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What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Both Title IX and University Policy prohibit discrimination in services or benefits offered by the University based upon gender. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and therefore prohibited under Title IX.  

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

The following are examples of types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment:

  • Inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching
  • Physical assault or coerced sexual activity
  • Demands or subtle pressure for sexual favors
  • Obscene phone calls, texts, email, or gestures
  • Any person (student, faculty, staff, or guest) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender on campus may report these situations, discuss these concerns, and file informal or formal complaint of possible violations of the Title IX law to a Bacone College Title IX Coordinator.

It is the policy of this University to provide equal employment and educational opportunity on the basis of merit without discrimination because of age, race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veterans’ status, or disability.

BACONE COLLEGE POLICY

It is the policy of Bacone College that sexual harassment of faculty and staff is prohibited in the workplace and in the recruitment, appointment, and advancement of employees. Sexual harassment of students is prohibited in and out of the classroom and in the evaluation of students’ academic performance. It is also the policy of the College that accusations of sexual harassment that are made without good cause shall not be condoned. It should be remembered that accusations of sexual harassment are indeed grievous and can have serious and far-reaching effects upon the careers of individuals. This policy is equally applicable to faculty, staff, and students. This policy is in keeping with the spirit and intent of various federal guidelines that address the issue of fair employment practices, ethical standards, and enforcement procedures. 

In addition, Bacone College will not tolerate retaliation against a person who, in good faith, brings a complaint forward. Retaliation against an individual who has brought a complaint forward or against an individual who has participated in an investigation or conduct process is prohibited.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED

Sexual harassment, as prohibited under federal law, state law, and Bacone College policy, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, sexual assaults, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment.

Sexual harassment can occur between any two individuals. Although sexual harassment typically occurs when one person is in a position of power over another, it can also occur among peers. Sexual harassment can also occur if a supervisor or faculty member grants special favors or opportunities to a person with whom he or she is having a sexual relationship, but does not grant equal opportunities or advantages to other persons.

The sexual harassment of College faculty, staff and students on campus property by non-College employees and guests doing business or providing services (for example, contractors, vendors, delivery persons) is also prohibited by this policy.

EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The following types of conduct may constitute sexual harassment:

  • Unwelcomed sexual flirtation, advances or propositions of sexual activities.
  • Asking about someone else’s personal, social or sexual life or about their sexual fantasies, preferences or history.
  • Discussing your own personal sexual fantasies, preferences or history.
  • Repeatedly asking for a date from a person who is not interested.
  • Whistles, cat calls or insulting sounds.
  • Sexually suggestive jokes, innuendoes or turning discussions into sexual topics.
  • Sexually offensive or degrading language used to describe an individual or remarks of a sexual nature to describe a person’s body or clothing.
  • Calling a person a “hunk,” “doll,” “babe,” “sugar,” “honey,” or similar descriptive terms.
  • Displaying sexually demeaning or offensive objects and pictures.
  • Making sexual gestures with hands or body movements.
  • Rating a person’s sexuality.
  • Unwelcomed touching of a person’s body including massaging a person.

REASONABLE ACCOMODATION

Bacone College’s priority is to make victims feel safe in their environment. Many times, students may need support in various aspects of their lives after a traumatic experience. The Title IX Coordinators can put in place interim measures for student victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence as needed. A formal complaint does not need to be submitted to have interim measures put in place; students should simply reach out to a Title IX Coordinator in order to receive help. During the process of instating any interim measures, the University will maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible. Read below to learn more about possible interim measures you may be able to obtain.

  1. Assistance in Reporting: Title IX Coordinators can assist in filing a complaint with the College conduct process and the appropriate law enforcement agencies against the student(s) who caused harm.
  2. No Contact Order: Title IX Coordinators can put in place a No Contact Order between the complainant and the respondent, which would prohibit contact between both parties through any means of communication, as well as prohibit others from making contact on their behalf.
  3. Emergency Protective Order: Title IX Coordinators can assist victims in filing for an Emergency Protective Order in court. This is a court-ordered petition that prohibits contact between the complainant and respondent.
  4. Safety Measures: Title IX Coordinators can coordinate any reasonable arrangements that are necessary for ongoing safety. This includes transportation arrangements or providing an escort.
  5. Living Arrangements: Title IX Coordinators can assist in changing on-campus living arrangements or that of the respondent to ensure safety and a comfortable living situation.
  6. Academic Arrangements: Title IX Coordinators can assist in adjusting academic schedules as well as assist in providing access to academic support services.
  7. Change of Student Employment: This interim measure may involve, but is not limited to, a change in student work location, hours, duties, or other appropriate accommodation.
  8. Temporary suspension may be imposed: This can include college suspension, loss of privilege, or restricted access to on- and off-campus property and events.
  9. Other Interim Measures: Title IX Coordinators can coordinate reasonable arrangements to address the effects of the sexual violence, including connecting victims with counseling, health care or academic support resources. When a Title IX Coordinator becomes aware of a student who potentially could have been a victim of sexual violence, they will contact the victim through Bacone College email to share these potential interim measures, reporting options and other resources available. This will be done no matter the location of the incident.

STALKING BEHAVIOR

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one authority to another, stalking generally refers to a course of conduct that involves a broad range of behavior directed at the victim. The conduct can be varied and involve actions that harass, frighten, threaten and/or force the stalker into the life and consciousness of the victim.

Stalking behavior may be difficult to identify, since some can seem kind, friendly or romantic (for example: sending cards, candy or flowers). However, if the object of the abuser’s attention has indicated she or he wants no contact, these behaviors may constitute stalking.

It is important to examine the pattern of behavior in the apparent stalking incidents – type of action, frequency, consistency, if the behavior stops when the stalker is told to cease contact, etc.

Indicators of Stalking Behavior

  • Persistent phone calls despite being told not to make contact in any form
  • Waiting for the victim at workplace, in the neighborhood/residence hall, after class, and where the stalker knows the victim goes
  • Threats to family, friends, property or pets of the victim. (Threats or actual abuse toward pets is a particularly strong indicator of potential to escalate to more or lethal violence)
  • Manipulative behavior (e.g. threatening to commit suicide in order to get a response).
  • Defamation: The stalker often lies to others about the victim (e.g. reporting infidelity to the victim’s partner)
  • Sending the victim written messages, such as letters, email, graffiti, text messages, IMs, etc.
  • Objectification: The stalker demeans the victim, reducing him/her to an object, allowing the stalker to feel angry with the victim without experiencing empathy
  • Sending unwanted gifts

What to do if someone is stalking you

  • Don’t answer the phone or door unless you know who it is.
  • End all communication with the person who is stalking you. Don’t get into arguments with them or pay attention to them – that’s what they want!
  • Let family, friends, and your employer know you are being stalked. Show them a picture of the stalker.
  • Talk to a teacher, friend, administrator or counselor who can help you decide how to deal with the situation.
  • Write down the times, places, and detailed summaries of each incident. Keep all emails or texts.
  • Contact the police if stalking persists despite your efforts to end it.
  • Consider obtaining a restraining order, but evaluate the pros and cons of doing so. Sometimes it can escalate the violence.
  • Change your routine so the stalker is less able to predict your whereabouts.
  • Keep any written messages (including electronic) and recorded voice communications. 

What to do about cyber stalking

  • Do not meet anyone you’ve met on the Internet in person.
  • Don’t share personal information (name, phone numbers, addresses, etc.) in online public places.
  • Consider creating separate email accounts for social networking sites or other sites that require personal logins. (also reduces your spam!)
  • Use filters and blockers to block unwanted emails.
  • Send a clear message to a cyber stalker that you do not want further communication and will contact authorities if messaging continues.
  • Save all communications from a cyber stalker.

RELATIONSHIP (DOMESTIC) AND DATING VIOLENCE (DV)

Relationship violence is a pattern of behavior in which one partner uses fear and intimidation to establish power and control over the other partner. This often includes the threat or use of violence. This abuse happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another. It may or may not include sexual assault, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.

Relationship violence can occur in straight/heterosexual relationships, same-sex/gender relationships and in intimate relationships that do not involve romantic feelings. Intimate partner violence can happen with roommates, friends, classmates, or teammates. Relationship violence impacts people of all ethnicities, races, classes, abilities and nationalities.

Although there are some general patterns in domestic or dating violence, there is no typical abusive behavior. To wear down and control his/her victim, an abuser may use emotional harassment, physical contact, intimidation, or other means. The controlling behavior usually escalates, particularly if the object of the abuse tries to resist or leave.

Relationship (Domestic) and Dating Violence (DV) on a College Campus

Many times, when people hear ‘domestic violence’ they imagine a couple hitting and screaming, leaving bruises or even a hospital visit. Typically, that is not what DV looks like a college campus. It is imperative to remember that DV escalates over time, meaning it doesn’t start all of the sudden with physical violence. There are usually early warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship.

Often, control is the earliest indicator of a potentially volatile partner. This might look like a partner being obsessive about checking your phone, looking at your Facebook page or other social media, checking your email, etc. It might come across as ‘cute’ that your partner cares so much for you that he/she just wants to know everything you’re doing. However, these types of behaviors are not ok and may be early warning signs of potential abuse.

Another early indicator is isolation. If a partner doesn’t want you spending time with friends or family and you begin to feel isolated, like you can’t talk to anyone but your partner without causing a fight or making your partner jealous, this is a problem. Many abusive partners use isolation as a control mechanism to make it feel harder to leave the relationship. Especially in college where many people are far away from home and family, isolation can be a very influential means of control. There are certain behaviors that might be considered ‘red flags.’ You can read more about these red flags at nnedv.org. Be sure to watch out for these behaviors in your relationships and in your friends’ relationships.

“Red flags” include someone who:

  • Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
  • Early in the relationship flatters you constantly, and seems “too good to be true.”
  • Wants you all to him-or-herself; insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
  • Insists that you stop participating in hobbies or activities, quit school, or quit your job.
  • Does not honor your boundaries.
  • Is excessively jealous and accuses you of being unfaithful.
  • Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails, and texts you throughout the day.
  • Criticizes or puts you down; says you are crazy, stupid, and/or fat/unattractive, or that no one else would ever want or love you.
  • Takes no responsibility for his or her behavior and blames others.
  • Has a history of abusing others.
  • Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on his or her former partner; for example, “My ex was totally crazy.”
  • Takes your money or runs up your credit card debt.
  • Rages out of control with you but can maintain composure around others.

Keep reading about these definitions, but remember to think about how they might look like on a college campus as opposed to what you see in movies or in the media.

Types and Forms of Relationship Violence

Relationship violence is a crime. Behaviors that are used to maintain fear, intimidation, and power over another person may include threats, economic abuse, sexual abuse or taking advantage of privilege. These behaviors may take the form of physical, sexual, emotional, and/or psychological violence.

General descriptions of the types of domestic and dating violence are as follows:

Physical violence: The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts, which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks. Physical abuse may include, but is not limited to, pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, choking, restraining with force, or throwing things.

Sexual abuse: Physical attack is often accompanied by or culminates in some type of sexual intercourse with the victim, or forcing her/him to take part in unwanted sexual activity. Sexual violence may include, but is not limited to, treating the victim and other people as objects via actions and remarks, using sexual names, insisting on dressing or not dressing in a certain ways, touching in ways that make a person uncomfortable, rape, or accusing the victim of sexual activity with others.

Emotional or Psychological violence: The abuser’s psychological or mental attack may include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property. Emotional or psychological abuse may include, but is not limited to, withholding approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment; ridiculing her/his most valued beliefs, religion, race, or heritage; humiliating and criticizing her/him in public or private; or controlling all her/his actions and decisions.

It Could Be Intimate Partner Abuse If…

One person:

Constantly blames his/her partner for everything – including his/her own abusive behavior/temper.

  • Makes mean and degrading comments about a partner’s appearance, beliefs or
    accomplishments.
  • Controls money and time.
  • Gets extremely jealous of everyone, i.e. friends, family, etc.
  • Isolates a partner.
  • Loses his/her temper.
  • Obsessive of a partner.
  • Physically and/or sexually assaults another.

Or the other person:

  • Gives up things that are important to her/him, including friends, family, hobbies, etc.
  • Cancels plan with friends.
  • Becomes isolated from family and/or friends.
  • Worries about making her/his partner angry.
  • Shows signs of physical abuse like bruises or cuts.
  • Feels embarrassed or ashamed about what’s going on in her/his relationship.
  • Consistently makes excuses for her/his partner’s behavior.

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION

The Bystander Effect predicts that people are less likely to help others when there are more people around a potentially dangerous situation. There are many reasons people might not step up to intervene in these situations.

We want to stop these incidents before they occur. We encourage you to intervene if you see something happening to a peer on campus. There are a number of different techniques that you can do when and if a risky situation arises. There is always something you can do to help, even if it is just to pick up your phone and call the police.

Things to consider before intervening in a risky situation:

1. Notice a critical situation

Bystanders first must notice the incident-taking place. It’s important to become attune to what situations may be risky. For example, if you’re at a party, and you see someone stumbling as they’re being led into a different room or your friend has a partner that is very controlling. These are potentially dangerous situations that need attention. However, sometimes it can be hard to recognize them as dangerous if you’re unsure of what’s happening.

2. Recognize that situation as problematic

By “problematic,” we mean a situation wherein there is risk of sexual or domestic violence occurring in the near future.

3. Develop a feeling of personal responsibility to do something

It has been found that often, people believe that someone else will help in a situation where there are many people around. This is especially true if you do not directly know the potential victim. However, it is important to realize that others may also be thinking the same thing. If you’re unsure if you should do something, ask a friend what they think – it might be the case that they’ve been thinking the same thing.

4. Believe you have the skills and knowledge to intervene

5. Consciously decide to help

The choice to intervene is an intentional decision reached through this process. There are many thoughts that might interrupt this process. Think about whether or not you have ever thought of any of the following reasons or heard others describe these thoughts…

Pluralistic Ignorance

“Nobody else thinks this is a problem…” Many times, people think that no else thinks the situation is a problem because no one is stepping in to stop it. So, many people may internally disagree with a situation, but outwardly do nothing.

Embarrassment

“I don’t want to embarrass myself…” Often, people are afraid of embarrassing themselves or those involved in the situation. This is a very legitimate fear, but it is important to weigh the consequences of a potentially embarrassing moment with the consequences of experiencing sexual violence or other harmful situations.

Diffusion of Responsibility

“Someone else will take care of that…” Shockingly, research shows that the more people there are witnessing a potentially dangerous situation, the less likely it is that anyone individual will intervene because people assume that someone else will take care of it.

Fear of Getting Hurt

“What if I get hurt trying to help…” This is a very legitimate fear that we want you to consider. We always, always, always want you to consider your personal safety before intervening. However, there is always something you can do to help, even if it is simply calling the police.

So, what can you do to intervene?

The following are steps you can take to keep yourself and others around you safe.

  • Educate yourself about interpersonal violence and share this information with friends
  • Confront friends who make excuses for other peoples abusive behavior
  • Speak up against racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes or remarks

When attempting to help, it is helpful to remember the 4 D’s of intervention:

  • Distract – Find a way to distract the participants from what is happening. This could look like changing the subject, mentioning another activity like getting food, or others actions.
  • Delegate – If you are not comfortable intervening, find someone who is. You might call law enforcement or other friends, talk to the bartender, or talk to others around.
  • Delay – If you are not sure you should intervene, try to delay the situation until you can get more information. This might look like going to the bathroom with a potential victim, turning on a TV, or other behaviors.
  • Direct – If you feel comfortable, the best way might be to directly intervene and ask those involved what is going on.

Remember, any situation that threatens physical harm to yourself or another student should be assessed carefully. Always consider your personal safety before intervening. Contact the Bacone College Police Department at (918) 781-7200 if assistance is needed.

Tips for intervening

In a situation potentially involving sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking:

  • 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

SEXUAL CONSENT – WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS

  • Consent is simple. If it’s not a clear, verbal yes, it’s a no.
  • And it’s not consent if you make the other person feel afraid to say no.

It is critical that you are completely sure that the person you’re with is happy and willing to engage in sexual behavior, because nonconsensual sexual activity (even kissing and touching) is against the law and there are serious consequences.

Not only is sex without consent against the law and a crime, pressuring or forcing someone into a sexual situation can cause lasting emotional damage. If you care about the one you’re with, get clear and verbal consent first—and if he or she has a change of mind midway, stop.

Consenting to one sexual behavior does not obligate you to consent to another sexual behavior or activity, nor does consenting once obligate you to consent a second time.

Ask yourself:

  • “Is my behavior appropriate?”
  • “Is it welcome?”
  • “Is it offensive?”

Alcohol and drugs and sexual consent:

A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with both participants’ judgment about whether consent has been sought and given. If in doubt, don’t.

DEFINING TERMS

Sex Discrimination

  • Includes sexual harassment and is defined as conduct directed at a specific individual or a group of identifiable individuals that subjects the individual or group to treatment that adversely affects their employment or education, or institutional benefits, on account of gender (hereinafter defined as including sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression) discrimination. It may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression.
  • Intimidation, or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Rape

  • Rape is nonconsensual intercourse that involves the threat of force, violence, immediate and unlawful bodily injury, or threat of future retaliation and duress.

Sexual Assault

  • Sexual assault is broader in definition than rape. Any nonconsensual act may be considered sexual assault.

Consent

  • The act of willingly agreeing to engage in sexual contact or conduct; consent by both parties is required and consists of:
  • Being informed;
  • Freely and actively given consent;
  • Mutually understood words or actions; and
  • An indicated willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Sexual Harassment

  • Unwelcome and discriminatory speech or conduct undertaken because of an individual’s gender or is sexual in nature and is so severe, pervasive, or persistent, objectively and subjectively offensive that it has the systematic effect of unreasonably interfering with or depriving someone of educational, institutional, or employment access, benefits, activities, or opportunities.

Dating Violence

  • A pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. This violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, economic, or psychological.

Domestic Violence

  • Crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, or by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim.

Stalking

  • A repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community or the safety of any of the immediate family members of the community.

Retaliation

  • Any attempt to penalize or take an adverse employment, educational or institutional benefit action, including but not limited to making threats, intimidation, reprisals or other adverse action, against a person because of participation in a complaint or the investigation of discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

FILING A COMPLAINT

Responsibilities of the Person Receiving the Complaint

  1. Listen.
  2. Take the report seriously.
  3. Don’t tell the individual that he or she ought to be able to handle it him- or herself, that he/she has no sense of humor, or that he/she is taking the behavior too seriously.
  4. Know whom to refer the person to and encourage the complainant to meet with the designated person.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible within the requirements of conducting reasonable investigations. Only those who have an immediate need to know may find out the identity of the parties.

Title IX Coordinator

Dr. Nicole Been

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects

Office of the President

(918) 781-7321

To file a police report:

Bacone College Police Department: (918) 710-7200

To Make a Confidential Report:

To remain anonymous and report a crime to the Bacone College Campus Police Department you 11can call the non-emergency number at 918-360-5814. You can also submit a mailed statement to the Bacone College Campus Police Department at 2299 Old Bacone Rd Muskogee, OK 74403. Include as much detail as possible. If the crime you are reporting is an emergency, please call 911.

For Counseling Assistance and to Confidentially Discuss Your Rights and Resources, contact:

The representatives from our partners at WISH (Women in Safe Home) can be reached at 918‐682- 7878. This organization can also assist students who have been impacted by these crimes.

Retaliation

The federal civil rights laws make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. If, for example, an individual brings concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention, it is unlawful for the school to retaliate against that individual for doing so. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual because he or she made a complaint, testified, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding. Thus, once a student, parent, teacher, coach, or another individual complains formally or informally to a school about a potential civil rights violation or participates in an investigation or proceeding, the recipient is prohibited from retaliating (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual) because of the individual’s complaint or participation.