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If you experience sexual misconduct...

Immediate Actions

Students who experience an incident of sexual misconduct should consider the following immediate actions:

1. Contact Campus Safety & Security (641) 269-4600 (24 hrs.) or law enforcement (911)

  • Tell the dispatcher if this is an emergency situation and where you are. You do not have to give any personal details to the security dispatcher.
  • Ask for an advocate, RLC on call, or a security officer.

2. Seek medical attention

  • Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS):  Lower level of Forum, (641) 269-3230
    Nurses can check for infection and provide emergency contraception, other nursing care, and referrals as appropriate. 
  • Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Emergency Room 210 4th Avenue, (641) 236-7511
    GRMC can conduct a medical exam. You can request a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) for your exam.  If a SANE is available, this person will conduct the exam for you.  If no SANE is available, another nurse will conduct your exam.  You are also welcome to request that aCampus Advocate or other support person accompany you during the exam. To request a Campus Advocate, call Campus Safety and Security at (41) 269-4600 and ask for an Advocate.
    • The medical exam has two goals: first, to treat the full extent of any injury or physical trauma and to consider the possibilities of sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy and, second, to properly preserve evidence in case you decide to prosecute.
    • IMPORTANT: Do not bathe, douche, brush your teeth, drink or change your clothing, as you may be destroying evidence you will need if you decide to prosecute. If you must change clothing, place them in a paper bag (do not use plastic bags).

3. Contact a trained, confidential counselor

  • Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS):  (641) 269-3230
  • The campus Chaplain and Rabbi:  (641) 269-4981

SHACS medical staff and counseling staff, Religious Life and Counseling Services clergy, and Grinnell Advocates are confidential resources. These resources will not disclose any personal information about incidents of sexual violence, assault, or rape to others unless you give permission otherwise.

  • Crisis Intervention Service:  (800) 270-1620
    Crisis Intervention Service provides 24-hour support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and related crimes in North Central Iowa.

4. Contact parents, relatives, or close friends for support

Reporting the Incident

There are a number of staff to whom a report can be made.

  • Campus Safety and Security (641) 269-4600
  • Title IX Coordinator (641) 269-4999
  • Student Affairs Office (641) 269-3700
  • Health and Counseling Services (641) 269-3230

Trained staff from these offices can help you decide on a next step. We encourage you to report an incident to the College, regardless of when or where the incident occurred. There are several reasons why this is important. First, the College has resources that can provide guidance in dealing with the incident. Second, it is important for the College to know about an incident in order to maintain the safety of the community.

Choosing to make a report, and deciding how to proceed, can be a process that unfolds over time. you have agency at each step in the process to set the pace and make your own decisions about how best to proceed. For example, you do not have to decide whether to pursue formal conduct action or to name the other party/ies at the time of the report. Reporting does not mean you wish to pursue conduct charges. The only exception to when your wishes do not dominate in the process is when there is clear danger to the community. 

These on-campus reporting options are not exclusive of other reporting options (such as reporting to the police).  All or some processes may be pursued concurrently. The Community Standards apply to students when they are off campus as well as on campus, and educational outcomes can be applied to students who are found responsible for violations while off campus.

Students are urged to keep in mind that an alleged assailant who is not put on notice is a potential future danger, not only to the initial victim/survivor, but also to other members of our community.

Anonymous Reporting

If you wish to report information concerning an act of sexual misconduct anonymously, you may do so. The College’s ability to respond, however, may be limited in these circumstances.

EthicsPoint Anonymous Reporting Website

Anonymous Reporting Hotline: 855-667-1753

Law Enforcement

Except in emergency situations, it will be your choice whether to report an incident of sexual misconduct to local law enforcement. If you choose to do so, Campus Safety and Security office will support and assist you. Notifying local law enforcement will generally result in your being contacted by the Grinnell Police Department. The Grinnell Police Department determines if a criminal investigation will occur and if the case will be referred for prosecution. A case not referred for criminal prosecution may still be investigated by the College.

Town of Grinnell Police Department: (641) 236-5679

If you are considering legal action, please know that physical evidence of sexual assault must be recovered within 72 hours of the assault.  Student Health and Counseling Services nursing staff are not able to provide this forensic exam; in Grinnell, a forensic exam is available at GRMC.  An advocate can also accompany you during the exam if you desire.

Review, Investigation, and Resolution

The College will take immediate action in all allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct to protect the safety of our community and of individuals involved. Whenever the College is informed of allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct, efforts will be made to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address the effects. In general, the College, after consultation with the complainant, will pursue a thorough review or investigation.

Student Conduct and Educational Outcomes

The College may impose a full range of educational outcomes (sanctions), up to and including dismissal, on students who are found responsible for committing an act of sexual misconduct. Students who are considering bringing such complaints should review the Sexual Misconduct Policy in the Student Handbook.

The College Hearing Board (CHB) and Judicial Council (JudCo) hears cases of alleged misconduct that occurs on campus, in College-owned residence halls or houses, or at College-sponsored events, programs, or facilities. Jurisdiction is extended off-campus for egregious and/or repeated offenses. When sexual misconduct (including domestic/intimate partner violence) between Grinnell College students is alleged, the CHB may be used to adjudicate this case.

Prohibition of Retaliation

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against a student because he/she/zi raised allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct. Similarly, it is against policy to retaliate against the respondent. The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation.

Amnesty for alcohol or other drug use

The College seeks to remove any barriers to reporting.  The College will generally offer any student, whether the Complainant or a third party, who reports allegations of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and/or intimate partner violence limited immunity from being charged for policy violations related to the personal ingestion of alcohol and/or other drug use, provided that any such violation(s) did not and do not place the health and safety of any person at risk.  The College may choose, however, to pursue educational interventions for those individuals.

Finding Support

Protection, Accommodations, and Assistance

Upon receipt of a report, the College will take interim measures to protect the parties involved. These may include counseling, campus no contact orders, changes in class or work schedules, changes in on-campus residences, interim suspension, or other measures as necessary, peding the outcome of a hearing.

Students who request assistance in changing their academic or living situation after an incident of sexual assault will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. Students seeking such accommodations should speak with the Title IX Coordinator, who will coordinate such requests on the behalf of the student.



Campus Resources

Office of Safety & Security- The Office of Campus Safety and Security acts as a resource for sexual assault response at (641) 269-4600.

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS)- Please contact SHACS as a confidential medical and counseling resource at (641) 269-3230. SHACS professional staff are not required to report sexual assault, and confidential counseling is available.

Student Affairs- Student Affairs can assist with academic difficulties as a result of sexual assault or violence, as well as contacting faculty on behalf of the student. Staff from the  Residence Life and Orientation department can also assist students who have concerns related to their living situations. Staff from Academic Advising may be contacted at (641) 269-3702, the Residence Life and Orientation department at (641) 269-3700, and the RLC on call at (641) 269-4600 for urgent assistance.

Religious Life - The Chaplain and Associate Chaplain are confidential resources at (641) 269-4981 and are not mandatory reporters of sexual assult. They offer counseling services and are located in the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice, open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Campus Advocates- Campus Advocates are individuals trained to provide supportive services for students who have found themselves in the midst of incidents of dating or sexual violence. Campus Advocates do not provide counseling services, rather they offer a non-judgemental listening ear and information for relevant resources. They will maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible and ensure that no survivor or student-at-risk has to navigate the medical, legal, mental health, or campus system alone. To reach a Campus Advocate, call Campus Safety and Security at (641) 269-4600 and as for an Advocate.

Community Resources

Crisis Intervention Service - 800-270-1620 Crisis Intervention Service provides 24-hour support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and related crimes in North Central Iowa.


Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC)- Eighty-one bed hospital with six satellite clinics. Offers HIV/AIDS and STD testing, medical exams, sexual assault exams, morning after pregnancy prevention, and more.

Grinnell Police Department- Call 911 for immediate help, or call (641) 236-2350 for the Police Department.

Poweshiek County Attorney’s Office- The County Attorney’s Office prosecutes crimes that have been committed in Poweshiek County, Iowa from simple misdemeanors in Magistrate Court to Class A Felonies in Poweshiek County Iowa District Court.

Central Iowa Family Planning- Central Iowa Family Planning (CIFP) is a Title X family planning clinic providing affordable, comprehensive, confidential family planning services, education and reproductive health care to clients in Central Iowa -- Marshalltown, Tama and Grinnell. All services are private and confidential. 

Online Resources

General Resources

LGBTQ Resources

Resources for Males



If you think you may have sexually assaulted someone...


If you think you may have sexually assaulted someone, you may be feeling frightened, ashamed, upset and confused. Grinnell's Student Health and Counseling Services supports all students. A trained counselor can help you to sort through your experience and can provide you with support and information.


You may also find it helpful to review campus and local policies that offer official definitions of sexual assault. See related policies and laws for more information.


How to help a friend

If you have questions

If you have any questions on how to assist a friend who is a victim/survivor of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, please contact one of the following:

  • Campus Safety and Security: (641) 269-4600
  • Dean of Students:(641) 269-3700
  • Title IX Coordinator: (641) 269-4999

A common fear of victims/survivors is that they will not be believed or that their experience will be minimized as “not important.” Remember that it is four times more likely to be raped by someone you know than by a stranger. Accept what you hear – even if the respondent is popular and nice, or even if the complainant appears confused and unable to put their thoughts together clearly, no one reacts to trauma in the same way. Complainants may appear either calm and collected, or very emotional. Both extremes are normal reactions. Also, a sexual assault that does not involve a completed rape can be as traumatic as a rape, so treat any sexual assault victim/survivor with the same care and concern.


Let your friend talk and tell the story at her/his/hir own pace. Be patient if he/she/zi is silent and just needs you to sit with her/him/hir. Reinforce that the incident was not her/him/hir fault. Avoid questions that seem to blame the complainant such as ‘Why didn’t you scream?” and “Why did you go to his room?” and “Why don’t you just break up?” Allow your friend to talk out feelings of self-blame, but help her/him/hir to see that the assault was in no way her/his/hir fault.

  • …If the victim/survivor wants to report the incident. Reporting an assault does not necessarily mean pressing charges – that decision can be made later, but it is important to collect evidence to keep that option open. If the complainant was sexually assaulted, obtaining a post-assault examination is highly recommended.  This exam should be done as soon as possible (within 72-96 hours) and if possible, the complainant should not eat, drink, wash, brush teeth, or change or destroy clothes. For more information about reporting to Campus Safety and Security see below or contact the Grinnell Regional Medical Center for medical treatment at (641) 236-2380.   
  • … If he/she/zi wants to seek medical attention. Complainants of sexual assault are at risk for internal injuries (which may not be immediately apparent), sexually transmitted infections and/or diseases, and unwanted pregnancy. Even for those assaulted less recently, testing for sexually transmitted infections that may have no obvious symptoms is essential. Encourage your friend to speak to a nurse or doctor regardless of when the assault occurred.
  • …what can you do to make them feel more comfortable or safe.  Most importantly remember not to make any decisions for them. As a result of the incident, power and control was taken away from your friend. It is important that you now empower them to decide what options they will pursue.

Suggest that the complainant seek counseling and other support services. This does not mean the victim/survivor must report the assault to the police. A trained counselor can guide the complainant through the first critical hours after an assault. Support services are also available for those who have been sexually assaulted in the past.  Explain what resources are available to the survivor and allow him/her to make a decision about what is best. You can also offer to go with them.

Extra tips on how to help a friend in an abusive relationship
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your friend that you’re concerned. You can point out that the behavior is not normal and that he/she/zi deserves a healthy relationship.
  • Refer him/her/hir to resources that can assist in developing a safety plan.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t ask questions like, “Why don’t you just break up?” Respect your friend’s decision to stay or to leave. Many individuals leave and return to abusive relationships multiple times. It is important to support him/her/hir regardless of what you think is best.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I or a friend may have been sexually assaulted?

As soon as possible, seek medical attention. A friend, staff member, or advocate can go with you. Call Grinnell College Campus Safety and Security at (641) 269-4600 to report a possible assault, and they will in turn help you or your friend get the care you need. You may call the Student Health and Counseling Services at (641)269-3230 to speak to a counselor. If you wish to pursue a complaint against the respondent, or if you wish to discuss your options, you should consult with the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, Director of Human Resources, or Dean of the College.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the victim/survivor’s person within 72 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Grinnell Regional Medical Center's Emergency Room before washing yourself or your clothing. The Dean on call, a trained campus Advocate, or another support person could accompany you to the hospital if you wish. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help keep all options available, but will not obligate you to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to exercise it. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what I experienced constitutes sexual assault?

If you believe that you have experienced a non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the College’s sexual harassment and misconduct policy, you should contact the Title IX Coordinator, Chaplains, Campus Safety & Security, or another trusted administrator who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.

Can I make a report anonymously?

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her/hir name, identifying the respondent or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. EthicsPoint is a service that allows anyone to report suspected misconduct or other issues with complete confidentiality. Anonymous reports may be made by telephone at (855) 667-1753 or online at This service allows the person making the report and College administrators to confer about additional details, while the reporting party's identity remains confidential. All reports will go to the Title IX Coordinator.

Do I have to name my assailant?

No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint.

Yes, if you want formal conduct action to be taken against the alleged assailant. Complainants should be aware that not identifying the respondent may limit the College’s ability to respond comprehensively.

Will the accused person know my identity?

No, if no specific name or identity of the respondent is provided. In this situation the issue is counted in the College’s reporting data, but no formal investigation or confrontation can be conducted.

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the College does provide options for questioning without confrontation.

If I report my assailant, I am afraid that I will be subject to retaliation from him/her/hir or his/her friends. What kinds of protection can Grinnell provide to me?

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group of individuals reported an allegation of sexual harassment or misconduct. The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that a respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the complainant or a third party. The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue conduct action as appropriate. An individual reporting sexual harassment or misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.

What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?

It is never okay to force, threaten, or coerce someone into having sex against his/her/hir will, even if they are in a relationship. Just because you have been intimate with someone in the past does not automatically mean you give consent for any and all future sexual activity.

Will my parents be told?

Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, the College’s primary relationship is to the student and not the parent. However, in the event of major medical, conduct, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. College officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instances where a health or safety emergency exist, or if the College determines such communication is necessary.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

Do not contact the alleged victim. You should contact the Dean of Students Office, which will explain the College’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints and provide the option to select a trained adviser, explain the rights and responsibilities of the complainant and respondent, explain the prohibition against retaliation, and explain the student conduct process.

How can I change my residence hall assignment and/or receive help with my courses?

If your (alleged) assailant lives in your residence hall or attends one of your classes, you may change residence halls or classes. In order to change residence halls, the Title IX Coordinator will work with staff from Residence Life & Orientation to make this change on your behalf. You may be offered a temporary relocation on campus until the first suitable room becomes available. We can also work with the Registrar’s Office and faculty, respectively, to help switch your classes and assist in getting extensions on course work if necessary.

Will a student be punished when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she/zi has illegally used alcohol and/or other drugs?

Grinnell College’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. When conducting an investigation of an alleged sexual assault, the College’s focus will be on addressing the sexual assault and not the lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. The College may, however, provide referrals to counseling or require other educational options when deemed appropriate.

Will the use of alcohol and/or other drugs affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or other drugs by either party will not diminish the responsibility of the respondent. However, alcohol and/or other drugs are likely to affect memories and may affect the outcome of a case.

Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?

It depends. It is against Grinnell College’s Sexual Misconduct policy to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, and therefore incapable of giving consent. Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation. However, it varies on a case by case basis. For a variety of reasons it is not advisable to engage in sexual activity while intoxicated. When one or both parties are intoxicated, people tend to misinterpret another’s sexual intentions and often proceed before the issue of consent has been clarified.

Can I file a complaint with the College and also with the Grinnell Police Department? Can I do one and not the other?

Yes, you may take action through both the campus student conduct system and the criminal justice system. The College encourages complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct that may also be crimes under Iowa law. The College will assist a complainant in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. However, a complainant may also choose not to pursue criminal action, and under most circumstances, the Grinnell Office of Campus Safety and Security will not ask a complainant to pursue charges.

What is the role of the Advisor?

A trained Adviser serves to guide the complainant and respondent through the pre-hearing and hearing process and may accompany the student to any meeting with a College employee and to the hearing. The Adviser is not a trained advocate for the student and may not direct questions to or otherwise address the Hearing Board but, rather, may consult with the student that he/she/zi is assisting. An Adviser will be offered to the complainant at the time the complaint is filed and the respondent will be offered an Adviser at the time he/she/zi is notified of the complaint. The complainant and respondent may select from the list maintained by the Dean of Students of trained Advisers or each may decline the assistance of a trained Adviser.

How do I file a complaint?

A person who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct, as defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, may file a complaint against the Grinnell College student responsible for that conduct. “Person” may include any member of Grinnell College, including students, faculty, administrators, staff members, and visitors. You will submit a Complaint Form to the Dean of Student Conduct. The Complaint Form should contain sufficient information to permit the Respondent to understand the charges being brought and to be able to adequately respond.

What is the role of the investigator?

The Title IX Coordinator or Dean of Students will designate an investigator of its choosing to conduct a thorough, impartial and fair investigation. The investigator chosen will have specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual misconduct. The investigator will coordinate the gathering of information from the complainant, respondent, and other individuals or entities with relevant information regarding the complaint using any of the following processes. The investigator will share with the complainant and respondent for comment or rebuttal information and documentation considered material to the findings related to the complaint. In addition to reviewing any documents submitted by the complainant and respondent, the Investigator will try to obtain such other physical or medical evidence relevant to the investigation as the Investigator determines, in his/her/hir judgment, to be necessary, including but not limited to documents, police records, electronic or other record of communications between the parties or witnesses, records or other relevant information. In obtaining such evidence, the investigator will comply with applicable laws and Grinnell College policies. The Investigator may visit relevant sites or locations and record observations through written or photographic documentation. The investigator will interview the complainant and the respondent separately and may interview one or both more than once as necessary. The complainant and respondent may be accompanied by their respective Advisors. The Investigator will make a good faith effort to contact and interview any witnesses identified by the parties or in the documentation, including those no longer at the College. The investigator may also interview any other individual he or she finds to be potentially relevant to the allegations of the complaint. The investigator will inform each witness or other individual interviewed that they are prohibited from retaliating against the complainant and respondent or other witnesses. The investigator may contact any expert the Investigator determines is necessary to ascertain the facts related to the complaint. An expert witness may be contacted for an informal consult or for a professional opinion regarding information learned from the investigation. The investigator will prepare an Investigative Report summarizing and analyzing the relevant facts determined through the investigation, referencing any supporting documentation or statements. The investigative report may include summaries of interviews with the complainant, respondent, third-party witnesses, experts, and any other individuals with relevant information, photographs of relevant sites or physical evidence, electronic records and forensic evidence. The Investigator may provide a summary of his/her/hir impressions including context for the evidence, but will not make a determination as to whether a violation occurred, reserving that decision for the Hearing Board. The Dean of Students will provide the complainant and the respondent with a copy of the Investigative Report before the hearing.

Who is present at the conduct hearing and will I need to be in the same room as my assailant?

Those who may be present at the hearing are the complainant, the respondent, their respective Advisers, investigator, witnesses and Hearing Board Members. The investigator and witnesses may only be present in the hearing room when they are providing information to the Hearing Board. The complainant and respondent will be present in the hearing room; however, a complainant or respondent may also request participation in the hearing by other suitable means that would not require physical proximity to the other. This can include, but is not limited to, partitioning a hearing room or using technology to facilitate participation. The Hearing Board may also allow for witnesses to appear through other technological means. All requests to participate in the hearing other than in person must be reviewed in advance by the Dean of Students or designee as Chair to ensure compliance with a fair and equitable process.

Who will be resposible for determining the educational outcomes?

At the conclusion of the hearing, everyone other than the hearing board members will be dismissed from the hearing room to allow board members to deliberate in private. The hearing board must reach a decision on responsibility by majority vote. If the hearing board determines a student to be responsible, it will deliberate regarding the appropriate educational outcome, as appropriate, and reach a decision by majority vote. The hearing board may schedule additional meetings to complete deliberations if necessary. If the hearing board finds the respondent responsible for violations of the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and/or other College policies, the hearing board may impose appropriate educational outcomes by selecting from the range of sanctions outlined in the Student Conduct Process. Educational outcomes may be issued individually or in combination with other outcomes. In determining the appropriate outcome(s), the hearing board may consider a number of factors including: the harm suffered by the complainant; any ongoing risk to either the complainant or the community posed by the respondent; the impact of the violation(s) on the community, its members, or its property; any previous conduct violations; any mitigating or aggravating circumstances; and the information contained in any impact statements submitted by the parties.

What is the time frame for resolution?

The investigation and resolution (including appeal) of all reports will generally be completed within 60 calendar days. Extenuating circumstances including the complexity and severity of a complaint may arise that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 calendar days. In general, a complainant and respondent can expect to receive periodic updates as to the status of the review or investigation. In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.