The following risk reduction strategies have been included from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) website located at https://www.rainn.org/safety-prevention.
These are some of the ways students can utilize tactics to reduce their risk of sexual assault:
- Walk with purpose: Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do
- Be secure: Lock your door and windows when you’re asleep and when you leave the room and report individuals who keep blocking doors open to a member of the residence life staff
- Stay alert: When you’re moving around on campus or in the surrounding neighborhood, be aware of your surroundings, and if alone, only use headphones in one ear to stay aware of your surroundings
- Avoid isolated areas: It’s more difficult to get help if no one is around
- Prevent isolation: Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know
- Be careful about posting your location: Many social media sites, like Facebook, use geolocation to publicly share your location
- Keep an eye on your friends: If you are going out in a group, plan to arrive together and leave together; if you decide to leave early, let your friends know; if you’re at a party, check in with them during the night to see how they’re doing; if something doesn’t look right, step in; don’t be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about their safety
- Have a backup plan: Sometimes plans change quickly and you might realize it’s not safe for you to drive home, or the group you arrived with might decide to go somewhere you don’t feel comfortable; keep the number for a reliable cab company saved in your phone and cash on hand in case you decide to leave
- Know what you’re drinking: If you don’t recognize an ingredient then use your phone to look it up; avoid large-batch drinks like punches or “jungle juice” that may have a deceptively high alcohol content as there is no way to know exactly what was used to create these drinks
- Trust your instincts: If you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or worried for any reason, don’t ignore these feelings, go with your gut, get somewhere safe and find someone you trust or call law enforcement
- Don’t leave a drink unattended: That includes when you use the bathroom, go dancing, or leave to make a phone call; take the drink with you or throw it out and avoid using the same cup to refill your drink
- Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust: If you choose to accept a drink from someone you’ve just met, try to go with the person to the bar to order it, what it being poured, and carry it yourself
- Check in with yourself: Whether you drink regularly or not, check in with yourself periodically to register how you feel
- It’s okay to lie: If you want to exit a situation immediately and are concerned about frightening or upsetting someone, it’s okay to lie; you are never obligated to remain in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, pressured, or threatened; you can also lie to help a friend leave a situation that you think may be dangerous; some excuses you could use are needing to take care of another friend or family member, an urgent phone call, not feeling well, and having to be somewhere else by a certain time
- Be true to yourself: Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do, “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason; do what feels right to you
- Have a code word: Having a code word with friends and family enables you to not feel uncomfortable and allows you to call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing what you are communicating so they can then come and get you or make up an excuse for you to leave
Relationship Violence, Stalking and Harassment
Dawson Community College affirms the right of all employees and students to work and study in an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation and is committed to providing a climate of mutual respect among students and employees. The College is opposed to any practice or action that denies human dignity or infringes upon academic and personal freedom (CP 2-7: Relationship Violence, Stalking, Bystander and Harassment).
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal and physical conduct or written communications of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive sexual nature. In addition, sexual harassment behavior includes:
- The employee’s or student’s submission to the conduct that is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
- The employee’s or student’s submission to, or rejection of, such conduct that is used as a basis for employment or education decisions; or
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive environment.
Dawson Community College prohibits such conduct. Furthermore, sexual harassment and/or intimidation is a violation of state and federal equal opportunity and nondiscrimination regulations. The College is committed to taking action against an offender through the disciplinary process for both students and employees. Additional information can be found at https://www.dawson.edu/about/policies-procedures.html, BP and CP 2-7.
If one of these assaults occurs (dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking), report the incident to the Human Resources and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. Reports can be made in-person, by phone and on-line. The Human Resources and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator 406-377-9412 will assist the student and let them know that they have several options including
- The option to notify law enforcement authorities about the offense,
- The option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the student chooses to do so, and
- The option to decline to notify such authorities.
Preserving evidence may assist in proving that the alleged criminal offense occurred or is occurring or may be helpful in obtaining a protection order. To assist in preserving evidence: Victims should not disturb any physical evidence and victims should not wash, clean up or use the restroom, which can destroy evidence.
Victims are encouraged to preserve any communication including electronic communication such as emails, videos, texts, social media. Information shared will remain confidential and will not require the individual to file a police report unless so desired. If a student requests assistance in notifying authorities Dawson Community College will comply with the student’s request for assistance in notifying law enforcement authorities.
Local Law enforcement may be contacted by calling 9-1-1. Making a police report will involve an interview with someone from the department for the report. Your information will be collected and you will be asked to recount as much detail as possible regarding the incident including who/what/when/where/why/how.
Dawson Community College works with area counselors who, upon the request of assault victims, can receive necessary counseling services. The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs can authorize counseling visits.
Dawson Community College will make reasonable accommodations to the accused and/or the accuser’s academic schedules or to the residence hall living accommodations so that the individuals can avoid on-going contact with the person(s) who have been implicated in the assault. Students may also obtain a restraining order or similar lawful order issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court and Dawson Community College will comply with and enforce those orders. Dawson Community College does not issue orders of protection but information may be requested from The Human Resources and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator 406-377-9412 or the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs 406-377-9418 about available options to the student and instructions on how to file a request for each option available to the student. If a student has an order of protection please provide a copy to Dawson Community College Human Resources and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator 406-377-9412 or the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and local law enforcement authorities so the order of protection may be enforced.
If the accused is a student, employee, or otherwise officially affiliated with the College, the victim will be advised of their right to pursue disciplinary action against the assailant. The student may pursue disciplinary action whether or not the student chooses to file a criminal complaint. Both the accuser and accused will be informed by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs of any disciplinary action imposed.
In sexual assault investigations, the preponderance of evidence will be the standard used to determine whether or not there has been a violation of policy.
Call 911 immediately and notify campus administration as soon as possible.
- Provide details of the incident. Glendive Police/Dawson Co. Sheriff’s Department will direct emergency responders to the victim.
- Try to determine severity and extent of injuries to the victim.
- Obtain first aid kits.
- Use rubber gloves to handle victim (available in the first aid kits).
- Treat only life threatening injuries.
- Avoid washing areas where bodily fluids may provide evidence.
- Move the victim (if possible) to a comfortable setting (private office).
- DO NOT leave the victim alone, assign an assistant; provide emotional support.
- Gently discourage the victim from washing until seen by a doctor.
- Offer the victim care and first aid, but avoid destroying any evidence.
- Assign someone to meet and guide emergency responders to the victim.
- Take notes of any information the victim is willing to offer.