Sexual assault is a crime of violence, not sex. You did not bring this upon yourself and it is not your fault. Surviving a sexual assault can be a traumatic experience, and reactions can be varied in time and in the ways your experience impacts you. It's important to be attentive to your own, individual experience, and to understand that there is no right way to react. How one person handles their experience should not dictate how you process your experience. We can help guide you in understanding your experience and help support you at any and all stages of the process.
To talk more about your experience and to get support, contact the Counseling Center to set up an appointment where you can speak confidentially if you are a MICA student, if you are MICA faculty or staff contact Human Resources to get in touch with our EAP line through Health Advocate. Anyone can utilize of our off campus resources at any time.
Remember, it is your choice whether you want to report something that happened to you to any MICA faculty or staff member or to anyone on the Title IX team. Once you report, MICA can move forward with adjudication. Know that your role in the process is yours to control and your decision.
Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given by mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways it is the responsibility of the pursuing party (the individual who wants to engage in sexual activity) to ensure the other has consented before engaging in the activity After effective consent has been established, a person who changes their mind during the sexual activity should communicate by using words or clear action that it is their decision to no longer proceed with the activity. A verbal "no" even if it may sound indecisive or insincere should be treated as a withdrawal of consent.
While MICA does not have an affirmative consent policy, this is the best way to ensure a consensual sexual encounter between partners. MICA encourages the utilization of affirmative consent. Affirmative consent states that the person who initiates sexual contact must receive a verbal yes (affirmative consent) from the other person before engaging in any sexual activity and that consent must be ongoing throughout the sexual encounter.Affirmative consent makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the person who initiates sexual contact to make sure they have the verbal consent of the other person,rather than assuming that the answer is "yes" until someone says "no." Affirmative consent reduces ambiguity in sexual situations, by making it clear that the initiator of sexual contact must receive a "verbal yes" from the other person.