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Sexual Assault

If you or someone you know experiences violoence, you're not alone. Help is available.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. (USDOJ

Student Conduct Policy

As a community, the university has developed a code of standards and expectations that are consistent with its purpose as an educational institution. The Student Conduct Policies and Procedures articulate these standards. Students are held accountable for violations of these policies through the university conduct system.  

Information about completed or attempted sexual assault is listed on page 6 of the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures PDF document. 

Questions concerning student conduct policies and procedures should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct, 307 Pratt Hall, (724) 357-1264.

Know the Facts 

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN):

  • Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
  • One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of sexual assault.
  • One in six women and one in six men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • College aged women are four times more likely to experience sexual assault.
  • Approximately two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.

Consent

According to The Source:

  • Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter.
  • Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no.” A clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary.
  • Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply present or future consent.
  •  Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.
  • Consent cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force.
  • Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or some other condition. A person is mentally or physically incapacitated when that person lacks the ability to make or act on decisions to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be obtained from a person whom you know, or reasonably should know, to be incapacitated.

Questions concerning The Sources definition of consent should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct, 307 Pratt Hall, (724) 357-1264.

If You’ve been Assaulted

It is not your fault if you experience sexual assault. Below is a list of steps you may consider taking after an assault. Please remember, the road to healing may be a tough one, but you certainly don’t have to travel it alone.  If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about an assault, you may contact the IUP Counseling Center at (724) 357-2621 and/or the Haven Project at (724) 357-4799. 

You may also call your local crisis hotline. Information is listed below. 

Seeking Medical Attention 

If you have been abused or assaulted, you may need medical care. To get medical help, immediately go to the nearest emergency department. If you were sexually assaulted, you should receive information about disease and pregnancy prevention. You can also have evidence collected at an emergency department. Evidence collection should occur as soon as possible. 

To preserve evidence, you should not: 

  • Shower, bathe, wash any part of your body
  • Use the restroom
  • Change clothes
  • Comb hair
  • Clean up the crime scene
  • Move anything the offender may have touched

If you are a student and do not wish to have evidence collection completed, you can seek medical care at the Health Service at the Center for Health and Well-Being

Seeking Emotional Support

IUP’s Counseling Center is part of the Haven Project. Confidential services are available by calling (724) 357-2621. Survivors of sexual violence often find counseling an important part of their healing. Whether the violence was recent or a long time ago, you can receive help. 

Reporting Sexual Violence

You have the right to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to the police. To file a criminal complaint, contact University Police at (724) 357-2621 or call 9-1-1-.

If the perpetrator is affiliated with IUP, you can also report the violence to the university. 

  • If the perpetrator is an IUP student, you can report to the Office of Student Conduct. Student Conduct will investigate the alleged violence. Information about this process and possible sanctions are available in the student handbook, The Source.
  • If the perpetrator is a university employee, volunteer, or vendor, report to the associate vice president for Human Resources.

You can also report to the university without filing a criminal complaint. 

Reporting to the police may seem intimidating. You can request that an advocate accompany you by calling your local crisis hotline. Information is listed below. 

Victims are not required to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to the police or the Office of Student Conduct. You can receive university services regardless of whether or not you report an act of violence. Because the university wants to prevent future sexual violence, you are encouraged to report.