Sexual violence incidents are crimes that impact women and men of all races/ethnicities, religions, ages, abilities, and gender identities and can affect every aspect of a victim’s life.
Sexual Assault, Rape, Stalking and Domestic Violence are violations of campus policy and recognized as crimes in the state of Massachusetts. According to Assumption College Sexual Misconduct policies, individuals perpetrating such acts may be subject to disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct or Campus Police. If you or someone you know is a victim of stalking and/or relationship/domestic violence, you can file a report or speak with any of the on and/ or off campus resources available to you.
Types of Sexual Violence
“Sexual violence” is a general term used to categorize several different types of behaviors. The terms listed below are general definitions. Click here to see the policies regarding these issues at Assumption College and here to read the related laws in Massachusetts.
Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Penetration of the victim’s body (rape)
- Attempted rape
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term “rape” is often used as a legal definition to specifically refer to sexual penetration without consent. In its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Stalking is defined in many ways but is generally considered to be someone consistently doing something to you, or specifically targeting you, in a way that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.
A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all, although stalkers have often previously dated or been involved with the people they victimize. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
If you are being stalked it is important to remember that you are still in control and there are resources both on and off campus for you if choose to pursue help. Learn about stalking here and use these contacts to get help.
Examples of Stalking Behavior:
- Following you and show up wherever you are.
- Sending unwanted gifts, texts, or e-mails.
- Damaging your home, car, or other belongings.
- Monitoring your phone calls, social media or computer use.
- Using technology like global positioning systems (GPS) to track where you go.
- Threatening to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
- Searching for information about you through public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
- Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
- Taking other actions that control, track, or frighten you.
Stalking and The Web
Stalkers often use the Internet and social media to aid their behavior. Follow these tips to protect yourself online and limit who has access to viewing your social media online.
- The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
- About half of all victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25.
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next. [Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States." BJS.]
- 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop. [Baum et al.]
Anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one's property destroyed. [Eric Blauuw et al. "The Toll of Stalking," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17, no. 1(2002):50-63.]
Facebook Privacy Tab:
- Go to the Privacy Settings and Tools tab by clicking the “lock” icon on the upper right.
- Change the default setting on your posts under “Who can see my stuff?” You can also change your setting for each update before you share it. Just click the gray button next to the blue “Post” button to customize.
Facebook Profile Settings:
- Click “About” on your profile to view your basic info.
- Click on the icon to the left of the Edit button and to the right of each segment, and decide who can see the info.
- Open your Instagram app and navigate to the profile page by tapping the user icon on the far bottom right of the navigation menu.
- Tap “Edit You Profile” and scroll down. At the very bottom there’s a switch that allows you to toggle private profiles on and off.
- To block a particular follower, navigate to that user’s profile, hit Settings button on the top right corner of the page and then tap Block User.
- Open the Settings menu.
- Click Security and Privacy in the menu on the left side of the screen.
- Select Protect my Tweets if you want to approve each follower. Twitter also gives you the option to allow followers to see your location for each tweet and the option to decide whether users with your email can find your profile.
- Click “Save Changes” when you are done.
- Facebook Privacy Tab:
Domestic and Relationship violence is any form of aggression — physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual — perpetrated against one or both partner(s) in a relationship. Although frequently unreported, domestic and relationship violence does occur on college campuses.
If you are a survivor of domestic and/or relationship violence it is important to remember that you are still in control and that there are resources both on and off campus for you if you choose to pursue help.
Learn about relationship violence below:
Signs of Domestic/ Relationship Violence:
Being able to tell the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships can be very difficult as no two relationships are exactly alike However, if you are feeling uncomfortable or unsafe in a relationship or are worried about a friend in a possible unhealthy relationship, here are some common warning signs of relationship violence:
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Erratic mood swings
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex