Policy on Programs to Prevent Sexual Misconduct
|Policy Approval Authority||President|
|Responsible Division||Division of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion|
|Responsible University Office||Prevention Education and Outreach|
|Responsible Officer(s)||Director of Coordinated Education, Training and Outreach Programs|
|Contact Person||Rose Henton|
|Date Submitted to Policy Library Committee||04-04-2023|
|Last Review Date||04-03-2023|
Campus Safety / Security
Ethics & Conduct
Human Resources / Employment
Northern Illinois University (herein, “NIU” or “the university”) educates and supports efforts to empower the campus and community to prevent sexual misconduct and promotes the safety and security of the campus community. At NIU, sexual misconduct includes dating violence, domestic violence, gender harassment, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.
This policy outlines the university’s compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092 (f), (herein “the Clery Act”) as it relates to programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Clery Act is a federal statute which requires institutions of higher education participating in the federal financial aid program to collect certain information with respect to campus crime statistics and campus security policies of that institution.
The university engages in activities, to include programming, initiatives, strategies and campaigns, intended to prevent and end sexual misconduct that are comprehensive; intentional; integrated; culturally relevant and inclusive of diverse communities and identities; sustainable; responsive to community needs; informed by research; assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome; and consider environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, institutional, community and societal levels.
The activities that NIU develops and implements include both primary prevention and awareness programs directed at incoming students and new employees, and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at students and employees. These activities include, at a minimum, the following:
- A statement that NIU prohibits sexual misconduct.
- The definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the State of Illinois.
- The definition of consent, in reference to sexual activity, in the State of Illinois.
- A description of safe and positive options for bystander intervention, which are safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of sexual misconduct. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.
- Information on risk reduction, defined as options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.
- Procedures victims should follow if a crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred.
- Information about how the university will protect the confidentiality of victims and other necessary parties.
- A statement that the university will provide written notification to students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both within the university and in the community.
- A statement that the university will provide written notification to victims about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures. The university must make such accommodations or provide such protective measures if the victim requests them and if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.
- An explanation of the procedures for university disciplinary action in cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- A statement that, when a student or employee reports to the university that the student or employee has been a victim of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus, the university will provide the student or employee a written explanation of the student’s or employee’s rights and options.
Primary Prevention and Awareness Programs
Primary prevention programs include programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.
Awareness programs include community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.
New employees and incoming students are required to complete sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training upon hire or the beginning of the semester.
The sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training provided to students and employees is compliant with the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act (110 ILCS 155), the Illinois State Officials and Employee Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430), and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681).
Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Campaigns
Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns includes programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills for addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.
Employees are required to complete sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training on an annual basis. Returning students are encouraged to complete this training each year. Employees who are both students and NIU employees complete both student-based and employee-based sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training. The university also conducts ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns throughout the year on topics such as active bystander intervention, sexual assault, consent, domestic and dating violence, and healthy relationships.
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