- For more than two decades, Rutgers University has been recognized as a national leader in sexual assault awareness, education, prevention and victim assistance.
- The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women recognized the university’s leadership in 2014 when it invited the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) to pilot a new sexual assault climate survey at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
OFFICE FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND VICTIM ASSISTANCE
- The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) was created in 1991 by recommendation of the University Acquaintance Rape Task Force. Under the leadership of Director Ruth Anne Koenick, the office has grown to serve Rutgers community members who are victims of all crime. Most services addressing sexual violence at Rutgers University-New Brunswick are coordinated through VPVA.
- SCREAM Theater is the peer education improvisational theater group associated with VPVA. It uses interactive, educational skits to educate audiences on issues of interpersonal violence, specifically on sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment and bullying.
- Health Services/Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) – A new online patient portal for Health Services/CAPS will provide for sexual violence screening with all students who are seen for an appointment in any of these facilities.
- Sexual assault is the most common trauma experienced by women with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Approximately one-third of all sexual assault survivors will develop PTSD in their lifetime. Over the past year, CAPS staff participated in ongoing training in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an evidence-based counseling treatment for PTSD. A select group of CAPS therapists will serve as primary therapists assigned to care for students who have been diagnosed with PTSD resulting from sexual violence.
RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
- Students who have been victims of sexual assault are encouraged to file a police report with the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD). Victims also are encouraged to contact VPVA and the Rutgers University-New Brunswick Title IX Coordinator for Students to receive support services and information about university procedures should they wish to pursue disciplinary action against another student.
- A victim has the option to meet with an advocate from VPVA before, during or after the reporting process.
- If a student reports a sexual assault first to RUPD, the police will coordinate notification to the Rutgers-New Brunswick Title IX Coordinator for Students, who will initiate the administrative investigation process. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and/or gender in education programs or activities.
- If the student files a police report, RUPD works with the county prosecutor’s office, which coordinates the criminal investigation. The decision to proceed with a criminal investigation is based entirely on the victim’s desire to pursue charges and the facts of the case in consultation with the county prosecutor’s office.
- If the victim chooses to pursue a formal university complaint against the accused, the Rutgers-New Brunswick Title IX Coordinator for Students and the Office of Student Conduct follow the university’s student disciplinary process.
STUDENT DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
- The New Brunswick Title IX Coordinator for Students, in collaboration with the Office of Student Conduct and other university officials, will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation.
- If the investigation results in any charges and the accused student does not accept responsibility, the case will be considered by a trained administrative hearing officer.
- Students are subject to a range of sanctions, including:
o Disciplinary probation