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 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 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 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 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 misconduct including intimate relationship violence, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Individuals who may be victims of sexual misconduct 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 misconduct 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 misconduct violations are also crimes in D.C. or the locality in which the incident occurred; for that reason, individuals experiencing sexual misconduct often have legal options that they can pursue. Regardless of whether an incident of sexual misconduct is reported to the police or the University, Gallaudet encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct 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 misconduct, 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 misconduct, 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."
Privacy and Confidentiality
Different positions on campus have different reporting responsibilities, and varying requirements to maintain your confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the University. When consulting campus resources, University community members should be aware of the expectations concerning confidentiality and privacy, and that many employees and some student employees are mandatory reporters, in order to make an informed decision.
Privacy and confidentiality have distinctive meanings; privacy generally means that the information will be shared with a limited number of individuals with the "need to know" in order to perform their assigned responsibilities, while confidentiality means that the information cannot be revealed to any other individual without the expressed permission of the individual. Gallaudet is committed to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual misconduct. On campus, some resources may maintain your confidentiality completely, offering you options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone, unless you want them to. Other resources are expressly there for you to privately report crimes and code of conduct violations, and they will take action when you report to them.
When information is shared with a confidential resource identified in this policy, it does not have to be reported further, and will not result in an investigation by the University. Exceptions where a confidential resource will not honor confidentiality are when there is an imminent danger to oneself or to others, or when there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse of a minor. If you desire that details of the incident be kept confidential, you should speak to the following on-campus confidential resources:
Office of the Ombuds, Ely Center 113, (202) 559-5079 (VP), email@example.com.
The Office of the Ombuds is where students can go to get confidential, impartial, independent, and informal assistance and conflict resolution.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, 3rd Floor, (202) 250-2300 (VP), firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Office of Campus Ministries, Ely Center 114-118, (202) 651-5102 (V), email@example.com.
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. Members of the clergy acting in their official capacity of providing spiritual counsel, support, or ministry (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report sexual misconduct. 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.
Student Health Service, Peter J. Fine Health Center, (202) 651-5090 (V), firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Employee Assistance Program, (800) 607-1552 (V)
The Employee Assistance Program provides assistance to employees who may be experiencing personal difficulties. The program, under APS Healthcare, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is provided to employees at no cost.
Additionally, all of the off-campus resources listed in the Off-Campus Confidential Resource section are confidential resources.
University community members or third parties who wish to directly report a concern or complaint relating to sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, or stalking may do so by reporting the concern or complaint to the Title IX Coordinator. Individuals may also report a concern or a complaint to any of the non-confidential resources listed on the On-Campus Resources section with their contact information as well as to "responsible employees" on campus. Reports or disclosures made to any other non-confidential University employee will be directed to the Title IX Coordinator for further review. If personally identifiable information must be shared, it will be shared with as few people as possible (on a need-to-know basis), and reasonable efforts will be made to protect privacy.
Responsible employees, with the exception of confidential resources as identified in this policy, are mandatory reporters, which means that they are required to share the known details of a report with the Title IX Coordinator, including the names of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, specific location, and nature of the alleged incident. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling Gallaudet's response to the report.
The following offices and individuals are prepared to receive reports of sexual misconduct:
Title IX Coordinator, Director of Equal Opportunity Programs/Affirmative Action (EOP/AA), College Hall 312, (202) 559-5683 (VP), (202) 651-5462 (V), email@example.com.
The EOP/AA officer and Title IX Coordinator assist with problem resolution and responds to complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, stalking, and harassment against staff and faculty (and students if a particular complaint not being resolved through the OSC Investigative Team).
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, Director - Office of Student Conduct, Ely Center 103, (202) 250-2513 (VP), (202) 448-6901 (V), firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Director of the Office of Student Conduct serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students and a member of the OSC Investigative Team that includes the OSC Title IX Investigator. The Director assists with problem resolution and responds to complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, and stalking against students.
Title IX Investigator - Office of Student Conduct, Ely Center 103, (202) 759-5598 (vp), email@example.com.
The Title IX Investigator in the Office of Student Conduct reviews and/or investigates reports of sexual misconduct allegedly committed by students, along with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students.
Department of Public Safety, Carlin Hall Basement, (202) 651-5555, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) makes an official report at the request of the reporting party. DPS also provides information on University resources as well as how to contact outside agencies, and assists in contacting these agencies when necessary.
Other Confidentiality Considerations
The University considers complaints and investigations conducted under this policy to be private matters for the parties involved. When a complaint is made the University will take reasonable steps to protect the privacy of all involved. Only the people who need to know as part of their professional responsibilities will be told, and information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, the complainant and the respondent.
The complainant, respondent and any witnesses will be notified of the potential for compromising the integrity of the investigation by disclosing information about the case and the expectation that they keep such information, including documents they may review, confidential. They are encouraged to exercise discretion in sharing information in order to safeguard the integrity of the process and to avoid the appearance of retaliation. The complainant and respondent should understand that the failure to maintain discretion and privacy may result in negative consequences impacting the adjudication of the complaint, and that over-sharing can result in unintended consequences such as retaliation, the creation and exacerbation of a hostile environment, and may damage the credibility and integrity of witnesses or information relevant to the resolution of the complaint.
While discretion regarding the process is important, complainants and respondents are not restricted from discussing and sharing information, such as with others who may support or assist them as advisors or support persons or with their families or guardians.
Complainants and witnesses sometime ask that their names not be disclosed to the individual(s) involved in an alleged violation of this policy or ask that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued to address the alleged sexual misconduct. The University will try to honor such requests; at the same time this will limit its ability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against any individual. While the University supports such requests for confidentiality there are situations that necessitates the University override an individual's request for confidentiality in order to meet its Title IX obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the University community. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate such requests as described in the "Initial Review" section.
It should be noted that compliance with the Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) or the Clery Act does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The University can disclose to student complainants the final determination of any investigation or disciplinary process involving a "sex offense", including any sanction that is imposed against the respondent.
All individuals involved in the process should understand that any and all documents provided to and maintained by the University - including complaints, responses, statements, investigative reports, documents, and other information in a case file may be subject to disclosure by subpoena or court order at any time. The University will inform the appropriate party of such a request unless otherwise prohibited by law.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, or stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential. Statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on- or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. The information shared includes the date, the location of the incident and the crime (using Clery location categories). This reporting protects the identity of the student and may be done anonymously.
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose information about campus crime. Gallaudet files a report of campus crime statistics annually with the Department of Education. The report includes crime statistics for the past three calendar years, and do not include any identifiable information (e.g. names, addresses, etc.). For more information, visit the DPS website at http://www.gallaudet.edu/public-safety.
Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations
University community members making complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate relationship violence, or stalking should also be aware that University administrators may issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them, especially those that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the University community. The Department of Public Safety makes such determinations. The University will make every effort to ensure that an individual's name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community member to make safety decisions in light of the danger. In instances where an alleged incident occurs between two individuals and no ongoing threat to other Gallaudet community members is present, a timely warning notice would not be distributed.
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 28, 2018
UPDATED: August 28, 2018