Policy on Sexual Assault
When sexual assault or sexual violence in any form occurs, the standards of the community, and possibly criminal laws, are violated. When reported, the College will deal with these issues in accordance with its policies and procedures and as required by applicable laws. Sexual assault committed in connection with any College program, whether on or off campus, is prohibited. This includes all College programs including, but not limited to, academic, educational, extra-curricular, athletic, and residential programs.
Washington College urges individuals who believe they have been sexually assaulted to pursue criminal charges against the person or persons they believe to have committed the sexual assault. A criminal charge and an internal complaint can be pursued at the same time. Retaliation against an individual who brings a complaint, participates in an investigation, or pursues legal action is prohibited and possible violations will be investigated and violations addressed in accordance with College policy and procedures.
In cases of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, College authorities will inform a complainant of the option of criminal prosecution and medical assistance, as well as the complainant’s rights under the Crime Complainant’s Bill of Rights. This includes the right to assistance from the Maryland State Crime Complainants Reparation Board and the Maryland State Office of the Crime Complainant Ombudsman. A complainant will also be informed of the right to file a complaint of sexual harassment (which includes sexual assault/violence). Students or employees wishing to file a complaint should follow the procedures outlined in the “Reporting Discrimination and Harassment” section found earlier.
When a Washington College student is the subject of a sexual assault/violence complaint, the individual filing the complaint will be informed about the role of the Honor Board’s Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board in evaluating whether the student who is the subject of the complaint is responsible for violations of College policy (including policies addressing discrimination and harassment). When a Washington College employee or third party is the subject of a sexual assault/violence complaint, the individual filing the complaint will be informed about the role of the DDRC or appropriate administrator in evaluating whether the individual who is the subject of the complaint is responsible for violations of College policy (including policies addressing discrimination and harassment).
College authorities, normally the Director of Public Safety, will notify the Chestertown Police of the sexual assault only at the request of the student or employee filing the complaint and will provide assistance in notifying any other law enforcement authorities or in preserving materials that may be relevant to the internal complaint process. At the direction of the Chestertown Police, College authorities will provide assistance in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence for criminal prosecution.
By decision of the President of the College, the Vice President of Student Affairs, or a designee of either, the person who is the subject of a sexual assault complaint may, without prejudice, be removed from the campus or subjected to other forms of restriction with regard to the complainant, pending formal judicial action or criminal procedures, to avoid additional conflict within the community and/or to protect the safety of members of the College community.
Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault
There are many services established to assist individuals who have been sexually assaulted. The following can be contacted to provide assistance or to answer any questions:
Lauren Gibson, Director of Wellness and Prevention Education, 410-778-7277
Washington College Health Services, 410-778-7261
Washington College Counseling Services, 410-778-7261, 7289, or 7826
“For All Seasons, Inc.” Sexual Assault Crisis Center, 1-800-310-7273 (A 24-hour confidential service that provides counseling, advocacy and support to survivors.)
Office of Public Safety, 410-778-7810
Two area hospitals have sexual assault response programs in place. Forensic Nurse Examiners are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide confidential medical examination, STI and pregnancy prophylactics. The programs work in conjunction with For All Seasons, Inc., to provide advocacy support to victims.
Chester River Hospital Center, 410-778-3300 – located adjacent to Washington College at 100 Brown Street, Chestertown, Maryland
Memorial Hospital, 410-822-1000 – located at 219 S. Washington Avenue, Easton, Maryland
A member of the Campus Department of Public Safety is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to connect the complainant with a sexual assault response advocate and to transport the complainant to either hospital if requested. Volunteers from the For All Seasons Sexual Assault Crisis Center are also available to provide counseling and assistance throughout this process.
The Director of Wellness and Prevention Education, serving as the sexual assault response coordinator, will inform complainants, at a minimum, of internal complaint options, availability of confidential counseling, mechanisms available to address concerns about physical safety, as well as the possibility of alternative housing assignments or classroom arrangements (where appropriate).