University Policy and State Law

We understand that policies and laws can be confusing. Please reach out with any questions related to our University's Title IX policy or the State and Federal laws. You do not need to report a incident of Title IX to ask questions or seek support services. 

Know your rights

Roger Williams University prohibits any form of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and/or stalking. The University offers programs aimed at the prevention of such offenses. These offenses are violations of state criminal law as well as the University’s Student Code of Conduct. Please see community for more information of the Code of Conduct.

Regardless of whether a victim elects to pursue a criminal complaint, the University will assist victims of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking and encourages reporting of such. At Roger Williams University and in compliance with state law, a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct or stalking has the right to request a *Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or an Emergency Restraining Order from the courts as well as a no contact order from RWU.

Any person who obtains an order of protection from Rhode Island or any state should provide a copy to the Department of Public Safety, the local police agency and the Title IX Office.

The victim may then meet with the Title IX Coordinator or their designee for student matters and/or the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution and/or Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan to reduce risk of harm while on campus or coming and going from campus. This plan may include, but not limited to: on-campus escorts, special parking arrangements, obtaining a temporary cellphone, changing classroom location, changing living location or allowing a student to complete assignments from home.

What Is Stalking?

If you are being followed and/or contacted regularly by someone who puts you in fear of bodily harm, you may be a victim of stalking. Stalking is a pattern of behavior that someone uses to threaten you. In Rhode Island, stalking is a crime. If you think that you are being stalked, notify the Department of Public Safety or your local police department or a domestic violence agency and/or the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy.

Domestic Violence is Any Crime Occurring Between:

  • Family Members: spouses, former spouses, adult persons related by blood or marriage, and persons who have a child in common.

  • Household Members: people who have lived together for some period within the past three years; includes residence hall/apartment roommates.
  • Dating Relationship Partners: persons who have, or had within the past year, a substantive dating relationship. This can occur between a boyfriend and girlfriend or same sex partners.

Why was an Arrest Made?

Rhode Island considers domestic violence a serious crime and has mandatory arrest laws. This means that once the police find enough evidence to believe that a crime has occurred, they are required to make an arrest.

What happens after an arrest is made?

  • The suspect is taken to police station and charged with a crime.
  • The defendant will be brought before a bail commissioner or a judge. A *No Contact Order will be issued.
  • The defendant will be arraigned where they will plead not guilty. If they plead not guilty, a pre-trial date is set.
  • A Domestic Violence advocate will mail you a letter explaining what happened at the arraignment.

Will the Defendant be Sentenced to Jail?

If convicted, perhaps; however, unless the defendant has a prior criminal record, usually not. Generally, a first time offender is sentenced to a period of probation with counseling at an agency certified for Batterer’s Intervention Programs.

How to Get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

  • Go to the proper court and fill out paperwork, including an affidavit, which is your sworn, written statement about the incident(s) that have made you fear for your safety. Defer to the Department of Public Safety for the proper court.

  • After this paperwork is given to a clerk, a judge will review it. The judge may or may not ask you questions. If the judge signs your order, it is valid for up to 21 days. A court officer will then serve your abuser with a copy of the TRO.
  • If you want our court-ordered protection to last longer than the temporary period (up to 21 days), you must go to a second hearing. Your abuser may also be there, so you may not want to be alone. Call your local domestic violence agency for an advocate.

Important: If you do not go to the second hearing, or are late for the hearing, your court-ordered protection will end. For more information about getting a TRO, you can call one of the courts listed or a domestic violence agency.

*No Contact Order is automatically issued to the defendant upon arraignment. A court authorized No Contact Order will remain in effect until the conclusion of the defendant’s case; to include the end of their sentence.

Sexual Misconduct and Other Unwanted Sexual Activity

  • The accused knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally
    disabled, or physically helpless. –or–

  • The accused uses force or coercion.
  • The accused, through concealment or by the element of surprise, is able to overcome the victim.
  • The accused engages the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.
  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse: Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal) however slight with any body part/object by an individual upon another individual without consent.

Effective Consent: RWU strongly encourages students who choose to engage in sexual behavior to verbally communicate their intentions and consent as clearly as possible. Effective consent is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable willingness regarding engaging in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Consent may never be given by minors, mentally disabled persons, and those who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption or those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless.

On Campus Resources
A student may pursue any or all of these options:

  • RWU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
  • RWU Department Public Safety
  • RWU Dean of Students Office
  • RWU Health Services:
  • RWU Counseling and Student Development
  • Title IX Coordinator - Dr.Jen Stanley

Off Campus Resources (Medical) -
Victims of sexual misconduct may request a specifically trained Sexual Misconduct Nurse Examiner (SANE) at each of the following hospitals:

  • Women & Infants | 101 Dudley Street, Providence RI, 401-274-1100
  • Rhode Island Hospital |  593 Eddy Street, Providence RI, 401-444-4000                                                                        

Other Medical Resources

  • Day One 401-421-4100
  • RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence 401-467-9940
  • Victims of Crime Hotline 800-494-8100
  • Women’s Center of RI 401-861-2760

Police Agencies

  • Emergency: 911
  • Bristol Police Department: 401-253-6900
  • Portsmouth Police Department: 401-683-0300
  • Providence Police Department: 401-272-3121
  • RI State Police Headquarters:401-444-1000

Protective Orders Family Court

  • Newport County | 45 Washington Square Newport, RI
  • Providence/Bristol County | 1 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI

Protective Orders District Court

  • Newport County | 45 Washington Square Newport, RI
  • Providence/Bristol County | 1 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI

Rhode Island Mandatory Child Abuse and Bystander to Sexual Assault Reporting Laws

All members of the Roger Williams University community should be aware that Rhode Island law requires reporting of known or suspected child abuse or neglect and reporting of first degree sexual assault or attempted first degree sexual assault occurring in a bystander’s presence.

  • Known or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

Rhode Island General Laws § 40-11-3 requires mandatory reporting of known or suspected child abuse or neglect, providing in part:

Any person who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that any child has been abused or neglected as defined in section 40-11-2 or has been a victim of sexual abuse by another child shall, within twenty-four (24) hours, transfer that information to the department of children, youth and families or its agent who shall cause the report to be investigated immediately.

R.I.G.L. § 40-11-3(a). “Abused and/or neglected child” is defined as any child “whose physical or mental health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when their parent or other person responsible for their welfare” commits or allows to be committed any one of certain enumerated offenses, including sexual assault. R.I.G.L. § 40-11-2(1) and (1)(ix). “Person responsible for child’s welfare” is defined as “the child’s parent, guardian, any individual, eighteen (18) years of age or older, who resides in the home of a parent or guardian and has unsupervised access to the child, foster parent, an employee of a public or private residential home or facility, or any staff person providing out-of-home care (out-of-home care means child day care to include family day care, group day care, and center-based day care).” R.I.G.L. § 40-11-2(9).

Information about known or suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to the Rhode Island Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-RI-CHILD (1-800-742-4453).

The full statute is available here.

  • First Degree or Attempted First Degree Sexual Assault Occurring in Bystander’s Presence

Rhode Island General Laws § 11-37-3.1 requires that a bystander to first degree sexual assault or attempted first degree sexual assault immediately report such offense to the police:

Any person, other than the victim, who knows or has reason to know that a first degree sexual assault or attempted first degree sexual assault is taking place in their presence shall immediately notify the state police or the police department of the city or town in which the assault or attempted assault is taking place of the crime.

R.I.G.L. § 11-37.3.1.

The full statute is available here

If you have information about any such matter occurring on campus or involving a member of the campus community, please contact the Department of Public Safety immediately at (401)254-3333 or ext. 3333 or 4357 (HELP) from a campus phone.

If you have questions about the state mandatory reporting requirements, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 401-254-3611 (ext. 3611) or the Office of General Counsel at 401-254-5379 (ext. 5379).

Non-Discrimination Policy  

Roger Williams University & Roger Williams University School of Law  

Roger Williams University and Roger Williams University School of Law do not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis in admission to, access to, employment in, and treatment in its programs and activities. 

Inquiries regarding the application of this Non-Discrimination Policy may be referred to the following: 
  • Amy Lanoie, Employment Manager, Roger Williams University  
    One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809
    Telephone: 401-254-3190, 

  • Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights  
    400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100 
    Telephone: 800-421-3481 

  • Boston Office, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education  
    5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921
    Telephone: 617-289-0111    

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  

Programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education are covered by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.    

The Coordinator of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is: 
  • Christian Calienes, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Roger Williams University 
    Telephone: 401-254-3090,    

The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator and Coordinator of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 is:  
  • Amy Lanoie, Employment Manager, Roger Williams University 
    Telephone: 401-254-3190,   

The Coordinator of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is:  

  • Dr. Jen Stanley, Title IX Coordinator and Associate Dean, Roger Williams University 
    Telephone: 401-254-3123,

A list of Title IX Deputy Coordinators can be found at Title IX Contacts. 

The Coordinator of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is: 
  • Diana Proto, Director of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, Roger Williams University 
    Telephone: 401-254-3533,  

Revised August 2023 

Read RWU's Non-Discrimination Policy