FAQs: Sexual Misconduct

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is defined as engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining affirmative consent

What are some examples of sexual misconduct?

Kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of the mouth, vagina, penis, anus by finger, tongue, mouth, penis or any object, and oral sex without affirmative consent. Sexual misconduct may also include phsyical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, cauing the person’s intoxication or incapiciatation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (inclduing voluntary intixication) to engage in sexual activity

What is a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate?

 Refers to the person(s) appointed to support Complainants reporting Sexual Misconduct. They must be certified and have received specialized training to provide advice and assistance, including but not limited to the provision of  information about available options in the Complaint, law enforcement, legal, and medical processes, and with emotional and decision making support. Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocates may serve as the Complainant’s Advisor and assist in seeking services. They are committed to maintain the highest possible level of confidentiality permissible under state and federal law in their communications with the persons they assist. Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocates are appointed based on experience and demonstrated ability to effectively provide services to victims/survivors/Complainants. See Executive Order 1095 for more detailed information.

How are Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct related?

Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment and may create a sexually hostile environment that affects access to or participation in CSU programs and activities.

Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse?

Yes. Regardless of the nature or longevity of the relationship, you still need to obtain consent before engaging in any future sexual activity. Sexual activity without consent is considered sexual assault

If someone is incapacitated but still gives signs to consent to sexual activity, is this sexual misconduct?

Yes. Someone who is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol cannot give affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity.  Executive Order 1097 indicates:

It shall not be a valid excuse that a person affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the Respondent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:

  • The person was asleep or unconscious;
  • The person was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, so that the person could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity;
  • The person was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

It shall not be a valid excuse that the Respondent believed that the person consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:

  • The Respondent’s belief in Affirmative Consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the Respondent;
  • The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the person affirmatively consented.

How do I know whether someone is incapacitated?

 Some signs of incapacitation include vomiting, inability to communicate, inability to understand situations, asleep, unconscious, difficulty maintaining balance.

If there is any question/concern as to whether or not someone is incapacitated…Do Not engage in any type of sexual activity. Be safe. Wait until the following day when each person is able to legally give consent.

What if both parties are equally intoxicated?

Sexual activity requires initiation from at least one party. The onus to obtain affirmative consent is on the person initiating the sexual activity. Sex doesn’t just happen…it requires one party to initiate the sexual activity.

I’ve had drunk sex before and I don’t feel like I’ve been sexually assaulted, was I?

The Victim Advocate and the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) respects each persons sexual experiences. While one person may be deeply affected by the scenario above, another person may not be upset and may have no troubled feelings at all. Every person responds to trauma and sexual assault differently. There is no right or wrong way to respond after a sexual assault incident. Just know that if you do feel uncomfortable after a sexual incident, there are confidential resources including the Victim Advocate (278-6796) and options both on and off campus to discuss the incident and answer any questions you may have. If you were incapacitated, however, engaging in any sexual activity is considered sexual misconduct. 

I am underage but was intoxicated at the time of the sexual assault….will I face any disciplinary measures if I report the assault?

No. Except in extreme circumstances, you will not be subject to any disciplinary measures if you were drinking or using drugs (even if you are under 21) and were sexually assaulted. Please don’t let this be an obstacle to reporting the assault.

My friend was sexually assaulted and I don’t know what to say. Where I can find help?

Most importantly, believe your friend. False reports of rape and sexual assault are rare. Support them and let them know that you are available to listen and assist them if needed. For additional information, please visit the Victim Advocate and VPVA website here

 

I was sexually assaulted last month, can I still report?

Yes. There are no time limits on reporting a sexual assault/rape to the University or to law enforcement. Although obtaining evidence used to support a criminal case may be more difficult to collect as time passes, please know that there is help and assistance available regardless of when the assault occurred. 

Is it sexual assault if I said yes to one type of sexual activity but not another?

Yes. The person initiating the sexual activity must obtain affirmative consent for any type of sexual activity. Consent to one form of sexual activity (e.g. fondling) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity (e.g. intercourse)

What will happen if I call the police or go to the hospital following a sexual assault?

If the assault occurred on the Fresno State campus, Fresno State Police will respond. If the assault occurred off campus, local law enforcement will respond. After assessing your medical needs, they will determine if you need to go to the hospital immediately to receive care. You have the option to have medical evidence collected (rape kit) at Forensic Nurse Specialist of Central CA (FNSCC) or Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC). You will be interviewed by the police, which is difficult, but necessary. You can ask to have a Victim Advocate (278-6796) with you during the exam and interview). You can refuse any part of the exam and can stop the interview process at any time.

What will happen if I file a Complaint with the Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator will respond promptly to your complaint and schedule an intake interview. The Title IX Coordinator will discuss the investigation process, requests for confidentiality, provide interim remedies (e.g. academic changes, housing changes, etc. if requested and are reasonably available), provide security and support, assist victims in accessing available victim advocacy, academic support, medical/mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus. You do not have to participate in any investigation or disciplinary process.

What if I report the assault and get that person in trouble. I don’t want them kicked off campus

The person who perpetrated the assault is responsible for their own behavior. While it may not be the outcome you intended, all students/faculty/staff are expected to abide by the University policies and Executive Orders (EOs). People who violate the EOs will be subject to disciplinary measures which may include expulsion. Please remember that the assault was not your fault and you are never to blame. By coming forward and reporting the assault, you are helping to make the Fresno State Community safer by preventing future assaults perpetrated by this individual.

What can I do if the person who assaulted me lives in my dorm?

Through the Victim Advocate on campus (VPVA Office) or through the Title IX Coordinator, remedies can be implemented that could make you feel more safe and comfortable in the University setting including room changes. Please contact the Victim Advocate or Title IX Coordinator to explore these options further.

What can I do if the person who assaulted me is in my class?

Through the Victim Advocate on campus (VPVA Office) or through the Title IX Coordinator, remedies can be implemented that could make you feel more safe and comfortable in the University setting including class or course changes. Please contact the Victim Advocate or Title IX Coordinator to explore these options further.

I filed a police report but I no longer want to participate in the process. Do I have to?

No. You can choose not to participate in the process at any time.

I filed a Complaint with the Title IX Coordinator but I no longer want to participate in the process. Do I have to?

No. You can choose not to participate in the process at any time.

How do I make an anonymous report of the assault so it’s counted in the campus crime statistics?

You can report anonymously at the Victim Advocate website here or you can report anonymously through Fresno State’s Police Department Tip Now program here.

Why would the University investigate an assault even if I don’t want them to?

Fresno State is committed to creating and sustaining an education and working environment free of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking. The safety and well-being of the campus is a priority for the University. As sexual assault is a violation of our policies and Fresno State has an obligation to investigate the complaint.

I was sexually assaulted while studying abroad, what resources are available to help me?

All resources that were afforded to you while on campus are also available to you while studying abroad.

Some additional resource information for those traveling abroad include the Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans Abroad Program, SASHAA, which launched a new resource to assist American citizens and legal permanent residents who are sexually assaulted in a foreign country while studying or traveling overseas.  Over 80 million Americans travel overseas every year. The Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans Abroad program, SASHAA, was created to ensure Americans victimized in a foreign country have immediate access to services no matter where they are in the world. SASHAA case managers provide an informed, compassionate response, as well as advocacy and assistance navigating medical, law enforcement and legal options.  This support is continued long term, including counseling and other services. The program can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from overseas by calling an international toll free hotline, 866-USWOMEN, via the AT&T Direct Access code for each country. Instructions can be found on the SASHAA website, www.sashaa.org. Other forms of communication include a live chat feature on the SASHAA website, and a crisis email: crisis@866uswomen.org. If the caller is more comfortable communicating in a foreign language, SASHAA advocates and case managers have access to a language bank.  For more information please visit www.sashaa.org or email Alix Allison, Global Safety Net Coordinator, at alix@866uswomen.org.

 

FAQ: Relationships

My friend is an an unhealthy relationship, how can I help?

You can express support and concern for your friend. An example might be "You seem upset lately, is there something I can do to help". Most importantly, offer to be a support person for your friend. Do not tell them to leave or insult their partner as that may isolate your friend even more. Offer resources and support options including the Victim Advocate (278-6796) or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, 278-6738). You can also find additional information here: www.fresnostate.edu/vpva

How can I tell if my relationship is unhealthy?

All relationships exist on a spectrum ranging from healthy to unhealthy. The following website allows you to anonymously answer a series of questions to assess the status of your relationship: http://www.loveisrespect.org/dating-basics/relationship-spectrum/

My partner doesn't physically hurt me, can this still be an abusive relationship?

Yes. There are many forms of violence/abuse other than physical that can occur in relationships including verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, psychological, spiritual and others. Just because you are not physically harmed does not mean the relationship is healthy.

What makes leaving an abusive relationship hard?

There are many factors that can make leaving an abusive or unhealthy relationship difficult some of ifollowing:

  • you may be financially dependent on them
  • you may have cultural, religious, familial or social pressures to stay in the relationship
  • you may love and care about the abuser and hope they will eventually change
  • you may have grown up in a violent or abusive environment and may not know what a healthy relationship looks like

 

My partner is constantly texting me, should I be concerned?

Constantly texting to determine your whereabouts, reading texts behind your back, requesting passwords to read your texts or e-mails may all be warning signs of an abusive relationship. Healthy relationships are built on trust or mutual respect. If you have discussed your concerns with your partner and they still continue to text incessantly and request access to your personal information, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship

What are signs of a healthy relationship?

  • Your partner trusts you
  • Your partner doesn't put you down or humiliate you in front of others
  • Respects your boundaries
  • your partner does not get angry if you want to spend time with family and friends
  • your partner encourages your success and supports you in accomplishing your goals
  • your partner does not abuse technology in reference to you
  • your partner listens to you and respects your desires/wishes

For additional information on healthy relationships, click here: