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Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA, 2013, 2015)

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), also known as the Campus Save Act, was enacted to educate students, faculty, and staff on the prevention of rape, acquaintence rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Rockingham Community College (RCC) recognizes the importance of assisting individuals who are victims of sexual assault and helping them regain a sense of personal control over their lives and decisions. RCC is committed to the maintenance of an environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from all exploitation and intimidation. RCC will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and supports this policy for students, faculty, and staff by sponsoring prevention, intervention, and education programs specifically addressing these offenses. The following definitions are terms related to the Campus Save Act and include a listing of sexual offenses as well.

Definition of Terms

  • Consent
    Consent means clear and unambiguous agreement, or explicit approval expressed in mutually understandable words or action, to engage in a particular sexual activity. Non-verbal communication (such as pushing someone away or moving your body away from someone), silence, passivity, or lack of active resistence does not imply consent. Also, previous participation in sexual activity does not indicate current consent to participate, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent has not been obtained in situations where the individual: - is forced, pressured, manipulated, or has reasonable fear that he or she will be injured if not submitting to the act; - is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity, which includes, but is not limited to, the influence or drugs or alcohol (this includes drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol, and Ketamine, that are often used to facilitate sexual assault and rape); - has a mental or physical disability which inhibits the person's ability to give sexual consent. Consent can be withdrawn by either person at any time.

  • Dating Violence
    Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

    Domestic Violence
    A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a current or former cohabitant with the victim; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

  • Sexual Assault
    An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape (see N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.1-10).

    Stalking
    Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

    Sex Offenses (Forcible)
    Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

    Sexual Assault means unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, including: fondling, penetration of the mouth, anus, or vagina, however slight, with a body part or object; or other sexual activity that occurs without valid Consent.

  • Forcible Rape
    The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of youth).

    Forcible Sodomy
    Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

    Sexual Assault With An Object
    The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

  • Forcible Fondling
    The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

    Sex Offenses (Non-forcible)
    Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.

  • Incest
    Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

    Statutory Rape
    Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Sexual violence statistics are striking and an important issue for our community and our campus. Please view this short video on talking about sexual violence.

Other Important and Relevant Terms

  • Coercion - Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force, intimidation, pressure, authority, or implied or outright threats.

    Threat - Threat is an expression of intention to inflict pain, injury, emotional harm, damage to one's reputation, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.

    Incapacitation - Incapacitation means that a person lacks the capacity to give Consent to sexual activity because the person is asleep, unconscious, mentally and/or physically helpless, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring. Incapacitation is not necessarily the same as legal intoxication. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, evaluating Incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects a person's decision-making ability; awareness of consequences; ability to make informed, rational judgments; capacity to appreciate the nature and quality of the act; or level of consciousness. The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of Incapacitation when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person.

  • Intentional Incapacitation - This means that alcohol and/or drugs are provided to a person with the intent to render that person Incapacitated.

    Retaliation - Retaliation means engaging in conduct that may be reasonably perceived to: - adversely affect a person's educational, living, or work environment because of his/her good faith participation in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of a report of a violation of these policies; or - discourage a reasonable person from making a report or participating in an investigation under these policies. Retaliation includes but is not limited to: acts or words that constitute intimidation, threats or coercion intended to pressure a person to drop or support a complaint under these policies or to provide false or misleading information in connection with an investigation; and pressuring a person to participate or refrain from participating as a witness in an investigation under these policies. Retaliation may constitute a violation of these policies when then the underlying report made in good faith did not result in a finding of responsibility.

Reporting a Sexual Assault Occurring on Campus

  • If you are sexually assaulted on campus, you should do the following:

    • Go to a safe place.
    • Do not shower or bathe.
    • Do not urinate, if possible
    • Do not eat, drink, smoke or brush your teeth if oral contact took place.
    • Do not destroy or wash the clothes you were wearing. If you change, place your clothes in a paper bag.
    • Contact RCC Campus Security (ext. 2326 or 2299), local law enforcement (911 for Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department or your local police), or the Vice President of Student Development (ext. 2110).
    • Seek medical treatment immediately (preferably within 72 hours).

    Following these suggestions will ensure the preservation of evidence. Victims of a sexual offense/assault are encouraged to contact the Campus Security Office, local law enforcement, or RCC Student Development immediately following an incident on campus. A report may be filed with the Campus Security and/or local law enforcement. The filing of a report does not obligate the victim to pursue charges, but does make filing of charges easier at a later date.

  • Sexual offense/assault victims may seek action through the RCC Student Code of Conduct policy and/or the judicial system (criminal and/or civil). RCC will assist in pursuing option(s) elected by the victim. RCC and the courts are independent systems; charges may be filed in either or both systems.

    If a sexual offense/assault victim does not wish to pursue action through RCC or the public judicial system, the victim may make an anonymous report. With the victim’s permission, RCC can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing the victim’s identity. This type of anonymous report helps to ensure the future safety of the victim and others. With such information, RCC can keep accurate records regarding the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of sexual offenses/assaults with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger.

    Because of the traumatic nature of a sexual offense/assault, victims are encouraged to seek immediate counseling. Counselors in RCC Counseling Services can assist victims in identifying resources in our community.

Response to Campus Sexual Assault Incidents

  • RCC personnel shall observe the following guidelines when responding to a reports of a sexual assault occurring on campus:

    • Assess the victim’s well being, render aid, and express concern and assurance.
    • Encourage the victim to seek medical treatment (preferably within 72 hrs.)
    • Do not question the victim about the details of the incident. Questioning will be handled by trained personnel.
    • Notify the Campus Security Office and/or the Vice President of Student Development.
    • Identify the assailant if possible.
    • Make sure the victim is in a secure place.
    • Identify the location of the crime.
    • Assist law enforcement or medical personnel responding to the incident as needed.
  • Do not touch, move or collect any evidence unless that evidence may be lost if you do not. If you have to collect evidence, record the following information:
    1. Item seized,
    2. Time seized, and
    3. Location seized.

    If evidence is given to you, record the following information:

    • The person’s name, address, telephone number and date of birth,
    • The item given to you,
    • The time and location where the person seized the item,
    • The time you received the item, and
    • Document chain of custody of the evidence.

Victim’s Rights

    • To have all incidents and medical records kept confidential
    • To be treated without prejudice based upon race, class, lifestyle, sex, age, occupation, or religious beliefs
    • To receive private and confidential examination/treatment for personal injuries, sexually transmittable disease, and pregnancy.
    • To be considered as credible as a person reporting any other crime
    • To be made aware of the options available through the College and the judicial system
    • To receive emotional and psychological support and advocacy
    • To prosecute or not to prosecute
    • To receive current information on community and campus resources
    • To answer only those questions relevant to the crime
    • To freedom from harassment
    • To feasible class schedule adjustments (without academic or financial penalty) as necessary to minimize the potential for contact with the alleged perpetrator or those associated with the alleged perpetrator.

Student Development will assist victims with any academic concerns or change in class schedule requests that are feasible.

Child Sexual Offense/Assault

  • North Carolina Law [NC General Statute 7B-301 and 115C-400] requires reporting of any known or suspected case of child abuse or neglect (a child is an unmarried victim under age 18) by a “parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker” to the local Department of Social Services within 24 hours.
    Chapter 7B - North Carolina General Statutes
    Chapter 115C - North Carolina General Statutes

  • North Carolina Law [NC General Statute 108A-102] also requires reporting of any known or suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of disabled adults (age 18 and over) by their caretaker to the Department of Social Services. The disability can be mental or physical, as long as it prevents the adult from obtaining essential services.
    Chapter 108A - North Carolina General Statutes

Even though the law requires reporting of abuse, neglect and exploitation of minors and disabled adults only in certain situations, RCC feels that ethically all suspected incidences should be reported. Therefore the established protocol of RCC is to report any suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of minors and disabled adults to the Department of Social Services within 24 hours. Because of the traumatic nature of sexual assault, victims will be referred to RCC Counseling Services to assist with counseling, support, advocacy, education, etc.

Resources for Victims of Sexual Offense/Assault

Emergency 911

RCC Sexual Harassment Policy

  • All faculty, staff, students and guests of the College shall conduct themselves in such a way as to contribute to an atmosphere free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of any faculty, staff, students and guests of the College will not be tolerated.

    Requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

    • Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's activities on campus.
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for negative decisions affecting an individual's activities on campus.
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual‟s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

  • Other specific examples of sexual harrassment include, but are not limited to:

    • offensive sexual flirtation, advances, or propositions;
    • graphic verbal commentary about an individual’s body;
    • the display of sexually suggestive objects or images;
    • any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature;
    • the insinuation of educational, financial, or employment privileges exchanged for sexual favors;
    • any and all electronic communications, including email, texting, and postings on social media that communicate messages that fall within this prohibited behavior.
  • Discipline

    Any employee or student who violates this policy will be subject to immediate discipline up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from RCC.

  • Complaint Procedures

    RCC investigates all allegations. Therefore, any employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment may report all allegations to the appropriate supervisor or the Director of Human Resources with no fear of reprisal. Likewise, a student may report allegations to the Vice President for Student Development with no fear of reprisal.