Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault are serious felony crimes, and The University of Texas at Arlington considers it imperative to provide sexual assault awareness programs aimed at the prevention of such crimes. The Police Department's Crime Prevention Officer and personnel from UTA Health Services are available to coordinate programs that include representatives from the Tarrant County Rape Crisis Center and the Arlington Women's Shelter. The UTA Police Department's Crime Prevention Officer conducts training on sexual assault awareness/prevention, as well as a R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) self defense class for women.
Sexual offenses include, but are not limited to, any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent; or unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse, and range from Class C misdemeanor to felony. The victims of these crimes should report the crime to the Police Department. The UTA Health Services will assist any victim by direct counseling or referral to the appropriate agency. Refer to "Sexual Assault Policy," Handbook of Operating Procedures.
The first priority for a victim of sexual assault is to get to a place of safety; then obtain necessary medical treatment. If the assault occurred on campus, notify the UTA Police Department immediately. Other campus personnel such as residence hall personnel or counselors may assist in reporting the sexual assault to the Police Department. If the assault occurred outside of the UTA campus, the local police department where the assault occurred should be called. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.
- Filing a police report with the UTA Police Department will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. Filing a police report will: ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim
- provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam)
- assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.
The victim will be asked to go to a hospital emergency room for a sexual assault examination once the police have been notified. A friend of the victim may take him/her to the hospital or a police officer can provide transportation. The police officer will need to obtain a statement describing the details of the assault.
A counselor from the Tarrant County Rape Crisis Center will be contacted to meet with the victim at the hospital. The counselor will inform the victim of his/her options involving counseling. UTA Health Services offers professional counseling to sexual assault victims. Offcampus counseling options include the Tarrant County Rape Crisis Center and the Arlington Women's Shelter.
The sexual assault victim has an option to choose a pseudonym (fictitious name) and address to maintain confidentiality. The pseudonym will be assigned at the victim's request. A victim of sexual assault who lives on campus may request to change his/her living situation or academic situation. All efforts to carry out these requests will be made by The University if such changes are reasonably available.
If the victim presses charges, the UTA Police Department will conduct a thorough investigation. There is a possibility that some courtroom testimony may be required if the case goes to trial. If the accused in a sexual offense reported to the UTA Police Department is a UTA student, the case will be referred to the Dean of Students for review of the allegations. The victim and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during campus disciplinary hearings. Both the victim and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings. Sanctions may include probation, suspension and/or expulsion. For more detailed information, please refer to Chapter 2, Section 2, Student Conduct and Discipline, in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, the U.T. System Regents' Rules and Regulations (Part I, Chapter VI, Section3), or the student handbook, Mav Dates and Data (www.uta.edu/studentaffairs). In addition to the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, the accused may face prosecution under federal or state law.