Eagles Aware & Title IX

Support Services – Fall 2020

We may not be on-campus but Eagles Aware is STILL here to support you. If you need to speak with someone or share an experience of sexual violence, dating/domestic violence and/or stalking you can reach confidential support staff at 816-501-2909 or eaglesaware@avila.edu. We may be practicing social distancing but you are not alone!

Title IX

Amid concerns related to COVID-19, the Title IX team will be operating remotely through the end of the semester. All email and voicemail regarding Title IX reports will be monitored regularly to respond to all inquiries during this time.

  • If you have an emergency, please call 911.
  • Title IX will continue to respond to inquiries and reports of Sexual Misconduct in a timely manner.
  • Title IX will continue to actively investigate cases by modifying interview practices to include video conferencing via Zoom.
  • To make a report please email darby.gough@avila.edu or susie.mathern@avila.edu

About Eagles Aware

The Eagles Aware program coordinates the University’s response to reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking when those reports involve members of or visitors to the Avila community. Informed by current federal guidance, Eagles Aware aims to ensure University responses promptly and effectively stop problem behavior, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.

The program:

  • Is a confidential resource on-campus
  • Provides an additional place to report an incident anonymously 
  • Provides information about university policies and procedures
  • Provides referrals to campus and community confidential resources and victim advocates
  • Can help facilitate accommodations to address safety concerns and support victims or complainants so academic and professional pursuits may continue unimpeded
  • Works with victims or complainants to ensure their wishes are understood and inform them about the process
  • Leads the University’s Coordinated Community Response team to ensure continuous improvement in policies, procedures, and prevention.

Responsible Employee logo

Responsible Employees

A Guide for University Employees

University Policy

Avila University, a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in Avila University’s programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, abuse, assault, exploitation, or intimidation. Sexual misconduct or harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Avila University. Accordingly, Avila University urges an individual to make a formal report if that individual is the victim of sexual misconduct or harassment, has knowledge of another person being the victim of sexual misconduct or harassment, or believes in good faith that he/she has witnessed a possible warning sign of sexual misconduct or harassment. A report of sexual misconduct or harassment will be dealt with promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.

Further, Avila University is committed to non-discrimination and equal opportunity to its students including, but not limited to, recruitment, admissions, financial aid, educational policies, placement services, housing, athletics, sponsorship, the conduct of co-curricular activities, and other University administered programs and services.

These policies for students, faculty, and staff are to be administered without regard to sex, race, religion, age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or national origin.

The University operates from a value system in which caring, sharing, and respect are paramount. While we value diversity and seek to serve all segments of society, we do not aspire to be only a reflection of society. We seek higher goals, with higher values, and higher standards. This is the community that you have chosen; one that expects more from itself, more from one another, and more from you.

It is the intent of this policy to set forth in a clear, concise, and uniform manner the expectations of students, faculty & staff who are a part of the University community and to set forth administrative and judicial procedures whereby those involved in gender-based misconduct may be treated fairly.

Dating Violence

Dating Violence is defined by Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) as “violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship would be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.”  Examples of this type of behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal—name-calling, putdowns, yelling or shouting, threatening the partner or one of the partner’s family members
  • Emotional—excessive jealousy, trying to control the partner’s activities, calling or paging frequently to “keep tabs” on the partner, telling the partner how to dress, stalking,
  • Physical—hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, pinching, kicking, hair pulling
  • Sexual—unwanted touching or kissing, forcing the partner to have sex or engage in any unwanted sexual activity, not allowing the partner to use birth control

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is defined by VAWA as “…violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse…”  Examples of domestic violence include:

  • Causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member
  • Placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm
  • Causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, or duress
  • An act taken toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.

Domestic violence also is viewed as a learned pattern of physical, verbal, sexual and/or emotional behaviors in which one person in a relationship uses force and intimidation to dominate or control the other person.

Sexual Assault

VAWA defines sexual assault as “an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Examples of sexual assault and rape under this policy include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors, however slight, when consent is not present:

  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal). Intercourse, however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; or oral (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact)
  • Intentional contact or fondling with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.

  • Voyeurism (such as watching or taking pictures, videos, or audio recording of another person in a state of undress or of another person engaging in a sexual act without the consent of all parties).
  • Exposing portions of one’s body in such a manner that it may be seen by someone who reasonably could be offended.
  • Disseminating, streaming, or posting pictures or video of another in a state of undress or of a sexual nature without the person’s consent.
  • Prostituting or trafficking another person.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct of any nature that creates an offensive or hostile work environment or unwelcome sexual conduct that is made a condition of working at the University. Sexual harassment, like other forms of prohibited harassment, will not be tolerated. Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual conduct such as:

  • Verbal harassment (e.g., sexual requests, comments, jokes, slurs);
  • Physical harassment (e.g., touching, kissing) and;
  • Visual harassment (e.g., posters, posts on social media, electronic communication, cartoons or drawings of a sexual nature.)

Sexual harassment is not about sexual attraction or desire, it’s about power and control. It may occur between members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex, regardless of their sexual orientation. It also may be in the form of non-sexual, offensive conduct that is directed at an employee or student because of his or her gender (including gender identity and gender expression).


It is unlawful for a person to stalk another person. The term stalking is defined as “purposely and repeatedly harass or follow with the intent of harassing another person.”

As used in this policy “harass” means “engaging in a knowing course of conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose, that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for his or her safety; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress, and that actually causes substantial emotional distress to that person.”

Examples of stalking under this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on Web sites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear
  • Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a victim
  • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones
  • Gathering of information about a victim from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates
  • Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the victim
  • Defamation or slander against the victim


Consent is a verbal agreement that must be active, voluntary, informed, and mutual.  Consent or lack of consent may be expressed or implied.

  • Each participant in a sexual encounter must obtain consent for all sexual activities. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent to engage in all forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent to engage in a sexual encounter with one person does not imply consent to engage in a sexual encounter with another.
  • Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance or lack of response alone.  A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessary giving consent.
  • Consent may be withdrawn by either party at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity.  Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
  • Individuals with a previous or current intimate relationship do not automatically give either initial or continued consent to sexual activity. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutually understandable communication that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be given by a person who lacks the mental capacity to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense and such mental incapacity is manifest or known to the actor
  • Consent cannot be given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication, is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or
  • Consent cannot be induced by force, duress, or deception.

Amnesty Policy

At times, an individual(s) may be hesitant to report the occurrence of misconduct to Avila officials because they are concerned that they themselves, or a witness to misconduct, may be found responsible for other policy violations, such as alcohol or drug violations. Although violations of University policy are not condoned, the importance of addressing the alleged misconduct takes priority. Therefore, Avila will not refer an individual or a witness who makes a report of misconduct to the student conduct system as a responsible party for any other violations that may have occurred in connection with the reported allegations of misconduct.

Non-Retaliation & Non-Intimidation

Retaliation against individuals for filing a report, reporting an incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or for participation in an investigation under this policy will be cause for independent disciplinary action. Intimidation of any kind is prohibited.

Victim/Survivor Options

If you were recently harmed or feel you might be harmed and are not sure what to do, you have options (please see below for more information).

Avila University recognizes that every individual and every situation is unique. The menu options below provide only general information that may or may not apply in every situation.

Victims/survivors, family members, and/or friends with questions are welcome to contact the Co-Title IX Coordinators or the Eagles Aware Program Coordinator via phone, email, or by appointment.

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after an incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and/or stalking. Please know that you’re not alone. Below are some things to keep in mind. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.

  1. Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  2. What happened was not your fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen—and that’s not OK

Title IX Co-Coordinators
Janet McManus: 816-501-3618 or janet.mcmanus@avila.edu
Darby Gough: 816-501-3748 or darby.gough@avila.edu

Eagles Aware Program Coordinator Confidential Resource
Sara Eckinger: 816-501-2909 or sara.eckinger@avila.edu

An advocate can confidentially answer questions, provide information about options, and help with safety planning.

Sexual Assault Advocate:
MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault)
24-hour Crisis Line in Kansas: (913) 642-0233
24-hour Crisis Line in Missouri: (816) 531-0233

Dating/Domestic Violence Advocate:
Hope House
24-hour Crisis Line (816) 461-4673

LGBTQ Sexual Assault or Dating/Domestic Violence Advocate:
KCAVP (Kansas City Anti-Violence Project)
24-hour Crisis Line 816-561-0550

After a sexual assault, you may wish to seek medical attention to treat any possible injuries and to check for injuries you may not be able to see.

A sexual assault medical exam ensures:

  1. Physical injuries that may have occurred are promptly identified and addressed.
  2. Victims receive medication for prevention of pregnancy, HIV, or other infections.
  3. Evidence is collected by a sexual assault nurse examiner and preserved for a criminal investigation or university complaint now or in the future.

COVERSA at St. Joeseph Medical Center
1000 Carondelet Dr., Kansas City, MO, 64114
(816) 942-4400

St. Luke’s South
12300 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS, 66213
(913) 317-7000

Sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking can change your feelings about yourself and those around you. You may not feel the way you did before the assault—physically, emotionally, socially, or sexually. Counseling can help you deal with these issues and aid you in your recovery.

Hope House Domestic Violence Agency
24-hr Crisis Line: (816)461-4673

Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault
24-hr Crisis Line in Kansas: (913)642-0233
24-hr Crisis Line in Missouri: (816)531-0233

Kansas City Anti-Violence Agency
24-hr Crisis Line: (816)561-2755

Avila Counseling Services

Faculty and Staff EAP Services
New Directions

Title IX Co-Coordinators
Janet McManus: 816-501-3618
Darby Gough: 816-501-3748

Avila Campus Safety

Director of Residential Life

Eagles Aware- Confidential

Assistance for students accused of sexual misconduct or other unwelcome sexual behavior, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking,

  1. Due process. The University will treat accused students with fairness and respect in accordance with the principles of due process.
  2. The Title IX Co-Coordinators 816-501-3748 or 816-501-3618 can assist with understanding the University policies and the Student Judicial Procedure, listen to concerns, help identify options, and refer to other resources as needed.
  3. The Counseling and Career Services 816-501-3767 can confidentially assist in dealing with stress related to the report and work to develop strategies for healthy coping.
  4. Eagles Aware Project Coordinator 816-501-2909 can assist you with understanding the University policies and the Student Judicial Procedure.

Avila prohibits students from knowingly making false reports of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment). Knowingly making false reports of sexual misconduct constitutes a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action. However, a report made in good faith is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of sexual misconduct.


Avila Resource & Referral Options

5 Step Guide for Survivors & Supporters

Options for the Avila Community

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