BYU-Idaho is committed to promoting and maintaining a safe and respectful environment for the campus community. Sexual misconduct is against the law, contrary to the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code, and inconsistent with the life and teachings Jesus Christ, which we hope are embodied on our campus. The university prohibits sexual misconduct perpetrated by or against university students, university employees, participants in university programs, or visitors to its campus, whether the behavior occurs on or off campus.
This training explains:
- Safety suggestions and information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and individual choices that may reduce your risk of being impacted by sexual misconduct.
Risk Reduction and Safety Suggestions
To stop, prevent, and remedy acts of sexual misconduct requires the commitment of every person throughout the BYU-Idaho community. While you can make choices that may reduce the risk of you being a victim of sexual misconduct, remember that a victim of sexual misconduct is a victim. Sexual misconduct is caused by the unrighteous and unlawful acts of the perpetrator of the misconduct, and is not caused by the victim or the victim’s choices. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, please remember that you are not to blame! Consider the following counsel and safety suggestions to reduce your risk of being impacted by sexual misconduct:
- Abusive behavior has no place in any of your relationships. Warning signs of abusive behavior include threats of violence, jealousy, controlling behavior, quick romantic involvement, isolation, blaming others for feelings, and hypersensitivity. If you feel unhappy in your relationship and if you think that you might be experiencing abuse, get help. Talk to someone. You deserve better.
- Remember that it takes time to build healthy relationships and to truly get to know an individual. Arrange group or double dates to give you time to get to know someone well. For additional information about developing and maintaining healthy relationships, our Counseling Center on campus is a great resource for you to explore.
- Be independent and aware in social settings. Express opinions on where to go and appropriate places to meet.
- Do not hesitate to leave when you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous, or afraid, even if an early departure seems rude. Exercise good judgment, and above all, trust your instincts.
- In keeping with your commitment to conduct yourself in accordance with the Honor Code, avoid situations where alcohol beverages or drugs are available. If you unintentionally find yourself in a difficult situation, leave immediately and encourage your friends to leave with you.
- The Holy Ghost can warn you of danger and inspire you to help others in a time of need, but those messages will not be delivered to you if you’re not worthy of His companionship. Be careful about the media and entertainment that you consume—music, television, movies, books/magazines, etc. and the conversations you are involved in, both in-person and in social media settings. Joking about sacred things or speaking of them in inappropriate ways is a sign of irreverence. Vulgar jokes and course comments about the intimate relationship between a husband and wife deeply offend the Spirit. 1
- In your relationships, consider this counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard: “It is not enough to say, “I will never do that.” This is an excellent example of where we need to watch ourselves. The wise couple will build watchtowers to protect themselves from being swept away during their courtship. These are simple things, such as limiting the time they are alone together; strictly avoiding dark, isolated places; and setting strict limits on the bounds of their physical affection. To wait until you are caught up in the passion of the moment to start building watchtowers is to wait until the enemy is upon you, and often it is too late.” 2
- In dating and courtship, guard against the adversary’s attempts to rationalize sexual intimacy as an acceptable practice. Elder Richard G. Scott taught a powerful truth in this regard: "Satan tempts one to believe that there are allowable levels of physical contact between consenting individuals who seek the powerful stimulation of emotions they produce, and if kept within bounds, no harm will result. As a witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that this is absolutely false."3 At a 2001 BYU-Idaho devotional, Elder Bruce C. Hafen counseled: “In dating and hanging out, even when you feel there is a growing foundation of true love in a relationship, show your profound respect for that life—and the doctrines about eternal love and family life—by restraining your passions. Please don’t be deceived by the false idea that anything short of the sex act itself is okay. That is a lie, not only because one step overpoweringly leads to another, but because even touching another person’s body with sexual intent is part of the intimacy that is kept holy by the sanctuary of chastity.” 4
- Be wary of what Elder Bednar has called “the alluring illusion of anonymity”. He cautioned that “Immoral thoughts, words, pictures, and deeds are always immoral, even in cyberspace. Deceitful acts supposedly veiled in secrecy…are nonetheless deceitful.”5 Elder Quentin L. Cook recently counseled young adults this way: “One of your greatest protections against making bad choices is to not put on any mask of anonymity. If you ever find yourself wanting to do so, please know it is a serious sign of danger and one of the adversary’s tools to get you to do something you should not do.” Exercise good judgment and caution when interacting with others on social media or popular apps including Tinder, Snapchat, and Yik Yak.
- Finally, we close with this counsel from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in a recent conference address:
Along with filters on computers and a lock on affections, remember that the only real control in life is self-control. Exercise more control over even the marginal moments that confront you. If a TV show is indecent, turn it off. If a movie is crude, walk out. If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step. 7
If you have any questions or concerns, would like to learn more, or need help for you or a friend, please contact a Title IX Coordinator by calling 208-496-9200, visiting us in the Kimball Building, room 290, or going to our website at www.byui.edu/titleix.
2 Id. at p. 41
3 “Serious Questions, Serious Answers”, New Era, October 1995, https://www.lds.org/new-era/1995/10/serious-questions-serious-answers?lang=eng.
4 “For the Joy of Human Love”, BYU-Idaho Devotional, November 13, 2001, http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/transcripts/devotionals/2001_11_13_hafen.htm
5 “Things as They Really Are”, Ensign, June 2010, https://www.lds.org/ensign/2010/06/things-as-they-really-are?lang=eng
6 see Id
7 “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul”, April 2010 General Conference, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/place-no-more-for-the-enemy-of-my-soul?lang=eng#watch=video