In an effort to advance the cause of deterrence and reduce the possibility of a student becoming the victim of sexual misconduct, information concerning safe and positive options for bystander intervention, including recognizing the warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks, is provided by the Office of the Dean of Students. If you or someone you know have been the victim of possible sexual misconduct, please review these resources and seek assistance if desired.
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct occurs when an individual is forced or threatened with force to engage in unwanted sexual activity. It is never the fault of the victim. As a community of respect, Illinois Institute of Technology considers sexual assault a serious crime and does not tolerate sexual misconduct.
The University offers several resources for students who may be the victim of sexual misconduct. A list of contacts and resources is available here.
- College-aged women are four times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault.
- One in six women will be a victim in their lifetime.
- Rapists are usually not strangers. More than 80% of sexual assaults are committed by people familiar to the victim.
- More than 70% of sexual assaults involve the consumption of alcohol by the victim and/or assailant.
Sexual misconduct prevention
Within a relationship, there can be indicators of either partner’s propensity to become abusive. Partner violence is any sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse of one partner by the other in a romantic relationship. While arguing or fighting occurs in all relationships, partner violence is about power and control of one partner by the other. Due to the nature of being in a relationship with the abuser, partner violence can be hard to identify and understand. If you are in abusive relationship, you may find it difficult to acknowledge because the abuser is someone for whom you have feelings. Abusive behavior can take many forms. Be concerned if your partner:
- Is jealous and possessive
- Tries to control everything you do
- Tries to isolate you from family and friends
- Has a quick temper or unpredictable reactions to ordinary things
- Often exhibits violent behavior toward animals, children, or other people
- Pressures you for sex
- Has a history of bad relationships
- Has a strong belief in extreme gender roles
- Says things like:
- "If you really loved me…"
- "You just don't understand…"
- "No one has ever loved/understood me like you do."
- "You'd be nothing without me."
In all relationships, it is important to trust your instincts. If your intuition tells you something is wrong, you shouldn't ignore it.
Stalking, similar to dating and domestic violence, is a crime of power and control. Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government. Laws vary by state, but stalking is generally defined as repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, and/or implied threats, that would cause a reasonable person fear.
If you are being stalked, trust your instincts and don’t downplay the danger of your situation. Consider taking the following steps:
- If you feel that you are in immediate danger, contact IIT Public Safety at 312.808.6363, or if off campus, contact 911.
- Assertively communicate that you want the behavior to stop and set and maintain personal boundaries.
- Try not to be isolated with the person.
- Tell family, friends, roommates, team members, faculty or staff members, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
- Stalking behavior can be confusing. For support, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 312-567-3081.
Drugs and alcohol play a significant role in sexual misconduct. Almost three-quarters of all sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol as a factor. IIT encourages students to engage in safe alcohol-consumption practices for both themselves and others. IIT offers the Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) course for students who are interested in learning how to safely and effectively confront issues of alcohol abuse on campus. Learn more about TIPS here.
Rape drugs are substances used by predators to incapacitate a victim so that they cannot resist an assault. When these drugs are used, victims often cannot recall what happened to them. Most of these substances are colorless, odorless and tasteless so they can be slipped into a victim's drink or food without the victim noticing.
When someone appears extremely intoxicated after only a small amount of alcohol, a rape drug may be involved. Two prevalent rape drugs to be aware of are Rohypnol and GHB.
Dealing with sexual misconduct
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM (SURVIVOR) OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
If you are attacked, try to stay as calm as possible. Think rationally and evaluate your options.
- Escape is always the best defense. Consistently look for opportunities to get away.
- Depending on the circumstances, you might try to negotiate with the attacker, scream to attract attention, be loud, or do whatever it takes to stop the assailant.
- Choosing not to resist is NOT consenting.
If you need immediate medical care or are in danger, please call 312-808-6363 if you are on-campus, or 911 if you are off-campus. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, you have rights and you have options. Title IX and IIT offices exist to help you get the support you need. Whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member, you have the right to file a complaint through the university and/or to explore other options.
- If possible, get to a safe place. Your primary concern should be your personal safety.
- Call someone who can help. Contact a friend, family member, the police, and/or other campus or community agencies (available here).
- Call for help. IITPSD can be reached at 312-808-6363 (on-campus) or you can call 911 (off-campus) if you need immediate assistance. Otherwise, you can contact IIT Public Safety at 312-808-6300. Public Safety will meet with you and contact the appropriate campus resources on your behalf. Contacting any campus or local resource does not mean you are obligated to take any legal action against your attacker.
- Do not shower, drink, eat, brush your teeth or change your clothes. These activities can destroy physical evidence that could be useful if you decide to prosecute. However, if you have already done so (which is a perfectly normal response), you should still seek medical care. These activities do not necessarily prevent the collection of evidence.
- Get medical attention. All Chicago area emergency rooms have specially trained professionals who can take the best care of you during this time. The closest emergency facilities to the main campus are Mercy Hospital, Northwestern, University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Even if you feel anxious or uncomfortable, it is very important to receive medical assistance. Members of hospital staff are accustomed to dealing with sexual assault injuries, including injuries to the penis, the vagina or the anus for all victims. Even if you don’t seem seriously hurt, you may have hidden internal injuries or sexually transmitted infections that need medical attention.
- It is always recommended that you seek care at a hospital who can provide the best possible care and options to you. However, the IIT Student Health and Wellness Center will also offer professional and compassionate care, though they are not currently equipped to offer forensic examinations and may refer you to an outside provider for additional care.
- Consider a forensic exam. A forensic exam is done only by an individual who has been specially trained to gather evidence. It involves a collection of important evidence including fluid samples, clothing, nail clippings, hair, pictures of injured areas, etc.
- Write down everything that you remember happening, with as much detail as possible. This can help you to cope with the situation, but may also be helpful in any legal action you might decide to take.
- Consider seeking support. Advocates and counselors can help explain your options and provide relevant resources and information. In addition to your rights to pursue legal action, if the alleged perpetrator is a member of the IIT community, there are conduct options available on campus. You can contact the Director of Student Conduct for more information on these options and to discuss what your rights are as a survivor.
- Do not blame yourself. Being a victim of sexual assault is never your fault.
CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS
The United States Congress enacted the "Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights" in 1992 as a part of the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 (Public Law: 102-325, section 486(c)). This law requires that all colleges and universities (both public and private) participating in federal student aid programs afford sexual assault victims certain basic rights.
- Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
- Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present.
- Survivors shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement.
- Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.
- Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.
Resources regarding sexual misconduct
IIT offers students a variety of personal resources for dealing with instances of sexual misconduct. On-campus assistance is available from several offices. Counseling and health-related concerns are addressed by the Student Health and Wellness Center. Legal resources for students can be sought out from the Office of the Dean of Students. The Office of Residence and Greek Life has staff available 24 hours a day, 365 days to assist students in crisis. The Office of Campus Life offers services and assistance for victims of sexual misconduct through a coordinator who works directly on women’s services.
In addition to the above, temporary and permanent relocation for students on campus is available through the Office of Residence and Greek Life. Access for students can also be restricted or changed, dependent upon the situation and the survivor’s needs. Though a student may not elect to report the crime, information pertaining to the misconduct may be necessary to facilitate proper relocation and access adjustments.
The Office of the Dean of Students serves as the primary contact for students in need of assistance outside of the classroom. For survivors of sexual misconduct, the Dean’s Office offers one on one contact and care. The Dean and Director can also assist with questions regarding the University conduct process; speaking about misconduct and the process does not oblige a survivor to file conduct or criminal charges.
Office of the Dean of Students, 312-567-3081
Katherine Stetz, Dean of Students – 312-567-3080
Erin McDonald, Director of Student Conduct – 312-567-5133
IIT Public Safety are first-responders for on-campus emergencies. Public Safety officers aim to protect students from harm while maintaining the campus community. IITPSD operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on all of IIT’s campuses.
IITPSD Emergency – 312-808-6363
IITPSD Non-emergency – 312-808-6300
Art Martinez, Director – 312-808-6315
The IIT Student Health and Wellness Center offers general physical and mental health services for students. Nurse practitioners and physicians are available for clinical care, as well as psychologists for counseling care. Appointments can be made online, via phone, or in-person.
Student Health and Wellness Center – 312-567-7550
Anita Opdycke, Director– 312-567-7553
Meghan Kean, Outreach Coordinator – 312-567-7019
Residence and Greek Life maintains all physical living spaces within the residence halls, and employs a staff of both professionals and students who are present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. RGL offers programs and resources for all students, as well as crisis assistance for students who may be survivors of misconduct.
Residence and Greek Life – 312-567-5075
Elizabeth Pinkus-Huizenga, Director – 312-567-6408
Nicole Overway, Associate Director – 312-567-6403
The Office of Campus Life oversees campus programming, student organizations and orientation, as well as women’s and gender programming. Annual campus events regarding sexual awareness, as well as student organization efforts are available from Campus Life. The office also provides services and assistance for victims of sexual misconduct through a coordinator who works directly with women and gender programs.
Campus Life – 312-567-3720
Ryan Miller, Director – 312-567-3171
Katie Stango, Coordinator – 312-567-5172
Title IX is an educational statute that ensures fair treatment of students regardless of a number of personal statuses. It also encompasses sexual misconduct and harassment of students. IIT’s Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the University complies with the directives of this law and also serves as a resource for students.
Beyond on-campus services, within the Chicago area several agencies also offer resources for victims and survivors of sexual misconduct.
Porchlight exists to help college sexual assault survivors achieve healing and wholeness; to create a world in which a person's life is not defined by the devastating experience of sexual assault. They provide counseling, advocacy and other services to male and female college students who have been victims of sexual assault either before or during college. They also provide services to adults who are no longer in college, but who were assaulted while they were in college or graduate school. Their goal is to provide high-quality, long-term counseling and services and no charge to their clients.
The Chicago Women's Health Center facilitates the empowerment of women by providing access to gynecological health care, health education and counseling services in a respectful environment where women pay what they can afford.
3455 North Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
The Women's Centers of Greater Chicagoland is a non-for profit organization whose purpose is to reach women with a message of hope and help them plan for their unexpected pregnancies. The center is committed to pursuing a holistic approach to meet the needs of clients and their families. They are very committed to after-care and have an extensive follow-up program to ensure that needs continue to be met.
5116 N. Cicero Ave. #301
Chicago, IL 60630
The Chicago Abortion Fund believes abortion is a choice for women without judgement or qualification. It is a decision that a woman has the right to make at any time during a pregnancy, for any reason, despite her age, marital status or income and without coercion. The Chicago Abortion Fund provides low-income women with reduced fee referrals, direct financial assistance and general information about safe, affordable and legal abortion services.
Chicago Foundation for Women
1 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1620
Chicago, IL 60616
Sexual Misconduct Programming
The Office of the Dean of Students promotes sexual misconduct prevention and awareness through a variety of outreach initiatives. The offices of Campus Life, Residence Life and Student Health and Wellness offer programming that specifically addresses these areas, as well as healthy relationships. Routine campus programs in this area include self-defense workshops, Welcome Week programming, the We are IIT Civility Campaign, Student Health Fair and scheduled residence hall programs. For a complete list of sexual misconduct awareness and prevention programs that have been offered in the past, see below.
Programs offered by Campus Life
- Self defense workshops
- Clothesline project
- Denim Day
- Sex Signals during Welcome Week
- We are IIT
Programs offered by Student Organizations
- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
- Take Back the Night
- Sexual Assault Awareness speakers
- Lunchtime speaker sessions
- HPV awareness campaign
Programs offered by the Student Health and Wellness Center
- Sexual Assault Prevention Workshops
- Sexual Assault Awareness
- Alcohol Awareness and Safety visual media
- Women’s Bodies program
- Women’s Self-Defense Course
- Ongoing residence hall staff in-service programs