What issues does the Title IX Office handle?

The Title IX Office is responsible for responding to all reports relating to sexual harassment, including quid pro quo sexual harassment, hostile environment harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.

What happens if I was assaulted off-campus?

The Sexual Harassment Policy applies to conduct that occurs on University property or at University-sponsored activities. The University may also address “Non-Title IX” complaints that occur off-campus, at study abroad programs, and/or online when the conduct affects a substantial University interest.

Does the Policy apply to on-line behavior too?

Yes, all actions by a member of the University community that involve the use of the University’s computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, digital platforms, and computer hardware or software owned or operated by USI will be deemed to have occurred on campus. Additionally, on-line and/or social media conduct may violate this Policy if it meets the definition of Prohibited Conduct.

What is consent?

Consent is defined as an affirmative indication by words and/or actions of a voluntary agreement to engage in the particular sexual act or conduct in question. Consent for one sexual act or conduct does not constitute consent to all sexual acts or conduct. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease. Consent cannot be obtained through the use of force, threat, intimidation, or coercion. Silence or absence of resistance on the part of an individual does not constitute their consent. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated due to consuming drugs or alcohol or for any other reason (including but not limited to being unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring).

How do I know if someone is incapacitated?

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction). While incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Incapacitation may also exist because of a physical, mental, or developmental disability. The question of incapacitation will be examined objectively from the perspective of the Respondent i.e. whether a reasonable, sober person in place of the Respondent should have known the condition of the Complainant based on the apparent indications of incapacitation, which may include, but are not limited to, acting confused or incoherent, difficulty walking or speaking, and/or vomiting.

What should I do if I suspect that I have been drugged and sexually assaulted?

USI encourages you to call Public Safety who can assist the Complainant in contacting appropriate law enforcement officials and in working with these officials to pursue criminal charges against the Respondent.

Public Safety can be reached from your cell phone or outside line: 812-492-7777 or from campus phones: Ext 7777

What if I am underage, am I going to get charged for underaged drinking if I report an assault?

To encourage reporting under these circumstances, the University will not take disciplinary action against a student reporter, student witness, student Complainant, or student Respondent for their personal use of alcohol or drugs or for other prohibited conduct at or near the time of the incident reported if such violations do not or did not subject other people to harm.

What happens if I report something to a staff member or a professor?

The University has classified Responsible Employees as any employee who is not a Confidential Employee. That means that reports involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking made to Responsible Employees will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator so that Supportive Measures may be offered, and rights and options can be explained.

What if I want to remain anonymous?

The University understands that some Complainants may seek confidentiality with respect to a report of sexual harassment, including requesting that they not be identified to the Respondent. Due to the usually private nature of these actions and the need to ensure a fair process for all involved, the University may not be able to pursue charges of sexual harassment unless the Complainant is willing to be identified.

My friend told me that they were assaulted. What can I do to help?

Make sure they are safe. If not, get them to a safe place.

Listen, believe, and do not judge them.

Reinforce that they are not to blame.

Help them organize their thoughts, but let them make decisions about how to proceed.

Provide options if your friend wants to report the assault. Reporting can be done on campus by contacting Public Safety. Reporting may be done anonymously, and does not require them to file charges. To report off campus, call 911.

Call Albion Fellows Bacon Center's Rape Crisis line. Trained counselors will be able to help you in understanding what steps to take to help your friend.

Explain that seeking medical attention is very important if the assault was recent. There may be injuries that they are unaware of.

Encourage them not to disturb potential evidence. Even if they do not plan to press charges, they should not change clothes, shower, or wash their hands after the assault, which can disturb DNA evidence. Get medical attention first.

Be accessible. Your friend may need to talk at odd hours or for long periods of time.

Deal with your feelings. Sexual assault impacts loved ones, and you need to heal as well.

Understand that every victim is different. Your friend may exhibit shock, denial, rationalization, depression, guilt, fear, anxiety, and anger. All are normal emotions.

Do not engage with the alleged perpetrator. Contacting him/her may be viewed as threatening behavior.

Encourage your friend to get mental health care. On campus, you can contact the Counseling Center, and there are also off-campus resources available.

What can I do here at USI?

Educate yourself. Attend a prevention program or event on campus or in the community. (this will eventually have links)

Confront language, jokes, or comments about victim blaming, sexism, racism, or homophobia.

Pledge to be an active bystander if you notice red flags of sexual assault. If you see something concerning – say something!

Know campus resources for reporting and your responsibility to report.

Support and believe survivors of sexual assault

Together we can create a culture where everyone feels safe and respected.


Institutional Equity Office

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