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ECSU's Response to Sexual and Gender Violence

Campus Safety

Personal Safety

Despite law enforcement's efforts, serious crimes do occur on campuses. It is important to report any suspicious incidents to police and always remain alert and vigilant.

One of the more serious crimes that too often is unreported is sexual assault. It is important to know what these crimes are because in many cases, victims do not realize that they have been victimized. Additionally, crimes of this nature are very difficult for victims to report for a number of very complex reasons. We provide the following information to help those who may have been victims of sexual assault or who have a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

There are many guidelines to help you be more alert and aware of the situation to prevent such serious crimes. Such as:

Know your surroundings

  • Be alert
  • Call for help
  • Report any suspicious people and/or activity, immediately

Defining Rape and Sexual Assault in North Carolina

NC General Statute 14-27 defines rape and sexual assault as the following:

First Degree Rape - a person is guilty of rape in the first degree if the person engages in vaginal intercourse:

  1. With a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least 4 years older than the victim;
  2. With another person by force and against the will of the other person and; employs a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another, by one or more other persons.

Second Degree Rape - a person is guilty of rape in the second degree if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person:

  1. By force and against the will of the other person; or
  2. Who is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally, or physically helpless.

First Degree Sexual Assault - a person is guilty of a sexual offense in the first degree if the person engages in a sexual act:

  1. With a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least 4 years older than the victim.
  2. With another person by force and against the will of the other person, and: (a) employs a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon, or (b) inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another, by one or more other persons, or (c) the person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.

Second Degree Sexual Assault - a person is guilty of a sexual offense in the second degree if the person engages in a sexual act:

  1. By force and against the will of the other person, or;
  2. Who is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally, or physically helpless.
    Statutory Rape is a crime in which a minor is manipulated to engage in intercourse with someone older. Many victims do not understand this is a crime because statutory rape considers age difference and not the consent of the individuals.

NC General Statute 14-27 defines statutory rape as:

Statutory Rape - a person is guilty of statutory rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person:

  1. Who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is at least six years older than the person except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.
  2. Who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is more than four but less than six years older than the person except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.
    While these definitions are clear, victims often have difficulty reporting a sexual assault for numerous reasons such as knowing the perpetrator, fear of retaliation, fear of parents knowing about the incident, or fear of getting in trouble with law enforcement. Despite these concerns, it is vital to report such incidents in order to get help.

The following information provides steps to follow should a sexual assault occur:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as possible!
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence - The victim should not bathe, shower, brush teeth, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing until he or she has a medical exam. Contact a close friend or relative, if available, who can provide support and accompany the victim to the medical exam and/or police department. Advocates from the Women's Resource Center can be available to the victim to provide support.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible - An exam may reveal the presence of physical injury of which the victim is unaware. Following a sexual assault, antibiotics are typically given at the time of the exam to help prevent the victim from acquiring certain sexually transmitted diseases. Emergency contraceptive pills are offered to all victims at the time of the exam (if the victim presents within 120 hours) to help prevent pregnancy from occurring as a result of the rape. If the victim reports memory loss, loss of consciousness or other circumstances suspicious for a drug-facilitated assault, a urine test may be done if the victim presents within 96 hours. Some of the commonly used "date rape" drugs, however, are only detectable in the urine for 6-8 hours after ingestion.
  • Contact the police - Sexual assault is a crime, it is vital to report it. It is important to remember reporting a crime is not the same as prosecuting the crime. The decision to prosecute may be made at another time. The final decision to prosecute is determined by the District Attorney.
  • Consider talking to a counselor - Seeing a counselor may be important in helping the victim understand his/her feelings and begin the process of recovery.

Our Commitment to Addressing Sexual Harassment, Including Sexual Assault

ECSU does not tolerate sexual misconduct or abuse, such as sexual assault, rape or any other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity. Sexual misconduct in any form violates the Student Code of Conduct, University policies (ECSU Sexual Assault Policy http://www.ecsu.edu/legal/docs/policymanual/Section900/900-4-1-3.pdf and ECSU Sexual Harassment Policy http://www.ecsu.edu/legal/docs/policymanual/Section900/900-1-2.pdf,) and may violate Federal and State Laws. Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary sanctions through the Office of Student Conduct and/or those outlined in applicable University policies (please refer to the ECSU Sexual Assault Policy which includes sexual assault, relationship and domestic violence, and stalking). Please visit http://www.ecsu.edu/administration/hr/titleix.cfm to review procedures, policies and protocols for reporting and addressing allegations of student sexual misconduct. The University provides the following rights to all sexual assault victims:

  • Upon request, Elizabeth City State University will make any reasonable change to a victim's academic, living, transportation, and/or working situation.
  • The victim and the accused will receive a written explanation of their rights and options.
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will have the same opportunities to have others present during the conduct proceedings.
  • The University will ensure that the complainant and the respondent both receive a written notice of the final determination of the investigation.
  • If desired, University Police will assist the victim in contacting local law enforcement authorities.
  • On campus counseling services are available to students through the Counseling and Testing Center.
  • Students who have been subject to sexual assault, sexual violence or sexual harassment may request to    withdraw from a semester or individual courses.

University Procedures for Responding to Reports of Sexual Assault

If you or someone you know is the victim of a sexual assault, the victim has several rights, including:

  • The right to report the incident to the University Police or local authorities. The University will assist victims in notifying either the University or local police. Filing a police report does not mean the victim must pursue criminal charges. The victim maintains his or her rights throughout the process.
  • In addition to the campus services listed below, there are also several community service organizations that can provide counseling, mental health, and other related services to sexual assault victims. Student Affairs can assist with connecting victims to these services.

 

Campus Resources

Counseling/Special Needs Services 252.335.3273
Student Health Services 252.335.3267
Student Affairs 252.335-3276
University Police 252.335.3266

University Title IX Coordinators/Deputies

Human Resources: 252.335.3785
Athletics 252.335.3847
Student Affairs 252.335.3271
Academic Affairs 252.335.3583

Off-Campus Resources

Albemarle Hopeline (24-hour crisis line) 252.338.3011
Albemarle Hospital 252.335.0531
Elizabeth City Police 252.335.4321
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault 919.871.1015

If a victim of a sexual assault or relationship violence incident requests a change in her or his living arrangements or academic schedule, Student Affairs, and other offices at ECSU, will assist the individual with making these changes, as long as they are reasonably available.

University Disciplinary Procedures in Sexual Assault Incidents

If you have been sexually assaulted, you have options for addressing such conduct. You may wish to discuss the problem privately with a counselor or an adviser in the Counseling Center or Student Health. University Police is always available to assist a victim with getting the support she/he requests.
The University's student conduct process is designed to afford a complainant (the person who is bringing a charge) and a respondent (the person who is answering a charge) a fair, prompt, and appropriate resolution process. The process is designed to help persons who need support as they address these incidents.

The Office of Student Affairs manages the resolution proceeding in which a student is the alleged perpetrator. The full text of the protocol for how the University responds to sexual assault complaints through the campus conduct process can be found at http://www.ecsu.edu/administration/hr/titleix.cfm and the ECSU Sexual Assault Policy found at http://www.ecsu.edu/legal/docs/policymanual/Section900/900-4-1-3.pdf. The Human Resource Office is responsible for managing proceedings for those cases in which an employee is the respondent.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment or assault, the full context in which the alleged incident occurred must be considered. In any case, both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during any disciplinary proceeding. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any proceeding.

During any sexual assault complaint proceeding, the University has a range of sanctions available. Those sanctions may range from probation to expulsion from the University, depending upon the nature and circumstances of the specific incident.

Sexual Assault Prevention Education Programs

The Office of Student Affairs is primarily responsible for sexual assault education and awareness in collaboration with many offices at the University. Together, these offices offer a variety of programming during the academic year which focuses on sexual and gender violence. Below is a list of some of the programs offered by the ECSU:

  • Student Information & Awareness Programs Stalking Awareness & Suicide Prevention
  • Date Rape
  • Dating Violence & Sexual Assault
  • Staying Safe on Campus
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Sexual Assault Prevention Fair
  • Welcome Back Weekend Seminar - The seminar will educate students about the elements of a healthy relationship, the importance of sexual consent and the role of bystanders in creating safe and healthy communities.
  • Freshmen Survival Skills - The Counseling Center and the VANS utilize peer theatre and a video to discuss the topics of sexual assault, sexual harassment and bystander intervention.
  • Substance Abuse Committee - Committee of Faculty, Staff and Student leaders who promote substance abuse and sexual assault awareness through programs and fairs.

Sex Offender Registration - Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

The North Carolina General Assembly created the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry in January 1996. This law outlines registration requirements for persons living in North Carolina, non-resident students and non-resident workers. The Registry serves as a resource to help protect and inform the public.

A list of registered sex offenders is made available by the state authorities to the local law enforcement agency (Elizabeth City Police Department) that has jurisdiction where the institution of higher education is located. For information about registered sex offenders in the State of North Carolina, you may visit the website for the North Carolina Offender Registry at http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov/ and the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender website at http://www.nsopw.gov/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.