Violence Against Women Act
The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law enacted in 1994 to improve the criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The re-authorization of VAWA (2000, 2005, and 2013), along with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act and the Jeanne Clery Act, have worked together to improve the safety of college campuses and enhance the outlook for abuse victims.
- Violence Against Women Act Information
- Jeanne Clery Act
- Security Authority Crime Reporting Form
- Campus SAVE Act
- Crime Victim Assistance
- Emergency Response
- Family Violence Resource Guide
- Non-Report Sexual Assault
- Prevent Sexual Assault
- Survivor's Booklet
- Intervening to Prevent Domestic Violence
- Personal Safety Plan Brochure
- What is Stalking?
The Health Science Center does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of discrimination. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited whether sexually based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. As a result, the Health Science Center issues this statement of policy to inform the community of our comprehensive plan addressing sexual misconduct, education and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking whether the incident occurs on or off campus and when it is reported to a university official. The Health Science Center prohibits the offense of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and reaffirms its commitment to maintain a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the university community. The the Health Science Center maintains a complete policy governing sexual misconduct for all students, staff and faculty that is digitally available at all times. The Health Science Center does not tolerate physical abuse, threats of violence, physical assault or any form of sexual assault, including, but not limited to acquaintance or date rape, domestic and dating violence or stalking. In addition, all such acts of sexual violence are considered forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
"Consent", as defined in the Texas Penal Code; means assent in fact, whether express or apparent.
In reference to sexual assault, "without consent" is defined in the Texas Penal Code as:
- The actor compels the other person to submit by the use of violence;
- The actor compels the other person to submit by threatening to use violence against the victim or against any other person;
- The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
- The actor knows that as a result of mental disease the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable of appraising the nature of the act;
- The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
- The actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise the victim’s conduct by administering any substance without the victim’s knowledge.
~Texas Penal Code 22.011
Sexual assault is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system. A sex offense is any act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim if incapable of giving consent. Rape is defined as the 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. Fondling is defined as the touching of the private parts of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity. Incest is defined as non-forcible sexual Intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. Statutory Rape is defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
The Texas Penal Code 22.011
The Texas Penal Code 22.011 defines sexual assault as an offense committed by a person that intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent; or causes penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or causes the sexual organ of another person to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
The term “domestic violence’ is defined as (1) Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed; (I) By a current of former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (II) By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common (III) By a person who is cohabitating with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (IV) By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or (V) By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in the crime of violence occurred.
The Texas Family Code 70.004
The Texas Family Code 70.004 defines family violence/domestic violence as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault; or that is a threat that reasonably places the family member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
The term "dating violence" is defined as violence committed by a person (1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and (2) The existence of such a relationship shall be based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition- (I) Dating violence includes, but not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. (II) Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence. For the purpose of complying with the requirements of this section and section 668.41 any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.
The Texas Family Code 71.0021
The Texas Family Code 71.0021 defines dating violence as an act other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, that is committed against a victim with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or because of the victim’s dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship. The act is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault. A “dating relationship” is a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature which is determined based on consideration of the length, nature, frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
The term stalking is defined as (1) engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress (2) For the purpose of this definition (I) course of conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts 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 persons property. (II) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. (III) A reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
The Texas Penal Code 42.072
The Texas Penal Code 42.072 defines stalking as when a person on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same course of conduct directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct that: (1) the actor knows or reasonably believes the victim will regard as threatening bodily injury or death for the other person; bodily injury or death for a member of the other person’s family or for an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship; or that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property; (2) Causes the other person, a member of the other person’s family or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or fear that on offense will be committed against the other person’s property. Further it would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury of death for themselves; bodily injury or death for a member of the person’s family or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship; or that an offense will be committed against the person’s property.