Protocol for Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault

The following are general guidelines on how to respond to students who are victims of a sexual assault while on one of George Fox University’s approved international travel experiences. Leaders will be provided with documentation and support as needed.

A variety of offices at George Fox can provide information on appropriate and compassionate response to a victim of sexual assault, including:

  • Health and Counseling Center, Woodward House, 503-554-2340
  • University Pastors/Spiritual Life Sheridan Street House, 503-554-2320
  • George Fox Campus Public Safety 503-554-2090
  • Student Life Office 503-554-2316

Any of these offices can assist in responding to an assault, moving the process forward, and overseeing the documentation process.

Further information can be found on the George Fox University website: studenthandbook.georgefox.edu or georgefox.edu/titleix

George Fox University is committed to providing a Christ-centered community that fosters a safe living, learning, and work setting for students, employees, and visitors.

A core value of this institution is to maintain a respectful environment for all individuals that is free of the following:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Dating Violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Harassment & Discrimination
  • Bias-related incidents & Hate crimes

In the event an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual assault occurs during your supervision of an off-campus trip, you may be called upon to provide assistance, support and appropriate referrals. The following are some steps that administrators and trip leaders should take:

Pre-departure

  • Discuss the issues with students before departing. Make sure at pre-departure orientation the issue of sexual misconduct and sexual assault is addressed. Emergency contact information and other materials should be given to students.  This information is included in the Safety Manual.
  • Keep a current file. All information regarding what to do and who to contact should be kept in an easily accessible file and updated so that it is always current. This information can also be found in the International Safety Handbook.
  • Discuss the importance of notification. Let students know that reporting any type of gender based harm, including sexual assault, is considered courageous and will be met with empathy. As appropriate, the University will provide care and support for the victim in these situations.

 After an incident occurs:

  • The first concern is always the immediate physical and emotional well being of the student, but there are many post assault related issues. There is no typical reaction to being sexually assaulted. Victims present with varying affect and concerns. As a result of the trauma they have and are currently experiencing, victims may express themselves in variety of ways.  Be empathetic and accepting and take the following steps.
  • Let the student make decisions. The victim may feel helpless and powerless. Allowing the victim to make decisions regarding her/his emotional and physical well-being helps to re-establish some control in a situation where they may have felt was very out of their control. Ask clear and focused questions and respect her/his wishes. “Do you want to go to the police?” “Where would you like to stay tonight?” “Who do you want to stay with?” Honor her/his decisions even if they conflict with your beliefs.
  • Be supportive. Remember your first priority is to be supportive. Do not attempt to persuade the student to follow a certain course of action or try to force her/him to do something she/he doesn't’t want to do. Maintain your role as advocate for the choices she/he makes. Provide an empathetic and compassionate listening ear. Be careful to avoid questions that may insinuate blame or guilt such as, “How could you go to a place like that?” or “Why would you go out with a man you barely know?” Remember, sexual assault is a crime of power and she/he is a victim of the crime. The victim may feel embarrassment, shame, anger, anxiety, fear, and helplessness. Accept those feelings by actively listening to her/his concerns and validating the student’s decision to seek out help.
  • Make sure the student feels safe. Help to restore a sense of security for the student. If she/he does not feel safe in her/his room or with her/his host family, arrange for her/him to stay in a hotel with a friend. Allow the student to tell you what she/he thinks would make her/him feel safe. Explore suggested options with the student.
  • After you have spoken with the student using the above guidelines, make contact with other entities as appropriate and based on the student’s wishes.
  • Contact the Center for Study Abroad office:  Lynn Scott, Assistant Director
    • Office: 503-554-2150
    • Mobile: 503-550-3299
    • OR GFU Campus Public Safety at 503-554-2090
  • The Center for Study Abroad Office will notify the appropriate campus personnel including the International Risk Management Team.
  • On campus resources for counseling include:
    • Health & Counseling Center (Medical & counseling needs) – Woodward House, 503-554-2350 
      (8am – 5pm, M-F)
    • Spiritual Life – Sheridan St. House, 503-554-2320 (8am – 5pm, M-F)
  • As soon as possible after a report of a sexual assault, with the consent of the student, call AIG at the phone number listed on your identification card.  AIG will assist in all cases where a member has been sexually assaulted.  All actions taken will be done to maintain the safety, respect, and dignity of the victim, and to guide her/him to medical, legal and counseling resources. AIG will assist with the following but are not limited to:

    • Helping the member locate the nearest embassy or consulate;
    • Contacting emergency services;
    • Filing a police report and legal recourse;
    • Encouraging the member to seek medical assistance;
    • Advising the member to preserve as much evidence as possible by placing clothing in a paper bag, not drinking, eating, showering, brushing teeth or rinsing mouth;
    • Assisting the member with seeking medical evaluation and treatment; and
    • Offer a referral for post-incident counseling.

  • Contact closest US Embassy or Consulate. Consular officers are available around the clock to help the students obtain medical care, explain the local criminal justice process, and connect students to local and US-based resources. Again, the student you should seek permission from the student before contacting the Embassy. Embassy or consulate staff can help the student understand whether police agencies may handle an investigation differently–slower (or not at all), less delicately, or otherwise—than police in the United States. Regardless, documentation of as much information as possible, as quickly as possible is very important. Note that consular officers cannot investigate crimes or provide legal advice.
  • Local police.Many foreign law enforcement agencies will not begin to investigate unless a report has been filed. If possible, students should ask for a copy of the police report. Do not contact police without student permission.
  • Ask if the student is comfortable calling her parents or guardians. If the answer is yes, help facilitate this contact.
  • Remind the student of resources available upon returning to campus.
  • Provide accompaniment. Someone of her/his choosing should accompany the student on assault related follow-up: to the hospital, to the police station, to her/his apartment, etc.
  • Maintain a level of confidentiality. Let the student know you are obligated to contact the University and report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator and the Center for Study Abroad office. Inform the student who you’re calling and why. Allow her/him to choose whether or not to contact additional support and resources.
  • Document everything. Take copious notes. Create a chronology of events. What you want to capture is the following:

    • Location of medical facility and date/time taken there. Record what was said between the medical staff, the student, and whoever else is present.
    • The time of each of your contacts and what transpired.
    • Document the conversations you have with the student. Identify who is present, what’s discussed, and what decisions the student makes.
    • Date and time the US Embassy/Consulate and local police are notified. Document what transpires between the student and the police.
    • Keep documenting until the designated College contact tells you to stop.