Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
The University educates the student community about sexual assaults and date rape through wellness programs each fall. In addition, Residence Life and Campus Safety and Security offer sexual assault education and information programs to University students and employees upon request. Literature on date rape, battery, and general safety tips on risk education and University response is available at the Welcome Center and Residence Life Office.
If you are the victim of a sexual assault, your first priority should be to get to a place of safety. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. The Department of Campus Safety and Security strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault should be reported to the Thousand Oaks Police Department, a University safety officer or a representative from Residence Life. Filing a report with the University will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. University personnel will assist the victim in notifying authorities.
Filing a report will:
- Ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical examination for collection of evidence. There is no charge for this examination. However, any other medical procedures not related to the collection of evidence may be charged to the victim. The victim may be reimbursed for additional treatments or medical procedures through the Victim's of Crime Programs through the Coalition to End Family Violence or the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
- Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam).
- A ssure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.
When a sexual assault victim contacts the police department, the Sex Crimes Unit will be notified as well. The victim may prefer that the investigation is pursued through the criminal justice system and/or the Student Code of Conduct or only the latter. A victim advocate from either the Coalition or the District Attorney's Office will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision.
Various counseling options are available from the University as well, including the Student Health Center, Counseling Services, Campus Ministries, and the Employee Assistance Program. Counseling and support services outside the University system can also be obtained through the Coalition to End Family Violence.
University disciplinary proceedings as well as codes of conduct for cases involving sexual misconduct are detailed in the Student Handbook. The Handbook provides, in part, that the accused and the victim may have a judicial peer advisor appointed by the University present. Or, they may choose their own advisor who has no legal training if they choose. Both the victim and accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found guilty of violating the University sexual misconduct policy could be criminally prosecuted in the state courts and may be suspended or expelled from the University for the first offense.
Student victims have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living situations after an alleged sexual assault, if such changes are reasonably available. According to Government Code 6254 the names of victims of sexual assault will not be made public.