contact with the person and shake head “no”
  • Walk a person away from the situation
  • Take a person to their dorm
  • Set up check points at different locations to make sure people are ok

Delegate!

  • Ask someone from their circle of friends to help them out
  • Ask a person you trust to walk them back to their dorm
  • Get a friend to check on the person
  • Notify DPS
  • Identify someone who is very good with people and ask them to check out what is going on
  • Ask Residence Life to have check points to make sure people are ok
  • Notify Campus Activities (student events on campus)

Distract!

  • Interrupt the couple and ask to speak with one of them
  • Interrupt the couple and get them to come over to play a game or look at something
  • Ask the person to come and help you with a task
  • Change the subject away from what is causing tension
  • Walk the person away from the situation
  • Move the person away from the area with alcohol and give them something non-alcoholic to drink and some food

F. On and Off Campus Resources

On-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.

  1. Department of Public Safety, Carlin Hall Basement, (202) 651-5555 V/SMS, Contact here. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) makes an official report at the request of the student. DPS also provides information on how to contact outside agencies and assists in contacting these agencies when necessary.
  2. Title IX Coordinator, College Hall B18, (202) 759-1734 (VP), Contact here. Title IX Coordinator assist with problem resolution and responds to complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, and stalking against students, staff and faculty
  3. Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, Director – Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (SARP), Ely Center 103, (202) 759-5598 (VP), amy.rousseau Contact here. The Director of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students. The Director assists with problem resolution and responds to complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, and stalking against students.
  4. Health and Wellness Programs, Ely Center 103, (202) 651-5432, Contact here. The Director of Health and Wellness Programs serves as the central source of sexual misconduct information and referral for students, and coordinates support for staff and faculty who respond to student concerns. In addition, Health and Wellness Programs develop and conduct prevention/risk reduction workshops for all incoming students and prepares and disseminates educational pamphlets, fact sheets, and articles concerning sexual misconduct.
  5. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, 3rd Floor, (202) 250-2300 (VP), Contact here. Counselors are available during the day and may be contacted for emergency situations after office hours by the Department of Public Safety. CAPS provides confidential crisis management, short term therapy, and group therapy (depending on the number of students with similar concerns/issues). CAPS also provides a referral list of area agencies and private practitioners.
  6. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Ally (LGBTQA) Center, HMB S141.The LGBTQA Center strives to provide a supportive and responsive environment for individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions that promote equity, inclusion, academic success and social justice.
  7. Office of Campus Ministries, Ely Center 114-118, (202) 651-5102 (V), Contact here. The Office of Campus Ministries (OCM) provides a variety of confidential counseling services to students, including personal counseling and crisis management in either individual or group settings. The OCM also makes referrals and works with other on-campus and off-campus offices and agencies to meet the needs of individuals in crisis.
  8. Office of the Ombuds, Ely Center 113, (202) 559-5079 (VP), Contact here. The Office of the Ombuds is where students can go to get confidential, impartial, independent, and informal assistance and conflict resolution.
  9. Office of Residence Life and Housing, Ely Center 132, (202) 250-2233 (VP), Contact here, or at CRE/GA offices in any residence halls. The Office of Residence Life and Housing provides immediate response through on-site or on-call staff. The Office of Residence Life and Housing, when directly involved in the initial contact of the student, is responsible for stabilizing the situation and assisting with contacts to other campus personnel. The Office of Residence Life and Housing can also provide emergency housing relocation and, together with Counseling and Psychological Services and/or Department of Public Safety, will arrange for transportation to the hospital, if necessary. The Office of Residence Life and Housing also provides educational materials and programs for students.
  10. Student Health Service, Peter J. Fine Health Center, (202) 651-5090 (V), Contact here. During hours of operation, Student Health Service (SHS) provides confidential first aid and referral services for students who experienced sexual misconduct. SHS also screens and treats sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and provides appropriate follow-up care.

Off-Campus Resources

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.

Washington Hospital Center

Emergency and Trauma

110 Irving Street NW

Washington, DC 20010

http://www.medstarwashington.org

202-877-7000 (V)

Provides a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program (professional rape exam), medical attention, follow-up care and referrals, screening and STI treatment.

DAWN

5321 First Place NE

Washington, DC 20011

http://www.deafdawn.org

202-559-5366 (VP)

202-742-1730 (Fax)

hotline@deafdawn.org (Mon – Fri, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)

E-mail: info@deafdawn.org

Focuses on deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; DAWN provides an e-mail hotline Mondays through Fridays between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; DAWN also provides individual professional counseling, support groups, and serves as advocates.

 

D.C. Rape Crisis Center

http://www.dcrcc.org

202-232-0789 Business

202-333-RAPE (7273) 24-hour Hotline

202-328-1371 (TTY)

202-387-3812 (Fax)

E-mail: dcrcc@dcrcc.org

Provides individual counseling and companion service.

 

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit (DHHU)

801 Shepherd Street NW

Washington, DC 20011

http://www.mpdc.dc.gov

Hours: 24 hours, daily

202-727-5437 (TTY)

202-698-0289 (V)

202-727-8453 (Fax)

E-mail: mpd.dhhu@dc.gov

For immediate police service, always call 911Provides the following services: sign language interpretation to aid deaf and hard of hearing citizens in their interaction with MPD, making official reports off-campus, assisting in contacting outside organizations, and leading investigations.

 

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)

2000 L Street NW, Suite 406

Washington, DC 20036

1-800-656-HOPE (V)

202-544-1034 (V)

202-544-3556 (Fax)

E-mail: info@rainn.org

http://www.rainn.org http://online.rainn.org (online hotline)

 

National Center for Victims of Crime

Stalking Resource Center

2000 M Street NW, Suite 480

Washington, DC 20036

202-467-8700 (V)

202-467-8701 (V)

https://victimsofcrime.org/stalking-resource-center/

The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. They are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. One of their programs is the Stalking Resource Center.

 

Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC)

5321 First Place NE

Washington, DC 20011

202-742-1720 (V)

www.nvrdc.org

Network for Victim Recovery of DC aims to change the impact of victimization by providing holistic, comprehensive services to all crime victims in DC. By meeting a victim where they are at, NVRDC staff provides civil and criminal legal services, advocacy, and case management.

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (V)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

www.thehotline.org

UASK DC”U ASK DC” phone app

www.uaskdc.org

U ASK is a project of Men Can Stop Rape and the District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor Office of Victim Services. It provides secure and confidential services on sexual assault in the District of Columbia and specifically on DC college campuses.

 

DeafLead Videophone Crisis Line

321-800-3323Text HAND to 839863

https://www.deafinc.org/deaflead/

DeafLEAD has a 24/7/365 nationwide crisis videophone hotline service to Deaf individuals who are victims of crime. Deaf individuals are now able to access immediate assistance and resources that are both culturally and linguistically accessible using a trauma-informed approach.

 

Licensed Professional Counselors Inquire with the Counseling and Psychological Services for a list of licensed professional counselors serving the deaf and hard of hearing locally and, if available, in your hometown.

G. DC Code Definitions and Statutes

Sexual Assault

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:

  1. The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva of another by a penis;
  2. Contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; or
  3. The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

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: 

  1. By using force against that other person;
  2. By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury or kidnapping;
  3. After rendering that other person unconscious; or
  4. After administering to that other person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that other person, a drug, intoxicant or other similar substance that substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control his or her conduct.

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:

  1. By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping); or
  2. Where the person knows or has reason to know that the other person is:
    1. 1.Incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct;
    2. 2.Incapable of declining participation in that sexual act; or
    3. 3.Incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual act.

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:

  1. By using force against that other person;
  2. By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping;
  3. After rendering that person unconscious; or
  4. After administering to that person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that other person, a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance that substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control his or her conduct.

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: 

  1. By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping); or
  2. Where the person knows or has reason to know that the other person is:
    1. Incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct;
    2. Incapable of declining participation in that sexual contact; or
    3. Incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual contact.

 

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

 

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.

 

Domestic Violence

 

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:

  1. To whom the offender is or was married;
  2. With whom the offender is or was in a domestic partnership; or
  3. With whom the offender is or was in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship.

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.”

Dating Violence

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.

Stalking

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:

  1. Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;
  2. Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or
  3. Suffer emotional distress.

Such conduct constitutes the crime of stalking if that the person knows the conduct would cause that individual reasonably to: 

  1. Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;
  2. Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or
  3. Suffer emotional distress.

“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:

  1. Follow, monitor, place under surveillance, threaten, or communicate to or about another individual;
  2. Interfere with, damage, take, or unlawfully enter an individual’s real or personal property or threaten or attempt to do so; or
  3. Use another individual’s personal identifying information. 

H. 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: 

  • by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; 
  • by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime or violence occurred;
  • by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime or violence occurred.

Dating violence: The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

  1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
  1. The length of the relationship 
  2. The type of relationship 
  3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

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:

  1. fear for his or her safety or the safety of others: or
  2. suffer substantial emotional distress

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.

  • Rape – The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • Fondling – The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental capacity.
  • Incest – Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

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Title IX

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(202) 651-5352

(202) 651-5344

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