Whittier College prohibits Sexual Misconduct and institutes programming to prevent its occurrence and reduce individual students’ risk. It is the policy of the College to offer ongoing programming each year to reduce the risk of all forms of Sexual Misconduct. Throughout the year, ongoing campaigns are directed to students, faculty, staff, and administrators that include strong messages regarding awareness and prevention and which discuss, among other things, California definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and consent in reference to sexual activity. These programs also offer information on how to recognize warning signals and avoid potential attacks without applying victim-blaming approaches. Educational programs are offered to raise awareness for all incoming students and employees and are conducted as part of new student and employee orientation.
Whittier College encourages bystander intervention, as long as the bystander first evaluates whether intervention can be accomplished safely. Bystanders may witness emergencies, crimes, or risky situations that could lead to violence. In such a situation, bystanders have the opportunity to do one of three things: 1) nothing, 2) contribute to the negative behavior, or 3) provide assistance. Engaged bystanders are people who choose to provide assistance.
Sexual violence is supported by cultural norms that let harmful attitudes, aggression, and coercion go unchecked. Engaged bystanders make a difference by preventing acts of violence, changing our community norms from inaction to action and encouraging others to provide assistance in the future.
To be an engaged bystander, students should:
Whittier College encourages all students to commit to the following tenants of the Bystander Pledge:
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, the suggestions below may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being Complainant of Sexual Misconduct:
This policy was updated on February 5, 2020