Sexual Harassment/Sexual Violence Policies

Sexual Harassment/Sexual Violence Policies

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Austin Community College District is committed to providing timely support and assistance to victims/survivors[1] of sexual misconduct. This policy provides detailed descriptions of how the institution identifies and responds to such complaints. This executive summary is intended to provide a short summary of essential information for persons who need immediate assistance so they do not have to navigate the entire document. This information is also included within the document in more detail.

“Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term that refers collectively to the below offenses that are prohibited. Those offenses are the following:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault, which includes Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration and Sexual Touching
  • Intimate Partner Violence which includes Dating Violence and Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Stalking
  • Gender-based harassment and discrimination that is non-sexual

Students or employees who experience an incident of sexual misconduct should consider the information and resources provided below. Full definitions of the above offenses are found later in this document.


[1] The words “victim” and “survivor” are both used in the literature and research on this topic ACC respects the decision of those who have experienced violence to identify as a victim or a survivor. We recognize that choosing to identify as a survivor is an important part of the healing process for some who have experienced sexual misconduct. In this document, we will refer to the complaining party as “victim/survivor” or as the “Complainant.”

EMERGENCY INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE

1. Confidential Support: Any student in need of immediate emotional support should contact an ACC Campus Counseling Office (find your campus contact by visiting http://www.austincc.edu/counseling) and request to speak with a confidential counselor. 

2. For employees, Austin Community College's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free and confidential assessment, short-term counseling, prevention, education, and referral services for employees and their dependents. Trained counselors are available 24/7, 365 days of the year and employees have access to a number of confidential sessions with a counselor at no cost. More information on accessing the EAP may be accessed here:

http://www.austincc.edu/eap .

3. Victims/survivors (employees or students) may also contact Safe  (an off-campus non-profit sexual violence resource center) to speak with a confidential advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (512) 267-SAFE (7233).  Access ’s website at http://www.safeaustin.org/learn-more/sexualassault/

4. Reporting: Students and employees are strongly encouraged to report sexual misconduct to College authorities and to the police in order to protect themselves and others. Even if the victim/survivor does not want to make a formal incident report or file charges, he or she still may have the right to other victims’ services, including reasonable accommodations and interim protective measures in addition to support services. To file a report, any person can contact any of the following

a. District Title IX Coordinator: (available during regular business hours) Charlene Buckley, District Title IX Coordinator, 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX 78752 E-mail: charlene.buckley@austincc.edu  or  compliance@austincc.edu. Phone:(512) 223-7964.  (Deputy Coordinators are also assigned to each campus.  For a listing of Deputy Title IX Coordinators by campus, please see Page 17 of this documentReporting to the District Title IX Coordinator will not result in a criminal investigation but will result in an administrative investigation to determine if this policy was violated. If the incident occurred on campus, limited information will be shared with the District Police for purposes of determining if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and for purposes of capturing and counting crime data.)

b. The ACC District Police Department (ACCPD): http://www.austincc.edu/police  (Visit their website to access the correct address and/or telephone number for the appropriate campus or see contact information for each campus referenced in this policy on Pages 8-10.) Reporting to the ACC District Police may initiate a criminal investigation into your complaint. The District Chief of Police will also determine if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and will capture and count crime data if the offense was reported to have occurred on campus or on a property owned or controlled by the institution. The District Police will report your complaint to the District Title IX Coordinator.

c.  The (City of) Austin Police Department: (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Call 911 for emergencies, 311 for non-emergencies, or (512) 974-2000.  Visit Austin PD’s website for more information or to obtain the address or contact information for a specific division within the PD.  (http://www.austintexas.gov/department/police) Important note-The City of Austin may not share the details of your report with ACC (however, the District Police must notify the District Title IX Coordinator of a report made to their office.) If you report to the city police, you should also report to the District Title IX Coordinator so on campus accommodations, interim protective measures and resources may be provided.

MEDICAL TREATMENT AND EVIDENCE PRESERVATION

As of January 2009, victims/survivors of sexual assault may have a sexual assault forensic exam without reporting it to law enforcement. [2]  Listed below are the facilities in Central Texas that will provide such examinations. 

Hospitals in and around ACC Campuses offering forensic (SAFE) exams and evidence collection:

Hospital Name

Physical Address

Telephone Number

Website Information

Scott & White Medical Center – Temple

2401 S. 31st Street, Temple, TX 76508

754-724-2111

http://www.sw.org/location/temple-hospital

Seton Medical Center Williamson

201 Seton Parkway, Round Rock, TX 78665

512-324-4000

https://www.seton.net/locations/seton-medical-center-williamson/

Seton Northwest Hospital

11113 Research Boulevard, Austin, TX 78759

512-324-6000

https://www.seton.net/locations/northwest/

St. David’s Medical Center

919 E 32nd Street, Austin, TX 78705

512-544-7111

http://stdavids.com/home/

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

901 W Ben White Boulevard., Austin, TX 78704

512-447-2211

http://stdavids.com/home/

University Medical Center Brackenridge

601 E 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701

512-324-7000

https://www.seton.net/locations/brackenridge/

State law allows an individual to have the sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) up to 120 hours (5 days) after the sexual assault.  An individual can report to law enforcement, if the person chooses to do so.  In Texas, you have ten years (statute of limitations on sexual assault) to make the report. Having a sexual assault forensic exam conducted allows an individual to preserve evidence that will be lost over time while you have time to decide how to proceed.

ACC District police officers and City of Austin police officers encourage victims/survivors to report the sexual assault even if it is past the statute of limitations. The case cannot go forward with prosecution, but it is important to document the assault and the perpetrators who commit them (in addition to allowing ACC to prevent recurrence of similar crimes, if applicable.)

In circumstances of sexual assault, if a victim/survivor does not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers still can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually-transmitted infection. It is important that a victim/survivor of sexual assault not bathe, douche, smoke, change clothing or clean the bed/linen/area where she or he was assaulted within 120 hours after the incident occurred so that evidence may be preserved.

Victim/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking also are encouraged to preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if any exist that may be useful to College investigators, ACC District Police Department, or local police.

INVESTIGATIONS

Victims/survivors who wish to pursue an investigation may choose to:

1. Contact the ACC District Police Department to pursue a criminal investigation if the reported conduct occurred on property owned or controlled by ACC.

2. Contact the local police department or sheriff’s department to pursue a criminal investigation.

3. File a civil complaint in a civil court.  (This action may require you to obtain your own attorney.)

4. Report to the ACC District Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus (see contact information in this document). An investigation of a campus policy violation is independent from criminal or civil investigations and the District Title IX Coordinator accepts complaints of all kinds of conduct (criminal and non-criminal) as well as conduct that occurred on and off campus.

5. Decide not to file charges or make a report for investigation. Victims/Survivor are strongly encouraged but not required to report the incident. Victims/Survivor have the right to be free from any suggestion that victims/survivors must report the crime to be assured of any other rights or resources. Campus personnel will not pressure survivors to report a crime if the survivor does not wish to report but will assist any person in filing a report with law enforcement no matter where the misconduct occurred.

6. Report anonymously online through a link provided on the College’s homepage.

7. A victim/survivor may report to all of the above and have concurrent criminal and administrative investigations.  ACC will not wait for the completion of a criminal investigation to begin or conduct its’ administrative investigation.

ACCOMMODATIONS

A victim/survivor may make a request for accommodations to the District Title IX Coordinator (or their respective Deputy Title IX Coordinator). The victim/survivor does not need to participate in an investigation or file charges in order to request accommodations. The District Title IX Coordinator will work in conjunction with relevant parties to determine which measures are appropriate to ensure the victim’s safety and equal access to educational programs and activities. Accommodations include:

• Accommodations related to academics, transportation, and working environment. If an alleged perpetrator and alleged victim/survivor are enrolled in the same class, a request to drop the class without any academic penalty will be granted.

• Relocation in their on-campus job if either will bring them into proximity with the perpetrator. Survivors may also request changes to their class schedule if they have classes in common with the perpetrator.

• A “no-contact” order may be put in place between the victim/survivor and the accused party[3] or if the accused party is a non-ACC member, the institution should work with law enforcement to prohibit the party from entering campus property.

• For information about loan repayment, including financial aid student success workshops and potential emergency loans, please visit:  http://www.austincc.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid/obtain-financial-aid.  Contact Jason Briseno, 512-223-7221 or jbrisen2@austincc.edu.

• Resources regarding adjustment of the work schedule or leave for employees who are victims/survivors are available through the Human Resources Department.

Table of Contents

I.          POLICY STATEMENT

A.        ACC’s Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct

B.        Commitment to Address Sexual Misconduct

II.        SCOPE OF POLICY

A.        Persons Covered

B.        Locations Covered

C.        Confidentiality and Privacy

i               Privacy and Confidentiality: Understanding the Differences

ii              Privacy

iii             Confidentiality

iv            Responsible Employees and Requests for Confidentiality

v             Disclosures Required by the Clery Act

III.       OPTIONS FOR ASSISTANCE FOLLOWING AN INCIDENT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

A.        Immediate Assistance

i               Confidential Resources (Non-Medical)

ii              On-Campus Confidential Mental Health and Counseling Resources

iii             Online & Off-Campus Confidential Resources

iv            ACC District Police and Law Enforcement

v             Sexual Assault Responses Team (SARRT)

vi            Confidential Medical Resources

vii           Additional On-Campus & Off-Campus Resources

B.        Ongoing Assistance

C.        Academic Accommodations and Interim Measures.

i               Overview.

ii              Range of Measures.

iii             Interim Suspension or Separation.

IV.            The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators.

V.        Definitions.

A.        Sex or Gender-Based Discrimination.

i               Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment

B.        Sexual Assault: Forms. 

i  Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration.

ii Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

C.        Sexual Exploitation

D.        Stalking.

E.         Intimate Partner Violence: Forms

i               Dating Violence

ii              Domestic Violence

F.         Definitions of Key Terms; Other Considerations

i               Affirmative Consent

ii              Force

iii             Intimidation

iv            Coercion

v             Incapacitation

vi            Prohibited Relationships by Persons in Authority

vii           Retaliation

VI.            Reporting Policies and Protocols

A.        Amnesty for Alcohol or Other Drug Use or Other Conduct Violations

B.        Coordination with Law Enforcement

C.        False Reports

D.        Reports Involving Minors or Suspected Child Abuse

E.         Investigation Procedures

i               Initial Report and Determination of Jurisdiction

ii              Immediate Safety Concerns and Interim Measures

iii             Formal Resolution: Assignment of Case to Investigator

iv            Investigation Phase

v             Preliminary Report of Investigator

vi            Final Report of Investigator

vii           Determination of Misconduct and Sanctions

F.         Appeals

G.        Informal Resolution

H.        Sanctions

i               Modification of Investigation Process

ii              Consolidation of Investigations.

iii             Integrity of Proceeding

iv            Records

VII.           Prevention and Education

VIII.         Training