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Sexual Violence Awareness Frequently Asked Questions


Can I be assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or acquaintance?

Yes. Most acts of sexual violence are committed by someone the victim knows. Just because two people have had sex in the past does not mean that they have agreed to have sex at any other time. Acquaintance rape, often called date rape, is when the rapist is someone the victim knows – a date, friend, significant other, classmate or anyone else who is not a stranger. Even if the victim is in an intimate or romantic relationship with the perpetrator and he or she does not consent to the current sexual act, it is sexual assault which is a violation of Clarke’s sexual misconduct policy.

What are date rape drugs?

Alcohol is the most common date rape drug. There are several other date rape drugs that are used to make victims vulnerable to sex. Date rape drugs are colorless, tasteless and odorless so their presence in a drink is very hard to detect. Substances such Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine are slipped into a person’s drink in liquid or powder form when that person is not looking. Shortly after consuming one of these drugs, the victim becomes unconscious or disoriented, loses some or all muscle control and will experience partial or total memory loss of the time the drug is in effect.

If you feel dizzy, confused or have other unusual symptoms after drinking something, you might have been drugged. Call a family member, friend, the police or 9-1-1 for help in getting to a hospital. If possible, bring a sample of the drink. Request a urine test for evidence of sedation as quickly as possible, since these drugs leave the body quickly.

What are some examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment?

All cases are individually reviewed. Depending on the context and particular facts, the following conduct could constitute a violation of university policy:

  • Unwanted pressure for sexual favors
  • Sexual innuendos and comments
  • Sexually explicit questions
  • Sexually suggestive sounds or gestures such as sucking noises, howling, winks or pelvic thrusts
  • Unwanted pressure for dates: repeatedly asking a person out on a date or to have sex
  • Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering, hugging, or pinching, stroking, or squeezing
  • A neck/shoulder massage
  • Rating a person’s physical appearance or sexuality
  • Ogling or leering, staring at a woman’s breast or a man’s derriere
  • Frequent jokes about sex or males/females
  • Letters, notes, telephone calls, or material of a sexual nature
  • Turning work or student education discussions to sexual topics
  • Stalking a person
  • Attempted or actual sexual violence including sexual assault


What is Title IX and who does it protect?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

What are possible discipline/sanctions in relation to a violation of university discrimination policies?

When a student violates the Standards of Student Conduct and/or the Sexual Misconduct policy, Clarke assigns sanctions with the purpose of remedying the effects on the victim and the community, and preventing the reoccurrence of the behavior. Depending upon the circumstances of each report, sanctions range from warnings to expulsions. Mandatory training and education is often sanctioned.

An employee who violates Clarke’s policy prohibiting discrimination and sexual misconduct can receive discipline ranging from mandatory education and/or counseling to termination.


What can I do if I or someone I know is a victim of sexual violence?

Your safety is the first priority. Call 9-1-1 and make sure you are safe. The police can assist you in getting a forensic exam to collect evidence of the assault for use in an investigation. You can decide whether or not to press charges later. You should obtain medical care to treat your injuries and receive medicine to treat possible sexually transmitted infections. If you are a woman, medical care includes pregnancy testing and emergency birth control, if desired.

Take steps to preserve any evidence of the assault. Victims should not: urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink, as these actions can wash away evidence of the assault. Bring a change of clothes for the forensic exam; the clothes you wore during the assault will likely be kept as evidence.

Victims can benefit greatly by talking with a trained and confidential professional. Clarke Counseling Services are available on campus in the lower level of Mary Josita Hall. Riverview Center, Dubuque’s sexual violence support center, is available 24/7 at their hotline – (888)557-0310.

The Student Life office can provide support and assistance with academic and housing needs, and can help file a report if you wish to do so.


What if I am assaulted in another country while on a University-sponsored study abroad program?

You should notify your program director as soon as possible if you experience an act of sexual violence while on a university-sponsored study abroad program. Also, please contact the Student Life office to learn of any Clarke-specific supports and processes.

I was assaulted by someone of the same gender. Should I report it?

Yes. All cases of sexual misconduct are investigated and adjudicated in the say way, regardless of gender.

What are the benefits of reporting an incident of sexual violence to the police?

The police can arrange for a forensic exam to preserve evidence of the assault, including transportation for the exam. They can provide information about victim services, and how these services may benefit you. They can inform you how to plan for your safety, including how to obtain a restraining order or order of protection. The police act to protect the victim and the community from victimization by investigating crimes of sexual violence and assisting with the prosecution of the accused.

Does it matter when I report the incident?

No. You can report an incident of sexual violence to the police and/or the University at any time, regardless of when it occurred. Keep in mind that the sooner you file a report, the more likely it is that the police/University will be able to gather information.

What rights do I have if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

The University follows a written procedure when investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct. If you are accused, you will be provided documentation about the process, what to expect, and resources. You will have the opportunity to meet with the investigator and to provide any information relevant to the investigation. You are not required to have an advisor, but you have the right to an advisor, who may or may not be an attorney.

If there is a finding that you have violated the Standards of Student Conduct or Sexual Misconduct policy, you will be notified of that decision and the rationale for the decision, along with the sanction. You have the right to file an appeal.

What if I am underage, but was intoxicated at the time of the assault – will I get charged with underage drinking if I file a report?

Clarke is committed to maintaining an environment where victims of sexual violence are not inhibited from reporting their experiences. We have an amnesty policy where minor violations, such as underage drinking or visitation policy violations are not pursued through the Conduct process when those policy violations come to light as a result of a report about sexual violence.


What will happen if I go to the hospital; what medical care do I need?

If you go to a hospital emergency room, a registered nurse specifically trained to work with survivors of sexual assault (SANE nurses) will collect forensic evidence and perform exams. The evidence is sent to a crime lab for evaluation. The SANE nurse records the survivor’s account of the assault and can testify at any legal proceedings.

Medical care following incidents of sexual violence typically includes treating injuries sustained during the assault and receiving medications to treat possible sexually transmitted infections. Women are also offered pregnancy testing and emergency birth control. A follow-up medical exam should be completed 4-6 weeks after the assault to test for HIV and for sexually transmitted infections that have not been responsive to treatment.

What do I do if I suspect I’ve been drugged and assaulted?

Get to a safe place. Call 9-1-1 and talk to the police to make a report. The police can arrange for you to have a forensic exam. Don’t urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink before you go, as these actions can wash away evidence of the assault and any drugs in your system. It’s important to act quickly, because “date rape drugs” leave the system very quickly.


What are my obligations if I know of a student or faculty/staff member who has been sexually harassed or subjected to violence by a faculty/staff member?

The process is the same, regardless of who commits the act of sexual misconduct, or who the act was committed upon. Faculty and staff must report the incident to a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. Clarke’s first priority is to make sure that impacted people are safe and that immediate needs are taken care of. Clarke officials will ensure that the person is connected with other resources such as Counseling Services, Riverview Center or the police.

What if I learn about the sexual violence or sexual harassment outside of my regular work hours, or at an event that is not associated with the University?

The obligation to report an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment perpetrated by someone affiliated with Clarke is the same. You must report to a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.

I am afraid to report what happened because I’m concerned about retaliation.

Individuals who make complaints are often concerned that they will be subject to retaliation by the person against whom they complained, or by other individuals. Clarke prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a good faith complaint under Clarke’s nondiscrimination policies. The policy also prohibits retaliation against anyone who participated in the university’s investigation process. If you believe you have been retaliated against, you should immediately contact the investigator assigned to your case or you may contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.


I’ve been a victim of assault. Does my immigration status affect my ability to access on campus resources?

No. Under the law, students and staff who are victims or survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence receive the same rights under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), regardless of immigration and visa status.

Can I press criminal charges regardless of my immigration status?

Yes. Information about Iowa’s criminal definitions of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as well as information regarding filing a criminal complaint.