Sexual Violence and Relationship Violence
Reporting and Rights
Statement of Victim’s Rights
If you have been hurt as a result of a sexual assault, any form of relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment, HWS guarantees you a certain set of 'victim's rights'. These rights are provided to help students understand what the Colleges can and cannot do when supporting survivors of sexual and relationship violence, and harassment:
- Persons who have been subjected to a sexual crime have the right to choose counseling and medical treatment, and to prosecute and report their case through the campus disciplinary process and/or the criminal court system.
- Victims have the right to refuse these options without reproach.
- They have the right to be treated with dignity and seriousness.
- They have the right to be reasonably free from intimidation and harm.
- They will be made aware of the appropriate student services, including counseling.
- If the accused is prohibited from contacting the victim or entering his or her residence, the victim will be notified that the ban is in effect.
- Any person who does not wish to remain in his or her present campus residence or class section following a sexual assault
may be granted a transfer to other housing or another class section if available.
- The victim has the right to information regarding the status of his or her case.
- Both the victim and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary
- Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding
brought alleging a sex offense (the institution’s final determination and any sanction against the accused).
Rights of the Reporting Student
The Colleges recognize that formal hearings regarding sexual assault can be difficult for the reporting student. Therefore,
in either a closed or open hearing, the alleged victim has the following rights:
Reporting Students' Rights:
- The right to have an emotional/moral supporter to accompany him or her at the formal hearing for the duration of the reporting students’ testimony.
The purpose of this person will be to provide emotional and moral support as needed during the time the reporting student testifies at the formal hearing. The supporter will assist the reporting student to help assure a safe and appropriate disciplinary process and hearing. The supporter can also intervene on behalf of the reporting student to maintain the integrity of the hearing process.
- The right to have complaints heard by judicial conduct officers who have received annual sexual assault training;
- The right not to have his or her irrelevant sexual history discussed during the hearing;
- The right to make a victim impact statement at the campus judicial proceeding and to have that statement considered by the board in determining its sanctions;
- The right to be informed of the outcome of the and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual assault;
- The right of both the reporting student and accused to have the same opportunity to have others present (in a support role) during a campus disciplinary hearing;
- The right to be informed by college officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the student so chooses. This also includes the right not to report, if this is the alleged victim’s desire;
- The right to be notified of available counseling, law enforcement, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community;
- The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident, if so requested by the victim and accused and if such changes are reasonably available (no charges or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before this option is available).
Accommodations may include but is not limited to:
- Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different on campus location;
- Assistance from college support staff in completing the relocation;
- Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
- Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
- Taking an incomplete in a class;
- Transferring class sections;
- Temporary withdrawal;
- Alternative course completion options.
This right may also be extended to victims for alleged violations that consist of harassment, dating violence, sexual harassment, or stalking behavior:
- The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing;
- The right to a campus restraining order also known as a “no contact order” against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others; (no violation, campus or criminal, needs to be proven before this option is available)