Definition: Sexual Assault
NHTI is acutely aware of the concerns of students, faculty and staff regarding the sudden and dramatic increase in the number of victims seeking help who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped on college campuses. It is the policy of the System that all individuals associated with the System should be able to work and study in an environment that is free of sexual discrimination and sexual assault/harassment.
Because of the criminal nature of some of these activities, NHTI will refer reports of such activities to the civil authorities where and when appropriate. Where such activities are in violation of the NHTI student code of conduct, these cases may be referred to the NHTI Judicial System and/or NHTI’s administration for adjudication.
The following are definitions and referral sources for your information. (Additional information about sexual assault on college campuses and what can be done to prevent such incidences can be found with the Vice President of Student Affairs, Director of Counseling, Director of Health Services, the Residence Hall Directors, and through local community resources.)
Trauma of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault victims experience profound emotional trauma. Although victims react in different ways, common responses include feelings of shock and disbelief; intense fears about personal safety; preoccupation with recurrent, intrusive thoughts about the assault; sleep disturbances; anxiety and impaired concentration; mood swings; depression; and feelings of anger, shame and self-blame. These reactions are called “posttraumatic stress disorder” or “rape trauma syndrome”.
Victims of acquaintance rape often experience especially intense feelings of shame and self-blame. Many also feel betrayed because they have been violated by someone they initially trusted. Some victims lose confidence in their own judgment and find it hard to learn to trust again.
What is date/acquaintance rape?
The most prevalent form of rape on college campuses is acquaintance rape. The acquaintance may be a date or partner of the victim, or someone the victim knows only casually from his/her residence hall, a class, or through mutual friends.
Regardless of the relationship between them, if one person uses force to coerce another into submitting to sexual intercourse, the act is defined as rape. The same criminal laws and penalties apply in cases of acquaintance rape as in cases of stranger rapes.
Rape and Sexual Assault Protocol
Whenever a staff member comes in contact with an individual voicing a complaint of rape or sexual assault, the following steps should be taken:
- Provide support for the victim. The guidelines that follow are for providing emotional support to a rape/sexual assault victim:
- Support and listen carefully to the victim.
- Realize that the wide variety of behaviors displayed are not necessarily indicative of how the victim is dealing with the assault.
- Avoid making decisions and doing “for” them.
- Place no blame for the assault.
- Avoid pressuring the student into pursuing any of the options presented as being available to them.
- Offer to assist them in gaining access to the resources they need.
- Provide information and guidance for the victim. The collection of evidence does not obligate the victim to prosecute. If the student wishes to leave open the opportunity to prosecute, follow the procedures below:
- Call Campus Safety, who will contact the appropriate agencies if requested ((603) 224-3287).
- Be sure the student does not wash, douche, change or wash clothes. Any thing handled by the attacker should not be touched.
- Call the Crisis Center of Central NH through the Sexual Assault Hot Line (1-800-277-5570).
- Call NHTI Health & Counseling ((603) 230-4043).
- The victim must be made aware that a medical exam is the next step, BUT, this action will involve the Police for the remainder of the procedures.
- Contact the Vice President of Student Affairs ((603) 230-4040).
- Notify the Residence Director or Director of Residence Life if the victim is a residence life student.
- If the student is reluctant to notify the police and does not want medical assistance, assist the student in contacting the Crisis Center of Central NH (1-800-277-5570) and NHTI Counselor ((603) 230-4043).
- Campus Safety must be notified in all cases of rape or sexual assault, whether the individual wishes to press charges or not.
If You Have Been Raped or Sexually Assaulted:
- Go to a safe place — call a friend and/or a rape crisis volunteer. A trained volunteer can provide you with immediate support and information.
- Don’t wash, bathe, douche or change your clothing before going for help.
- It is important to receive medical attention for treating injuries sustained during the assault, testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and collecting evidence to be used if you choose to press charges in the future.
- It is important to report the crime to the police. If the assault goes unreported, the assailant will most likely be a repeat offender.
Speak Out Sexual Assault Video
Who You Should See on Campus:
Anyone who is a victim of sexual assault should report the incident to one of the following people:
Vice President of Student Affairs (603) 230-4040
Director of Counseling Services (603) 230-4043
Director of Residence Life (603) 230-4044
Director of Campus Safety (603) 224-3287
Director of Health Services (603) 230-4043
Title IX and Equity Coordinator (603) 271-6484 x4128
Any Resident Assistant
Other resources the victim may choose:
NH SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE: 1-800-277-5570
CONCORD HOSPITAL: (603) 225-2711
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Fax: (603) 230-9303