Dean of Students

Stalking and Relationship Abuse Policy

      1. Relationship Abuse is a pattern of coercive behaviors that serves to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and/or emotional. Relationship abuse can occur between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, or been married. It can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. Relationship abuse is sometimes also referred to as intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or dating violence.

        For the purposes of this policy and related procedures, the definitions of terms can be found in the Student Conduct Code. The follow are some examples of relationship abuse:

        1. Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact, e.g., slapping, pulling hair, punching, sexual assault;
        2. Knowingly restricting the movements of another person, e.g., removing a person from residence or school, isolating or confining a person for a substantial period, monitoring phone calls or email, preventing a person from attending class or interfering with studying;
        3. Attempting to place or placing another person in fear through a course of conduct, e.g., threatening, manipulating, intimidating, verbally and/or emotionally abusive behaviors, or exhibiting extreme possessiveness or jealousy.
      2.  The following are some examples of stalking behavior:
        • unwelcome communication, including, but not limited to: face-to-face, telephone, voice message, electronic mail, written letter, and/or contact; unwelcome gifts or flowers, etc.;
        • threatening or obscene gestures and/or pursuing or following;
        • surveillance;
        • trespassing;
        • vandalism;
        • unwelcome touching or physical contact; and/or
        • gaining unauthorized access to personal, medical, financial and/or other identifying information, including, but not limited to: access by computer network, mail, telephone or written communication.
          1. Cyber-stalking is an extension of the physical form of stalking (defined above) where electronic media such as the internet, pagers, cell phones, or other similar devices are used to pursue, harass or to make unwanted contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.
          1. reviewing non-identifiable campus crime information being collected in compliance with the Clery Act,
          2. reviewing various policies and protocols related to incidents of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and stalking,
          3. ensuring and reviewing ongoing awareness and education programs on campus, and
          4. advocating for support services for individuals who report incidents of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and stalking.
    2. Maine State Law and University Policy
          Portions of this policy may parallel published laws, but are in no way intended to substitute or supplant those laws. It should be clearly understood that there is a fundamental difference between the nature and purpose of student discipline and criminal law. For more information about the laws of Maine see:


          University disciplinary procedures should be considered distinct and independent of any and all criminal procedures. University disciplinary procedures may precede, co-occur, or follow court action. When necessary, temporary action may be taken by the University against the person accused in the form of summarily suspending, summarily restricting, or officially requesting no contact between the complainant and the respondent. Relocation or removal from the residence halls may also occur. The University reserves the right to alter and/or restrict the respondent's access to the University and/or participation in University events, such as use of Groupwise (university e-mail system), attendance of classes and campus residency.

    4. Campus Disciplinary Proceedings
          Individuals should refer to the Student Conduct Code for information regarding violations, procedures and sanctions. Any questions regarding the Student Conduct Code should be directed to the Director of Community Standards.

          The person who reports victimization and witnesses is not required to initiate the Student Conduct Code allegations. When an incident of relationship abuse or stalking is reported, the University is considered the complainant and is responsible for continuing the investigative process. Charges can be investigated on the basis of either a statement from the person who reports relationship abuse or stalking or a witness's statement or complaint (e.g., residence hall staff, police, faculty, staff, and another student). The person who reported the incident(s) and all witnesses will be asked to contribute their statements and any information to assist in the resolution of the complaint. The person who reports victimization has the right to withdraw from the investigation at any time. The university may proceed with disciplinary action even when the person who reports victimization voluntarily chooses not to participate in the process. Additional questions or concerns regarding disciplinary proceedings should be addressed directly to the Office of Community Standards.

          The University recognizes that violations of relationship abuse and stalking are not the fault of the individual filing the complaint. The University intends to encourage the report of relationship abuse and stalking and therefore the University generally does not intend to hold the person filing the complaint accountable for conduct code violations that may have occurred along with violations of relationship abuse and stalking. The University administration will use discretion to ensure the rights of the complainant are preserved.

    6. Procedure for Policy Assessment and Improvement
          The University supports and maintains the Gender Violence Initiative as a standing committee. This Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, students, and community members. This group is responsible for:

    8. Confidential Disclosure
          The University of Southern Maine offers confidential advocacy services to all University affiliates (students and employees). The Gender Violence Initiative offers assistance by providing a confidential advocate to support and assist individuals to: 1) weigh options and associated risks, 2) discuss possible next steps, and 3) obtain information about available resources and services. Other campus offices offer confidential support, e.g., the University Counseling and Health Center, Employee Assistance Program. No one is expected or required to pursue a specific course of action.
    10. Official Reporting
          All University of Southern Maine students, employees, or visitors are strongly encouraged to make an official report of any incident of relationship abuse and stalking to the USM Police and/or Office of Community Standards, whether the incident occurred on or off campus. The laws of Maine mandate a law enforcement officer arrest without a warrant when the officer has probable cause to believe a person has committed assault, stalking, or reckless conduct against an intimate partner.
    12. Anonymous Reporting
            Any University of Southern Maine students, employees, or visitors may file an anonymous report

      Causing emotional and/or physical harm to community members;

      • Contributing to an atmosphere of fear and distrust;
      • Offending the dignity and violating the autonomy of community members;
      • Disrupting the academic progress of partners and/or former partners.
      This policy serves to define certain behaviors and/or acts that the University does not tolerate, and to articulate how the institution will respond when incidents of relationship abuse and violence are reported. This policy does not substitute or supersede the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code.

      The University of Southern Maine is an educational community bound by common standards of conduct and a commitment to its educational missions. Relationship abuse and stalking interfere with the University's educational mission and with students' aspirations and abilities by:

      Relationship abuse, stalking, and sexual assault are related phenomena and can occur in the same relationship. However, some characteristics are unique to each type of behavior. Relationship abuse and stalking are covered by this policy; the University of Southern Maine has a separate policy addressing sexual assault; and USM has protocol for responding to reported incidents of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and stalking. As a matter of policy, relationship abuse and stalking will not be tolerated in the University community.

      All students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the public participating in University activities have the right to an environment free from interpersonal violence, including relationship abuse, harassment, assault, and stalking. Violence, abuse, and/or acts of aggression or intimidation directed toward another person violate the University's Student Conduct Code and Maine state law. As members of the University community, students are expected to comply with and abide by the University policies and guidelines, in addition to federal, state, and local laws whether on or off campus.

      The University of Southern Maine determines the following to be its intentions for this policy:

      Under the Clery Act, an institution must report certain crimes to the campus community in a timely manner that will aid in prevention of similar crimes that represent a threat to students and employees. To that end, a community alert will be issued whenever appropriate. Additionally, departments will comply with all mandatory reporting requirements.

      Any individual may file a complaint of relationship abuse or stalking at any time. Early reporting is encouraged to preserve evidence and provide the person filing the complaint with information regarding rights, options, and resources available to them by this policy and federal or state laws.

    Reporting incidents of relationship abuse and stalking can sometimes compromise individual safety. In order to provide appropriate support and services, this policy delineates the following reporting options:

Initiators of anonymous reports are not identifiable by the recipient. Such reports may be filed regardless of any legal or University disciplinary action.


[1]"A pattern of conduct" does not include activity protected by the Constitution of Maine, the United States Constitution or by state or federal law

University & Community Services & Resources

Relationship Abuse and Stalking Campus Services

University Police Department - 780-5211

Dean of Students - 780-5242

Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity - 228-8235

University Health Services - 780-4211

Campus Equity and Diversity - 780-5094

University Counseling Services - 780-4050

Dean of Student Life Office - 228-8200

Multicultural Student Affairs Office - 780-4006

Residential Life - 780-5240

Relationship Abuse

Portland Police - 911
Gorham Police - 911
Lewiston/Auburn Police - 911

Community Services

FAMILY CRISIS SERVICES (Cumberland & Sagadahoc Counties)
P.O. Box 704, Portland, ME 04104
Admin.: 207-767-4952
Hotline: 1-800-537-6066; 207-874-1973
All numbers TTY accessible
Send E-mail to: or look on the web at:

FAMILY VIOLENCE PROJECT (Kennebec & Somerset Counties)
P.O. Box 304, Augusta, ME 04332
Admin.: 207-623-8637
Hotline: 1-877-890-7788; 207-623-3569
Send E-mail to: or look on the web at:

Caring Unlimited
York County's Domestic Violence Program
Office: (207) 490-3227
P.O. Box 590
Sanford, ME 04073
Hotline: 1-800-239-7298

Aroostook Band of Micmacs Family Violence Prevention Services
Office Phone: 207-764-1972

Battered Women's Project:

Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Domestic Violence Response Program
Phone: 207-532-6401
Cell phone: 207-694-1353

Passamaquoddy Peaceful Relations Domestic Violence Program:
Hotline: 207-853-2613

Penobscot Nation:
Spruce Run: 1-800-863-9909, 207-947-0496

LEWISTON/AUBURN-Sexual Assault Crisis Center (SACC)
Hotline: 1.800.871.7741 / 207.795.2211
Area served: Androscoggin County

PORTLAND- Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM)
Hotline: 1.800.871.7741 / 1.800.313.9900
Area served: Cumberland & York Counties

BATH/BRUNSWICK- Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine (SASSMM)
Hotline: 1.800.871.7741 / 1.800.822.5999
Area served: Eastern Cumberland, Sagadahoc & Lincoln Counties

Internet Resources:

Abused Women's Advocacy Project:

American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic Violence: Family Violence Prevention Fund:

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community:

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence:


Maine Legal Services for the Elderly:

Make It Your Business:

Muslims Against Family Violence:

Another Closet

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Maitri-Domestic Violence Programs for South Asian Women

New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence:

Rainbow Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Teen Relationship Web Site - CDVP:

The Feminist Majority Online and their Domestic Violence Information Center:

The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project:

The National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women (V A Wnet):

Violence Against Women Office:

Pine Tree Legal Assistance:

The "Greenbook" Initiative

Hot Peach Pages - International DV Abuse List

Teens and Partner Violence

Internet Resources for Stalking and Cyber Stalking

National Stalking Resource Center

National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center

Working to Halt Online Abuse


Safety Ed International

Electronic Privacy information Center (EPIC)

Online Privacy Alliance

Network Solutions WHOIS

Wiredsafety harassment/

July 25, 2007