Eagles Aware

About Eagles Aware

Eagles Aware logo

The Eagles Aware program coordinates the University’s response to reports of sexual assault, 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 Complainant’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:

  • (1) Verbal—threatens the partner or someone/something the partner cares about;
  • (2) Emotional—jealousy, trying to control the partner’s activities or behaviors, calling or messaging frequently to “keep tabs” on the partner, telling the partner how to dress, stalking or any behavior that elicits fear in the partner;
  • (3) Physical—hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, pinching, kicking, hair pulling, strangulation, restraining biting scratching;
  • (4) Sexual—unwanted touching or kissing, forcing or coercing 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:

  • (1) Causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member;
  • (2) Placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm;
  • (3) Causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, or duress;
  • (4) 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 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 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 Misconduct

Broadly defined to encompass sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct.

Sexual Violence

Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. The term includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, indecency with a child, and/or aggravated sexual assault.

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 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 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.

Rape

Having carnal knowledge of a person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. There is “carnal knowledge” if there is the slightest penetration of the vagina or penis by the sex organ of the other person. Attempted rape is included.

Sodomy

Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual assault with an object

Using an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is in capable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. An “object” or “instrument” is anything used by the perpetrator other than the perpetrator’s genitalia.

Fondling

Touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Statutory Rape

In Missouri, a person commits the crime of second degree statutory rape or sodomy by engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 17 when the defendant is over the age of 21. No matter what the defendant’s age, it is a crime (first degree statutory rape or sodomy) to engage in sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under the age of 14.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their 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, sharing, or posting pictures or video of another in a state of undress or of a sexual nature without the person’s consent (i.e. revenge porn).
  • Prostituting or trafficking another person.

Sexual Harassment

Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • Quid pro quo: An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
  • “Sexual Assault,” “Dating Violence,” “Domestic Violence,” or “Stalking” as defined in the Violence Against Women Act.

This definition are not evaluated for severity, pervasiveness, offensiveness, or denial of equal educational access, because such conduct is sufficiently serious to deprive a person of equal access. Therefore, any instance of quid pro quo sexual harassment and any instance of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking are considered Sexual Harassment under this Policy.

Hostile Environment Harassment

A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment based on sexual harassment alone may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to create a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:

  • The frequency of the speech or conduct;
  • The nature and severity of the speech or conduct;
  • Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  • Whether the speech or conduct was humiliating;
  • The effect of the speech or conduct on the individual’s’ mental and/or emotional state;
  • Whether the speech or conduct was directed at more than one person;
  • Whether the speech or conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
  • Whether the speech or conduct unreasonably interfered with the individual’s educational opportunities or performance (including study abroad), college-controlled living environment, or work opportunities or performance;
  • Whether a statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or a student or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness, micro-aggression; and/or
  • Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment as defined above may include severe, persistent or pervasive pattern of unwelcome conduct that includes one or more of the following:

Physical conduct:

  • Unwelcome touching, sexual/physical assault, impeding, restraining, or blocking movements;
  • Unwanted sexual advances within the employment or academic context;

Verbal conduct:

  • Making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs or humor;
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations
  • Objectively offensive comments of a sexual nature, including persistent or pervasive sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;

Visual or non-verbal conduct:

  • Leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons or posters in a public space or forum;
  • Severe, persistent, or pervasive visual displays of suggestive, erotic, or degrading sexually oriented images that are not pedagogically appropriate.

Stalking

Engaging in 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. For the purposes of this definition:

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances.
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Consent

Consent is a verbal agreement or action that must be active, voluntary, informed, and mutual. Consent or lack of consent may be expressed or implied. The legal age to give sexual consent in the state of Missouri is 17.

  • 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 may be withdrawn by either party at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
  • 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.
  • 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 indicates a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be given by a person who lacks the mental capacity to authorize the sexual encounter/activities and such mental incapacity is manifest or known to the individual initiating the act
  • Consent cannot be given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or incapacitated, is clearly unable or known by the individual initiating the act to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the sexual encounter/activities; or Consent cannot be induced by force, duress, or deception.
  • Consent cannot be procured by Coercion. Coercion is verbal and/or physical conduct, including manipulation, intimidation, unwanted contact, and express or implied threats of physical, emotional, or other harm, that would reasonably place an individual in fear of immediate or future harm and that is employed to compel someone to engage in sexual contact. Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual contact.

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

The University will not tolerate retaliation of any form against any applicant, student, employee, or other individual for reporting a violation of this policy or for assisting in the investigation of a complaint. Any person who retaliates against (a) anyone filing a report of Sexual Misconduct or a Formal Complaint, (b) the parties or any other participants (including any witnesses or any University employee) in a Complaint Resolution Process relating to a Formal Complaint, (c) any person who refuses to participate in a Complaint Resolution Process, or (d) any person who under this Policy opposed any unlawful practice, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the University. If any participant in a Complaint Resolution Process believes they have been subject to Retaliation, they should immediately report the alleged retaliatory conduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

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 Coordinator
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
(816)501-3767

Faculty and Staff EAP Services
New Directions
1(800)624-5544

Title IX Coordinator
Darby Gough: 816-501-3748

Avila Campus Safety
816-985-6079

Director of Residential Life
816-501-2485

Eagles Aware- Confidential
816-501-2909


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 Coordinator (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.

Resources

Avila Resource & Referral Options

5 Step Guide for Survivors & Supporters

Options for the Avila Community

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