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Catawba College Policies Regarding Sexual Violence, Stalking, Domestic and Dating Violence, Bullying and Bias Incidents


The following policy is based on federal and state laws of North Carolina, and on the College’s intent to ensure the safety of the community.

Sexual assault, including but not limited to threats of, or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature that is against another person’s will or without consent.

  • Committing a sexual invasion, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, as those terms are defined herein.
  • Committing sexual harassment as defined herein.
  • Inflicting severe mental or emotional distress upon a person through a course of conduct involving repeated harassment, intimidation, abuse or disparagement.

The term sexual act means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus or knowingly inserting an object or part of one’s body into another’s genital or anal opening.

The term sexual assault means intentionally touching the sexual parts (breasts, genitals or buttocks) of another or intentionally touching another with one’s sexual parts, without that person’s consent.

The term sexual harassment means engaging in unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the employment or academic advancement of another is made contingent upon submission to such conduct or when submission to or a rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the other’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

The term sexual invasion means knowingly engaging in a sexual act with another person without the other’s consent. The term sexual misconduct means engaging in a sexual act or exposing the private parts of one’s person in any public place in the presence of other persons.

NOTE: Use of alcohol and/or drugs by a Complainant is not an excuse for violation of the sexual assault conduct standard. An intoxicated person cannot provide informed consent to sexual activity if their judgment is impaired. Nor can a perpetrator who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs be capable of confirming consent to the sexual activity. Thus, if your partner has been drinking or taking drugs, getting a "yes" may not be sufficient. Finally, silence, previous sexual relationships or current relationship between the parties may not be taken as an indication of consent. 

It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against a person for complaining of alleged harassment, or for assisting, participating or cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment. When a member of the College community believes retaliation has occurred, the complainant may bring a complaint under this policy. The College also has the right to make such a determination on its own. Retaliation is a basis for corrective or disciplinary action.

The College will make reasonable efforts to keep all information relating to sexual harassment allegations and investigations confidential on a "need-to-know" basis, to the extent consistent with the College’s legal obliga- tions, the need to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and the need to take corrective and/or disciplinary action. Any person who violates provisions of this policy including confidentiality provisions will be subject to disciplinary and/or corrective action.

If you have been sexually assaulted:
Sexual assault is an act of violence. Students who are victims of an assault may be in a state of shock and disbelief and may be feeling a variety of emotions such as fear, anger and helpless- ness as well as shame and guilt. A victimized student may not know who to trust or turn to for help. This guide is designed to give students resources to help in recovery as well as to reduce the risk of an assault from happening again. Students are encouraged to seek help from the resource people in this guide. There are trained professionals available at Catawba College who can provide information and support. Students are encouraged to use these resources. The College will respect the wishes of the student and will not force them toward any action.

If a student is sexually assaulted, she or he is encouraged to:

  1. Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  2. Understand that the assault was not your fault, nor did you do anything to cause it or deserve it. One hundred (100%) percent of the responsibility lies with the person who assaulted you.
  3. Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not wash, douche, use the toilet or change clothing if it can be avoided. If changing clothes is a must, put all clothing worn at the time of the attack in a paper bag, not plastic (this is important for evidence collection).
  4. Contact any one of the following Catawba College offices to report the crime and receive assistance: Public Safety at 704-637-4000, College Chaplain at 704-637-4446 or 704-231-3128, Student Affairs at 704-637-4410, Health Services at 704-637-4404, Counseling Services at704-637-4307 or a Residence Life staff member. A call to one of these offices does not mean that one has chosen to bring criminal charges. These officials are trained to assist in securing medical attention and professional counseling while assuring that evidence of the incident is collected and preserved in the event of a later decision to prosecute.
  5. Report the crime to the Salisbury Police Department at 911 (non-emergency calls 704-638-5333). This is a personal decision that only the student who has been assaulted can make. Understand that making a report does not require the victim to press charges. Consider that the perpetrator may have had previous victims, and if attention is not brought on their behavior, it is possible that there will be more victims in the future.
  6. Get medical attention as soon as possible to address physical health needs and to collect important evidence in the event of a later decision to take legal action. For the purpose of effective evidence collection, physical examination at a local emergency room must take place as soon as possible and no later than seventy-two (72) hours after the assault. For on campus services, call Health Services at 704-637-4404. For off-campus services, call the Rowan Regional Medical Center Emergency Department at 704-210-5035.
  7. Talk with a counselor who can provide emotional support and give information about resources while clarifying confidentiality. For on-campus services, call Counseling Services at 704-637-4307. For off-campus counseling and support services, call the Family Crisis Council at 704-636-4718 or the Rape/Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673.
  8. Confide in someone who can be trusted, a close friend or Resident Assistant, to turn to for support through recovery. If preferred, a member of the College staff who is knowledgeable about recovery resources can be chosen as a support person. To receive information on the Catawba College Student Conduct Code and procedures, please contact the Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Administrator at 704-637-4410.


Stalking and cyber stalking are behaviors prohibited by Catawba College. Stalking includes a willful and malicious knowing pattern of conduct or acts over a period of time, directed at a specific person which alarms or annoys the person which causes a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury. Conduct which does not include a threat of death or bodily injury is also illegal and considered harassment by Catawba College.

Stalking is defined as repeated harassing behavior, such as:

  • Following a person
  • Appearing at a person’s home, class or work
  • Making harassing phone calls and e-mails 
  • Leaving written messages or objects
  • Vandalizing a person’s property

Stalking can be accomplished in person or by mail, telephone, electronic mail, social media, and internet communications etc.

Students, staff, and faculty may turn to a Title IX Liaison (available to receive reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment and discrimination, including stalking) listed in the policy on sexual harassment and sexual assault for help in dealing with incidents of stalking or harassment.

Anyone can be stalked, including college students from any economic, ethnic, or religious group. A few victims are picked at random by their stalker, but most stalking victims know their stalker, having had some type of present or past relationship. The perpetrator can be an intimate partner, former partner, classmate, roommate, or other acquaintance. A victim can be stalked for several days or for many years. The stalker’s actions can also affect family, friends, and coworkers. Stalking and criminal harassment can be difficult to distinguish. Talk to one of the individuals listed on our Resource page for help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a similar situation, please get help by contacting any of the resources listed. If you feel frightened or uncomfortable about someone’s specific behavior, pay attention to your instincts. Seek help.


  • Report the stalking to Public Safety, Student Affairs and/or local police and follow their advice
  • Inform others close to you (family, friends, residential life staff, coworkers) about the stalking
  • Do your best to safely avoid all contact with the stalker
  • Keep a journal or log of all incidents connected to the stalking
  • Keep any letters, packages, taped telephone messages, or e-mails received from the stalker
  • Provide police with photographs of the suspect, a description, and other information
  • Inform the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and learn about other options

Follow basic safety tips:

  • Try not to walk alone
  • Know your surroundings and locations of emergency phones and panic buttons o Lock your car and house doors when alone
  • Consider using different routes to drive or walk to class or other routine places, keeping close friends informed o Park your vehicle in well-lit areas
  • Check your vehicle including front and rear passenger seat areas before getting in o Change locks to your home and car
  • Contact Public Safety for escorts
  • Utilize the blue lights on campus if you feel someone is following you


Dating violence is defined 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 relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the victim is determined based on the following factors:

  1. The length of the relationship
  2. The type of relationship; and/or
  3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship


Domestic violence is defined as abuse or violence committed by:

  1. a current or former spouse of the victim;
  2. a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; and/or
  3. a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse.

Dating and domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

The state definition of domestic violence can be found in North Carolina General Statute §50B-1 (, which is applicable to criminal prosecutions for domestic violence in North Carolina, but may differ from the definition used by the university to address policy violations.


"Bullying or harassing behavior" is any pattern of gestures, communication (written, verbal, or electronic), or physical act that takes place by a Catawba College community member that:

Places another Catawba College community member in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits. A hostile environment is defined as the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.

Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic such as race: color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

  • No student or College employee shall be subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by College employees or students.
  • No person shall engage in any act of reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness, or a person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior.
  • A College employee who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or College employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior shall report the incident to the appropriate College official.
  • A student or volunteer who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or College employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior should report the incident to the appropriate College official.


Cyberbullying is the use of internet, mobile phones, social media, or other digital technologies to harm others. Communicating threats of any violence via any medium (including electronic communication) which the College interprets as posing a danger to Catawba College property, people, or the community. This Policy applies to all computer and computer communication facilities owned, leased, operated, or contracted by Catawba College. The policy compliments the Catawba College Information Technology’s Acceptable Usage Policy.


Catawba College defines a bias incident as an act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation involving a member of the Catawba community that is directed at a member or group based on any of, but not limited to, the following: race, color, ethnicity, nationality, economic background, age, physical/mental health or ability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, height, size, weight, marital status, veteran status or religious practice.

A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident.

Bias-related incidents, while abhorrent and intolerable, are not necessarily crimes. Hate crimes are also motivated by bias, but they include a definable crime, such as: threats of violence, property damage, personal injury and other illegal conduct. A hate crime is an infraction of the law and will be addressed accordingly.

Note: All hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes.

Any member of the Catawba Community may report an incident.

  1. Log into CatLink
  2. Click on the "CatWatch" link in the "Make a Request" box (located on both the "Home" and "Services" tabs

Once reported, an investigation of the incident will be conducted in a timely manner and appropriate actions will be taken.