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Sex misconduct report shows suspensions for partner violence

Two male Yale College students were recently suspended for intimate partner violence against their boyfriends—also Yale undergraduates—and for violating agreements to stay away.

Those incidents are among 70 documented in the university's latest report of sexual misconduct complaints, compiled by the provost's office and covering July through December 2013. The allegations range from assault to harassment to teacher-student relationships that violate the faculty handbook. They include numerous cases where Yale found evidence to support the allegations, and some where it did not.

The report describes the two incidents mentioned above—among nine total complaints of intimate partner violence—in nearly identical language. In each case, the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) investigated allegations that a student "committed acts of physical force, intimidation, and coercion toward another male [Yale College] student with whom he was having a relationship" and that he "violated a no contact agreement." After the UWC "found sufficient evidence to support the allegations," each offender "was given a two-term suspension, will be on probation for the remainder of his time at Yale, is required to complete violence prevention training and is restricted from contacting the other . . . student involved," the report says.

In the report's introduction, deputy provost Stephanie Spangler notes that the 70 complaints are a "slightly larger number" than in previous reports. In addition, she says, the complaints "reflect an increasing variety of behaviors that members of the community find unacceptable and choose to pursue through Yale’s processes" and that "in a number of cases, third parties either brought complaints forward directly or supported complainants in doing so."

"While too small to be characterized as 'trends,' these subtle shifts suggest a deepening and encouraging awareness of Yale’s high standards for behavior and a growing interest in making use of our procedures and resources," Spangler writes.

Nonetheless, she remains concerned about underreporting. 

Among the 70 complaints described in the report:

* A two-term suspension of a male undergraduate for "unwanted advances and . . . touching of a sexual nature." The complaint came from a female undergraduate.

* A male graduate & professsional school [G&P] student received a four-term suspension after he "engaged in intimidating and sexually harassing behavior toward female G&P students and physically assaulted a female G&P student."

* Three incidents in which female Yale College students said a male student "had intercourse without her consent." Each young woman decided not to pursue a formal complaint.

* A male faculty member reported that a male colleague sexually harassed a female postdoctoral associate. The first professor also complained of retaliation. The second professor "was suspended from his leadership position and is required to complete harassment prevention training."

Filed under sexual misconduct, Stephanie Spangler
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