Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence
Click here to review Temple’s Sexual Assault Policy
Types of Sexual Misconduct
Interpersonal violence is inflicted by an individual or small group of individuals, and includes intentional use of force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. Interpersonal violence includes the following:
- Sexual Assault
- Domestic Abuse
- Dating Violence
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 the following:
- Forced sexual intercourse
- Unwanted or coerced sexual acts
- Forcible sodomy
- Child molestation
- Attempted rape
Domestic abuse is 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. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions. Perpetrators of domestic violence often employ more than one of these actions while victimizing a partner.
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is in or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.
Stalking is unlike many other crimes because it involves a series or a pattern of behaviors. It can consist of a wide variety of acts including, but not limited to:
- Unwanted phone calls, mail, e-mails text messages, instant messaging, and Facebook or twitter posts or messages
- Following, tracking with GPS, making unwanted appearances at victim’s home, workplace, or social location
- Sending or leaving gifts, vandalizing property, and/or harming pets.
- Stalking may include violent acts against a victim or to gain a victim's attention.
Reporting Sexual Assault at Temple:
If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted Contact Campus Safety Services or call at 215-204-1234 (1-1234 from any campus phone) to report the incident.
Any Temple staff will help you to contact resources to report incidents and to get help. Reports may be made confidentially and/or anonymously. Counseling is available for free for any Temple student through Tuttleman Counseling Services. Temple staff will facilitate any necessary changes in academic and living situations whenever possible.
Try to Preserve Evidence
It is important to preserve evidence when reporting a sexual assault. If possible, do not shower or wash your clothing following a sexual assault, as that may aid in the investigation.
If You See Someone in Danger of Being Assaulted
- Step in and offer assistance. Ask if the person needs help. Before stepping in, make sure to evaluate the risk. If it means putting yourself in danger, call Campus Safety at 215-204-1234 (1-1234 on campus) or 911.
- Don’t leave. If you remain at the scene and are a witness, the perpetrator is less likely to do anything.
- If you know the perpetrator, tell him or her that you do not approve of what s/he is doing. Ask him or her to leave the potential victim alone.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other frequently and leave together.
- Have a buddy system. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if you are worried about her/his safety.
- If you see someone who is intoxicated, assist them in getting home safely.
If you know someone who has been assaulted:
- Listen and be available. Let them open up at their own pace and try to be patient, gentle, and sensitive.
- Believe without judgement.
- Recognize that dealing with sexual assault is a process, and will take some time.
- Respect the decisions that your friend makes. Your friend may not have told anyone else or “taken action” after their experience but this is their choice.
- Understand the impact of the trauma on friends/family/individual.
- Help to empower your friend. Sexual assault is a crime that takes away an individual’s power, it is important not to compound this experience by putting pressure on your friend to do things that he or she is not ready to do yet.
- Encourage your friend to report the sexual assault to law enforcement (call Temple Campus Safety at 215-204-1234 or 1-1234 on campus). Any Temple staff will help you to contact resources to report incidents and to get help.
- Let your friend know that professional help is available for free through Tuttleman Counseling Services.
- If your friend is willing to seek medical attention or report the assault, offer to accompany them wherever they need to go.
- Offer additional support. Tuttleman Counseling, Campus Safety Services, the Wellness Resource Center, and Student Health Services can provide assistance.
Consent for any sexual activity is the centerpiece for preventing sexual coercion and unwanted sexual behavior. Consent can and should be incorporated as an essential part of sexual communication.
Importance of Consent
- Consent is a voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement.
- Consent is an active agreement; Consent cannot be coerced.
- Consent is a process; it must be granted every step of the way.
- Consent is never implied and cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner.
- A person who is intoxicated cannot legally give consent. If you are too drunk to make decisions and communicate clearly with your partner, you are too drunk to consent.
- The absence of a "NO" is NOT a "YES"
- Both partners must be involved in the decision to have sex.
Why is Consent Important?
- Communication, respect, and honesty make sex and relationships better.
- Asking for and obtaining consent shows that you have respect for yourself and your partner.
- Asking for consent eliminates the entitlement that one partner feels over the other. Neither your body nor your sexuality belongs to someone else.
How to Ask for Consent
- Show your partner that you respect them enough to ask about their sexual needs and desires. This may feel awkward at first, but practice will make it more natural.
- When should you ask for consent? You need to ask for consent before you take any action. It is the responsibility of the person initiating the sex act to obtain clear consent. If you are not sure that consent has been given, you should not act. Giving consent earlier does not waive the person's right to change his or her mind.
- How should you ask for consent? Consent is not just about getting a yes or no answer, but about understanding what your partner is feeling. Ask open-ended questions. Listen to and respect your partner's response, whether you hear a yes or no. Try statements like: "I'd really like to...how does that sound?", "How does this feel to you?", and "What would you like to do?"