I. NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION
Truman State University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community on the basis of sex, disability, age, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status with respect to admissions, housing, employment, services, financial aid, or any other educational program or activity it operates.
Inquiries regarding the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies should be addressed to the University’s Administrative Officer. The Administrative Officer’s contact information is provided below.
A. Anti-Discrimination Policies. The University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies include this “University Non-Discrimination Policy,” promulgated and adopted by the University President, as well as the following provisions of the Board of Governors Code of Policies: Section 17.020-Notice of Non-Discrimination; Section 10.020-Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program; and Section 15.010-Sexual Harassment.
B. Discrimination. Discrimination occurs when a person is treated inequitably based on sex, disability, age, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The phrase “prohibited discrimination” may be used to refer collectively to all forms of prohibited discrimination listed above.
C. Harassment. Harassment is generally defined as conduct (whether physical, verbal, graphic or written) which is related to a person’s status in one of the protected classes listed in the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination and which is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working or learning, thereby interfering with or limiting the ability of that person to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the University. Harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination.
1. Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (employee rights) or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (employee and student rights). The following definition adopts the 1980 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines to the academic setting:
• Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
• Submission is made an expressed or implied term or condition of employment or status in a class, program or activity;
• Submission to or rejection of the behavior is used to make an employment or educational decision (such as hiring, promotion or grading a course):
• The conduct may unreasonably interfere with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for working or learning.
Both men and women can be sexually harassed. Sexual harassment can occur between equals, but most often occurs in situations where one person has power over another.
2. Gender-Based Harassment. Gender-based harassment is another form of sex discrimination. This type of harassment does not involve explicit sexual behavior, but includes epithets, slurs, and negative stereotyping of men or women, directed at female or male students, employees, or others.
3. Disability Harassment. Disability harassment constitutes prohibited discrimination based on disability. Examples include, but are not limited to, students who tease, ridicule, or taunt other students because of their disability or employees who refuse to provide a disabled student’s approved accommodations.
4. Racial Harassment. Racial harassment constitutes prohibited discrimination on the basis of race. Examples include, but are not limited to, students who direct racial epithets toward another student on account of their race or employees who apply disparate treatment toward a student or another employee on account of their race.
D. Sexual Misconduct. Sexual misconduct collectively refers to the terms “sexual assault,” “stalking,” “domestic violence,” and “dating violence,” as defined in this policy. Sexual misconduct is a form of prohibited discrimination.
E. Sexual Assault. Sexual assault is actual or attempted physical sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:
1. Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent;
2. Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent;
3. Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
4. Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent;
5. Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; and
6. Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
F. Stalking. Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress. For purposes of this definition –
1. “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
2. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling; and
3. “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
G. Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is defined as a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:
1. A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
2. A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
3. A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
4. A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
5. Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
H. Dating Violence. Dating violence is committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be based on the reporting party’s statement, with consideration of the length of relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.
I. Sexual Exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when one person takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for his/her own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited and which behavior does not constitute any other form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to the following activities:
1. Invasion of sexual privacy;
2. Prostituting another person;
3. Taping or recording of sexual activity, without the consent of all participants;
4. Going beyond the boundaries of consent to sexual activity (e.g., letting your friends hide and watch you engaging in sexual activity);
5. Engaging in voyeurism;
6. Knowingly transmitting an STI, STD, venereal disease or HIV to another person;
7. Inducing another to expose their genitals.
Sexual exploitation is a form of prohibited discrimination.
J. Consent. Consent must be knowing, clear and voluntary. Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not establish consent. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent must be obtained at the time of the specific activity and can be withdrawn at any time. Lack of consent or withdrawal of consent may be communicated by words or non-verbal acts. Coercion and force, or threat of either, invalidates consent. Consent is not valid if it is:
1. Given by a person who lacks the mental capacity to authorize the conduct and such mental incapacity is manifest or known to the actor; or
2. Given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, intoxication, a drug-induced state, or any other reason is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct; or
3. Induced by force, duress or deception.
K. Incapacitated. Sexual activity with someone one knows to be or should know to be incapacitated is a violation of this policy. An individual who is incapacitated lacks the capacity to give knowing consent. Incapacitation can be due to the use of drugs, or alcohol, when a person is asleep or unconscious, or because of an intellectual or other disability that prevents the individual from having the capacity to give consent.
L. Complainant. The person who is the reported victim of discrimination under this policy. The University may also serve as Complainant when the alleged victim does not wish to participate in the Complaint resolution process.
M. Respondent. The person, persons, or organizations reported to have violated this policy.
N. Complaint. Formal or informal complaint or report of violation of the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies.
O. Retaliation. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person because of that person’s participation in protected activity. The University strictly prohibits retaliation against any person for making a report required by this policy in good faith; or for filing, testifying, assisting, or participating in any investigation or proceeding involving allegations of Prohibited Discrimination. Any incidents of alleged retaliation should be immediately reported to the Administrative Officer. Any person who engages in such retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable procedures. Examples of prohibited retaliation include, but are not limited to, giving a lesser grade than the student’s academic work warrants because the student filed a complaint of Prohibited Discrimination, giving lower than justified employment or academic performance appraisals because a person was a witness to an investigation of reported Prohibited Discrimination, and threatening to spread false information about a person for filing a complaint of Prohibited Discrimination.
P. False Reporting. False reporting is making an intentional false report or accusation in relation to this policy as opposed to a report or accusation, which, even if erroneous, is made in good faith. False reporting is a serious offense subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from probation up to and including expulsion or termination.
Q. Administrative Officer. The Administrative Officer is a trained administrator designated by the President or designee to investigate and enforce the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. The Administrative Officer serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Section 504 Coordinator, Institutional Compliance Officer, and Chief Equity Officer/Affirmative Action Officer. The Administrative Officer is:
1308 Violette Hall
Truman State University-100 East Normal, Kirksville, Mo 63501
Telephone Number: (660) 785-4354
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The duties and responsibilities of the Administrative Officer include monitoring and overseeing the overall implementation of Title IX compliance at the University, including training, education, communication, and coordination of reports and complaints of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct for faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and visitors of the University community. The Administrative Officer may designate other persons to assist with performance of duties as needed. The Administrative Officer will define the specific duties to be performed by any designee, and all designees will receive appropriate training prior to performing duties of the Administrative Officer. For purposes of this policy, references to the Administrative Officer shall include any individual designated by the Administrative Officer to perform his/her duties. The Administrative Officer has discretion to delegate duties to persons internally or from outside the University.
Examples provided in the above paragraphs are intended to be for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be all inclusive or exhaustive.
III. PRIOR POLICIES
This policy supersedes and repeals prior administrative policies titled “Harassment Policy” and “Grievance Procedure”, and those prior administrative policies relating to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Harassment Board hearings relating to these matters.
IV. REPORTING PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION
See the University’s “Non-Discrimination Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedure,” available at: titleix.truman.edu/complaint-reporting-resolution-procedure/
for instructions on reporting prohibited discrimination.
Any person who is unable to resolve a Complaint alleging prohibited discrimination may contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Region VII, One Petticoat Lane 1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816) 268-0550; email OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov.
V. RESIDENCE HALL STAFF
University residence hall staff under the supervision of the Office of Student Affairs will review any information sent by the University to parents, guardians or the spouse of any student who is seriously injured or who dies to prevent information that is racially discriminatory or racially harassing from being sent to such persons, or in the alternative, will decline to forward any information that is not inspected and approved.
A. Confidential Reporting. The University encourages those who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct to talk with the appropriate people and to discuss options for filing a criminal complaint (if appropriate) and/or Complaint with the University. The decision to come forward and report incidents covered in this policy can be difficult, and individuals may want to seek assistance from someone who can provide support and assure that what is disclosed will not be acted upon. Certain individuals can serve as confidential resources and are ethically and legally obligated to keep all information shared with them confidential, except in certain circumstances noted below. Though the University encourages students and employees to bring reports of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to the attention of the Administrative Officer for further investigation pursuant to these procedures, individuals who wish to maintain confidentiality may contact the following resources:
For students, contact University Counseling Services at (660)785-4014. After hours, call the dispatcher at (660) 665-5621 and ask for the crisis counselor.
For employees, contact Human Resources at (660)785-4031 and ask for information regarding the Employee Assistance Program.
These employees are Confidential Reporters. Absent the reporting party’s consent and/or situations whether they perceive a serious risk or threat of injury to any person or property, Confidential Reporters are not required to report information learned in the course of a confidential communication to the Administrative Officer for further investigation pursuant to the related Non-Discrimination Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedure. However, if the information is not learned in the course of confidential communication (for example, behavior observed in class), then a Confidential Reporter has the same obligation as a Mandated Reporter. Furthermore, at the request of the reporting party, Confidential Reporters can assist individuals in contacting the Administrative Officer to report discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Individuals who wish to maintain confidentiality may also speak with off-campus counselors and off-campus members of the clergy and chaplains, all of whom have the right to maintain confidentiality. Please note that, in some cases, medical and mental health professionals may be required by state law to report certain crimes to law enforcement (e.g. allegations of abuse of a person under 18).
B. Confidentiality During the Complaint Resolution Procedure. The University will handle information related to alleged violations of this policy and the related Non-Discrimination Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedure with sensitivity and discretion. However, in order to conduct the Complaint resolution process in an extensive, fair and impartial manner, the University may need to disclose information relating to an incident, including the identity of the individuals involved, to witnesses and others, and will do so in accordance with this policy and applicable law.
If a Complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a Complaint not be pursued, the Administrative Officer should take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the Complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue the Complaint. If a Complainant insists that identifiable information, such as the Complainant’s name, not be disclosed to the Respondent, the Administrative Officer should inform the Complainant that the University’s ability to respond to the Complaint may be limited.
The Administrative Officer is responsible for evaluating a Complainant’s request for confidentiality and/or that a Complaint not be pursued in the context of providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, employees, volunteers and visitors. If, after due deliberation of the Complainant’s request, the Administrative Officer decides not to proceed with the investigation and resolution process, such a decision should be well-reasoned and documented. In addition, the Administrative Officer should consider other steps to limit the effects of the reported discriminatory behavior, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the victim and the University community. If, after due deliberation of the Complainant’s request, the Administrative Officer decides that it is necessary to pursue the investigation and Complaint resolution process in order to protect the University community or others and provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment, extenuating circumstances aside, the Complainant will be informed of this decision prior to proceeding. Complainants will not be required to participate in the investigation and resolution process. The University will inform the Complainant if it cannot ensure confidentiality.
In all cases, information related to alleged violations of this policy and any subsequent procedures will be treated as confidential and will only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis to the extent they are involved in the Complaint resolution process and/or directly responsible for the University’s response to the incident. Participants in the Complaint resolution process (including witnesses) must keep the content of any meeting, interview, and/or investigation confidential.
C. Confidentiality of Protective/Remedial Measures. Whether or not the University can accommodate a request for confidentiality and/or a request that a Complaint not be pursued, the University may still provide protective measures and/or other remedies if they are reasonably available and requested by the Complainant. The University will maintain as confidential any such measures or remedies provided to the Complainant to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the ability of the University to provide the protective measures or other remedies.
VII. RESOURCES FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
A. Medical Attention. The first priority of a victim of sexual misconduct is to get to a place of safety, then to obtain necessary medical attention as soon as possible. Northeast Regional Medical Center, located at 315 S Osteopathy, Kirksville, MO 63501, has certified ER hospital staff members that are authorized to perform medical/legal examinations.
B. Preserving Evidence. Physical evidence is crucial in helping to prosecute assailants in cases of rape or sexual assault. Physical evidence must be collected in a timely manner by a certified medical facility. Prior to a medical/legal exam, victims of rape or assault should not bathe, changes clothes, douche, use the toilet (if possible), smoke, or clean the bed/linen/area where they were assaulted if the offense occurred within the past 96 hours, so that the evidence may be preserved. If victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases. Victims of stalking should save evidence such as any letters, notes, emails, phone calls, videos, photos, texts, social media postings (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), computer screenshots, voicemails, or any other form of evidence that would be helpful. As time passes, evidence may dissipate or become lost or unavailable, thereby making investigation, possible prosecution, disciplinary proceedings, or obtaining orders of protection related to the incident more difficult. If a victim chooses not to make a criminal complaint regarding an incident, he or she nevertheless should consider speaking with the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) or other law enforcement agency to preserve evidence in the event that the victim changes his or her mind at a later date.
C. Report to Law Enforcement. Reports of criminal behavior, including sexual misconduct, can be made directly to DPS at (660) 665-5621 or 911 or Kirksville Police Department at (660) 665-5621 or 911. A report to DPS will be considered a report to law enforcement. Though DPS can assist victims of sexual misconduct in accessing services and/or contacting the Administrative Officer, DPS may also proceed with pursuing a criminal investigation and/or criminal charges with or without the Complainant’s consent.
All reports of sexual misconduct will be reviewed by the Administrative Officer and investigated in accordance with the University’s Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedure. Although the University strongly advocates that victims of sexual misconduct report the incident to DPS or other law enforcement in a timely manner, in most cases, it is the victim’s choice to make such a report and the victim has a right to decline involvement with law enforcement. However, the Administrative Officer is legally obligated to notify law enforcement of alleged sexual misconduct where the victim is a minor or there is a significant threat to the health and/or safety of others. For all other offenses that may constitute a crime, the Administrative Officer retains discretion to notify law enforcement of the alleged misconduct without the victim’s consent, but is not obligated to do so. That decision should be made in accordance with applicable law and, in most cases, after consultation with legal counsel. In making this decision, the Administrative Officer will attempt to balance the victim’s request for privacy with the interests of the campus and community, and exercise good judgment in light of all the circumstances.
D. Orders of Protection.
How to File an Order of Protection – In Adair County, a Petition for Order of Protection can be filed at the Adair County Circuit Clerk’s Office located in the Adair County Court House at 106 W. Washington St., Kirksville, Mo. The Missouri Adult Abuse Act requires that court clerks explain how to file all of these necessary forms and documents. In addition, most counties have victim advocates to assist you in the process for filing for an Order of Protection, and they may even go with you to court. You are not required to have an attorney file a petition but can seek assistance from one if you so choose. After the petition is completed and returned to the clerk, the clerk will present the petition to the judge as soon as possible. The judge will review your petition and decide what action to take. The clerk will contact you and let you know what action was taken. You may be asked to testify at a hearing at some time during the process.
University Responsibilities in Regards to Orders of Protection – All DPS officers are fully commissioned police officers and hold a dual commission through the state and the City of Kirksville. DPS officers have full arrest authority and shall enforce any violation of an Ex Parte Order of Protection or Full Order of Protection by a respondent in the same manner as any police officer in any jurisdiction. A violation of either type of order in Missouri is considered a class A misdemeanor (1-year imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine) for the first offense and a class D felony (up to 4-years imprisonment and/or $5,000 fine) for any subsequent offense per 455.085 RSMo. Any person who obtains an Order of Protection from Missouri or any other state should provide a copy to DPS and/or the Administrative Officer. Depending on conditions specified in a particular order, the University may make arrangements with both parties that permit access to classrooms, library, the cafeteria, and/or any other public places. These arrangements shall be made to ensure normal access to public areas that do not violate the terms and conditions of the Order of Protection under normal day-to-day activities.
E. Additional Resources. Victims of sexual misconduct may also contact the following resources for additional support.
Pershing Building 212
Center for Academic Excellence
Kirk Building 112
Student Union 1110
Department of Public Safety
General Services Building 100
(660) 665-5621 (dispatch)
(660) 785-4176 (office)
Missouri Hall 1100
Center for Student Involvement
Student Union 2000
Student Health Center
McKinney Center 4011
McClain Hall 101
Victim Support Services
Kirksville Housing Authority
Division of Family Services
Preferred Family Healthcare
Adair County Juvenile Office
Adair County Prosecutor’s Office
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Women’s Resource Center
VIII. RISK REDUCTION
No victim is ever to blame for being assaulted or abused. Unfortunately, a person who is the victim of sexual misconduct is more likely to be re-victimized. Below are some to help reduce this risk and how to avoid potential attacks.
• When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way out of a bad situation.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911).
• Watch out for your friends and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place immediately.
IX. BYSTANDER INTERVENTION
Be an intervener! Stop these incidents before they occur and talk to your friends about it so that they will intervene as well!
A. Notice the Incident – Bystanders first must notice the incident taking place. Obviously, if they don’t take note of the situation there is no reason to help.
B. Interpret Incident as Emergency – Bystanders also need to evaluate the situation and determine whether it is an emergency—or at least one in which someone needs assistance. Again, if people do not interpret a situation as one in which someone needs assistance, then there is no need to provide help.
C. Assume Responsibility – Another decision bystanders make is whether they should assume responsibility for giving help. One repeated finding in research studies on helping is that a bystander is less likely to help if there are other bystanders present. When other bystanders are present, responsibility for helping is diffused. If a lone bystander is present, he or she is more likely to assume responsibility.
D. Attempts to Help – Whether this is to help the person leave the situation, confront a behavior, diffuse a situation, or call for other support/security, the best way bystanders can assist in creating an empowering climate free of interpersonal violence is to diffuse the problem behaviors before they escalate. Educate yourself about interpersonal violence AND share this info with friends. Confront friends who make excuses for other people’s abusive behavior. Speak up against racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes or remarks.
E. Tips for Intervening
• Approach everyone as a friend
• Do not be antagonistic
• Avoid using violence
• Be honest and direct whenever possible
• Recruit help if necessary
• Keep yourself safe
• If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police
See The Bystander Intervention Playbook, available at http://wellness.truman.edu/index.php/prevention/bystander-intervention/ , for more info on intervening techniques.
F. Warning Signs for an Abusive Person
This is a list of behaviors that are seen in people who abuse their partners. The first four behaviors (past abuse, threats of violence, breaking objects and any force during an argument) are almost always seen in an abusive person. If someone exhibits more than three of any of these warning signs, there is a strong potential for abuse in the relationship. An abuser may exhibit only a few of these behaviors, but they may be quite exaggerated.
- Past Abuse – An abuser may say, “I hit someone in the past, but she made me do it.” An abusive person who minimizes what happened with a previous partner is likely to be violent with their current partner. Abusive behavior does not just go away; long-term counseling and a sincere desire to change are necessary.
- Threats of Violence or Abuse – Threats can involve anything that is meant to control the victim. For example, “I’ll tell your parents about your drug use if you don’t do what I want.” Healthy relationships do not involve threats, but an abusive person will try to excuse this behavior by saying that “everybody talks like that.”
- Breaking Objects – An abuser may break things, beat on tables or walls or throw objects around or near the victim. This behavior terrorizes the victim and can send the message that physical abuse is the next step.
- Use of Force During an Argument – An abuser may use force during arguments, including holding the victim down, physically restraining the victim from leaving the room, and pushing and shoving. For example, an abuser may hold a victim against the wall and say, “You’re going to listen to me.”
- Jealousy – An abuser will say that jealousy is a sign of love. In reality, jealousy has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. An abuser may question the victim about whom they talk to or be jealous of time spent with other people. As the jealousy progresses, the abuser will call the victim frequently, stop by unexpectedly or monitor the victim’s activities.
- Controlling Behavior – An abuser will claim that controlling behavior is out of concern for the victim’s welfare. They will be angry if the victim is late and will frequently interrogate the victim. As this behavior gets worse, the abuser will control the victim’s appearance and activities.
- Quick Involvement – An abuser will often pressure someone to make a commitment after a very short amount of time. The abuser comes on quickly, claiming “love at first sight,” and will tell the victim flattering things such as “You’re the only person I could ever love.”
- Unrealistic Expectations – The abuser is dependent on the victim for everything and expects perfection. The victim is expected to take care of everything for the abuser, particularly all emotional support. The abuser will say things like, “You’re the only person I need in my life.”
- Isolation – The abuser will attempt to diminish and destroy the victim’s support system. If a female victim has male friends, she is accused of being a “whore.” If she has female friends, she is accused of being a “lesbian.” If she is close to her family, she is accused of being “tied to the apron strings.” The abuser will accuse people who are close to the victim of “causing trouble.”
- Blames Others for Problems – Abusers will rarely admit to the part they play in causing a problem. They will blame the victim for almost anything that goes wrong.
- Blames Others for Their Feelings – An abuser will tell the victim, “I hurt you because you made me mad,” or “You’re hurting me when you don’t do what I ask.” Blaming the victim is a way of manipulating them and avoiding any responsibility.
- Hypersensitivity – An abuser can be easily insulted. The slightest setbacks are seen as personal attacks. An abuser will rage about the everyday difficulties of life as if they are injustices — such as getting a traffic ticket or not doing well on an exam.
- Cruelty to Animals or Children – An abuser may brutally punish animals or be insensitive to their pain or suffering. Pets can be used to control the victim or to emotionally abuse them.
- “Playful” Use of Force During Sex – The abuser may like to hold the victim down during sex. They may want to act out sexual fantasies in which the victim is helpless. An abuser may show little concern about whether the victim wants to have sex and use sulking or anger to manipulate the victim into compliance. They may demand sex or start having sex with the victim when they are sleeping or very intoxicated.
- Rigid Sex Roles – Male abusers often expect women to serve and obey them. They view women as inferior to men and believe that a woman is not a whole person without a relationship with a man.
- “Jekyll-and-Hyde” Personality – Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of abusers, and these behaviors are related to other traits such as hypersensitivity. This is not always a sign of mental-health problems but may be a way of controlling the victim by being unpredictable.
Adapted from Wilson, K.J. When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse. Alameda, CA: Hunter House Publishers, (1997).
X. EDUCATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS
As part of its effort to prevent sexual misconduct, the University is dedicated to educating the University community about dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The University has developed an annual educational program consisting of presentations that include distribution of educational materials to new students; participating in and presenting information and materials during new employee orientation; participating in the spring and fall faculty orientation program; presenting programs throughout the year on at least a quarterly basis. For a list of specific programs offered, please see the University’s Annual Security Report.
Approved and Adopted August 14, 2015
Troy D. Paino, President, Truman State University