POLICY NO: 715
SUPERCEDES POLICY NO:
EFFECTIVE DATE: 10/29/1991
ACQUAINTANCE RAPE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE POLICY
The University of Pennsylvania seeks a safe and healthy environment
for all community members and visitors. Thus, Penn has developed
the following policy on acquaintance rape/sexual violence to set
forth definitions, to reaffirm Penn's commitment to providing resources
and processes for prevention, education, support, reporting, adjudication,
protection from retaliation, and to identify the range of sanctions.
The University will also provide multiple access points for collection
of information about incidents and a clear process for dissemination
of acquaintance rape/sexual violence statistics to the community.
The University needs a specific policy on rape and sexual violence
because the prevalence of rape and sexual violence on college campuses
Statistics compel universities throughout the country to acknowledge
that significant numbers of their members have been raped or will
be raped. Given Penn's history of providing national leadership
with respect to rape and sexual assault education and counseling,
it is timely for Penn to continue this role by adopting a specific
policy on acquaintance rape and sexual violence. The personal trauma
experienced by the victims/survivors and the nature and consequences
of this crime undermine the trust essential to the process of education
and the mission of the University. This crime also conflicts with
our very basic standards of behavior. Indeed, this form of sexual
violence is particularly damaging to our community because victims/survivors
often are acquainted with and must continue to interact with their
assailants. Moreover, for many men and women it is difficult to
define this behavior as rape.
Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual violence. For the purpose
of this policy, acquaintance rape/sexual violence is defined as
any act in which a member of the university community forces another
with whom he or she is acquainted to engage in sexual activity against
her or his will or without her or his consent. Assent shall not
constitute consent if it is given by a person who because of youth,
mental disability or intoxication is unable to make a reasonable
judgment concerning the nature of or harmfulness of the activity.
This policy applies to groups as well as individuals.
The University of Pennsylvania will provide resources to support
victims/survivors, will utilize University fact-finding and disciplinary
procedures with appropriate jurisdiction, will publish annual statistics
on incidents of acquaintance rape and other forms of sexual violence,
and will provide comprehensive education for the prevention of sexual
violence including acquaintance rape at the University of Pennsylvania.
Incidents reported to the appropriate departments will be addressed
promptly and will be treated confidentially. In addition, the University
will, as appropriate, inform members of the Penn community when
an incident has been so reported. The procedures that implement
this policy will take into account the need to investigate charges
that may be filed and the right to confidentiality of all involved
parties. When appropriate, after an incident occurs, outreach and
support to faculty, students and staff affected by the particular
incident will be part of Penn's response. This support may include
release time, leaves, or other accommodations.
University sanctions will be imposed in accordance with appropriate
University processes upon persons found to have violated this policy.
These sanctions can include but are not limited to suspension, expulsion,
and/or separation from the University. In addition, an individual
charged may be subject to prosecution by the Office of the District
Attorney under Pennsylvania Criminal Statutes.
In a study of 32 colleges and universities, one in four college
women reported being a victim of rape or attempted rape during the
preceding year. Eight-four percent of these victims/survivors were
acquainted with their assailants.