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The University of Georgia ("the University") is committed to a safe and respectful environment for living, work, and study. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, the University does not condone interpersonal violence of any kind, including sexual and relationship violence. Every member of the University community should be aware that such behavior is prohibited by University policy and be familiar with the University protocol for responding to reported violations. The University is also dedicated to providing assistance and support to students who have experienced relationship and/or sexual violence ("the student") and to making educational programs directed at prevention and awareness of relationship and sexual violence available to the campus community. In addition to cooperating with law enforcement officials in the prosecution of perpetrators, the University will take appropriate action to respond to and invoke sanctions for behavior that is found to violate this policy.
All members of the University of Georgia community share a responsibility for upholding this policy as we strive to attain our vision of creating a university where people feel safe and supported and where healthy, respectful relationships and a culture of nonviolence prevail.
This policy governs the conduct of all University of Georgia students under the jurisdiction outlined in the University Code of Conduct. This policy defines the acts of relationship and sexual violence prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. It provides guidance on what students can do if they have been victimized and what the University will do if an incident occurs. Separate policies, including the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, govern the conduct of faculty, staff, and administrators. These policies prohibit conduct that violates law and University policy and outline sanctions and disciplinary procedures for non-student offenders.
Relationship violence is physically, sexually and/or psychologically abusive behaviors used by one individual to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Intimate partners may be dating, cohabitating, married, separated or divorced. Relationship violence can occur in same- or opposite-sex relationships. Examples of relationship violence include, but are not limited to:
Sexual violence is any unwanted or non-consensual sexual act. Sexual violence can be committed by acquaintances, casual or long-term dating partners, spouses or strangers. The use of alcohol, by either party, in conjunction with an incident of sexual violence, does not mitigate responsibility or diminish the seriousness of the offense. Examples of sexual violence include, but are not limited to:
Consent is defined as clearly communicating agreement or permission to participate in sexual activity. The individuals consenting must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved. Such consent may be withdrawn at any time, without regard to activity preceding the withdrawal of consent. A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity alone. Non-consent occurs when the complaining party is prevented from resisting or giving consent as a result of intoxication, or is unconscious at the time of the act, and this fact is known to the person committing the act. It is a violation of this policy to engage in any form of sexual activity without the consent of the other person.
Coercion is the use of physical force, threat, intimidation, or exploitation of a person's mental or physical impairment of which the accused was aware or should have been aware. Mental or physical impairment refers to the victim's inability to understand the situation, understand the consequences of his/her choices, or to express his/her desires. This may include, but is not limited to, intoxication, being under the influence of drugs, unconsciousness, or other cognitive impairment, or being under the age of consent in the State of Georgia. The use of coercion in a sexual encounter constitutes a lack of consent.
Student Survivor Options
Seeking Medical Care
The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator (RSVP), Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia, or Project Safe
Reporting to Officials
Reporting to the Police
Filing an Administrative Complaint
Reporting violence to the Office of Student Conduct can begin the University's investigation of the issue and serves as a form of official documentation of the incident. The Office of Student Conduct will hear relationship or sexual violence cases among UGA students. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the final determination and sanctions if any of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sexual offense. A finding of relationship or sexual violence under this policy will be considered a code violation. Disciplinary sanctions for violations of this policy will be imposed in accordance with the Code of Conduct. The range of sanctions includes, but is not limited to, the following measures: expulsion, suspension, reprimand, restriction, probation, and restitution. Student employees may additionally be subject to staff policies and procedures.
Survivor Assistance and Support
Faculty, staff and administrators receiving disclosures of violence from students are:
Students who experience violence may seek confidential counseling through Counseling and Psychiatric Services (706-542-2273) or through an off-campus agency. Students may request changes in academic and living situations and changes will be granted if reasonably available.
Statistical Reporting and Data Collection
University officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities are required to complete a "Data Form for Relationship and Sexual Violence Incidents" for each student disclosure of relationship or sexual violence. The purpose of this form is to collect aggregate statistical data to monitor service usage, detect trends, and inform educational and public information activities, including the University's annual report on crime statistics. The University will provide statistics of reported crimes as required and defined by the Campus Security Act and the Student-Right-to-Know-Act. The form should not include any personally identifying information. Completed forms should be mailed to Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, University Health Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-1755.
Prevention and Educational Efforts
The University of Georgia employs a multifaceted approach to preventing relationship and sexual violence. The University coordinates its efforts to combat the problems of relationship and sexual violence through the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coalition. The campus maintains the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (RSVP) program, housed in University Health Center. RSVP provides the university community with educational programs and materials relating to the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. RSVP also offers advocacy, consultation, information and referrals to students who have experienced violence.
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