Sexual Misconduct & Sexual Assault
Statement of Policy
Belmont University is a Christian community of learning and service. Our community is committed to the dignity and worth of every individual, which is embodied in our Community Commitment to Individual Worth. Sexual misconduct is the antithesis of this Community Commitment. Because of our faith commitment, community values and obligations of federal law under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, members of the Belmont community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct and from retaliation for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct.
Accordingly, the community rejects and responds assertively to sexual misconduct violations. When violations are found, Belmont will take action calculated to stop the behavior, ameliorate its effects, and/or prevent the behavior from reoccurring. Such action is likely to include, but is not limited to, suspension, expulsion, or dismissal of the person who violated this policy. This policy statement is aided and supported by the university’s Substance-Free Community Policy as well as by its practice of providing secure, single sex on campus residential living areas.
Actions Following an Incident
A. Immediate Steps
Get to a safe place. such as a residence assistant or residence director’s room, the campus security offices located in Gabhart or on 12th Ave. South, or a trusted friend’s room or off-campus residence.
If you are off campus and injured, call 911 for immediate help. If you are on campus and injured, call Campus Security at (615) 460-6911 for immediate help. Campus Security will come to your aid and summon Metro emergency responders.
If you have been the victim of non-consensual sexual intercourse, it is strongly recommended that you visit an emergency room within 24 hours for a rape evidence examination to preserve evidence and support your opportunity to make decisions later. If possible, take a trusted friend or relative with you to the hospital to provide additional support. Belmont personnel from the Office of Student Affairs are available to accompany you to the hospital. All victims of sexual assault must go to Metro General Hospital. If you go to any other hospital emergency room you will be routed to Metro General Hospital. Metro General Hospital is located at 1818 Albion St, Nashville TN., 37208.
Deciding whether or not to report a crime to police may be difficult for you. If you decide to go to the hospital, by procedure hospital staff will alert the police of your arrival. It is up to you if you would like to file a police report or talk to a police officer. You will be asked if you would like a sexual assault counselor to assist you at the hospital. This counselor is trained to help you think through your options as well as answer any questions that you might have throughout the entire process.
Until you decide whether or not to have evidence collected it is very important to remember that there are things that you should not do:
• DO NOT shower or brush your teeth, if at all possible.
• DO NOT go to the bathroom, if at all possible.
• DO NOT drink or smoke.
• DO NOT change your clothes or underwear. If you have removed this clothing, bring it with you to the hospital in a paper bag.
This may preserve a lot of evidence.
B. Reporting Sexual Misconduct to the University
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, whether perpetrated by a Belmont employee or student or by a third party, you may report it to the university’s Title IX Coordinator, officers in Campus Security, staff in Residence Life, staff in the University’s Dean of Students office, and/or staff in Human Resources. The University has designated these employees as “Responsible Employees” for reporting violations of the sexual misconduct policy. Accordingly, the university encourages making reports to these employees.
Note, though, that reporting to one of these sources is not confidential and details of the incident will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator for him or her to determine next steps. A person may make a Request for Privacy to the Title IX Coordinator so that the incident is not addressed via the university’s Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. The University will make every effort to accommodate a person’s wish for privacy.
Only if the sexual misconduct violation poses a substantial risk to the safety or orderly operation of the campus community will the university consider proceeding despite a person’s wish for privacy. For completely confidential assistance that does not report to the Title IX Coordinator, refer to the “Confidential Resources in the Aftermath of Sexual Misconduct Experience” section of this policy.
Responsible Employees who fail to make a report of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator when they knew or reasonably should have known of the sexual misconduct will be referred for disciplinary action, the consequences of which will depend upon the egregiousness of the unreported sexual misconduct and the Responsible Employee’s pattern of behavior, if any, related to reporting.
You may contact Belmont’s Title IX Coordinator by emailing: TitleIX@Belmont.edu
C. Reporting Sexual Misconduct to External Authorities
Behavior that violates the Sexual Misconduct Policymay also constitute illegal criminal acts. The university’s accountability process is separate and different from any criminal process a person may wish to pursue. A person is encouraged to pursue both and may do so simultaneously. The university’s Title IX Coordinator will assist individuals with beginning the process of contacting the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.
Alternatively, a person may contact the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department directly. The Sex Crimes Section is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, though detectives are on-call 24 hours a day. To report a crime occurring locally to external authorities, please contact: Nashville Metropolitan Police Department’s Sex Crimes Section at 615.862.7540.
D. Confidential Resources in the Aftermath of a Sexual Misconduct Experience.
Individuals may seek confidential, professional assistance in the form of counseling, advocacy and/or support related to their experience or a friend’s experience of sexual misconduct via the following Belmont services:
• Counseling Services at 615.460.6856
• Health Services at 615.460.5506
• University Ministries pastoral care at 615.460.6419
The Coordinator of Security Programs is also a primary source serving as a confidential advisor to provide support, assistance, and knowledge of resources, rights, and referrals to victims of crimes such as sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, harassment, and stalking. The Coordinator of Security Programs, Kayla Jerome, may be reached at 615.460.5661 (office) or 615.584.9011 (mobile).
Additionally, the following is a list of non-Belmont resources. Belmont University does not have a contractual relationship with any of the resources listed below. They are simply listed as a courtesy to community members. Individuals should determine for themselves whether they feel the agency will meet their needs.
• 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.879.1999
• Crisis Intervention Hotline (crisis counseling) at 615.244.7444
• National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233
• 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255