Information for Survivors of Sexual Violence
WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE?
Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts which take place against a person’s will, or where that person is incapable of giving consent. While most people think of sexual violence as being limited only to rape, in fact, sexual violence includes sexual assault (rape), forced sodomy, forced oral contact, statutory rape (sex with a minor), sexual assault with an object, sexual battery (non-consensual touching), dating or intimate partner violence of a sexual nature, sexual coercion, sexual intimidation, sexual exploitation, and threat of sexual assault. Sexual violence is all of these things. Related crimes that are non-sexual in nature include harassment, stalking, battery, intimate partner or dating violence of a non-sexual nature.
WHAT IS CONSENT?
Consent is the voluntary, informed, uncoerced agreement through words and/or actions, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Sexual activity should only occur when all participants willingly and affirmatively choose to engage in particular acts. See http://titleix.caltech.edu/consent for more explanation.
ARE YOU PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SAFE?
Your physical safety and preventing further assault is the first priority. If you are in immediate danger, call Campus Security or if you are off campus, 911. We encourage the reporting of all crimes but recognize that you may be reluctant and want to call a friend to be with you as you decide what you want/need to do next. You may want to talk to a professional, report the crime, or want a different kind of support. Whether you are male, female, transgender, or feel a different term for gender applies to you, the Caltech Center for Diversity and Caltech Counseling Services are confidential resources available to support survivors of violence or related crimes. We are also available to assist you if you wish to help a friend who has been victimized.
Emotional safety results from talking with someone you trust. This may be a friend, UCC, RA, RLC, Dean, faculty member, staff member, or anyone that you consider trustworthy. We encourage you to reach out for both physical and emotional safety/support.
DO YOU NEED IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION?
When Health Services is Open: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.:
Health Services is committed to providing compassionate and quality medical help to a student who has been sexually assaulted. Any student who has been assaulted may need a medical exam/treatment for any injuries they may have suffered as a result of the assault. Health Services providers can facilitate care at a facility that specializes in evidence collection (SART). In addition, Health Services providers will discuss testing and treatment for any possible exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. For students who may become pregnant, there may be a need to discuss pregnancy prevention. If the student would like to talk to a counselor, Health Services staff can arrange a referral to Counseling Services.
Confidentiality: Because personal medical information is protected by law, a student can come to Health Services, report the assault, and be treated for injuries without concern that your private information will be shared with anyone else at Caltech, except whomever the student decides to tell. Note that medical providers (but not psychological counselors) in California, including the providers at Health Services, are required to notify law enforcement when they receive a report of sexual assault. Students have the right to an advocate who can help them navigate interactions with law enforcement.
Evidence Collection: What Health Services CANNOT do is collect evidence that can be used in a criminal case against an assailant, should the student decide to press charges. Evidence collection must be done by a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) program in a medical facility.
The closest SART facility to Caltech is:
SAN GABRIEL MEDICAL CENTER located at 438 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA. The San Gabriel SART provides comprehensive treatment and forensic evidence collection (sometimes called a rape kit). SART assists individuals of all ages: 24 hours a day, 365 days year. For help, call the SART Hotline at (877)209-3049 or, to contact the hospital, call (626)289-5454.
Another resource is:
RAPE TREATMENT CENTER AT SANTA MONICA-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER for forensic evidence collection (the rape kit), advocacy, support, and a 24-hour hotline: (310)319-4000. Online: www.911rape.org.
Transportation and advocate support can be provided to any student who wishes to visit a SART facility.
All medical providers (but not psychological counselors), such as physicians, staff in urgent care centers and emergency rooms, etc., must notify the police that an assault has taken place. This includes SART facilities. However, a survivor has the right to have an advocate present throughout the process. The advocate will guide you through decisions about treatment and reporting options. Every sexual assault victim has the right to decide how much or how little to cooperate with the police investigation. Please don’t let the worry about police involvement prevent you from getting the medical assistance you need; including evidence collection, if you consent. The SART staff knows how to manage the delicate balance between providing service to an assault victim and complying with the legal requirement to notify the police.
After Hours - When the Health Center is Not Open: (5 p.m. – 8 a.m.), Weekends & Holidays:
A student in need of medical care can go to any urgent care or emergency room. However, an urgent care or emergency room will refer a person who has been assaulted to the nearest SART facility. We recommend going directly to a SART center, such as those listed above.
CONFIDENTIAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT AND ADVOCACY ON CAMPUS
Students often turn to another student in time of crisis; we understand and encourage reaching out to friends. At the same time, sexual violence and other related crimes have a significant emotional impact and often help and support from a professional is needed.
Counseling Services can provide emotional support both during and following a crisis. Counseling Services will often refer a survivor to the Center for Diversity if the they'd like to discuss options with respect to reporting, make a change in living arrangements, ensuring safety, help with academic accommodation or referrals to off-campus support groups, etc. The Center for Diversity can serve as an advocate on your behalf on all these issues.
Both the Counseling Services staff and designated staff of the Center for Diversity provide support that is CONFIDENTIAL. This means that your personal experience is protected and is not reported to anyone else. Counseling Services staff will help students understand their reporting options, and assist with this process at the request of the student. Confidential resources in the Center for Diversity will not report what happens to you as an individual, but are committed to reporting anonymous statistics for crimes that occur on campus.
All other employees of Caltech, including the Title IX Coordinator, RAs, RLCs, Deans, faculty, and others, are required to make it known that an assault has taken place in order to protect students and the campus community. Any member of the Caltech community who wishes to file a complaint of sexual violence should do so as soon as possible after the assault, although complaints may be filed at any time. Complaints can be made orally or in writing. Complaints should be brought to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator at TitleIXCoordinator@caltech.edu. For more info about Title IX policies, resources for the community, and the complaint resolution process, see http://titleix.caltech.edu/.
HOW TO CONTACT CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT:
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence, we encourage you to speak to one of the confidential resources listed below. They are available for in-person consultation during business hours from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CENTER FOR DIVERSITY:
Office location: Room 268, Center for Student Services
** You may leave a confidential voice message at either of these phone numbers.**
You may also call the Center for Diversity’s main line at (626)395-6207 and ask to speak to a confidential resource.
Call (626) 395-8331 and ask to speak to any available clinician. You may request a provider if you wish.
CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT AFTER HOURS (5 p.m. – 8 a.m.), WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS:
Currently, if you experience sexual violence, non-sexual violence, or anything that you want to talk to a clinician about after-hours, you have a couple of options:
Call 626-395-8331 and press "2" to contact the on-call clinician. Please stay on the line until your call is answered.
Report the incident to off-campus resources:
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE TEAM CENTER for forensic evidence collection (the “rape kit”): (877) 209-3049 / 438 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA
PEACE OVER VIOLENCE for advocacy, support, and 24-hour crisis hotline: (626) 793-3385 (West San Gabriel Valley)
A resource that is further away but provides both advocacy and medical services is:
RAPE TREATMENT CENTER AT SANTA MONICA-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER for forensic evidence collection, advocacy, support, and 24-hour hotline: (310) 319-4000