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Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Policy

Johnson & Wales University prohibits sexual assault, other unlawful sexual activity, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, and offers programs aimed at the prevention of such offenses. These offenses are violations of state criminal law as well as the university’s Student Code of Conduct. A summary of the basic elements of each such offense is set forth below.

Sexual Assault and Other Unlawful Sexual Activity

Sexual assault and other forcible sex offenses generally encompass the following:

  • Nonconsensual or coerced
  • Sexual activity
  • For purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse

Nonconsensual sexual activity takes place when the victim does not or cannot (because the victim is mentally or physically disabled, incapacitated or impaired) give intelligent, knowing and voluntary consent. While consent can be expressed in a variety of ways through words, attitude or action, a failure to resist does not, in and of itself, signify consent. Coercion includes force or violence or the threat of force or violence against the victim or someone else, or any other means calculated to cause submission against the victim’s will.

Sexual activity includes not only intercourse, but any penetration into a genital or anal opening of a victim with a body part or any object. It also includes other sexual contact such as being touched by or being forced to touch (with your hand or any other part of your body) another person’s sex organs, breasts, groin, buttocks or anus (whether clothed or unclothed) or being touched in or around any of these places (whether clothed or unclothed) by another person. When any of these activities appears to be for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse on the part of one person and is nonconsensual or coerced on the part of the other person, it will constitute a sexual offense.

Statutory rape and incest are also prohibited.

Dating Violence and Domestic Violence

Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with a victim. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on consideration of the length and type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved.

Domestic violence includes crimes of violence where the parties involved

  • Are current or former spouses (or persons similarly situated to a spouse or that cohabitated as spouses)
  • Have a child in common or
  • Have or had another relationship covered by the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction (such as individuals related by blood or marriage or current or former household members)


Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to

  • Fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress

If there is reason to believe that Johnson & Wales University’s rules prohibiting any of these offenses have been violated, either on or off campus, the administration may pursue disciplinary action through the university’s Conduct Review Process, Human Resources & Payroll and/or through any other available procedures.

In considering these offenses, the university may also refer to the laws of Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Massachusetts. The state law definitions of sexual assault (and consent), dating violence, domestic violence and stalking in in Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Massachusetts are available upon request from the Gender Equity Center, the nondiscrimination coordinator and Campus Safety & Security (see Getting Help).

Johnson & Wales University strives to be supportive and accommodating for all victims of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. University representatives (see Getting Help) will make every effort to help in these ways:

  1. We will meet with you privately at a place of your choice on campus to take a statement and explain your options.
  2. We will treat information that you share with the highest level of discretion. The university’s crime log will not include identifying information about the victim to the extent permissible by law.
  3. We will not prejudge you.
  4. We will treat you and your particular situation with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.
  5. If you feel more comfortable talking with either a female or a male counselor or representative, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  6. We will assist you in arranging for any hospital treatment or medical needs.
  7. We can assist you in privately contacting local law enforcement officials, counseling, Campus Safety & Security, advising, and other available resources, both on campus and in the community.
  8. We will fully investigate your report with respect and discretion.
  9. We will continue to be available for you — to answer your questions, explain the systems and processes involved, and be willing listeners.
  10. We will consider your report seriously, regardless of your gender or the gender of the alleged violator.

See the additional Sexual Assault & Relationship Violence Policy pages Education and Prevention, Steps to Follow, Getting Help, and Criminal and Disciplinary Action.


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