Interpersonal Violence Education and Response: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking
Colorado State University prohibits sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Definitions You Should Know
Sexual assault means an actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
- Any sexual contact when the victim is unable to consent.
- Intentional and unwelcome touching, coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s intimate parts (defined as genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast).
- Sexual intercourse without consent, including acts commonly referred to as rape.
- 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)].
- CSU’s policy is that: “Consent to sexual activity is consent that is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive, and requires cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Sexual activity with someone known, or who should be known, to be mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconscious or in a state of blackout, or otherwise unable to give consent, is not valid consent. A person is considered to be incapable of giving consent when the person lacks the cognitive ability to make an important life decision, and this measure applies even when the same persons have engaged with one another in consensual sex in the past.” CSU Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (http://policylibrary.colostate.edu/policy.aspx?id=710)
Domestic violence 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
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 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.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her 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 relationship.
- 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 ensues.
- 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 distress. 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.
Phases of stalking can include a number of behaviors. 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 Support and Safety Assessment or Women and Gender Advocacy Center are informed that they have several options available to them for involving law enforcement and campus authorities:
Report the incident to police
- The victim or bystander may make a report to the CSU Police Department whenever a person has been impacted by one of these crimes. 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 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
- In an emergency, call 911.
- When there is not an immediate threat to safety, call CSU police non-emergency number at 970-491-6425.
- For help in making a report to law enforcement, contact the Office of Support and Safety Assessment by calling 970-491-7407. 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 report.
- Assistance may also be obtained by contacting Student Legal Services at 970-491-1482, or Women and Gender Advocacy Center at 970-492-4242.
Decline to contact law enforcement, but still get help
- The Office of Support and Safety Assessment provides resources and referrals to support services, law enforcement, and the Student Conduct Services, and can help a victim exercise the right to seek protective measures such as no-contact orders and restraining orders.
- 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 misconduct, relationship violence, stalking, or retaliation. No contact orders and other protective interim measures may be issued by Student Conduct Services at CSU (see “Accommodations and Protective Measures against Interpersonal Violence” in this report). Criminal and civil courts can 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 protective 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.
- To file a request for each of these options, students may contact Support and Safety Assessment or Student Conduct Services.
- The Office of Equal Opportunity (970-491-5836) also assists employees who have been impacted by these crimes.
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
- Women’s Clinic at CSU Health Network 970-491-1754
- CSU Health Network 970-491-7121
For employees, confidential resources include:
- Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program by calling (970) 491-1527 or 1-800-497-9133, or online at http://ombudsandeap.colostate.edu.
These confidential resources do not report the complainant’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.
- Executive Director of Support & Safety Assessment and Title IX Programs/Title IX Coordinator 970-491-7407
- Colorado State University Police Department 970-491-6425
- 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.