Campus Programs Addressing Sexual Assault

For most students, the college experience offers a unique opportunity for personal growth, intellectual stimulation, excitement, and fun. It is time to think critically about oneself and to prepare for the future.

As with most worthwhile endeavors, however, the college experience may also present hidden risks. Studies have shown that college students are most at risk of becoming involved in a sexually abusive situation. One in four women will experience rape or attempted rape during her college years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice. 2000). Many more will experience some form of unwanted sexual contact or verbal harassment. College men also experience sexual assault, albeit in smaller numbers. Strangers perpetrate only 20 percent of all reported rapes. The rest, 80 percent, are committed by someone the victim knows, perhaps a date, friend, or classmate.

Loyola University is committed to creating a safe environment for all and is not tolerant of sexual violence. Various faculty, staff, and students are engaged in preventative measures: questioning why sexual violence is glamorized in our culture, challenging all too prevalent victim blaming, and discussing non-violent constructs of masculinity. In conjunction, we offer a variety of programs and services for individuals in the wake of sexual violence. The Advocacy Initiative trains volunteers on how to be a first responder (Click here for more information about the program or to locate an advocate). Take Back the Night gathers over 600 campus and community members for a powerful evening of social action. RADS (Rape Aggression Defense System) offers self-defense techniques to women. Counselors provide crisis support including information regarding options for a victim. For more information, contact the University Counseling Center or the Women's Resource Center.

Sexual Aggression Prevention Programs:

Programs addressing the problems of rape, acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, and other sex offenses are offered throughout the year at Loyola. Related programs are frequently held in residence halls and self-defense classes are regularly offered through the recreational sports and athletics department. All new students use "Think About It," a software program addressing the intersection of sexual aggression and substance abuse along with healthy relationship building during the fall orientation.  

Women and Men Take Back the Night

This annual march against sexual violence has been co-sponsored by Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University since 1990. Dillard University joined as a sponsor in 2011. The purpose of the march is to heighten awareness of sexual violence in our community and to empower survivors. The emotionally powerful evening begins with speakers who share their personal stories of rape, assault or domestic violence, and their journeys to healing and hope. The candlelit march proceeds from Loyola to Tulane, where others have the opportunity to speak out against sexual violence. The march is usually scheduled in October to coincide with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. This university-wide event is coordinated through the University Counseling Center.

Sexual Trauma Support Group

This therapy group is offered annually in the University Counseling Center. It is for women who have survived sexual trauma and recognize that this experience is continuing to affect their lives. Issues addressed in the group include anger, shame, dating, sexuality, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, and self-destructive behaviors. For more information, contact the UCC.

The Clothesline Project

The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts designed by or for survivors of violence against women. The compelling display increases awareness of the impact of violence against women and also celebrates a woman’s strength and courage to overcome the past. Shirt-making sessions and/or a clothesline display are offered during Sexual Non-Violence Week in April.

Programs Available to Residence Hall Floors & Student Organizations

A variety of workshops on topics about sexual violence are available by request through the University Counseling Center. These interactive programs can be tailored to include discussion of myths/facts about sexual assault, information about the incident of date rape on college campuses, the role of alcohol/drugs in campus acquaintance rape, acquaintance rape drugs, and risk-reduction strategies. the overall goal of these workshops is to encourage attitude and behavior change regarding sexual violence. 

Available workshops include:

  • How to Help a Friend Who Has Been Raped
  • Sexual Assault Prevention for Women
  • Sexual Assault Prevention for Men
  • Rape Under the Influence (alcohol/drugs)
  • Dating Violence: What are the signs?
  • Stalking: Are you safe?
  • You’ve Got Mail: Staying Safe Online

Campus Organizational Programming

At various times, campus offices and organizations co-sponsor programs that raise awareness about sexual violence issues. The Alpha Chi Omega sorority often brings in speakers and promotes awareness of domestic violence through the Purple Ribbon campaign. The Psychology Club has done a toiletries drive for a battered women’s shelter. The Office of New Student Orientation produced a theatrical presentation of "How I Learned to Drive" about sexual abuse.

New Student Orientation

All incoming first year students participate in a program, "Think About It" which addresses the intersection of sexual violence and alcohol use.  

The following policies appear annually in the Loyola University Student Handbook:

Sexual Assault/Aggression

Sexual Assault is sexual intercourse or attempted intercourse that is perpetrated against the will of another; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of his/her youth). The definition applies regardless of whether the assailant is a stranger or an acquaintance. Examples would include, but are not limited to, forced insertion, oral copulation, and rape by foreign object, or sodomy. Violations of sexual assault will subject a student to suspension, dismissal and criminal charges.

Sexual Battery as defined in the Loyola University Student Handbook is the unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person, such as a sexual organ, buttocks, or breast. Violations of sexual battery may subject a student to penalties up to and including suspension, dismissal and criminal charges.

Sexual Harassment as defined in the Loyola University Student Handbook is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  • Sexual submission is made a term or condition, explicitly, or implicitly of obtaining employment, services, or education.
  • Sexual submission is used as a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, services, or education.
  • Sexual conduct or communication is of such a nature that it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive or educational environment.

Sexual harassment may occur within a variety of relationships. These relationships may or may not involve unequal authority, as between supervisors to employees supervised, faculty members to students, residence hall staff to student residents, and student leaders to other students. However, allegations of sexual harassment will be scrutinized, regardless of the relationship of a complainant, to an alleged offender.

All members of the Loyola University community are encouraged to utilize the procedures set forth in the Statement of Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment. A complete policy and procedural statement is available in the Office of Student Affairs. Alleged violations of this policy should be addressed to the following individual/office:

Sexual Verbal Abuse as defined in the Loyola University Student Handbook is using language, which is sexual in nature and unwanted on the part of another person. Examples would include, but not be limited to, obscene telephone calls, use of written and/or oral communication, which in the common estimation of persons would be considered obscene messages. Violations of this policy may subject a student to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the university.

Procedures

If you are sexually assaulted:

  1. Insure your physical safety.
  2. Obtain medical treatment. Even if you do not think that you have been physically injured, medical assistance is important for two reasons:
    a. to test for exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and internal injuries.
    b. to gather physical evidence for use in a criminal investigation. Medical assistance from the Student Health Center and the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans are recommended.
  3. Call University Police and/or the New Orleans Police Department or sheriff's office for assistance and to report the incident. Once reported, a full police investigation will follow. Victims may utilize both the university ajudication system and the criminal justice system to confront the actions of the attacker. In the event that the victim is female, all efforts will be made to have a female LUPD officer present upon request.
  4. Seek emotional support from friends, relatives, and counselors. Counseling for survivors of sexual assault is available through the University Counseling Center. Additional supports include trained Advocates, University Ministry staff, or community-based centers such as the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children and the Crescent House. http://mcwcgno.org/what-we-do/
  5. Decide if you will file a police report and/or press charges. Although this is always the sole decision of the victim, we encourage you to report the crime. Even if you do not wish to press criminal charges, informing the police/authorities may help them in future investigation and ultimately may protect others from being victimized. The University Police will provide assistance in notifying the appropriate off-campus law enforcement agency and assist in the investigation where possible, if you so choose.
  6. Seek assistance from the Office of Student Affairs if you need emergency housing or if you must change your on-campus living arrangements.
  7. Contact your dean’s office for assistance with academic problems resulting from the assault.

If you decide to pursue campus disciplinary action:

  1. University Police will send a written report of the incident to the Office of Student Affairs. A disciplinary hearing will then be scheduled.
  2. Both the accuser and the accused may have an advisor present with them throughout the proceedings.
  3. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed in writing of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings and the sanction administered, if any, within three (3) working days.
  4. An interim restraining order, prohibiting parties involved in the disciplinary proceeding from intentionally contacting, telephoning, or otherwise disturbing the accuser or others specifically named, may be issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee for a period of no longer than seven (7) days.
  5. If this person is found responsible the board will impose sanctions (suspension or expulsion from the university).

Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act

The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, enacted on October 28, 2000, goes into effect October 28, 2002. The law requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a State to provide notice of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student. In the State of Louisiana convicted sex offenders must register with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Information concerning offenders registered may be disclosed to any person requesting information on a specific individual in accordance with the law. The following Louisiana State Police web site has further information and requests for information can be submitted electronically. www.lasocpr.lsp.org/