Restoring Community

Rape, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence and Domestic Violence

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, go to a safe place. If you are in danger or there is an ongoing threat, call 911 for the local police department. Contact the police in order to report a crime.

Support agencies are available 24/7 to provide emotional support, as well as practical information regarding preserving evidence of the crime, getting medical attention and understanding legal options.

Services for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault

  • To report an offense contact your local police department (911).
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-545-4673) provides support and information and can refer callers to local agencies.
  • For support and information in the Lehigh Valley, contact the Crime Victims Council (610-437-6611; or 610-437-6610 for non-emergencies).
  • For legal help in the Lehigh Valley, call the Crime Victims Council (610-437- 6610) or the Attorney Referral and Information Service (610-258-6333).
  • St. Luke’s University Hospital, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Easton Hospital all have rape examination kits available. Early medical care is important.
    • St. Luke’s University Hospital (610-954-4500)
    • Easton Hospital (610-250-4000)
    • Lehigh Valley Hospital/Muhlenberg (484-884-2521)

Services for victims of dating violence and domestic violence

  • National Dating Abuse Helpline (866-331-9474).
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233).
  • Turning Point, Allentown, PA (610-437-3369).

This is only a partial listing support programs. The appearance of a program or service on this list is not to be construed as the Institute’s endorsement of the identified agency.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct in any form or context can threaten the safety, well-being, educational experience and career of students, faculty and staff and will not be tolerated whatsoever. Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, rape and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating or coercing a person. These violations can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same gender or different genders.

An individual found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct policy will be subject to disciplinary action. This policy also prohibits retaliation against individuals for submitting complaints of sexual misconduct, or for cooperating with investigations of these crimes. The IIRP will take disciplinary action against persons who attempt such retaliation. Those accused of sexual assault or retaliation may also be prosecuted under applicable local, state and federal laws.

Definitions

Rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral or anal) that is perpetrated against the will of the victim. The assailant may be a stranger or an acquaintance. The type of force may include physical violence, coercion or threat of harm to the complainant. Charges of rape also may be considered if the sexual offense involves penetration by a foreign object.

The legal definition of rape, according to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Section 3121, is as follows: "A person commits a felony of the first degree when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person . . . (1) by forcible compulsion; (2) by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution; (3) who is unconscious; (4) who is so mentally deranged or deficient that such person is incapable of consent." The crime is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment or fine of $25,000 or both.

Sexual assault is defined as attempted rape, the unwanted removal of another’s clothing, indecent exposure, indecent contact (i.e., the unwanted touching of intimate parts of another’s body including, but not limited to, genitals, breasts and buttocks) or causing another to have indecent contact with them.

Dating Violence refers to violence 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 determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence includes felony and misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, a person who is or was residing in the same household as the victim or any person against someone who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Consent is an informed, affirmative, knowing, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is voluntary and must be given without coercion, force, threats or intimidation. Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act pursuant to an exercise of free will. Even though consent does not necessarily need to be verbal, relying purely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings; a spoken agreement is the most clearly indicated form of consent. Consent may not, in any way, be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance or lack of an active response alone; assuming that consent is given by the absence of a "No" is wrong. Consent is revocable. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately.

Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. A person cannot consent if she or he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person cannot consent if she or he is under the threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion. A person cannot consent if his or her understanding of the act is affected by a physical or mental impairment. Consent must be given with rational and reasonable judgment, so if a person is physically incapacitated from the consumption of alcohol or drugs, unconsciousness, or any other kind of inability, consent cannot be obtained.

Reporting Offenses

Students at the IIRP are encouraged to report any instance of a sexual offense to faculty or administration; employees should report offenses directly to the Vice President for Administration. If the complaint is against the Vice President for Administration, the report should be made to the President. Offenses to be reported include those perpetrated by students, faculty, staff, other members of the IIRP community or non-members. Both men and women may be complainants of sexual offenses. Any person may file a complaint of sexual misconduct at any time. Early reporting is encouraged to preserve evidence and provide the victim with information regarding rights, options and resources available under this policy and federal and state laws. Resources for assistance are provided in the Student Handbook and Catalog and the Organizational Manual.

If a person decides to make an official report to the IIRP, a detailed (typed, emailed or handwritten) statement of the alleged incident(s) should be submitted to the Vice President for Administration. This formal statement should be signed and dated.

The statement should be as specific as possible, including dates, times, locations, a description of the alleged misconduct, the name(s) of the accused person(s) and a list of any person(s) who may have information that would be helpful to the investigation. A complainant may request assistance from an IIRP employee in preparing this statement. The Vice President for Administration will promptly investigate all formal reports.

In all cases the IIRP, its staff, faculty and administration will respond quickly, respectfully and with appropriate support for victims of rape, sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. Victims are encouraged to contact their local police department or support agencies for written information about their rights and options, including how to obtain a restraining order and other protective measures.

At the complainant’s request, the IIRP will also assist them in notifying the local police department, if a victim elects to report the crime. Victims are not required to report to area law enforcement in order to receive assistance from or pursue options within the IIRP. Reporting sexual misconduct to the police does not commit the victim to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for the police to investigate if the victim does decide to proceed with criminal charges.

All IIRP instructors, staff and administrators are categorized as Responsible Employees. Responsible Employees are required to immediately report any allegations of sexual misconduct to the Vice President for Administration. Any student or staff member who elects to share information about an incident of sexual misconduct to an IIRP staff or faculty member must understand that the information will be shared with the Vice President for Administration (or the President, if the complaint is against the Vice President for Administration).

If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, every effort will be made to honor that request, as long as doing so does not compromise the integrity of the investigation process, as outlined below. The Institute will investigate sexual misconduct even without a formal complaint whenever it knows or has reasonable cause to believe that sexual misconduct in violation of this policy has occurred. All IIRP staff, faculty and administration are expected to maintain confidentiality to the extent possible without compromising the integrity of an investigation.

Victims of sexual offenses always have the option to file a criminal report in addition to a report under this policy. In no case should a victim be dissuaded from reporting sexual misconduct to law enforcement. Regardless of whether a victim elects to file a criminal report, the Institute will conduct an investigation of its own consistent with this policy. Even if the accused is not affiliated with the IIRP, an investigation will be conducted. The Vice President for Administration may issue a No Contact order to an accused unless and until the accused is found not responsible. If the accused is a student or faculty from a visiting institution, the IIRP reserves the right to contact that institution for further investigation.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires institutions to report "specified on-campus crimes that were reported to local police agencies or to any official of the institution with significant responsibility for student and campus activities." At the IIRP, these officials are the President, the Vice President for Administration and their designated staff. When an incident is reported to any of these individuals, they are required to complete a form describing the incident, though they are permitted to preserve the anonymity of the victim. If the victim agrees to have her or his name released or if she or he opts to press charges, information about the incident and the name of the victim will be shared with the local police department and the local office of the district attorney. If the victim does not wish to have her or his name released and chooses not to press charges, information about the incident will be shared with these agencies using the designation of Jane or John Doe. The incident also will be counted for statistical reporting purposes, as required by law.

Completed incident forms are maintained in the administrative offices and used for mandatory compilation of annual crime statistics. The Northampton County District Attorney (or the district attorney from another county, if appropriate) will be notified of any felonies alleged to have occurred involving IIRP students, faculty or staff.

Process and Penalties

Sexual misconduct offenses are major violations of the Code of Conduct for students attending the IIRP, as well as for employees of the IIRP. Anyone charged with such an offense may be subject to IIRP disciplinary proceedings and possible sanctions. The choice of whether to pursue charges of a sexual offense within the confines of campus discipline parameters always resides with the complainant.

When offenses are adjudicated, complainant and alleged perpetrator are entitled to the same opportunities: to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding, to be informed of the outcome and to appeal the findings.

No action of the IIRP shall be construed to limit a complainant’s right to initiate civil or criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrator.

In keeping with the gravity of sexual misconduct offenses, sanctions considered in those cases brought before the IIRP will probably start at the level of suspension or expulsion.

The victim and the alleged perpetrator, consistent with the philosophy of restorative practices, may be offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative process before any decisions are made, except where this interferes with any criminal proceedings. This is especially appropriate if the offender has admitted the offense. Participation by either party is strictly voluntary. If either party refuses participation before a disciplinary decision, all parties will be informed of the decision when it is made and again offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative conference.

Investigation

A complaint of sexual misconduct will be investigated promptly and fairly. To the extent practicable, care will be taken to protect the identity of all parties to the complaint, consistent with a thorough and appropriate investigation.

Investigation will be completed as quickly as is practicable and will include private interviews with the person reporting the incident, any witnesses and the person alleged to have engaged in the sexual misconduct. Should any individual responsible for any task related to the investigation process have a conflict of interest, that person will be replaced by a neutral party. It is vital for all parties to the investigation to refrain from discussing any and all aspects of it, on or off campus. If the investigation determines that sexual misconduct has occurred, the institution will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct and impose corrective action where appropriate.

The person who filed the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the offense will be informed at the same time of the results of the investigation. However, the complainant may not be informed of the specifics of any disciplinary action imposed upon the perpetrator to the extent that this might invade his or her privacy.

False statements made by any party in connection with a complaint of sexual misconduct during an investigation will constitute the occasion for appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of the person’s relationship with the institution.

Corrective Action

The person who filed the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the offense, consistent with the philosophy of restorative practices, will be offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative process before any decisions are made. This is especially appropriate if the offender has admitted to the offense. Participation by either party is strictly voluntary. If either party refuses participation before a decision, all parties will be informed of the decision when it is made and again offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative conference. Should the complainant or offender refuse, there may still be a restorative process for the benefit of either party and others affected by the offense.

If it is determined that sexual misconduct has been committed, corrective action may include suspension or expulsion and such other forms of corrective action as the institution deems appropriate.

Complainant’s Rights

Because of the physical and emotional trauma experienced by victims of sexual offenses, and because rape and sexual assault are intolerable acts, the following rights are afforded to the complainant:

  • To report the rape or sexual assault to a primary provider of support.
  • To have every effort made to provide confidentiality, except as set forth above with regard to anonymous reporting requirements, and as necessary to assure adequate care for the victim.
  • To contact support agencies as appropriate.
  • To have every effort made to provide freedom from intimidation or further harassment by the alleged perpetrator or others.
  • To request a change of academic setting, subject to availability, while proceedings take place.
  • To select a support person to accompany him or her through IIRP disciplinary processes. (The support person may not directly participate in the processes.)
  • To protect against evidence of past sexual history, except as allowed by law.
  • To remain present during any disciplinary proceedings.
  • To be informed of the outcome of any such proceeding.
  • To make up any academic work missed as a consequence of the trauma and the disciplinary or judicial proceedings.

Rights of the Alleged Perpetrator

Similarly, the following rights will be afforded to the alleged perpetrator in all IIRP procedures:

  • To have every effort made to provide confidentiality, except in areas of the Higher Education Act of 1998, as amended, or any other state or federal regulation that allows or requires disclosure; to take into account concerns about confidentiality in light of Institute, state or federal regulations that would allow or require disclosure.
  • To have every effort made to provide freedom from intimidation or harassment.
  • To request a change of academic setting, subject to availability, while proceedings take place.
  • To select a support person to accompany him or her through IIRP disciplinary processes. (The support person may not directly participate in the processes.)
  • To protect against evidence of past sexual history, except as allowed by law.
  • To remain present during any disciplinary proceedings.
  • To be informed of the outcome of any such proceeding.
  • To make up any academic work missed as a consequence of the trauma and the disciplinary or judicial proceedings if it is determined that the alleged perpetrator was wrongfully accused.

This is a general statement of policy and no more. While this policy sets forth institutional goals of promoting a community free of sexual misconduct, it is not intended to limit the institution’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for conduct it deems unacceptable. It does not constitute a term or provision of any contract of employment or implied contract of employment between the IIRP and an individual employee, nor does it create contractual obligations on behalf of the institution to any person. Likewise, it does not constitute a guarantee of continued student status to any person or otherwise create any obligation on the part of the insitution.