Quick Navigation

University Policies and Procedures


POLICY STATEMENT ON SEXUAL ASSAULT, PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONTACT, STALKING, DATING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Date: May 06, 2011


I. PURPOSE

This statement outlines the University’s policy regarding interpersonal violence, which includes sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence.

II. POLICY

Policy Statement

Northern Illinois University does not tolerate interpersonal violence, which includes sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence in any form.  Any acts that fall within the definitions of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence are prohibited at Northern Illinois University and are a violation of University policy, and potentially Illinois State and Federal Law. Violations of state criminal law for bodily harm related to interpersonal violence shall constitute violations of this policy, as well.¹  Through this policy, Northern Illinois University is extending the traditional prohibitions of sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence under law and university policy to other forms of interpersonal violence including dating and partner violence. This policy applies to all members of the Northern Illinois University community, and includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, students, University visitors, volunteers, and vendors.  It also applies to alleged acts of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence whether those acts occur on or off campus.

Appropriate disciplinary or remedial actions may be taken against any persons or groups engaging in these acts, up to and including expulsion from the University, termination of University employment, and termination of contracts/agreements with that person(s) or group(s).  In addition, the University may terminate or suspend its relationship and associated privileges with any perpetrator of interpersonal violence covered by this policy, including but not limited to visitors, volunteers, vendors and other such guests of NIU.  To this end, Northern Illinois University expressly reserves its rights to revoke the privilege, right and/or permission to anyone to be physically present on-campus, participate in university activities, and use university facilities or resources in order to carry out the intent and purposes of this policy. The University may refer any alleged perpetrator of interpersonal violence for prosecution under Illinois State Law or any other applicable legal standards and statutory authority. 

The standard for determining whether a violation of this policy exists shall be based upon the reasonable belief of the victim of an act of interpersonal violence, except where specific intent is expressly required to prove such violation.

Definition of Terms

Domestic Violence: Physically, sexually, and/or psychologically abusive behavior against a family member or household member is considered domestic violence.  Such behavior may arise in the form of a direct violent act, or indirectly as acts that expressly or implicitly threaten violence.  Family or household members include: spouses, former spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, stepchildren, and other persons related by blood or by prior marriage.  This definition also includes persons who share or formerly shared a common residence (including residence hall roommates), persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, and between persons with a disability and/or with personal assistants.

Dating Violence: A form of domestic violence that includes persons who have or have had a dating relationship.  Dating violence occurs when one partner attempts to maintain power and control over the other through one or more forms of abuse, including sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse.  Dating violence affects both females and males, and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background (see also Acquaintance Rape).

Partner Violence: Sexual or psychological harm or threat of harm by a current or former partner primarily motivated by the desire to obtain power and control in order to harm another.

Abusive behavior: Physical violence of any nature against any person, on or off campus, other than for self-defense.  This includes fighting; assault; battery; the use of a knife, gun, or other weapon; physical abuse; restraining or transporting someone against his/her will; or any action that threatens or endangers the physical health or safety of any person or causes reasonable apprehension of such harm.  Persistent, severe, and/or pervasive threats of abuse, intimidation, coercion, bullying and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any person or causes reasonable apprehension of such harm.

Prohibited Sexual Contact: At Northern Illinois University, prohibited sexual contact is behavior related to sexual activities or sexual contact between at least two individuals that is accomplished through force or the threat of force, or when the victim is unable, under the circumstances, to give clear and knowing consent.  Prohibited sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault and sex abuse and is prohibited regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression of the perpetrator or the victim.

Force or threat of force: The use of force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, including but not limited to the following situations: 1) when the accused threatens to use force or violence on the victim or on any other person, and the victim under the circumstances reasonably believed that the accused has the ability to execute that threat; or 2) when the accused has overcome the victim by use of superior strength or size, physical restraint, or physical confinement.

Consent: Willingly giving permission or agreement to a sexual act, without threat of harm.  Consent is an informed agreement to participate in an act, communicated verbally or through physical participation, that is not achieved through manipulation, intimidation, or coercion of any kind or given by one who is incapable of giving clear and knowing consent, by reason of the individual’s age, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise.  The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense does not constitute consent.  Individuals under the age of 18 (i.e., minors) are incapable of giving consent under any circumstances.  Nothing in this provision constitutes a waiver or in any way impairs the application of state law related to the ability of a person to consent.

Coercion: To compel or force one to act based on pressure, harassment, threats, or intimidation.

Mentally or physically incapable person: A person who is temporarily or permanently incapable of making decisions for any reason or is otherwise unable to give clear and knowing consent.  This may be caused by, but is not limited to, administration or use of alcohol or other drugs.

Sexual Assault: When a person commits an act of sexual penetration² 1) by the use of force or threat of force, or 2) when the accused knew that the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent.  Rape is a form of sexual assault.

Rape: A form of sexual assault.  Rape is another word for penetration (oral, anal, or vaginal) that is forced on another person through threats to harm that person or another, intimidation, coercion, or lack of consent.

Acquaintance Rape: A sex crime committed by someone who knows the victim.  The perpetrator could be a friend, classmate, relative, co-worker.  As a sex crime, acquaintance rape includes forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual contact.

Sex Abuse: When a person commits an act of sexual misconduct³ 1) by the use of force or threat of force or 2) when the accused knew that the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent.

Sexual Harassment: Occurs when sexual behavior or requests for sexual favors are made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of employment or educational performance, or are made as the basis of employment or academic decisions affecting the individual as an employee or a student, or have the express purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work/academic performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

Stalking: A pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear for her or his safety.  A person commits stalking when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.  A person commits stalking when he or she knowingly and without lawful justification on at least two separate occasions follows another person or places the person under surveillance or any combination thereof, and at any time transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person.  A more extensive definition of stalking can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050k12-7.3.htm

Stalking also includes cyber stalking, when a person knowingly and without lawful justification on at least two separate occasions intimidates, torments, or terrorizes another person or that person’s family member(s) through the use of electronic communication and transmits a threat of future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint; or knowingly solicits another person to commit stalking or cyber stalking; or creates and maintains an Internet website or webpage accessible to one or more third parties for a period of at least 24 hours containing harassing statements as outlined above toward another person or that person’s family member(s).  Repetitive, non-consensual communication of any kind including that which involves the use of electronic equipment or technology for the purposes of cyber stalking is also a violation of the University’s Acceptable Use Policy; examples include, but are not limited to e-mail, voicemail messages, text messages, instant messages, global positioning systems (GPS), and cell phone software applications.  A complete definition of cyber stalking can be found at
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050k12-7.5.htm

Process and Disciplinary Sanctions

It is the policy of the University to hold perpetrators of interpersonal violence, which includes sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence in any form, accountable for their actions through appropriate student conduct or personnel procedures, and by working with community agencies and law enforcement as appropriate.

For students: Appropriate disciplinary sanctions for substantiated violations of this policy, up to and including expulsion, will be imposed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, found here: http://www.niu.edu/communitystandards/pdf/SCC.PDF  This policy statement is not intended to replace or substitute the NIU Student Code of Conduct.  Instead, this policy statement is intended to be a supplement to the community standards that the Code of Conduct sets forth and that are enforced through the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct.  Alleged violations of this policy by students will be referred to the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct for appropriate review and processing of the alleged conduct or behavior under the Student Code of Conduct.

For faculty and staff: Appropriate disciplinary sanctions for substantiated violations of this policy, up to and including termination, will be imposed in accordance with applicable University policies and personnel procedures, listed in the reference guide found here: Employee Conduct, Accountability, and Ethics in the Workplace.  Such policies and procedures include, but are not limited to, the University Workplace Violence Prevention Policy, NIU Non-Discrimination Policy, and the Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for Employees and Students.  In addition, violations of this policy may trigger application of applicable State law and procedures, such as the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules.

For everyone: University disciplinary procedures are independent of any and all criminal procedures and proceedings.  In all cases, the University reserves the right to refer cases for criminal prosecution or to pursue sanctions regardless of criminal prosecution.  Violations of this policy by a visitor, volunteer, or vendor may also result in the termination of pre-existing or future business relationships.

Reporting Procedures

Should there be an immediate risk of imminent harm, or disruption to the campus community, any university community member is encouraged to call 911 immediately or to contact the Department of Police & Public Safety at 815.753.1212.

For purposes of reporting, or for more information on victims’ or alleged perpetrators’ rights, the following procedures can be followed.  Victims of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence on campus or at any campus property outside of the main campus, or at any University-sponsored event or activity have the option to and are encouraged to contact the Department of Police and Public Safety.  Additionally, victims have the right to access assistance and should be referred to the following resources  which are available to help in crisis situations.

If the alleged perpetrator is a faculty or staff member: The University through its respective administrative representatives, in consultation with Human Resource Services, (815.753.6000), may impose sanctions for substantiated cases of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, dating and domestic violence in accordance with the applicable University employment procedures in the following instances:


  • In cases involving a faculty member, graduate assistant, or other instructional personnel as the alleged perpetrator, by the dean of that individual’s college in consultation with the Provost.
  • In cases involving a staff person as the alleged perpetrator, by the department’s administrator in consultation with the vice president for the unit.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Policy protocols may also apply to situations involving sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.

Reports of alleged sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, and dating and domestic violence by a faculty or staff member should be made to that employee’s supervisor, employing department or unit, and/or to Human Resource Services.

If the alleged perpetrator is a student: In cases involving a student as the alleged perpetrator, contact the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at 815.753.1573.

If the alleged perpetrator is a vendor, visitor, volunteer, or other non-faculty, staff, or student individual: In cases involving the above-listed individuals, contact the Department of Police & Public Safety at 815.753.1212.  Depending upon the relationships that this individual has with the University, there may need to be additional reporting to affected University departments, units, and employees.

The process and reporting procedures listed here in no way prohibit the University from employing other appropriate mechanisms to address sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.

Resources

If you wish to report an incident, or to discuss your options, please call the Department of Police & Public Safety at 815.753.1212.  The following resources offer 24-hour services to victims:


  • NIU Department of Police & Public Safety: Provides emergency assistance and law enforcement services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors (including University visitors, volunteers, and vendors) who report acts of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.  NIU Department of Police & Public Safety can be reached at 815.753.1212 or 911 or http://www.niu.edu/publicsafety/index.shtml (everyone). 
  • Kishwaukee Hospital: Provides 24-hour confidential medical evaluation and treatment, including forensic evidence collection.  Kishwaukee Hospital can be reached at 815.756.1521 or www.kishhospital.org  For locations outside DeKalb County, go to a local Emergency Room or immediate care facility (everyone).
  • Safe Passage: Provides 24-hour access to support for students, faculty, and staff for sexual assault and domestic violence crisis intervention.  Other services include legal advocacy, medical advocacy, counseling, shelter, community education, and abuser services.  Safe Passage can be reached at 815.756.5228 or http://www.safepassagedv.org/ (everyone).

Members of the campus community may also access the following resources (resources listed alphabetically):


  • NIU Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources (AADR): AADR provides information, advice, and support for any faculty member, staff member, or student regarding the complaint process.  Standards of confidentiality will include a reasonable attempt t  protect the anonymity (upon written request to do so) of the complainant and to limit all discussions regarding the issues contained in the complaint to those involved with the parties as necessary.  AADR also provides information, advice, and support for any employee named as a respondent (alleged offender) or witnesses to the alleged action, regarding the complaint process in addition to information regarding other grievance procedures as outlined in applicable collective bargaining agreements (for union employees) and Grievance Procedures for Faculty and Staff (non-union employees) found in the Constitution and Bylaws of Northern Illinois University, Article 11 of the Bylaws, (http://www.niu.edu/u_council/constitution/bylaws/article11.shtml).
    AADR staff members can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.6000 or http://www.hr.niu.edu/ServiceAreas/DiversityResources/Index.cfm (faculty, staff, and students).
  • NIU Counseling & Student Development Center: Provides students with confidential, face-to-face counseling and follow-up for a victim, as well as support and counseling for secondary victims (NIU students).  The Counseling Center can be reached at 815.753.1206 or http://www.stuaff.niu.edu/csdc/ (students only).
  • NIU Employee Assistance Program: Provides confidential advice, counseling, and support to faculty, staff, their dependents, and annuitants on any personal issue.  EAP staff members can assist in linking faculty and staff with appropriate resources on campus and in the community.  Unless otherwise agreed, all services are confidential.  EAP can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.9191 or http://www.hr.niu.edu/ServiceAreas/EmployeeAssistance (faculty, staff, dependents, and annuitants).
  • NIU Health Services: Provides confidential medical evaluation and treatment for eligible students.  Health Services can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.1311 or http://www.uhs.niu.edu/healthservices/ (students only).
  • NIU Human Resource Services (HRS): Provides information, advice, and support for any faculty or staff member who has experienced sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, domestic violence, and stalking.  HRS staff members provide guidance on policies and resources on campus and in the community.  The HRS staff can be reached at 815.753.6000 or http://www.hr.niu.edu/ (all employees).
  • NIU Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC): Provides administrative disciplinary review of incidents of sexual assault, prohibited sexual contact, stalking, and dating and domestic violence when the alleged perpetrator is a student, and, when determined appropriate, issues a sanction to foster safety in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  The CSSC staff can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.1571 or http://www.niu.edu/communitystandards/ (students only).
  • NIU Ombudsman: Provides a confidential environment in which to identify and discuss possible options and outcomes.  Contacting the Ombudsman does not constitute notice to the University, nor is it a part of any formal process.  The Ombudsman can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.1414 or http://www.niu.edu/ombuds/ (students, faculty, and staff).
  • NIU Women’s Resource Center: Provides advocacy services to help student, faculty, and staff victims navigate the various systems within the University needed for their safety and recovery, including support during a medical examination, police investigation, or Conduct hearing.  The Women’s Resource Center advocate is available during regular business hours and can be reached at 815.753.0320 or http://www.niu.edu/women/index.shtml  For support services 24 hours a day, contact Safe Passage at 815.756.5228 (students, faculty, and staff).
  • Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management: Provides information, consultation, and referral to appropriate campus resources for student victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.  The Office of the Vice President can be reached during regular business hours at 815.753.1573 or www.stuaff.niu.edu/stuaff (students only).

Related Documents/Policies

Effective Date

Approved by the President of Northern Illinois University on May 6, 2011

Footnotes

  • ¹ Selected offenses from the Illinois Criminal Code include, but are not limited to: (1) Domestic battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2; (2) aggravated domestic battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3; (3) interfering with the reporting of domestic violence under 720 ILCS 5/12-6.3; (4) stalking under 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3; (5) aggravated stalking under 720 ILCS 5/12-7.4; (6) cyberstalking under 720 ILCS 5/12-7.5; (7) criminal sexual assault under 720 ILCS 5/12-13; (8) aggravated criminal sexual assault under 720 ILCS 5/12-14; (9) predatory sexual assault of a child under 720 ILCS 5/12-14.1; (10) criminal sexual abuse under 720 ILCS 5/12-15; and (11) aggravated criminal sexual abuse under 720 ILCS 5/12-16.
  • ² The term “sexual penetration” in this policy shall have the same definition of “sexual penetration” under the Illinois Criminal Code at 720 ILCS 5/12-12.
  • ³ The term “sexual misconduct” shall have the same definition as “sexual conduct” under the Illinois Criminal Code at 720 ILCS 5/12-12.


Search Policies

Back to all Policies

Policy References

Contact Us

Main Location
Human Resource Services
1515 West Lincoln Highway
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-6000

Campus Service Center
Swen Parson 110
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-6000