Stalking, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault
There are many forms of sexual misconduct that fall under Gonzaga's policy. For specifics, please see the Student Handbook at www.gonzaga.edu/studenthandbook. A few common forms are highlighted below to give you some ideas of how to notice the behaviors and what to do.
Stalking isn't just someone creepy following you. It's someone who persistently and continuously contacts you again that your wishes, someone who continuously calls and texts after having been told to stop, someone who just always seems to show up wherever you are. Stalking goes on after the person has been asked to stop. Examples of stalking type behaviors include:
- Continuing contact after requested not to
- Always seeming to "show up" where the other person is
- Unwanted contact via phone, mail, electronic means (e-mail, social networking sites, etc)
- Leaving unwanted gifts
- Threats, intimidation, or intrusive behavior
- Breaking into car, house, etc.
At Gonzaga, stalking that is based on your sex or gender is considered a violation of Title IX and is considered sexual misconduct. Stalking that is not based on sex or gender is still a violation of Gonzaga's policies.
If you want someone to stop contacting you, don't be afraid to be direct and firm about saying that you aren't interested or requesting that this person stop contacting you. This conversation can be hard-sometimes people are worried about being mean, and instead become too nice in how they say something. Being too nice or leaving an opening for future communication could be interpreted as an open invitation. Don't worry about coming off as rude-being blunt, direct, and firm is very important. Have a friend or support person with you when you have this conversation. This person is there not only to support you, but also to witness this conversation.
Unfortunately, technology such as social networking sites has made stalking much easier. Remove personal information, such as address and cell phone numbers from your accounts. Lock your profile so that only those you allow can see information about you. Don't post information online about where you are going or who you are with.
If you feel you are being stalked, contact Campus Security (509-313-2222) or Spokane Police (911) immediately. It's important that you report what is happening so that you can receive support and assistance. Click on the Support and Resources tap on the left to learn more about support and assistance that is available.
Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Violence)
Intimate partner violence includes situations in which one partner is physically, emotionally or sexually abused by the other partner. Intimate partner violence can occur between individuals who are dating, married, sexually intimate, or who reside together. Intimate partner violence can occur between individuals of the same or opposite sex. This is often commonly referred to as domestic or dating violence.
Intimate partner violence, commonly referred to by students as domestic violence, is something that many students think could never happen to them. It can take many forms including physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. This type of violence is often about control over another person. In most cases, domestic abuse starts with small things-threats, nitpicking, or verbal insults, and moves to physical abuse. Domestic violence doesn't only happen in heterosexual relationships. In fact, the rate of domestic violence in same-sex relationships is roughly the same as domestic violence committed by heterosexual mean against heterosexual women. Domestic violence that is based on sex or gender is a violation of Title IX and is also a violation of Gonzaga's sexual misconduct policy. Domestic abuse or violence that is not based on sex or gender is still a violation of Gonzaga's Student Code of Conduct.
The first sign of an abusive relationship may be realizing that you are afraid of your partner. Here are some other signs of an abusive relationship:
- Excessive jealousy
- Constantly wanting to know where you are, who you are with, when you will be back
- Isolating you from friends or family
- Constant insults, put downs or criticism
- Have an unpredictable temper or blow up constantly
- Hurt or threaten you
- Threaten to hurt him/herself if you leave
- Humiliating or yelling in private or in front of others
- Criticize you for never doing anything right
Gonzaga wants to help and support those who have been or are being affected by domestic violence. Please click on the SUPPORT AND RESOURCES tab at the left for more information about Gonzaga and local resources that are available.
Sexual assault includes having or attempting non-consensual vaginal, anal, or oral penetration, however slight, with any object or body part, with another person. This includes intercourse or attempted intercourse under circumstances where the other person does not consent, where the other person is incapacitated and that incapacitation is reasonable apparent , and/or including the use or threat of coercion or force. . Sexual assault happens against someone's consent and without a mutual agreement between parties involved.
Many things can impact how someone reacts after sexual assault, including how well the persons involved knew each other, where it happened, and the level of violence involved. Some people recover very quickly; for others, it may take a long time. It is not uncommon for survivors of sexual misconduct to blame themselves for what happened to them. The hardest thing about sexual violence is that the person who experienced it has had control taken away from him/her. Comments such as, "I shouldn't have drank so much" or "I should have known better than to be alone with him" are common and frequent. Reinforce the message that (s)he is not at fault.
Various kinds of support are important after an incident of sexual misconduct. Medical attention may be necessary to address healthcare needs such as STD testing, injuries and other needs. Getting prompt medical attention can also allow for the collection of evidence that is very important should filing a police report be pursued. Students considering filing a police report should have evidence collected at a local hospital within 72 hours of a sexual assault.
Assaults can have significant impacts on a person's emotional wellness. Counseling and other support services are often vital. There is free counseling available at Gonzaga, and through local agencies and services. Please see the Support and Resources tab on the left for more information about Gonzaga and local resources that are available.