If you are a victim of personal violence (sexual assault, assault, etc.) your first priority should be to get to a place of safety, then: Report the Incident to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 202-319-5111. DPS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will contact the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) or other local law enforcement agencies as necessary.
Domestic violence refers to any behavior a person uses, or threatens to use, that is meant to establish control over a person they are in a relationship with. Domestic violence can take many forms, including sexual, physical, emotional, economic or psychological.
Foryourmarriage.com, an initiative by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, provides examples of these different forms of domestic violence:
Physical - Violent actions such as hitting, beating, pushing, and kicking. In many cases physical abuse becomes more frequent and severe over time.
Sexual - Includes any sexual acts that are forced on one partner by the other.
Psychological - Includes a wide range of behaviors such as intimidation, isolating the victim from friends and family, controlling where the victim goes, making the victim feel guilty or crazy, and making unreasonable demands.
Emotional - Undermining an individual's self-esteem, constant criticism, insults, put-downs, and name-calling.
Economic - Examples include limiting the victim's access to family income, preventing the victim from working or forcing the victim to work, destroying the victim's property, and making all the financial decisions.
If you are a victim of domestic violence you should know you are not alone. Talk with a trusted family member, physician, pastor, or mental health professional.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-799-SAFE (7233); TTY: 800-787-3224. They also maintain a website with information and resources.
Unfortunately, the threat of sexual assault is a reality on college campuses. Approximately 1 in 4 college will be experience an attempted or completed sexual assault.
Sexual violence, as explained in the CUA Student Code of Conduct, is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another with force or without consent. It also includes any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another, without consent.
The spectrum of sexual violence includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Date rape and acquaintance assault
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Dating violence
- Nonconsensual sexual contact
- Indecent exposure
- Domestic violence
At the Catholic University of America consent is informed, freely given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
- Effective consent may never be obtained when there is a threat of force or violence, or any other form of coercion or intimidation, whether physical or psychological.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent cannot be obtained from a minor, someone who is mentally disabled, and someone who is unable to understand or who cannot communicate a lack of consent.
- Silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance does not imply consent.
- A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption or some other condition, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically or cognitively impaired, is incapable of giving consent.
Help is at Hand
Victims of sexual assault can receive assistance from the University in reporting the crime, getting medical attention, identifying free counseling services, rearranging class schedules or housing, and connecting with other resources.
To report an incident of sexual assault, contact the Department of Public Safety at 202-319-5111. Reports may also be made to the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator at tel. (202) 319-6594 or the Dean of Students at tel. (202) 319-5619.
The DC Rape Crisis Hotline (confidential) is staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached at 202-333-RAPE.
The Catholic University of America has created the booklet Sexual Violence: A Resource Guide for the CUA Community to educate the CUA community on the issue of sexual violence and outline the reporting process for students. Information on the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in DC and other services can be found in the booklet.
You can view that booklet online here.