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Sexual Misconduct

Interim Measures:

At the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, we are here to assist students in times of crisis situations. Please contact the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center if you need assistance with reasonable accomodations in response to an incident of sexual misconduct. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis to ensure that access to education and safety on campus are not compromised.

A common misconception about interim protective measures is that UNMPD, APD, and the University of New Mexico are all able to offer and enforce the same measures for survivors of sexual sexual misconduct. This is not the case. See the chart below for the differences between a UNM No Contact Directive (NCD) and a court issued Order of Protection (OFP).

Order of Protection

No Contact Directive

What is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection (OFP) is a court order to the abuser (called the “respondent” in court) to stay away from the victim (the “petitioner”) and to not commit further acts of domestic abuse.

 

An OFP can also provide other relief to the petitioner. If the petitioner and the respondent are living together, the court may require the abuser to move out. With a court order, the police will go with either the petitioner or the respondent to pick up belongings, turn over keys of the residence or car, from the property where the other party is living. The court may order temporary financial support for the victim and children; order the abuser to undergo counseling; or pay for expenses, such as medical bills, caused by the abuse.

 

Who is eligible for an Order of Protection?

For an Order of Protection based on stalking or sexual abuse, you do not have to have, or have had, any type of ongoing relationship with the respondent.

For an Order of Protection based on domestic violence, the respondent must be a household member. New Mexico defines a household member as a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend (including same sex relationships), parent, present or former stepparent, present or former parent in-law, child, stepchild, grandchild, co-parent of a child or a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship. Cohabitation is not necessary.

 

How do I get an Order of Protection?

A temporary OFP is the first step in getting a long-term protection order. To get a temporary order, you will need to fill out a short form (petition) describing the abuse and what happened. The form is available at the courthouse or through a domestic violence agency. Fill out the form carefully and accurately, and turn it in to the court clerk. There is no charge to file the petition. You may want to have a domestic violence advocate assist you with completing the petition. You may have to wait several hours for a judge to sign the temporary order. That judge may ask you questions. If at all possible, do not bring small children with you to the court house. The TPO is good until a judge makes a decision about a long-term order at a hearing. The hearing is scheduled for no later than ten days after the court issues the TPO. The respondent must be personally served with the temporary order. This means hand-delivered, usually be the sheriff's department. Petitioners should NOT serve respondents themselves. The temporary order is not valid and will not be enforced until the Respondent has been personally served.

 

How does the TPO protect me?

The order allows you to get help from the police and the court if your abuser violates the order. Keep a copy of the order with you at all times. Keep another copy in a safe place. Give copies of the order to people who can help you enforce it, such as your attorney, your employer, your landlord, neighbors or friends, and your children’s schools. If you feel comfortable telling your employer what has happened, you should also give your employer a copy of your order. (An employer who fires you for being a victim of domestic violence will be required to pay unemployment benefits to you.) If the abuser violates the court order, you can call the police. Violating a protection order is a crime and the police may immediately arrest the offender. It may also be contempt of the court, and can mean the respondent must pay a fine or spend time in jail. The TPO lasts only until the court schedules a hearing to see if you are eligible for a permanent order of protection.

 

Please remember that an Order of Protection is just a piece of paper and cannot fully protect you. We recommend you work with a domestic violence advocate during all steps of the process in order to help protect you.

 

What is a No Contact Directive?

A No Contact Directives (NCD) issued by the Dean of Students Office is different than an Order of Protection issued by a court. The Dean of Students Office can impose a “no contact” directive, which typically directs the petitioner and respondent not to have contact with each other, either in-person or through electronic communication, pending the investigation and resolution of a complaint.

 

If students have a concern for their safety, a please contact law enforcement to ask about an Order of Protection. While not enforced by law enforcement, it can provide an additional layer of protection for victims of sexual violence, victims of harassment stalking or other student disputes. If a NCD is issued, the respondent cannot make any contact via phone, electronically, by mail, through social networking sites, through a third party, or in person.

 

Violations of the NCD should be reported to the Dean of Students Office and will be grounds for further disciplinary action by the Dean of Students Office under the Student and/or Visitor Code of Conduct.

 

 

Supporting a Survivor:

Click here for information on how to support a survivor.

Resource Guide:

Click here for our resource guide. 

Escape

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Under Title IX, sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of New Mexico. Sexual violence may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance or someone with whom the victim is involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Victims of sexual violence are encouraged to report what happened to law enforcement and seek assistance from any of the resources, on and off campus, listed in this publication. 

Please contact UNM's Title IX Coordinator, Heather Cowan, at hbcowan@unm.edu for more information about Title IX.