October 5, 2014

Author: NDSP

An attempted sexual assault, as defined in du Lac (http://dulac.nd.edu/community-standards/standards/sexual-misconduct/), was reported near the lakes in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 4, 2014, when the suspect and victim were walking back to the victim’s residence hall from an off-campus location. The report was made to a campus administrator.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone. Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given. According to du Lac, “Consent means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance.” Importantly, intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent, and a person who is incapacitated—whether by alcohol, drugs, or otherwise—is incapable of giving consent. For more information on consent and incapacitation, see http://studenthandbook.nd.edu/community-standards/standards/smsa/

As the University’s sexual assault policy makes clear: “Sexual misconduct of any kind is inconsistent with the University’s values and incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the Notre Dame community expects. All members of this community share responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment which promotes the safety and dignity of each individual.” On college campuses, perpetrators are more likely to assault an acquaintance than a stranger. Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.

The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault. Nothing a survivor does or does not do is an excuse for sexual assault.

Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault is available from NDSP at http://ndsp.nd.edu/ and at the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention website http://csap.nd.edu

To report a crime in progress, suspicious activity (crime may be occurring), fire or medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 from any campus phone or dial 574-631-5555 from your cellular telephone.