One night; One decision; A lifetime of consequences. This page is designed to educate you on some of the components of Title IX and on how you can help. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list or cover every situation. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact Sr. Associate AD Erika Barnes, your head/assistant coach, or any administrator.
Sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment and other Title IX issues are things we at The University of Arizona take very seriously. Anyone accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation can be suspended immediately, and could be expelled from the UA. Our expectation is that you represent our program in a first class manner at all times and be a good teammate who watches out for others. Do not jeopardize your future or that of your teammates. BE SMART and MAKE GOOD DECISIONS. IT'S NOT WORTH THE RISK.
Title IX states that "no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
1. ‘Consent’ in the context of sexual activity means informed and freely given words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
2. Consent may not be inferred from: 1) silence, passivity or lack of resistance, 2) a current or previous dating or sexual relationship, 3) acceptance or provision of gifts, meals, drinks, or other items or 4) previous consent to sexual activity.
3. Consent may be withdrawn during sexual activity; consent to one form of consensual sexual activity does not imply consent to any other form of sexual activity.
4. Consent may not be obtained through physical force, violence, duress, intimidation, coercion, or an express or implied threat of injury.
5. Consent may never be given by a person who is: incapacitated (by drugs, alcohol or otherwise), unconscious, asleep, or otherwise physically or mentally unable to make informed, rational judgments. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
- 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while at college
- University based (civil) investigations are determined by “preponderance of evidence” – meaning it’s ‘more likely than not” (51%) that a violation occurred; the standard is NOT ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ as in criminal cases.
- You can be called as a witness in any Title IX investigation if you were at an alleged incident.
Types of behavior that are prohibited:
- Sexual violence Ex: rape; sexual assault, battery, coercion, force or intimidation.
- Relationship violence - Ex: Intimate partner or dating violence, domestic abuse, stalking.
- Sexual harassment - Ex: Requesting or pressuring an individual for sexual contact, discussing sexual activities, touching of intimate body parts, commenting on an individuals' physical attributes, displaying suggestive pictures, videos, drawings, or written materials, using indecent gestures, unwanted sexual contact, etc.
- Gender-based or sex based discrimination/harassment - This broad category can be divided into two subsets: (1) actions that stem from sexual motives; and (2) actions that are based on an individual's gender, but are unrelated to sexual desires (including gender identity and/or sexual orientation slurs).
Some Title IX stories in the news
The following scenarios relate to Title IX, are meant to be educational, and apply to all genders. Listed action steps are only suggestions. Remember, help can be direct or indirect.
SEXUAL ASSAULT - You’re at a party and see 2 other student-athletes hanging out. Both have had a lot to drink and as you walk by you hear one of them say, “Let’s go.” A few minutes later you see them going upstairs to the bedroom. What do you do?
- Find out more; ask others what they think; investigate if it’s ambiguous - What could ‘let’s go’ mean?
- Decide how to help (see the 5 Ds listed below). For example: Distract - Spill a drink; Lie; Say to one of them you just got bad news and need to talk to them. - Do anything to stop a potentially bad situation.
- Is either one of them intoxicated/incapacitated? Then consent cannot be given!
You have been dating someone for a few weeks. You have had sex 4 times and each time has been consensual. As you start to have sex for the 5th time, your partner hesitates, but you ultimately talk them into it. Your partner files a Title IX complaint the next day saying they did not consent that particular time, even though after having sex, you spent the rest of the night together. What is the issue? CONSENT (can be withdrawn at any time) and COERCION.
- Up to 85% of sexual assault victims know the perpetrator.
- Up to 75% of sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol consumption by the victim, perpetrator or both.
Here is a great video of 3 women who stepped up to prevent a date rape.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - One of your teammates is dating another athlete. Lately, she has become more withdrawn and recently looked as though she had been crying. When you inquired, she said she was fine. At practice today, she had bruising on her arms and a swollen lip. She tells you she fell while she was hiking. What do you do?
- Talk to her privately to find out more (See Friends Helping Friends on Step UP! website).
- Know the signs of domestic violence/abuse and resources.
- Make sure she has a safe place to go.
- Share your concerns with a trusted professional.
While in college, 9.8% of students who had been in a partnered relationship reported experiencing intimate partner violence. (AAU Campus Climate Survey 2015)
SEXUAL HARASSMENT - You and some other student-athletes are hanging out on a Friday night, and have had a lot to drink. 2 are dating and decide to have sex - and someone in your group records it for fun. The next day, one of the people involved in the sex act finds out it’s been shared on social media and files a Title IX complaint. What could you have done?
- Recognize that it is illegal to share, even though the person consented that it be taped.
- Recognize the role alcohol plays.
You and your team work out 3x a week in the weight room. In the past you have heard one of your teammates make some sexually suggestive comments about another student-athlete who works out at the same time and is within earshot. This is now happening virtually every time you’re in the weight room and is getting increasingly graphic. What is the issue? SEXUAL HARASSMENT. And remember, you can be called as a witness.
STALKING - You have been dating someone for 6 months but decide to end it. The break up does not go well and the person you dumped is texting incessantly, pleading to get back together as well as showing up at different locations on campus where they know you will be. You file a report and for an order of protection. Can you do that? YES – stalking is not allowed regardless of past relationships.
A school must take immediate action and provide accommodations to ensure a victim can continue their education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence.
GENDER OR SEX BASED HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION - Your teammate has a history of discreet but derogatory remarks about same sex relationships and now has started saying discriminatory things at practice, in the locker room and even at the airport. You know that one of your teammates is gay, but not out. Today they say something flippantly, followed by, "Isn't anyone NORMAL anymore?" Your other teammates laugh. What do you do?
Challenge racist, sexist, homophobic, or other discriminatory language by saying something like, “What do you mean by that?” Or, "What did you just say?” Or use 'I statements' like Stephen Jackson does in this video:
Title IX also requires that an institution respond appropriately to a hostile environment - an environment in which harassment (in any form) is serious enough to hamper one or more students’ ability to benefit from an educational program. They must take immediate steps to investigate the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, and prevent the harassment from recurring.
Retaliation either by or on behalf of either the complainant or respondent is prohibited.
what can you do?
BE AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER
- Notice the Event
- Interpret it as a Problem
- Assume Personal Responsibility
- Know How to Help
- Step UP!
WAYS YOU CAN HELP - Remember the 5 D's!
(With permission from Southern Poverty Law Center)
A nice summary of the 5 steps in an interview with a bystander who intervened after noticing an event. Which of the 5 Ds were used and what could others have done at the party BEFORE it got to this point?
- Understand consent! If someone is incapacitated, they can’t give consent. You need consent for EVERY sexual act, every time.
- Create a plan with your friends/teammates before going out and check in with each other. Stick to it!
- Ambiguity is the number one barrier for bystanders in sexual assault situations. Investigate situations that concern you; see what others think; work together. Press PAUSE on a potential hook-up if one or both parties may be drunk. Think about what's at stake!
- Intervene directly or indirectly - delegate, distract or interrupt a potentially bad situation. CHANGE THE COURSE!
- Recognize behaviors related to sexual assault and relationship violence and know how to help directly and indirectly. Be familiar with power dynamics in relationships. Know departmental and campus resources.
- Be aware of comments/behaviors from others that would indicate they were intent on having sex even if the partner was unwilling or incapable of giving consent – i.e. pressure, intimidation, coercion, manipulation, drugs, alcohol.
- De-escalate emotional situations; allow the people involved to save face; try and get time and distance from the situation.
- If it is a non-emergency situation, consult with the appropriate people about what next steps should be.
- Do whatever you can! 1 person, 1 act at a time makes a difference. Build strength in numbers and the expectation to intervene. For more strategies, see the Step UP! website below.
Athletic Department contact - Erika Barnes - 520 621-2473. Any administrator is a mandatory reporter as well.
Campus Title IX Coordinator - Mary Beth Tucker - 520 621-9449
A video we did in collaboration with the I WILL campaign to help end rape culture.
We need you! Whatever you can do is critical - big or small, direct or indirect. Everything you say, everything you do, and everything you stand for matters!
None of us can do everything, but we can all DO SOMETHING.