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Sexual Assault Awareness

Statement and Definition of Consent

The University of Hartford strives to provide an environment free from sexual violence and other sexual misconduct, including without limitation sexual assault, intimate partner violence – including without limitation domestic violence and dating violence – and stalking.

Further, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination based on gender, including gender-based sexual violence and misconduct, in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex, among other protected classifications; Section 304 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, codified at 20 U.S.C. Section 1092(f), requires institutions of higher education to develop policies regarding the prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; and Section 10a-55m of the Connecticut General Statutes (“CGS”) requires institutions of higher education to develop a policy applicable to all students and employees addressing sexual assault, stalking and intimate partner violence.

Definition of Consent

The University’s operational policies and procedures shall include a definition of “consent,” for purposes of determining whether or not Prohibited Behavior has occurred, which requires an active, knowing and voluntary exchange of affirmative words and/or actions, which indicate and effectively communicate a willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity; and which establishes that the initiator of sexual activity is responsible for obtaining clear and affirmative responses indicating consent at each stage of sexual involvement, without incapacitation, force or coercion.

 

Victim's Rights and Resources

The University of Hartford’s Health Education and Wellness Center is your campus resource for sexual violence prevention, including information on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment and stalking. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know may have been assaulted.

Sexual Violence Prevention

What are my rights?

Guide to Sexual Misconduct on Campus (.pdf)

Bystander Intervention

Be a Good Bystander

The University of Hartford encourages all community members to educate themselves about interpersonal violence and share this info with friends. Confront friends who make excuses for other peoples abusive behavior, speak up against racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes or remarks. A good is bystander someone who models pro-social behaviors and intervenes when a potentially dangerous situation occurs.

To combat sexual assault on campus, the most powerful tool is your conveying your concern. The best way bystanders can assist in creating an empowering climate free of interpersonal violence is to diffuse the problem behaviors before they escalate.

Often people don't intervene because they may assume the situation isn't a problem, or feel it is none of their business. They may assume that someone else will do something, or believe that other people weren't bothered by the problem. In some cases, a person might feel their personal safety is at risk.

When people do intervene in a situation, they often say that it was the right thing to do, and that they would want someone to intervene if the roles were reversed.

Bystander Intervention Keys

  • Notice the Incident. Bystanders first must notice the incident taking place. Obviously, if they don't take note of the situation there is no reason to help.
  • Interpret Incident as Emergency. Bystanders also need to evaluate the situation and determine whether it is an emergency, or at least one in which someone needs assistance. Again, if people do not interpret a situation as one in which someone needs assistance, then there is no need to provide help
  • Assume Responsibility. Another decision bystanders make is whether they should assume responsibility for giving help. One repeated finding in research studies on helping is that a bystander is less likely to help if there are other bystanders present. When other bystanders are present responsibility for helping is diffused. If a lone bystander is present he or she is more likely to assume responsibility.
  • Attempt to Help. Whether this is to help the person leave the situation, confront a behavior, diffuse a situation, or call for other support/security.

Tips for Intervening

In a situation potentially involving sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking:

  • Approach everyone as a friend
  • Do not be antagonistic
  • Avoid using violence
  • Be honest and direct whenever possible
  • Recruit help if necessary
  • Keep yourself safe
  • Keep your phone handy, call for help or document when you can safely do so.
  • If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the Public Safety or the police.

The Bystander Intervention Playbook

The College of William and Mary put together a playbook of advice for bystander intervention. These tips may be useful.

  • Defensive Split Step in and separate two people. Let them know your concerns and reasons for intervening. Be a friend and let them know you are acting in their best interest. Make sure each person makes it home safely
  • Pick and Roll Use a distraction to redirect the focus somewhere else: “Hey, I need to talk to you.” or “Hey, this party is lame. Let’s go somewhere else.”
  • The Option Evaluate the situation and people involved to determine your best move. You could directly intervene yourself, or alert friends of each person to come in and help. If the person reacts badly, try a different approach.
  • Full Court Press Recruit the help of friends of both people to step in as a group.
  • Fumblerooski Divert the attention of one person away from the other person. Have someone standing by to redirect the other person’s focus (see Pick and Roll). Commit a party foul (i.e. spilling your drink) if you need to.

Please remember... If you see something, say something.

Alcohol and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Most students forget that alcohol is the number one date rape drug on college campuses. Approximately 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2005). Although it is important to protect yourself against other date rape drugs, alcohol is by far the most widely used.

How can I protect myself from being a victim?

  • Remember Alcohol is the number one date rape drug.
  • Don't accept drinks from other people.
  • Open containers yourself.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
  • Don't share drinks.
  • Don't drink from punch bowls or other open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
  • Don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes GHB (date rape drug) can taste salty.
  • Have a nondrinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
  • If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out.
  • If you feel drunk and haven't been drinking -- or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual -- get help right away.

Information about other "Date Rape Drugs"

Ecstasy/XTC

MDMA, with street alias, Ecstasy, is a designer drug usually found at raves. MDMA is an amphetamine derivative and it is considered to be a strong stimulant. Its chemical structure is similar to two other synthetic drugs, methamphetamine and MDA. It is generally sold in the pill/tablet form for about $20 to $30 a pill.

Effects of Ecstasy

MDMA stimulates the release of the serotonin from brain neurons, producing a high that lasts from several minutes to an hour. The drug’s rewarding effects vary with the individual taking it, the dose and purity, and the environment in which it is taken. MDMA can produce stimulant effects such as an enhanced sense of pleasure and self-confidence and increased energy. Its psychedelic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. Users claim they experience feelings of closeness with others and a desire to touch them.

With regular and frequent use, tolerance builds to the effects of the drug, while dangerous results increase with continued use. The drug effects are unpredictable among different individuals even if given the same dosage.

Users experience confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia-during and sometimes weeks after use (even psychotic episodes have been reported), muscle tension, involuntary teeth-clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movements, faintness, and chills or sweating; increases in heart rate and blood pressure (a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease).

ROHYPNOL

The Rohypnol pill looks like aspirin. Rohypnol is usually sold in its original bubble packaging just as most prescription drugs are. This unfortunately assists in creating the misperception that this “medicine” is safe or legal. Generic and illegally manufactured versions exist. Cost ranges from $0.50 to $5 a pill.Why “Date Rape Drug”?

Like alcohol, the drug is considered a date rape drug of choice; attackers slip the drug into victims’ drinks to promote disinhibition. The drug is given to unwary victims (male or female) without their consent. The victim is physically incapacitated and has impaired judgment. This makes victims more vulnerable to assault and rape. Because of the memory loss and confusion under the influence of this drug, rape cases are difficult to prosecute. Recently, screening for Rohypnol has improved.

Drug Interactions

One trend is termed synthetic speedballing. This involves combining Ecstasy and Rohypnol to induce a stronger effect. To produce a “floating effect,” Rohypnol is also used in combination with marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. College students typically use alcohol in combination with Rohypnol to create an enhanced feeling of drunkenness. High school students use the drug as a “cheap drunk” without the smell of alcohol. In some areas, it is associated with gangs and is known as a club drug. It is also popular in raves. Warning – when used in combination with other drugs including alcohol, Rohypnol presents great risk of overdose. Results are fatal because breathing stops. Combining Rohypnol with MDMA (Ecstasy) can lead to heart failure, coma, and death.

Effects of the Drug

Rohypnol produces sedative effects, amnesia, muscle relaxation, and the slowing of psychomotor performance. Sedation occurs within 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion of a 2-mg tablet, and lasts for approximately 8 hours. Peak effect takes place after approximately 2 hours causing most victims to lose consciousness. Those who ingest the Rohypnol become extremely relaxed, can lose bodily control. They are uninhibited and appear to be very drunk. Greatest physiological risk occurs when Rohypnol is used in with other drugs.

Rohypnol is 10 times more potent than Valium and enters the bloodstream as quickly as 15 minutes after ingestion. A single 2-milligram pill has the same potency as a 6-pack of beer, but the effects differ slightly. Users can experience extreme sedation, dizziness, and loss of bodily control. Rohypnol causes an intoxication where users don’t care about what they do or cannot stop what happens to them. Users have great difficulty remembering what happened while they were under the influence of the drug; it wipes the memory clean.

Ketamine

Ketamine was developed in the 1960’s as an anesthetic for surgeries. Today it is used mostly by veterinarians. Ketamine causes unconsciousness, hallucinations, loss of body control and numbing. Overdose can be fatal. Ketamine is found in a white powder or a liquid and has a horrible, strong bitter flavor. Ketamine works very quickly, so if you tasted it in your drink you would only have a few seconds before losing consciousness.

GHB

GHB is a depressant that is chemically similar to a substance that is found in every cell of the human body. GHB was used in the past to treat childbirth problems and anxiety. It was made illegal in the 90’s as GHB slows the brain and body and is easy to overdose and cause addiction. In small doses it produces mild sedation, slowed heart and breathing rates. In large doses it can cause seizures, coma, or death.

Are there ways to tell if I might have been drugged and raped?

It is often hard to tell. Most victims don't remember being drugged or assaulted. The victim might not be aware of the attack until 8 or 12 hours after it occurred. These drugs also leave the body very quickly. Once a victim gets help, there might be no proof that drugs were involved in the attack. But there are some signs that you might have been drugged:

  • You feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol — or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
  • You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or having no memory of a period of time.
  • You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that.
  • You find that your clothes are torn or not on right.
  • You feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember it.

What should I do if I think I've been drugged and raped?

  • Call Public Safety 860.768.7777 or 7777 from any campus phone, they will assist you in getting medical care as needed. Have a trusted friend stay with you at least until you receive help.  Tell the Public Safety exactly what you remember. Be honest about all your activities. Remember, nothing you did — including drinking alcohol or doing drugs — can justify rape.
  • If you seek medical attention on your own, ask the hospital to take a urine (pee) sample that can be used to test for date rape drugs. The drugs leave your system quickly. Rohypnol stays in the body for several hours, and can be detected in the urine up to 72 hours after taking it. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours. Don't urinate before going to the hospital.
  • Don't pick up or clean up where you think the assault might have occurred. There could be evidence left behind — such as on a drinking glass or bed sheets.
  • Get counseling and treatment. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. A counselor can help you work through these emotions and begin the healing process.
    • Call Counseling and Psychological Services at 860.768.4482 or Health Services 860.768.6601