Chapter 2 – Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, or Stalking Involving Students

(President 12/08; amended 4/09; 8/10; 8/13; 10/1/14; 7/15)

Students who may be victims of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking:

If you or someone you know may be a victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or any other behaviors prohibited under this policy, you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance and support. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from:

  • Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) — confidential, certified victim advocacy services, 319-335-6000
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) — confidential, certified victim advocacy services, 319-351-1043 or 800-373-1043
  • Emergency Department, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics — confidential medical services, 319-356-2233
  • University of Iowa Department of Public Safety — law enforcement services, 319-335-5022, or 911 from any campus phone

During business hours, you may also seek assistance from the University of Iowa Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, 319-335-6200.

2.1 Introduction

(Amended 7/15)

The University of Iowa strives to create a respectful, safe, and nonthreatening environment for its students, faculty, staff, and lawful visitors. This policy sets forth resources available to students, describes prohibited student conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and other unwelcome sexual behavior.

A student who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an incident should not be reluctant to seek assistance for that reason. The Dean of Students will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student (or against a witness) for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking) if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. In addition, the law enforcement authorities in Johnson County have a policy of not pursuing charges for improper use of alcohol or drugs against a victim of sexual assault.

Assistance in reporting any form of misconduct to the proper law enforcement authorities is available to any student upon request from a certified victim advocate at the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP), or from the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.

2.2 General Statement of Policy

(Amended 7/15)

The University of Iowa prohibits sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking in any form, including sexual assault or sexual harassment, and any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct. Students should be able to live, study, and work in an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, threats, coercion, or manipulation. The term includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sexual intimidation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.

Domestic/dating violence is coercive, abusive, and/or threatening behavior toward a current or former intimate or romantic partner. 

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
 

Any act that falls within the definition of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking constitutes a violation of University policy. The University is committed to fostering a campus environment that both promotes and expedites prompt reporting of misconduct and timely and fair adjudication of cases. The University's procedures are designed to protect the rights, needs, and privacy of the student making a University complaint, as well as those of students accused of misconduct. The University also adheres to all federal, state, and local requirements for intervention, crime reporting, and privacy provisions related to sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.

The University will make this policy and educational opportunities readily available to all students and other members of the University community. By engaging as active bystanders, all members of the University contribute to  a respectful, safe, and nonthreatening environment.

The University of Iowa will make every effort to respect the privacy of students who seek help and/or report misconduct. The University will weigh requests for no action with its responsibility to protect the community and adhere to federal guidelines that mandate the University's action. While steps are taken to protect the privacy of victims, the University may need to investigate an incident and take action once an allegation is known, whether or not the student chooses to pursue a complaint.

Reports of sexual misconduct involving University students, faculty, staff, or any third party should be made to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator at 319-335-6200. An academic or administrative officer, as defined in the University's Sexual Harassment policy (see II-4.1b(3)) must report any known sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking report involving a student to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator. No employee is authorized to investigate or resolve student complaints without the involvement of the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.

In addition to violating University policy, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking might also constitute criminal activity. Students are strongly encouraged to inform law enforcement authorities about instances of misconduct. The chances of a successful criminal investigation are greatly enhanced if evidence is collected and maintained immediately by law enforcement officers. Students may inform law enforcement authorities about sexual misconduct or stalking and discuss the matter with a law enforcement officer without making a criminal complaint. However, in cases of domestic violence, law enforcement officers are mandated to make an arrest of the primary physical aggressor when there is evidence of an assault and a physical injury has occurred.

2.3 Definitions and Examples of Sexual Misconduct

(Amended 7/15)
  1. "Sexual misconduct" general definition. Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.
  2. Examples of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behavior or attempted behavior. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship.

    Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following examples of prohibited conduct as further defined below:

    1. sexual assault (paragraph e below);
    2. sexual harassment (paragraph f below);
    3. sexual exploitation (paragraph g below);
    4. sexual intimidation (paragraph h below).
  3. "Consent" definition. For purposes of this policy, consent is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions.
    1. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the sexual activity to ensure that consent is obtained from the other person to engage in the activity.
    2. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. For that reason, relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.
    3. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved or the fact of a past sexual relationship does not imply consent to future sexual acts.
    4. Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity — at any time, a participant can communicate a desire to no longer consent to continuing the activity.
    5. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
    6. If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, the participants must stop the activity until each consents to it.
    7. Consent is not procured by the use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.
    8. Persons who are unable to give consent. In addition, under University of Iowa policy the following persons are unable to give consent:
      1. persons who are asleep, unconscious, or involuntarily restrained physically;
      2. persons who are incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication;
      3. persons who are unable to communicate consent due to a mental or physical condition;
      4. persons who are not of legal age according to Iowa Code PDF iconChapter 709.
  4. Relation to criminal law and other University policy. In addition to being forbidden by this policy, sexual misconduct may be a violation of state criminal law and of other University policies, including the University's general policy against violence (see II-10 Violence).
  5. "Sexual assault" definition. Sexual assault is a form of sexual misconduct and represents a continuum of conduct from forcible intercourse to nonphysical forms of pressure that compel individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will.

    Examples of sexual assault under this policy include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors, however slight, when consent is not present:

    1. sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal). Intercourse, however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact);
    2. attempted sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal);
    3. intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts;
    4. any other intentional unwanted bodily contact of a sexual nature;
    5. use of coercion, manipulation, or force to make someone else engage in sexual touching, including breasts, chest, and buttocks.
  6. "Sexual harassment" definition. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, written, or physical behavior of a sexual nature, directed at an individual, or against a particular group, because of that person's or group's gender, or based on gender stereotypes or manifestation, when that behavior is unwelcome and meets either of the following criteria:
    1. Submission or consent to the behavior is believed to carry consequences for another person's education, employment, on-campus living environment, or participation in a University program or activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment include:
      1. pressuring a student to engage in sexual behavior for some educational or employment benefit; or
      2. making a real or perceived threat that rejecting sexual behavior will carry a negative consequence for the student in education, on-campus residence, or University program or activity.
    2. The behavior has the effect of limiting or denying another person's work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University program or activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment can include:
      1. persistent unwelcomed efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
      2. unwelcome commentary about an individual's body or sexual activities;
      3. repeated unwanted sexual attention;
      4. repeated and unwelcome sexually oriented teasing, joking, or flirting;
      5. verbal abuse of a sexual nature.

      Comments or communications could be verbal, written, or electronic. Behavior does not need to be directed at or to a specific student, but rather may be generalized unwelcomed and unnecessary comments based on sex or gender stereotypes.

    Determination of whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment requires consideration of all the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.​

  7. "Sexual exploitation" definition. Sexual exploitation involves taking nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another person. Examples can include, but are not limited to the following behaviors:
    1. electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
    2. voyeurism (spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations);
    3. distributing intimate or sexual information about another person without that person's consent;
    4. prostituting or trafficking another person.
  8. "Sexual intimidation" definition. Sexual intimidation involves:
    1. threatening another person that you will commit a sex act against them; or
    2. engaging in indecent exposure.

2.4 Definitions and Examples of Dating/Domestic Violence

(7/15)

Domestic/dating violence is coercive, abusive, and/or threatening behavior toward a current or former intimate or romantic partner. These behaviors may include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, or injure the victim/survivor. 

2.5 Definitions and Examples of Stalking

(7/15)

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

​Examples of prohibited stalking can include but are not limited to:

  1. Nonconsensual repeated communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts, ordering goods or services, or any other communications that are undesired;
  2. Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a recipient of unwelcome conduct;
  3. Monitoring online activities, surveillance, and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means, attempting to gather information about the recipient of unwelcome conduct;
  4. Vandalism, including attacks on data and equipment;
  5. Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a recipient of unwelcome conduct or loved ones of a recipient of unwelcome conduct, including animal abuse;
  6. Gathering of information about a recipient of unwelcome conduct from family, friends, coworkers, and/or classmates;
  7. Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the recipient of unwelcome conduct;
  8. Defamation or slander against the recipient of unwelcome conduct; posting false information about the recipient of unwelcome conduct; posing as the complainant in order to post to websites, news groups, blogs, or other sites that allow public contributions; and/or encouraging others to harass the recipient of unwelcome conduct;
  9. Posing as someone other than oneself to initiate transactions, financial credit, loans, or other contractual agreements;
  10. Arranging to meet the recipient of unwelcome conduct under false pretenses.

2.6 Resources and Support for Victims/Survivors

(Amended 7/15)

Persons who experience misconduct may respond to the experience in many different ways, including feeling confused, vulnerable, out of control, embarrassed, angry, distrustful, stressed, or depressed. The University provides a variety of resources to assist students with healing, safety planning, reviewing complaint options, and securing long-term support.

  1. Confidential assistance and advocacy for students who have experienced sexual misconduct or other unwelcome sexual behavior, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking:

     A student may receive 24-hour assistance from a certified victim advocate by calling the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) at 319-335-6000 or the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) at 319-351-1043. Certified victim advocates are trained to confidentially answer questions, provide information about options, and help with safety planning. They may accompany and provide support to a student during a medical, legal, or student judicial meeting. The University encourages all students who believe they may have been victims of misconduct to contact RVAP or DVIP.


  2. Academic and housing accommodations; interim actions to protect students: 

    A student who has reported being the victim of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking may contact the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator at 319-335-6200 to request any of the following: ​​

    1. a change of on-campus housing location to a different on-campus location if alternate housing is available;
    2. assistance in securing a transfer of class sections;
    3. assistance in arranging incompletes, leaves, or withdrawal;
    4. issuance of a no-contact directive if the University determines that continued contact between a student who has made a complaint, a student who has been accused of sexual misconduct, and/or a witness would be detrimental to any of the parties' welfare;
    5. other interim actions, when necessary to protect student welfare, such as a campus and/or building ban or interim suspension.

    Requests for such arrangements or actions will be granted in appropriate circumstances as determined by the Dean of Students or the Sexual Misconduct Response/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or their designees.

  3. Protection against retaliation. The University of Iowa prohibits retaliatory action against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of any charge of sexual misconduct (see II-11 Anti-Retaliation). This includes any form of intimidation, threats, or harassment. Acts of retaliation constitute a violation of University policy and of the Code of Student Life and will result in disciplinary action. Retaliation should be reported to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.
  4. Medical assistance. Students who have experienced a recent sexual assault are strongly encouraged to visit a hospital or clinic to assess and address their medical needs. The exam can assess a victim's injuries and provide necessary medical advice and medication for concerns regarding pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI). A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is available at both Iowa City hospitals to perform an evidentiary examination. Receiving an evidentiary examination does not mean that a victim must make a complaint to the University or to law enforcement. Rather, the examination serves to preserve evidence in the event that a victim may wish to make a complaint in the future.

    A sexual assault evidentiary exam is fully covered and paid for by the State of Iowa and will not be submitted for insurance purposes.

    ​To secure medical assistance and/or an evidentiary exam, visit:

    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Emergency Department (open 24 hours)
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Carver Pavilion, Level 1 
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242 
    Emergency Medicine phone: 319-356-2233 
    UIHC Nurseline (operated 24 hours): 319-384-8442

  5. University of Iowa Department of Public Safety. Students who have experienced sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking are encouraged to seek the assistance of the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety at 319-335-5022. If a student is not sure whether criminal conduct is involved, an officer can assist the student in determining whether a crime has been committed. If the misconduct occurred off campus, an officer can assist the student in contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency. A student can request and receive the assistance of the Department of Public Safety without making a criminal complaint or making a complaint to the University. However, in cases of domestic violence, law enforcement officers are mandated to make an arrest of the primary physical aggressor when there is evidence of an assault and a physical injury has occurred. 

    The Department of Public Safety is committed to ensuring that students who report misconduct receive comprehensive care, regardless of whether or not they wish to make a criminal complaint.

    If a student contacts UI Public Safety, an officer will:

    1. call a certified victim advocate to assist the student in every step of the process;
    2. accompany the student to the hospital if the student wishes;
    3. notify the University's Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator of the report;
    4. talk with the student privately and treat the student with respect, sensitivity, and dignity.

    ​If the student feels more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, the Department of Public Safety will do its best to accommodate that request.

    Even if an assault took place on non-University property or was reported to another law enforcement agency, students are encouraged to contact the Department of Public Safety for assistance with safety issues while on campus (e.g., protection from particular individuals).

2.7 Resources and Support for the Accused

(7/15)

Assistance for students accused of sexual misconduct or other unwelcome sexual behavior, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking:

  1. Due process. The University will treat accused students with fairness and respect in accordance with the principles of due process. 
A student who is accused of sexual misconduct may be assisted by an attorney or other advisor of his or her choosing. A student who is accused of sexual misconduct should consider seeking the assistance of a private attorney.
  2. The Office of the Ombudsperson can confidentially assist with understanding University policies and the Student Judicial Procedure, listen to concerns, help identify options, and refer to other resources as needed. See http://www.uiowa.edu/ombuds/, or contact 319-335-3608 or ombudsperson@uiowa.edu.
  3. University Counseling Service can confidentially assist in dealing with stress related to the complaint and work to develop strategies for healthy coping. See http://counseling.studentlife.uiowa.edu, or contact 319-335-7294 or ucs@uiowa.edu.
  4. The Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator can assist you with understanding University policies and the Student Judicial Procedure. See http://osmrc.uiowa.edu, or contact 319-335-6200 or osmrc@uiowa.edu.
  5. University prohibition against knowingly false complaints. The University prohibits students from knowingly making false complaints of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment). Knowingly making false complaints of sexual misconduct constitutes a violation of the Code of Student Life and will result in disciplinary action. However, a complaint made in good faith is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of sexual misconduct.

2.8 Confidentiality

(Amended 7/15)

Students who would like to discuss their situations in a private environment, and share or seek information about a sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking issue without making a complaint, have a number of options. At various offices on campus and off campus, students can speak to individuals who have professional or legal obligations to keep communications with the student confidential. When seeking advice and support, students who are concerned about confidentiality should always discuss that concern with the person to whom they are speaking, and should inquire about any limits on that confidentiality.

Generally, under Iowa law, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:

  1. An RVAP victim advocate (319-335-6000)  or DVIP victim advocate (319-351-1043) [IC 915.20A]
  2. A psychological counselor or other mental health professional, including counselors at the University Counseling Service (319-335-7294), the Women's Resource and Action Center (319-335-1486), and the Employee Assistance Program (319-335-2085) [IC 228.2 and 622.10];
  3. A health care provider, including medical professionals at Student Health and Wellness and The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics [IC 622.10];
  4. A personal attorney [IC 622.10];
  5. A member of the clergy [IC 622.10].

In addition, the staff at the Office of the Ombudsperson (319-335-3608) have a professional obligation to keep their communications with clients confidential and will not disclose those communications unless required to do so by court order or to avoid imminent physical harm.

2.9 Making a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking

(Amended 7/15)

The University takes all incidents of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking very seriously. There are two options for students to make a complaint of sexual misconduct. A student may pursue either or both of these options.

A student can make a UI policy complaint about sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking by contacting the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator at 319-335-6200.

A student can make a criminal complaint about sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, which would be the UI Department of Public Safety (319-335-5022) in the case of misconduct that occurs on campus. Not all sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking is criminal behavior. Law enforcement authorities can assist a student in determining whether the conduct experienced was criminal in nature and warrants a criminal complaint.

A student may seek and receive help from the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator and/or the UI Department of Public Safety without making a complaint. The University of Iowa will make every effort to respect the privacy of students who seek help and/or report misconduct. The University will weigh requests for no action with its responsibility to protect the community and adhere to federal guidelines that mandate the University's action. While steps are taken to protect the privacy of victims, the University may need to investigate an incident and take action once an allegation is known, whether or not the student chooses to pursue a complaint.

  1. Making a University policy complaint.
    1. How to make a complaint to University administration. Students may make a complaint about sexual misconduct by another student, a faculty member, or a staff member by contacting the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator at 319-335-6200.

      A student may need support when talking with law enforcement or University administrators. Students are entitled to be assisted by a certified victim advocate at every stage of the process and are encouraged to consult with the victim advocate and bring the victim advocate to meetings.

    2. When to make a complaint to University administration. There is no time limit on making a complaint to University administration. However, students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible after the incident occurred. The University may ultimately be unable to adequately investigate if too much time has passed or if an accused individual has left the University. Other factors that could negatively affect the University's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence, the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.
  2. Making a report to law enforcement.
    1. In an emergency: Call 911 from wherever you are, and a law enforcement officer will respond to assist you.
    2. In nonemergency situations: Criminal sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, should be reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the location where the assault or abuse occurred. Nonemergency reports to law enforcement may be made as follows:
      1. If the incident occurred on University of Iowa property, call the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety at 319-335-5022.
      2. If the incident occurred in Iowa City, call the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275.
      3. If the incident occurred in Coralville, call the Coralville Police Department at 319-248-1800.
      4. If the incident occurred in University Heights, call the University Heights Police Department at 319-887-6800.
      5. If the incident occurred in North Liberty, call the North Liberty Police Department at 319-626-5724.
      6. If the incident occurred in another area of Johnson County, call the Johnson County Sheriff's Department at 319-356-6020.

Victim advocates have special training in working with law enforcement. The advocates at RVAP (24-hour crisis line, 319-335-6000) can help a student arrange to meet with a law enforcement officer to discuss options, and a student can request that a victim advocate accompany him or her at the meeting. At a student's request, the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator will also assist students in reporting to law enforcement.

2.10 Scope of Policy: On Campus and Off Campus

(7/15)

This policy covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as described below.

  1. On-campus violations. This policy forbids acts of sexual misconduct anywhere on campus. "Campus" includes University-owned or -leased property, streets, and pathways contiguous to University property, or in the immediate vicinity of campus. It also includes the property, facilities, and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the University, including University housing and University-recognized housing. University housing includes all types of University residence housing, such as halls and apartments. University-recognized housing includes fraternity and sorority chapter dwellings.
  2. Off-campus violations. Off-campus violations, including online behavior, that affect a clear and distinct interest of the University are subject to disciplinary sanctions. For example, sexual misconduct by a student is within the University's interests when the behavior:
    1. involves conduct directed at a University student or other member of the University community;
    2. occurs at a University-sponsored activity, sporting event, or educational activity (e.g., residency, internship, service-learning experience, field trip), or at a student organization-sponsored activity;
    3. occurs while the accused or complainant was acting in an official capacity for the University;
    4. constitutes a violation of federal, state, or local law or ordinance;
    5. violates University rule or policy; or
    6. demonstrates a threat to campus safety and security. Violations of this policy involving violent conduct, alcohol, or drugs, occurring in Johnson County, Iowa, are presumed to affect a clear and distinct interest of the University.