Austin Community College Notice of Complainant's Rights & Options

Austin Community College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited by Austin Community College as well as federal law whether sexually based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Because you are reporting a possible form of sex-based discrimination, Austin Community College wants to inform you of our policy and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, whether the incident occurs on or off campus as well as your rights and Austin Community College’s responsibilities.

As a complainant of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking, you will receive a full copy of our institution’s Prohibition of Sexual Discrimination or Sexual Violence or Sexual Harassment (“policy”). The policy has procedures in place that serve to assist those who report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. These procedures include informing you of your right to file criminal charges as well as the availability of medical, counseling and support services. We also offer additional remedies to prevent contact between a complainant and respondent, such as a temporary or permanent changes to academic, transportation and working conditions, if reasonably available. Although the College does not operate on campus or off campus housing facilities, assistance with living arrangements can be provided by connecting you to available community resources. The policy also addresses possible sanctions and interim and/or long-term protective measures that Austin Community College may impose following a report through the final determination of our discipline process. If you would like more information than is contained in this handout regarding any process or procedure, or if you’d like to make a report, ask questions about ACC’s policy or need to request an accommodation to your academic or working arrangements regardless of whether or not you chose to report the crime to law enforcement or campus police, contact the District Title IX Coordinator, Charlene Buckley, 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX 78752, charlene.buckley@austincc.edu, 512-223-7964.

To contact the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481 | FAX: 202-453-6012 | TDD: 800-877-8339 | Email: OCR@ed.gov

 

What to do if you have been the victim of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking

After an incident of sexual assault and domestic violence, the victim should consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible at St. David’s Medical Center (downtown or South), University Medical Center, Brackenridge, Seton Medical Center (Northwest and Williamson), and Scott & White Medical Center, (Temple). In Texas, evidence may be collected even if you chose not to make a report to law enforcement. State law allows an individual to have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) if the victim/survivor arrives at the facility within 96 hours (4 days) after the sexual assault and consents to the examination.  A victim does not have to report to law enforcement to obtain a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. A victim is not required to participate in the investigation or prosecution of an offense as a condition of receiving the forensic medical examination, or to pay for the forensic portion of the examination or for the evidence collection kit. If the facility does not provide these services, the victim should be referred to a health care facility that does.  The facilities listed above and in the chart below offer forensic (SAFE) exams and evidence collection.

 

Evidence Preservation & Reporting

 It is important that a victim of sexual assault not bathe, douche, smoke, change clothing or clean the bed/linen/area where they were assaulted if the offense occurred within the past 96 hours so that evidence, as may be necessary to the proof of criminal activity, may be preserved. In circumstances of sexual assault, if victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted disease.

Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence are encouraged to also preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to College investigators or police. Although the College strongly encourages all members of its community to report these offenses to law enforcement, it is the victim’s choice whether or not to make such a report and victims have the right to decline involvement with the police.

To report an incident involving a sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence, contact the District Title IX Coordinator, Charlene Buckley, 512-223-7964, or the ACC District Police at 512-223-1231 (non-emergency number). ACC Police offices are located on all ACC campuses. The District Title IX Coordinator will assist any victim with notifying local police if they so desire. In an emergency, the ACC District Police Department may be reached by calling 512-223-7999. Dialing 911 will reach local first response agencies. Additional information about the ACC District Police Department may be found online at: http://www.austincc.edu/police.

 

Orders of Protection & Other Accommodations, Protective Measures

Austin Community College complies with Texas law in recognizing orders of protection issued out of Texas and other states. Any person who obtains an order of protection should provide a copy to Campus Police and the Office of the Title IX Coordinator.  The District Police generates a report and acquires a copy of the protective order. A complainant may then meet with Campus Police to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan for campus police and the victim to reduce risk of harm while on campus or coming and going from campus. This plan may include, but is not limited to: escorts, changing classroom location or allowing a student to complete assignments from home, etc.  Protective orders may be available through calling the Travis County Attorney’s Office at 512-854-9415. For detailed information about how to obtain protective orders and emergency protective orders, and related resources, please refer to the Victim’s Assistance Information Resource Guide, available at all District Police offices, and the Office of the District Title IX Coordinator. Additionally, No Contact Orders issued by the College can be obtained from the District Title IX Coordinator.

To the extent of the victim’s cooperation and consent, College offices, including Student Services, Human Resources and the District Police, will work cooperatively to ensure that the complainant's health, physical safety, work and academic status are protected, pending the outcome of a formal College investigation of the complaint. For example, if reasonably available, a complainant may be offered changes to academic, and working situations in addition to counseling, health services and assistance in notifying appropriate local law enforcement, as coordinated by the District Title IX Coordinator. The College will maintain the privacy of any remedial and protective measures provided to the extent practicable and will promptly address any violations of protective measures put in place. Additionally, personal identifiable information about the victim will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons with a specific need to know who are investigating/adjudicating the complaint or delivering resources or support services to the complainant.  The College does not publish the name of crime victims nor house identifiable information regarding victims in the campus police department’s Daily Crime Log or online. Victims may request that directory information on file be removed from public sources by request to the Admissions and Records Office at each campus or at student.records@austincc.edu.

 

Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking

On-Campus

District Counseling Team

1501 W. US Highway 290, Elgin, TX 78621

512-223-9480

CARES Team

1501 W. US Highway  290,

Elgin, TX 78621

512-223-9480

ACC District  Police

6001 Airport Boulevard, Suite 2390

Austin, Texas 78752

512-223-1231

Victim’s Assistance

6001 Airport Boulevard, Suite 2390

Austin, Texas 78752

512-223-1231; rblair@austincc.edu

District Title IX Coordinator

5930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752

512-223-7964

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees, Geraldine Tucker

5930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752

512-223-7572

Deputy Title IX Coordinator, North Region, Amber Kelley

1555 Cypress Creek Road, Cedar Park, TX 78613

512-223-2012

Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Central Region, Dorado Kinney

6101 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78752

512-223-7398

Deputy Title IX Coordinator, South Region, Wade Bradfute

1020 Grove Boulevard, Austin, TX 78741

512-223-8108

Financial Aid

Jason Briseno

Locations on multiple campuses. See website for information:

http://www.austincc.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid/obtain-financial-aid

512-223-7221

 

In the Austin Area

Austin Police Department

 

512-974-5037

SAFE

Stop Abuse for Everyone

512-267-7233; www.safeaustin.org

St. David’s Medical Center

919 E. 32nd Street, Austin, TX 78705

512-544-7111

St. David’s Medical Center South Austin

901 W. Ben White Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

512-447-2211

University Medical Center Brackenridge

601 E. 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701

512-324-7000

Seton Northwest Hospital

11113 Research Boulevard, Austin, 78759

512-324-6000

Seton Medical Center Williamson

201 Seton Parkway, Round Rock, TX 78665

324-4000

Scott & White Medical Center – Temple

2401 S. 31st Street, Temple, TX 76508

754-724-2111

Protective Orders

 

512-854-9415

Magistrate’s  Order of Emergency Protection

 

512-854-7862

Travis County Sheriff’s Office

5555 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

512-854-9709

District Attorney

509 W 11th St, Austin, TX 78701

512-854-9449

Legal Services

 

512-476-5550

Child Protective Services

14000 Summit Dr, Austin, TX 78728

512-834-3195

Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault (LASSA)-Texas Legal Services Center

*Staffed by attorneys seven days a week who provide sexual assault survivors with legal information and advice about legal issues that may arise following a sexual assault including crime victim’s rights, housing, employment, immigration, education and safety planning.

http://www.tlsc.org/

1-844-303-SAFE (7233)

 

Disciplinary Procedures Following a Complaint

Whether or not criminal charges are filed, the College or a person may file a complaint under Administrative Rule 3.10.003, Prohibition of Sexual Discrimination or Sexual Violence or Sexual Harassment, alleging that a student or employee violated the College’s policy. Reports of all domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking made to Campus Public Safety will be referred to the District Title IX Coordinator for investigation regardless of whether the complainant choses to pursue criminal charges.

 The College’s disciplinary process will include a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution process.  Investigators are trained annually on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and taught how to conduct an investigation and adjudication process that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability. The policy provides that:

1. The complainant and the respondent each have the opportunity to talk with a trained investigator and share information regarding the situation;

2. The complainant and the respondent each have the opportunity to be advised by a personal advisor of their choice, at their expense, at any stage of the process and to be accompanied by that advisor at any meeting. An advisor may only consult and advise his or her advisee, but not speak for the advisee;

3. A determination as to whether prohibited conduct occurred is based on the preponderance of evidence standard, i.e. “more likely than not to have occurred” standard. In other words, the conduct process asks: “is it more likely than not that the respondent violated the College’s Administrative Rule 3.10.003?”

4. The complainant and the respondent will be notified simultaneously in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding,  as well as any changes to those results or disciplinary actions prior to the time that such results become final; and

5. The complainant and the respondent each have the right to appeal the outcome of an investigation by informing the Vice President, Student Services, within five (5) days of the decision letter and based on one of the acceptable reasons for appeal, as contained in the policy, and will be notified simultaneously in writing of the final outcome after the appeal is resolved.

Any person alleging sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking may utilize the complaint and investigatory procedures set forth in the College’s policy in order to remedy any hostile environment.  All conduct proceedings against students and employees will be resolved through the same policy.

In all cases, investigations that result in a finding of more likely than not that a violation of the policy occurred will lead to the initiation of disciplinary procedures against the respondent. College sanctions (including warning, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, criminal trespass warning, revocation of admission and/or degree, withholding degree, or suspension or termination of employment) may be imposed upon those determined to have violated this policy. The College may implement protective measures following the report of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking which may include some or all of the following actions: No Contact Order, adjustment of class or work schedule, or assistance with requesting Protective Orders. For students, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are violations of this policy. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are criminal acts which also may subject the perpetrator to criminal and civil penalties under federal and state law.

State Law Definitions

If a person would like to press criminal charges for an alleged violation of any of the below criminal laws, or would like to seek an order of protection, the definitions contained in the Texas Penal Code  and Texas Family Code would apply; not the internal definitions used in the College’s policy.

Dating Violence: “an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an individual that is committed against a victim with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or because of the victim’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. ‘Dating relationship’ means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship; the nature of the relationship; and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a ‘dating relationship.’” Texas Family Code Section 71.0021.

Domestic (Family) Violence: “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself, or abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household, or dating violence.” Texas Family Code Section 71.004.

Sexual Assault: “a person commits an offense if the person (1) intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent; causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person's consent; or causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or (2) intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means; causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor; causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.

A sexual assault is without the consent of the other person if: the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence; the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat; the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist; the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it; the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring; the actor has intentionally impaired the other person's power to appraise or control the other person's conduct by administering any substance without the other person's knowledge; the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat; the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate; or the actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person's emotional dependency on the actor. ‘Child’ means a person younger than 17 years of age. ‘Spouse’ means a person who is legally married to another.” Texas Penal Code Section 22.011.

Stalking: “a person who, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct that: (1) the person knows or reasonably believes the other person will regard as threatening including bodily injury or death for the other person, bodily injury or death for a member of the other person’s family or household or for an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship, or fear that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property, and (2) causes the other person, a member of the other person's family or household, or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or fear that an offense will be committed against the other person's property, and (3) would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself, or bodily injury or death for a member of the person's family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship, or fear that an offense will be committed against the person’s property. A fact finder may find that different types of conduct described above, if engaged in on more than one occasion, constitute conduct that is engaged in pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct.” Texas Penal Code Section 42.072.

Consent: The state of Texas does not have a definition of consent, in relation to sexual activity. However, sexual assault is considered without consent of the other person if the conditions in Sec. 22.011 (b) are met.

 

Risk Reduction, Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior and Future Attacks

No victim is ever to blame for being assaulted or abused.  Unfortunately, a person who is the victim of sexual or dating violence is more likely to be re-victimized.  Below are some tips to help reduce your risk, to recognize warnings signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.

 

Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior

Domestic and dating abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence.  And, while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic and dating violence are also severe.  Warning signs of dating and domestic violence include:

  1. Being afraid of your partner.

  2. Constantly watching what you say to avoid a “blow up.”

  3. Feelings of low self-worth and helplessness about your relationship.

  4. Feeling isolated from family or friends because of your relationship.

  5. Hiding bruises or other injuries from family or friends.

  6. Being prevented from working, studying, going home, and/or using technology (including your cell phone).

  7. Being monitored by your partner at home, work or school.

  8. Being forced to do things you don’t want to do.

Help Reduce Your Risk and Avoid Potential Attacks

If you are being abused or suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up or intervene.

  1. Get help by contacting District Counseling Services at 512-223-9480 for support services.  

  2. Learn how to look for “red flags” in relationships so you can learn to avoid some of those characteristics in future partners.

  3. Consider making a report with Campus Police and/or the Title IX Coordinator and ask for a No Contact directive from the College to prevent future contact.

  4. Consider getting a protective order (Contact ACC District Police Victim’s Assistance at 512-223-1231).

  5. Learn more about what behaviors constitute dating and domestic violence, understand it is not your fault, and talk with friends and family members about ways you can be supported.

  6. Trust your instincts—if something doesn’t feel right in a relationship, speak up or end it.

Sexual Assault Prevention (From RAINN)

  • Be aware of rape drugs.

  • Try not to leave your drink unattended.

  • Only drink from un-opened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured.

  • Avoid group drinks like punch bowls.

  • Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle and keep your thumb over the nozzle.

  • If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible.

  • If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital and ask to be tested.

  • Keep track of how many drinks you have had.

  • Try to come and leave with a group of people you trust.

  • Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.). If someone asks for your number, take his/her number instead of giving out yours.

 Traveling around campus (walking)

  • Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged.

  • Be familiar with where emergency phones are installed on the campus.

  • Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone.

  • Keep some change accessible just in case you need to use a pay phone.

  • Take major, public paths rather than less populated shortcuts.

  • Avoid dimly lit places and talk to campus services if lights need to be installed in an area

  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.

  • Walking on campus at night is sometimes unavoidable, so try to walk with a friend.

  • Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) on your keychain.

  • Carry a small flashlight on your keychain.

  • If walking feels unsafe, call ACC District Police non-emergency number at 512-223-1231.