Sexual Misconduct

(including cases of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking)

Fontbonne University is committed to a safe and healthy campus environment. The University will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct or relationship violence as referenced in the below linked Sexual Misconduct Policy or outlined below. Related Fontbonne University policies and supplemental materials can also be accessed below. Please access these materials for information on policy, reporting options, contact information, and various other on/off campus resources.


Fontbonne University is committed to promoting an environment that supports its educational mission and preserves the safety and dignity of its members. All members of the University share responsibility for fostering this environment by adhering to standards of conduct. Sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is a serious violation of these standards. Sexual misconduct is also a form of sexual harassment as prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment as found in the Student Handbook. The University will, as with any form of sexual harassment, take appropriate steps to prevent the recurrence of any sexual misconduct, and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others. The University will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct or relationship violence as covered in this policy.

This Sexual Misconduct Policy is directed toward the following goals:

  1. To provide prompt and compassionate support for survivors or anyone adversely affected by sexual misconduct
  2. To foster a climate on campus in which reports of sexual misconduct are encouraged
  3. To educate members of the campus community to recognize and report sexual misconduct
  4. To provide a framework of action in which reports of sexual misconduct are consistently and fairly investigated and in which the interests of all parties are respected.

Fontbonne University, in accordance with Title IX, prohibits retaliation against anyone who either opposes unlawful discrimination, assists or participates in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination, or exercises that person’s rights under any law that forbids discrimination. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, stalking, coercion, or discrimination, whether in person, via social media, or through third parties.

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies when the accused is an enrolled student of the University and is subject to its disciplinary process. Ordinarily, trained staff in Student Affairs will conduct the investigation whenever the accusation of sexual misconduct involves a student and per the procedures contained within the current Code of Student Character and Conduct. If the accused is not subject to the University’s disciplinary process, Clayton police or other appropriate jurisdictions can be notified, if deemed appropriate. If the accused is a member of the faculty, staff or affiliated third party, any report of sexual misconduct will be investigated using the University’s Title IX process to investigate claims of harassment or discrimination.

The requirements of this policy are without regard to the sexual orientation or preference of individuals engaging in sexual activity or sexually exploitative behavior.

All inquiries regarding the application of policies for the prevention of sexual harassment or sexual violence under Title IX should be referred to Fontbonne’s Title IX Co-Coordinators:

Dr. Corinne Wohlford
Fontbonne University
6800 Wydown Boulevard
Ryan Hall 302
St. Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 719-8017
  • II. Options for Assistance

    If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, consider the steps below:

    1. Find a safe location away from the perpetrator. Ask a trusted friend to be with you for moral support.
    2. Know that what happened is not your fault.
    3. Preserve all evidence of the attack.
      • Do not bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, eat, or smoke.
      • If you are still in the location at which the crime occurred, do not clean or straighten up or remove anything.
      • Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the perpetrator.
    4. Speak to a confidential, licensed counselor in the Fontbonne Counseling and Wellness Department.
      • The only University resource that affords complete confidentiality is speaking with a licensed counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Department. Below is the contact information for this individual:
        • Director of Counseling & Wellness, (314) 889-1434
    5. Report the incident to one of Fontbonne University’s Reporting Contacts, which include:
      • Any Fontbonne University Public Safety Officer.
      • One of the following memebrs of the Fontbonne Student Affairs staff:
        • Vice President for Student Affairs
        • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
        • Director of Residential Life
        • Directior of Leadership Education and Student Activities
      • Fontbonne Title IX Coordinators
    6. Report the attack to law enforcement immediately. Local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas throughout the U.S.
      • If you want more information, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotlines at (800) 656-HOPE or by visiting A counselor can help you understand the reporting process.
      • You may also report the attack to Fontbonne’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). For immediate assistance, call (314) 889-4596.
      • Scroll down to find more information about reporting an attack, campus resources, and off-campus resources.
    7. Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (women may also be at risk for pregnancy).
      • To find a local hospital or healthcare facility that is equipped to collect forensic evidence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE). The hotline will connect you to your local crisis center, which can provide information on the nearest medical facility, and in some instances, may send an advocate to accompany you through the evidence collection process.
      • Ask the health care professional to conduct a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE).
      • If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected to preserve evidence.
    8. Recognize that healing from an attack takes time. Give yourself the time you need and know that it is never too late to get help.
    9. Consider the interim measures and offers of accomodation that the university will provide as discussed in the “Interim Measures” section of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    Additional resources to consider:

    If you feel that you’re in immediate danger ON campus, please contact the Department of Public Safety by calling (314) 889-4596.

    If you feel that you’re in immediate danger OFF campus, contact your local police department by calling 911.

    Interim Measures

    The University will take steps to protect the complainant as necessary, including taking interim steps before the final outcome of an investigation. These steps can include, but are not limited to, measures to eliminate contact between the complainant and the respondent, including a change in academic, living or work situations as appropriate. The University will also be responsive to reasonable requests for accommodation of the complainant. The University will also cooperate with the local police department and any other legally authorized entity in enforcing orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court.

  • III. Definitions


    Consent is a clear and freely given agreement for sexual contact.

    • Consent is an ongoing process – consent to kissing does not necessarily mean consent to other sexual activity.
    • Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
    • Also, consent to sexual activity on one occasion does not necessarily mean continual consent – everyone involved must give and receive consent to sexual activity every time, even when involved in a long-term relationship or marriage.
    • Saying nothing is not the same thing as consent, and non-resistance is not the same thing as consent.
    • In order for consent to exist, everyone involved must be fully conscious, aware of the situation and free of any coercion.
    • Anyone under the age of 18 is a minor, and is considered incapable of giving informed consent.


    Coercion is any kind of pressure or persuasion used to influence a person’s decision to engage in sexual activity. Coercion can be physical, verbal, or emotional.

    • Physical coercion is the most recognizable kind of pressure and includes actions such as holding someone down or continued kissing or sexual activity even when being told “no” or being pushed away.
    • Verbal coercion includes behaviors like threats of physical violence, blackmailing, lying, name-calling, or asking repeatedly for sexual involvement even after being told “no.”
    • Emotional coercion is the most subtle type of pressure and includes actions like making someone feel obligated or guilty for not wanting to engage in sexual activity using peer pressure, threatening to break up, etc.
    • Sexual assault can happen to both men and women, and both men and women can be sexual assailants. It also can happen between people of the same sex.
    • Sexual assault can occur between strangers or people who know each other, even those who are in a long-term relationship or married.

    Dating Violence

    Violence committed by a person: a) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

    • the length of the relationship;
    • the type of relationship;
    • the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    Domestic Violence

    Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

    Sexual Assault

    Sexual assault is any sexual contact, including but not limited to intercourse (rape) that occurs without consent and/or through coercion.
    Sexual assault is not about sex or an assailant’s sexual desires. It’s about exerting power and control over another person. This means that regardless of how someone dresses or acts, or where, or how, they choose to spend their time, a person who is sexually assaulted is never to blame for the assault. The only person responsible for the assault is the assailant.

    Sexual Violence

    Sexual violence is a non-consensual conduct of a sexual nature. Anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, education, race, religion, or ability. Sexual violence can be committed by strangers or a person familiar to you, including an intimate partner.


    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.

  • IV. Reporting


    The University encourages survivors or anyone adversely affected by sexual misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened so that they can get the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a victim’s confidentiality.

    The only University resource that affords complete confidentiality is speaking with a licensed counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Department. Below is the contact information for this individual:

    Director of Counseling & Wellness, (314) 889-1434

    While a student is encouraged to report an incident to a person of her/his choice, the University has designated the following Reporting Contacts to receive reports of sexual assault or relationship violence. All other University employees, if made aware of an incident of sexual misconduct, are required to report the information to a Reporting Contact designated by the University. These Reporting Contacts are individuals at the University who have been designated to receive a report of sexual assault or relationship violence. The designated Reporting Contacts are:

    1. Any Fontbonne University Public Safety Officer
    2. One of the following members of the Fontbonne Student Affairs staff:
      • Vice President for Student Affairs
      • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
      • Director of Residence Life
      • Director of Leadership Education and Student Activities
    3. Title IX Coordinators

    Anonymous Reporting

    If you would like to make an anonymous report to the Department of Public Safety of an incident related to sexual assault, please see the Silent Witness report form.


    The University will treat information that it receives in a manner that respects both the Reporting Party and the Accused Party. Recognizing that sexual assault can include criminal acts that violate the security of the entire campus community, there may be instances where the University has a responsibility to investigate or disclose information regarding the circumstances related to a specific incident. Campus and Reporting Party safety considerations will be balanced with the privacy interests of all involved, as well as the applicable legal requirements, when making decisions regarding such investigations and disclosures. The University’s ability to act to protect the interests of the Reporting Party and other Students is limited by the information provided to it. The University’s ability to respond to a report of sexual assault may be limited if the Reporting Party insists that his or her name, or other identifiable information not be disclosed. The University will evaluate a request for anonymity in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the campus community. Additionally, while the Reporting Party is under no obligation to reveal the identity of the Accused Party, the Reporting Party will be encouraged to do so in the interest of protecting all members of the University community and preventing future incidents of sexual assault.

    Amnesty for Individuals Reporting Violations of this Policy

    The University strongly encourages students to report incidents that may violate this policy. Therefore, an individual student who reports alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, participates as a witness in sexual misconduct investigations, or seeks medical assistance for his/her self or another will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for consumption or possession of alcohol or other substances in connection with the reported incident.

  • V. Procedural Items

    Evidentiary Standard

    Responsibility will be determined by a preponderance of evidence standard, or one in which it is more likely than not that a sexual misconduct occurred.
    Safeguards – In cases involving alleged sexual misconduct, both the complainant and the respondent:

    • Are entitled to the same opportunities to have an adviser present during a campus disciplinary proceeding or related meeting
    • Shall be informed simultaneously of the outcome of the proceeding, in writing.
    • Will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence.
    • Will be afforded similar and timely access to any information to be used during the disciplinary hearing.
    • Are entitled to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution
    • Are entitled to a disciplinary process conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

    Possible Outcomes

    Possible outcomes include the range of disciplinary sanctions and outcomes listed within the Code of Student Character and Conduct in the Student Handbook. Mediation is not an appropriate process for cases involving sexual misconduct and will not be an option for such cases.

    Time Frame

    As with any disciplinary case under the Code of Student Character and Conduct, the University will provide for prompt and equitable resolution of the complaints, utilizing the timeframes as listed in the Code of Student Character and Conduct procedures in the Student Handbook. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the University will conclude its investigation and conduct process within sixty (60) calendar days following receipt of a complaint.

    Appeal Process

    An appeal process, as explained in the Code of Student Character and Conduct in the Student Handbook, is available to both parties.

  • VI. Prevention and Education

    Fontbonne University provides the following educational programs and training opportunities to help students and staff understand how to recognize and report sexual misconduct (see definitions for more information):

    Educational Programs and Training Opportunities

    Consent and Respect

    Online training tool used to educate Fontbonne University’s campus about policies and resources regarding sexual misconduct.

    Green Dot Training (Bystander Intervention)

    Bystander-intervention-based training process that emphasizes the community response aspect in order to reduce violence on campus.


    Interactive Fall activity that attempts to educate participants about alcohol’s influence on varying body types and genders, demonstrates perception challenge through the utilization of impairment goggles, and challenges social norms of the alcohol culture through various activity booths. (BACCHUS materials provided.)

    Safer Spring Break

    Interactive Spring activity, similar to OkSOBERfest (above), provides a general perspective in its approach to challenge social norms of the alcohol culture; however, special emphasis is given to providing safety lessons and tips for international and domestic travel during Spring Break. (BACCHUS materials provided.)

    Step UP! (Bystander Intervention)

    Bystander-intervention-based training process, similar to Green Dot Training (above), that targets alcohol bias, mental health, and general alcohol culture concerns.

    Students Thinking and Acting Responsibly and Safely (STARS)

    Part of the NCAA CHOICES grant, student-based initiative that focuses on peer relationship interactions.

    Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April

    Denim Day: collaboration between the Department of Counseling and Wellness and student-led SHESA, community activity that challenges social norms regarding misconceptions about rape.
    Additional programs may become available to the campus community throughout the year.

  • VII. Campus Resources


    To schedule an appointment with Claudia Charles, M.A., L.C.S.W. counselor:
    Call Mary Asaro at (314) 889-4516
    Visit: Student Affairs Office
    Location: Medaille Hall First Floor
    Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Mon-Fri)
    For after hours support, please contact the Department of Public Safety (information below), who will contact a Fontbonne counselor for immediate assistance.

    Public Safety

    Resources regarding campus safety may be found by visiting the Department of Public Safety (DPS) online. For immediate assistance, call (314) 889-4596.

    Campus Ministry

    Lori Helfrich
    Call: (314) 719-3663

    Student Affairs

    Further information regarding student services and resources may be found by contacting the Department of Student Affairs as well.
    Mary Asaro
    Call: (314) 889-4516
    Joe Deighton
    Vice President of Student Affairs
    Call: (314) 889-1410
    Visit: Student Affairs Office
    Location: Medaille Hall First Floor
    Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Mon-Fri)


    Students may always approach situations of concern with a Resident Assistant (RA); however, both the Residence Hall Director (RHD) and Director of Residential Life are also available for appointment.

    • Residence Hall Director: (314) 719-3603
    • Director of Residential Life: (314) 889-1429
  • VIII. Off-Campus Resources

    Off-Campus Resources

  • IX. Right to Alternative Complaint Procedures

    A student’s complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, gender orientation, national or ethnic origin, or disability, including complaints of racial, sexual or other unlawful harassment, may be filed with the:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Office for Civil Rights
    8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037
    Kansas City, Missouri 64114
    Phone: (816) 268-0550; TDD: 1 (800) 437-0833; Email:

  • Related Fontbonne Policies

  • Supplemental Materials

    Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act

    Enacted as an amendment in 2013 to the federal Jeanne Clery Act (1990), the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act, or simply SaVE) requires institutions of higher education to implement specific policies, procedures, and training related to sexual violence and intimate partner violence. In an effort to build accountability and transparency throughout the university, the SaVE Act makes mandatory various education programs for both students and employees, with an emphasis on increasing awareness regarding victims’ rights and conduct proceedings.

    The SaVE Act not only serves to complement the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights), but was originally signed into law on March 7, 2013, by President Obama as a component of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

    In conjunction with the training materials provided at registration and on campus, the related series of webpages found here serve as additional educational material concerning Fontbonne University’s policies and compliance with both the SaVE Act and Title IX.

    Additional Resources from the Department of Education

    Additional Resources from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:

    How to Provide Support

    If you suspect that someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, keep in mind the following:

    There is no one way to identify if someone has been sexually assaulted unless he or she, or someone close to him or her, specifically tells you that this has occurred. However, there are several signs/symptoms of rape trauma (a type of post-traumatic stress) which may help you to identify if a friend needs help:

    • Sleep disturbances: nightmares, difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • Change in appetite
    • Irritability or outburst of anger
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Fear about personal safety
    • Exaggerated startle response (jumps at a small noise or if their name is calleD)
    • Numbness, uncommunicative
    • Depression/feelings of hopelessness
    • Difficulty being touched or expressing loving feelings
    • Withdrawal or not interested in participating in activities they once enjoyed (doesn’t feel like going out, going to movies, seeing friends, volunteering or participating in student groups, etc.)
    • Seems detached from others

    What you can do to help:

    No one expects you to be a trained rape counselor, but there are things you can do to help your friend to cope and to find help:

    1. Always ensure that your friend is safe.
    2. Remember that your role is NOT to define or prove the assault. The most helpful thing that you can do is to remain supportive while referring your friend to campus or community agencies.
    3. You do not have to have all of the answers. If someone discloses to you, it usually means that you are someone they trust. Often, they just want to be heard.

    Though there is not one “right” way to respond to someone who has been sexually assaulted, the following may serve as a general guideline:

    Helpful Responses:

    • Believe your friend.
    • Maintain a calm manner.
    • Listen without interrupting. Encourage your friend to take whatever time is necessary.
    • Respect the language your friend uses to identify what’s happened.
    • Understand that individuals from different backgrounds may express or experience reactions to an assault in different ways.
    • Validate your friend’s experience or reactions.
    • Remind your friend that he or she is not at fault.
    • Help your friend identify other safe people in his or her existing support system.
    • Encourage your friend to seek medical attention and counseling.
    • Allow your friend to make his or her own decisions.

    Some common responses to sexual assault are not helpful. These responses are part of a natural attempt to gain control over the situation and cope with your own feelings about rape, but they are ultimately not useful in helping the survivor to get help or to recover.

    Unhelpful Responses:

    • Asking questions that imply blame or question the survivor’s actions.
      • What were you doing there?
      • Why did you drink so much?
      • Why didn’t you ask someone to walk you to your car?
      • Why did you go to his room?
      • Questions like these may make the person feel blamed or guilty, and may decrease the chances of their willingness to speak to a counselor who can help them.
    • Asking for details about what happened or too many probing questions.
      • You can be just as helpful without knowing the details of what happened. You can be most helpful by helping to get the assault survivor to a counselor who can assist your friend.
    • Blaming or judging (i.e., “You shouldn’t have had so much to drink”).
    • Dismissing feelings or minimizing the experience (i.e., “You should just forget about it”).
    • Telling others about the assault or gossiping about it.
      • Unless you have the survivor’s permission and are making a referral to someone in a professional capacity, do not talk to others about the assault. It is critical that you respect the confidentiality of the person who has been assaulted. Their trust in themselves and others has already been severely damaged by assault. You don’t want to accidentally make things worse.
    • Telling the survivor what to do – they need to feel in control of what is happening to them.
    • Trying to “fix” the problem (i.e., pressuring to make a report or take certain actions).
  • Victims' Bill of Rights

    The Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights:

    • Survivors shall be notified of their options to notify law enforcement.
    • Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present.
    • Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
    • Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.
    • Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.

    The Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights was signed into law by President George Bush in July of 1992. This law requires that all colleges and universities (both public and private) participating in federal student aid programs afford sexual assault victims certain basic rights. Schools found to have violated this law can be fined up to $35,000 or lose their eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs. Complaints about schools that have filed to comply with this law should be made to the U.S. Department of Education.

    The “Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights” exists as a part of the campus security reporting requirements, commonly known as the Jeanne Clery Act.