I Need More Information

The Confidential Victim Advocate, located within the Talley Center, is a great place to start when you need more information. The advocate can offer information about your legal rights and options for services both on and off campus.

They will provide emotional support as you decide your next step.  At your direction, the advocate can coordinate services with law enforcement, medical professionals, or Title IX.

Accompaniment to various service organizations and legal proceedings is also available. To schedule a CONFIDENTIAL appointment, call 540-654-1053 or in- person at the Talley Center’s Tyler House location.

Key Terms:

Please note that these are University of Mary Washington specific definitions. Criminal definitions may vary by state. If you are unsure, please contact the police, UMW’s Confidential Advocate, Victim Witness, Empowerhouse, or RCASA.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is non-consensual bodily contact of a sexual nature. It includes any sexual contact when the Complainant does not or is unable to consent through the use of force, fear, intimidation, threats, physical helplessness, ruse, coercion, or incapacitation; intentional and non-consensual touching of or coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks or breast, clothed or unclothed; and non-consensual sexual intercourse, defined as anal, oral or vaginal penetration, however slight, with any body part or object.

What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Intimate Partner Violence may include any form of Prohibited Conduct under this Policy, including Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Physical Assault (as defined below). Intimate Partner Violence is an umbrella term that includes dating violence and domestic violence.

What is Stalking?

Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or to experience substantial emotional distress. “Course of Conduct” means two or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish. Stalking includes “cyber-stalking,” a particular form of stalking in which a person uses electronic media, such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact.

What is consent?

Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission to engage in a sexual activity. Consent can be given by word or action, and the sexual act must be mutually agreed upon. Silence does not equal consent. Consent can be revoked at any time.

Past consent or past relationships does not imply consent. Someone who is forced, coerced, or incapacitated due to alcoholor drug use, mental disability, sleep, or involuntary physical constraints cannot consent.

How do I know if I have suffered trauma?

Trauma is the exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. This exposure can take the form of the person actually experiencing the event, directly witnessing the event occur to others, or learning persistent and significant details of the event that occurred to a close family member or friend. (APA, DSM-IV).

What is Amnesty?

Victims or witnesses of Prohibited Sexual Conduct who have been using alcohol or other drugs at the time of the incident might fear that they would “get into trouble” for having violated UMW’s alcohol or drug policies if they report. Recognizing the potentially devastating impact of Prohibited Conduct on not just the individual but on the UMW community, UMW will grant limited amnesty to the student(s) from drug, alcohol, and other student conduct policies, if their behavior did not put other individuals at risk.

Who is a Responsible Employee?

A responsible employee is any employee who is not a Confidential Employee. Responsible Employees, who in the course of employment, obtain information (directly or indirectly) about an incident(s) of Prohibited Conduct that may involve a student and/or incident(s) of Prohibited Conduct that may have occurred on campus, in or on a non-campus building or property, or on public property shall report such information (including times, locations, and names of the parties and witnesses) to the Title IX coordinator as soon as practicable after addressing the immediate needs of the victim.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that  prohibits sex-based discrimination at educational institutions. It reads, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”