Student Life Handbook: Policies and Procedures Sexual Assault
Westmont is deeply concerned about any incidents of sexual assault. The Student Life Office will work to provide a safe place for the survivors of the sexual assault. Below are some frequently asked questions pertaining to the issues of sexual assault. For more detailed information, refer to the Unlawful Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.
What should I do in the event of a sexual assault?
Go to a safe place. Do whatever you need to do to be safe! You do not need to go through this alone. You have multiple options of resources that can provide you with assistance and/or guidance:
- R.D. on Call 805-565-6273
- Campus Safety 805-565-6222
- Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center Hotline 805-564-3696 (24-hour and non-Westmont)
What if I just want to consult with someone but do not want to report the incident?
You can contact the Westmont Counseling and Psychological Services at 805-565-6003 or the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. If you are not ready to make an official report, you can talk about your situation without disclosing any identifying information. Sharing information about a sexual assault with any of the following college officials is considered reporting it to the college:
- Resident Directors
- Resident Assistants
- Student Life deans
- Director or Associate Director of Human Resources
- Athletic Coaches
- Faculty department chairs
- College employee supervisors
- Directors of off campus programs
- Director of Institutional Resilience (Title IX Deputy)
- The College Title IX Officer
- Vice Presidents
- Provost and Dean of the Faculty
While the college does have a responsibility to effectively address all reports of sexual assault, requests of the victim to withhold their identity or not initiate a conduct process will be considered in light of the college’s responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students.
I would like to talk with someone who is not connected to Westmont, whom can I call?
Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center is not directly associated with Westmont. The center has certified therapists who can help you through the process.
What if I am physically hurt?
Seek medical assistance immediately. If you need help in seeking medical assistance, the R.D. on Call (805-565-6273) or Public Safety (805-565-6222) can help you. You can also directly contact Cottage Hospital Trauma Center (805-569-7451).
Do I have to seek medical assistance even if I don’t think I am physically hurt?
Internal injuries are difficult to assess without medical training. It is a good idea to get checked by medical personnel. If you decide to seek medical assistance, do not wash, eat, chew gum, brush your teeth, drink, douche or change clothes. If you must change into new clothing, do not wash the old clothes. Doing these things can jeopardize possible evidence.
What if I don’t feel comfortable talking with any medical personnel or the police?
You need to do what feels right and safe to you. You may decide not to seek medical or law enforcement assistance right away. However, keep all possible evidence (i.e., clothing) in case you decide to report the incident later.
Is the college required to report sexual assault allegations to law enforcement?
Set forth below are the instances in which the college must inform external authorities of its receipt of sexual assault reports. For cases in which the complainant consents to be identified or where the college is required to disclose identity, both the complainant and the respondent remain in control of any additional information they wish to provide. While the decision to cooperate in any investigation of a sexual assault is yours, we strongly encourage and will provide support through the campus counseling center for students who seek to do so or who are seeking guidance in making a decision.
In accordance with state law, when operating within the scope of his or her duties, the college physician must inform law enforcement of contact with any person suffering wounds or injuries reported to be the result of a sexual assault. In these instances the physician must report the name and location of the injured person if known; the character and extent of the injuries; and the identity of the person the injured individual alleges to be responsible for the injury or wound.
In accordance with The Jean Clery Act, the college annually discloses campus crime statistics, including statistics on sexual assaults, to the United States Department of Education. No identifiable information regarding the complainant or respondent is made available in this report.
Local Law Enforcement Reporting
In accordance with state law, the college must inform law enforcement of its receipt of reports of sexual assault made to campus security authorities (campus security authorities include Public Safety Officers, Resident Directors, and any Student Life Dean). The college will not disclose the identity of the individual's involved unless the complainant consents to the disclosure.
I think my friend has been sexually assaulted, how can I help?
Encourage him/her to seek help. You can also consult confidentially with Westmont’s Counseling and Psychological Services or the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center without disclosing any identifying information.
I feel guilty and confused. Is that normal?
It is common for a sexual assault survivor to experience a wide range of emotions (anger, guilt, sadness, shame, confusion, powerlessness, or feeling out of control). These can be symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome, which closely parallels Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. If you are experiencing these signs, you may talk confidentially with a counselor through Westmont’s Counseling and Psychological Services or the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.
Last Updated on 8/16/21
Last Reviewed on 8/16/21