Sexual Assault Policy

In accordance with the Education Code 67385, Southwestern Community College District has implemented these written procedures to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, that students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault committed at or upon the grounds of or upon off-campus grounds or facilities maintained by the District, will receive treatment and information (Education Code 67385, Board Policy 3540).

Any sexual assault or physical abuse, including, but not limited to, rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as defined by California law, whether committed by an employee, student, or member of the public, occurring on District property, in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the District, whether those programs take place in the District’s facilities or at another location, or on an off-campus site or facility maintained by the District, or on grounds or facilities maintained by a student organization, is a violation of District policies and procedures, and is subject to all applicable punishment, including criminal procedures and employee or student discipline procedures. (See also AP 5500 titled Standards of Student Conduct.)

“Sexual assault” includes but is not limited to, rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, rape by a foreign object, sexual battery, or threat of sexual assault.

“Dating violence” means 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 a romantic or intimate relationship will 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.

“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:

  • a current or former spouse of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under California law; or
  • any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under California law.

“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

It is the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure that he/she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity.  Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.  Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.  The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

“Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.

These written procedures and protocols are designed to ensure victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking receive treatment and information. (For physical assaults/violence, see also AP 3500, 3510, and 3515.)

All students, faculty members or staff members who allege they are the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking on District property shall be provided with information regarding options and assistance available to them.  Information shall be available from the Campus Police Department, the Title IX Administrator, or the Office of Student Services, which shall maintain the identity and other information about alleged sexual assault victims as confidential unless and until authorized to release such information

All students, faculty members or staff members who allege they are the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking on District property shall be provided with information regarding options and assistance available to them.  Information shall be available from the Campus Police Department, the Title IX Administrator, or the Office of Student Services, which shall maintain the identity and other information about alleged sexual assault victims as confidential unless and until authorized to release such information.

The Office of Student Services, Title IX Administrator, or Chief of Police shall provide all alleged victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking with the following:

  • A copy of the District's Sexual Misconduct Handbook, which contains the College District’s policy and procedure regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  • A list of personnel on campus who should be notified and procedures for such notification, if the alleged victim consents;
    • Superintendent/President
    • Vice President for Student Affairs
    • Vice President for Human Resources
    • Dean of Student Services
    • Chief Public Information & Government Relations Officer
    • Chief of Police
  • Information about the importance of preserving evidence and the identification and location of witnesses;
  • A description of available services, and the persons on campus available to provide those services if requested.  Services and those responsible for providing or arranging them include: 
    • transportation to a hospital, if necessary (Campus Police Department);
    • counseling by referral to a counseling center (Office of Student Services or Title IX Administrator);
    • a list of other available campus resources or appropriate off-campus resources (Campus Police Department, Office of Student Services, or Title IX Administrator);
  • The victim’s option to:
    • notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police;
    • be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses; and
    • decline to notify such authorities;
  • The rights of victims and the institution’s responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no contact orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a court;
  • Information about how the district will protect the confidentiality of victims; and
  • Written notification of victims about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if requested and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.
  • A description of each of the following procedures:
    • criminal prosecution;
    • civil prosecution (i.e., lawsuit);
    • District disciplinary procedures, both student and employee;
    • modification of class schedules;
    • tutoring, if necessary

The Chief of Police should be available to provide assistance to District law enforcement unit employees regarding how to respond appropriately to reports of sexual violence.

The District will investigate all complaints alleging sexual assault, regardless of whether a complaint is filed with local law enforcement, under the procedures outlined in the College District’s Sexual Misconduct Handbook, which is available from the Campus Police Department, the Title IX Administrator, the Office of Student Services, and the College District website.

All alleged victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking on District property shall be kept informed, through the Campus Police Department and/or the Title IX Administrator, of any ongoing investigation.  Information shall include the status of any student or employee disciplinary proceedings or appeal; alleged victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking are required to maintain any such information in confidence, unless the alleged assailant has waived rights to confidentiality.

A complainant or witness who participates in an investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the District’s student conduct policy at or near the time of the incident, unless the District determines that the violation was egregious, including but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk or involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic honesty

In the evaluation of complaints in any disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:

  • The accused’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.
  • The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.

In the evaluation of complaints in the disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:

  • The complainant was asleep or unconscious.
  • The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.
  • The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

The District shall maintain the identity of any alleged victim, witness, or third-party reporter of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking on District property, as defined above, in confidence unless the alleged victim, witness, or third-party reporter specifically waives that right to confidentiality.  All inquiries from reporters or other media representatives about alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assaults, or stalking on District property shall be referred to the District's Chief Public Information & Government Relations Officer, who shall work with the Campus Police Department to assure that all confidentiality rights are maintained.

Additionally, the Annual Security Report will include a statement regarding the District’s programs to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and procedures that should be followed after an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking has been reported, including a statement of the standard of evidence that will be used during any in any district proceeding arising from such a report.  The statement must include the following:

  • A description of educational programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking;
  • Procedures to follow if a domestic violence, dating violence, sex offense, or stalking  occurs, including who should be contacted, the importance of preserving evidence to prove a criminal offense, and to whom the alleged offense should be reported;
  • Information on a student’s right to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and a statement that campus personnel will assist the student in notifying these authorities, if the student so requests, and the right to decline to notify these authorities;
  • Information about how the District will protect the confidentiality of victims;
  • Information for students about existing on- and off-campus counseling, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, or other services for victims;
  • Written notification of victims about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if requested and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement;
  • Procedures for campus disciplinary action in cases of an alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking including a clear statement that:
    • Such proceedings shall provide a prompt, fair, and impartial resolution;
    • Such proceedings shall be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability;
    • The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding; and
    • Both the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding resulting from an alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the procedures for the accused and victim to appeal the results of the disciplinary proceeding, of any chances to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final, and when such results become final.  Compliance with this paragraph does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  For the purposes of this paragraph, the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding means the final determination with respect to the alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sex offense, or stalking and any sanction that is imposed against the accused.
  • A description of the sanctions the campus may impose following a final determination by a campus disciplinary proceeding regarding rape, acquaintance rape, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.

Education and Prevention Information

The Title IX Administrator shall:

  • Provide, as part of each campus’ established on-campus orientation program, education and prevention information about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  The information shall be developed in collaboration with campus-based and community-based victim advocacy organizations, and shall include the District’s sexual assault policy and prevention strategies including empowerment programming for victim prevention, awareness raising campaigns, primary prevention, bystander intervention, and risk reduction.
  • Post sexual violence prevention and education information on the campus internet website regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

See also, Sexual Misconduct Handbook, Board Policy No. 3540 Sexual and Other Assaults on Campus; Board Policy & Procedure No. 3500 Campus Safety, 3510 Workplace Violence Plan, and 3515 Reporting of Crimes