Interpersonal Violence Education and Response: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking
Colorado State University prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Definitions You Should Know
Sexual harassment is defined under federal Title IX regulations as conduct on the basis of sex that constitutes one or more of the following:
- An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity. Depending upon the behaviors, examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to:
- Gender-based bullying, including towards trans and non-binary people
- Direct propositions of a sexual nature
- Pressure for sexual activity
- A pattern of conduct that includes one or more of the following:
- Unwelcome and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body;
- Remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body, whether or not intended to be complimentary;
- Remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience;
- Other comments of a sexual nature, including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes; or
- Written or digital communications such as emails, texts, live or streaming audio or video, social media posts, etc. containing sexual comments, words or images
- Visual displays of sexually oriented images outside the educational context
Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in laws and regulations and defined below.
Sexual assault is defined by the Clery Act as “any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent” and includes the crimes of rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape.
- Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent as determined by the law of the jurisdiction where the event takes place.
Sexual assault is also defined in Colorado by statute C.R.S. § 18-3-402 as follows: Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if:
- The actor causes submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim’s will; or
- The actor knows that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the victim’s conduct; or
- The actor knows that the victim submits erroneously, believing the actor to be the victim’s spouse; or
- At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or
- At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or
- The victim is in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim and uses this position of authority to coerce the victim to submit, unless the act is incident to a lawful search; or
- The actor, while purporting to offer a medical service, engages in treatment or examination of a victim for other than a bona fide medical purpose or in a manner substantially inconsistent with reasonable medical practices; or
- The victim is physically helpless and the actor knows the victim is physically helpless and the victim has not consented.
Consent: For purposes of the above definition, consent is defined under Colorado law as “cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. A current or previous relationship shall not be sufficient to constitute consent under the provisions of this [statute]. Submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent.” [C.R.S. §18‐3‐401(1.5)].
It is the responsibility of every individual to ensure they have the consent of others to engage in sexual activity. Communication regarding consent consists of mutually understandable words or actions that indicate an unambiguous willingness to engage in specific sexual activity at the same time, in the same way. In the absence of clear communication or outward demonstration, there is no consent. Lack of protest, lack of resistance, or silence do not alone constitute consent.
Consent must be all of the following:
- Knowing: All individuals understand, are aware of, and agree as to the “who” (same partners), “what” (same acts), “where” (same location), “when” (same time), and “how” (the same way and under the same conditions) of the sexual activity.
- Active: Consent must take the form of “clearly understandable words or actions” that reveal one’s expectations and agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. This means that silence, passivity, submission, or the lack of verbal or physical resistance (including the lack of a “no”) should not – in and of themselves – be understood as consent. Consent cannot be inferred by an individual’s manner of dress, the giving or acceptance of gifts, the extension or acceptance of an invitation to go to a private room or location, or on a date.
- Voluntary: Consent must be freely given and cannot be the result of respondent’s intimidation (extortion, menacing behavior, bullying), coercion (severe or persistent pressure causing fear of significant consequences from respondent if one does not engage in sexual activity), force (violence, physical restraint, or the presence of a weapon), threats (indications of intent to harm, whether direct or indirect), or fraud (misrepresentation or material omission about oneself or the present situation in order to gain permission for sexual or intimate activity).
- Present and Oogoing: Consent must exist at the time of the sexual activity. Consent to previous sexual activity does not imply consent to later sexual acts; similarly, consent to one type of sexual activity does not imply consent to other sexual acts. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.
Consent may also be withdrawn at any time, for any reason, provided the person withdrawing consent makes that known in clearly understandable words or actions. Thus, even if a person agreed to a sexual interaction or continued sexual interaction, that person has the right to change their mind, at any time, irrespective of how much sexual interaction may have already taken place.
Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the individuals involved is not conclusive evidence of consent in another instance (nor will subsequent sexual relations or dating relationship alone suffice as evidence of previous consent).
Domestic violence, as defined in the Clery Act includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by someone who is a:
- Current or former spouse or partner of the victim
- Person with whom the victim shares a child in common
- Person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner
- Person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Colorado
- Or any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction
In Colorado, the criminal law definition of domestic violence is found in C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3, as follows:
- Domestic violence means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
- Intimate relationship means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
It is notable that Colorado law requires a mandatory arrest in certain circumstances. Where an officer has probable cause to believe that an individual has violated a valid restraining order, or where an officer has probable cause to believe that a crime of domestic violence has been committed an arrest is mandated; officers have no discretion. Often, police receive calls from the victims, from friends, or from concerned neighbors who hear the noise of an argument or fight.
Dating violence: Under the Clery Act, dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the impacted party, and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- Length of the relationship
- Type of relationship
- Frequency of interaction between the people involved in the relationship
Colorado does not define the term dating violence in its statutes. However, the definition above for domestic violence is broad enough to encompass interpersonal violence between persons in an intimate relationship.
Stalking as defined by the Clery Act means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for a person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples of stalking are:
- Following you and showing up wherever you are
- Sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards, text messages, social media messages, or e‐mails
- Damaging your home, car, or other property
- Monitoring your phone calls or computer use
- Using technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems, to track you
- Driving by or hang out at your home, school, or work
- Threatening to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
- Finding out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co‐workers
- Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the internet, through social media, in a public place, or by word of mouth
- Other actions that control, track, or frighten you
Stalking is a crime in Colorado and is on the rise in many academic settings. Colorado law (C.R.S. §18‐3‐602) defines stalking as follows:
A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another person, the person knowingly commits one or more of these acts:
- Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing
- Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation
- Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional For purposes of this paragraph, a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.
If you believe you are being stalked, let someone know. Document all activities related to the person who you believe may be stalking you and report the incident to the police. Don’t discount the situation and ignore red flags. Trust your judgment. If a situation doesn’t feel right, ask for help.
Reporting Interpersonal Violence
Victims are not required to report to law enforcement to receive assistance. However, reporting enables the university to take action to prevent a recurrence and protect both the victim and the campus community. Anyone who may be the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, or stalking, or who is a bystander observing such behavior, is encouraged to report it.
Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking who engage with the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity are informed, in writing, that they have several options available to them for involving law enforcement and university authorities:
Report the incident to the police
- The victim or bystander may make a report to the CSU Police Department whenever a person has been impacted by one of these In an emergency or when threat of harm is imminent, immediately call 911. In non‐emergencies, contact CSU police at 970‐491‐6425, or file a report online at www.police.colostate.edu/crime‐reporting. You may also go in person to the CSU Police Department in Green Hall.
- For crimes occurring off‐campus, contact law enforcement for the local jurisdiction. Fort Collins Police Services may be reached at 970‐221‐6540. When a police report is made, the police will interview the person making the report, the victims, any witnesses, and the person or people alleged to have committed a crime.
Receive assistance in reporting the incident to the police
- For help in making a report to law enforcement, contact the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity by calling 970‐491‐1715. They will explain the steps required and what is involved, and will contact the appropriate law enforcement agency on your behalf to help you make the
- Assistance may also be obtained by contacting Student Legal Services at 970‐491‐1482, or the Women and Gender Advocacy Center at 970‐492‐4242.
Decline to contact law enforcement, but still get help
- A victim of a crime may decline to contact law enforcement. The Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity provides victims with written notice of their rights and options and with help obtaining supportive measures such as no-contact orders. A no-contact order is issued by the University to a student or employee requiring them to stay away from the other party, while a restraining order, also known as a “civil protection order,” is a court order which protects one party by prohibiting another from certain conduct, communications, or requiring them to stay a certain distance away from the protected person’s home, school or workplace. Violation of the protection order is a criminal offense. Call 970-491-1715 or visit the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity website at http://titleix.colostate.edu for more information.
Victims are informed in writing that CSU’s Student Conduct Services (970) 491‐7165 or email SRCenter@colostate.edu) can issue no‐ contact orders to a student who is alleged to have committed discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, or retaliation. No‐contact orders and other interim measures may be issued by the Student Resolution Center CSU (see “Accommodations and Supportive Measures against Interpersonal Violence” in this report). Criminal and civil courts can also issue restraining orders and other protective orders to crime victims, whether before, during, or after a criminal or civil trial (for example, by prohibiting the alleged perpetrator of the crime from having any contact with, or being within a certain distance of, the victim). Restraining orders are obtained by petitioning the local court for the jurisdiction, and assistance with the process may be provided through Women and Gender Advocacy Center or Student Legal Services.
- Any accommodations or supportive measures provided by the university to the victim will be maintained as confidential, to the extent that maintaining confidentiality would not impair the ability of the institution to provide such measures. Information is shared with university officials on a need-to-know basis as determined by the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity or Student Conduct Services.
- To file a request for an accommodation or supportive measure, students may contact the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity or the Student Conduct Services in the Student Resolution Center.
- The Office of Equal Opportunity (970‐491‐5836) assists employees who have been impacted by these
- In addition to the above reporting options, students may seek support and guidance from confidential campus resources that maintain the confidentiality of the victim or other person reporting:
- Women and Gender Advocacy Center, 112 Student Services Building and 234 Lory Student Center, 970‐491‐6384
- Victim Assistance Team 970‐492‐4242
- CSU Counseling Services 970‐491‐6053 (available to students who pay fees)
- Women’s Clinic at CSU Health Network 970‐491‐1754 or the CSU Health Network 970‐491‐7121 (available to students who pay fees)
- For employees, confidential resources include:
These confidential resources do not report the victim’s personal information or identity, but must report the occurrence of the incident if it relates to a crime covered under the Clery Act for purposes of compiling statistics.
- Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, Fort Collins Office at 970‐472‐4204 or 24‐hour Rape Crisis Hotline, 970‐472‐4200 or 1‐877‐352‐7273
- Crossroads Safehouse in Fort Collins, 970‐482‐3502 or 1‐888‐541‐SAFE (7233)
CSU recognizes the often-sensitive nature of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents. CSU offers confidential resources and protects the privacy of any individual who makes a report to the extent possible, while also meeting any obligations related to the investigation and response to known reports to protect the victim, prevent a recurrence or protect campus safety.
- Information about reports will only be shared with university personnel as needed to investigate and effectively respond to the report. Every effort will be made to limit the scope of information shared to keep it to a minimum of detail, and only when deemed necessary.
- Reports made to medical professionals, licensed mental health counselors, and Victim Assistance Team members and the Women and Gender Advocacy Center will not be shared with any third parties except in cases of imminent danger to the victim or a third party, or when abuse of someone currently under 18 is reported.
- Advocates receive special training in the physical, psychological, and legal ramifications of sexual assault.
- Advocates are bound by state statute to maintain strict confidentiality. All publicly available records kept by the university will maintain the confidentiality of the victim and any other necessary parties, to the extent allowed by law.
- Information gained as part of victim advocacy must be treated confidentially and cannot be released without the victim’s permission.
- Advocates will provide information about options related to crime reporting, but the final decision is up to the individual victim.
Information about Registered Sex Offenders
- Information about sex offenders currently registered at the university is available at the CSU Police Department Records Section during normal business hours.
- Information about offenders registered at Fort Collins Police Services or the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office are available at those agencies.
- The state of Colorado convicted sex offender website is http://www.sor.state.co.us.
- Director of Student Case Management & Referral Coordination 970‐491‐8051
- Office of Equal Opportunity 970‐491‐5836
In the case of an emergency or ongoing threat, get to a safe location and call 911. You also can text 911 from anywhere in Larimer County.