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Title IX

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Questions and Answers

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding sexual misconduct 

  • for all parties, 
  • for complainants, and 
  • for respondents: 

For All Parties

Which Coast Community College District policies apply to incidents of sexual misconduct? 

What steps should a person take if they have been sexually assaulted at a Coast Community College District site? 

  1. Be sure that you are safe.  You can contact 911, Coastline Community College Public Safety (714) 241-6360, Golden West College Public Safety (714) 895-8924, or Orange Coast College Public Safety (714) 432-5017. 
  2. Seek appropriate resources, including medical attention and support from on-campus and community services
  3. To report the incident, and initiate a prompt and equitable investigation, contact the appropriate District or College Title IX Coordinator:

    Coast Community College District Title IX Officer
    Crystal Crane, District Director, Human Resources and Employee/Employer Relations
    (714) 438-4708
    ccrane@mail.cccd.edu

    Coastline Community College Title IX Coordinator
    Jennifer De La Rosa, Title IX Coordinator
    (714) 241-6222
    jdelarosa@coastline.edu
    Coastline Community College Title IX Website
    Coastline Community College Incident Report Form

    Golden West College Title IX Coordinator
    Carla Martinez, Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator
    (714) 895-8781
    cmartinez@gwc.cccd.edu
    Golden West College Title IX Website
    Golden West College Incident Report Form

    Orange Coast College Title IX Coordinator
    Shannon Quihuiz, Associate Dean of Title IX and Student Relations 
    (714) 432-5930
    squihuiz@occ.cccd.edu
    Orange Coast College Title IX Website 
    Orange Coast College Incident Report Form

Does information about a complaint remain private? 
The privacy of all parties to a sexual misconduct complaint must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the District's or College's obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the respondent may lead to conduct action by the District. In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain college administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the College, Dean of Students, Director of Campus Safety, and/or the Title IX Officer). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a conduct officer of the College, and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the on-campus occurrence of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents or other family members find out? 
Students Who Are 18 Years or Older
No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, the District’s and College’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents and/or next of kin. District or College officials may directly speak with parents and/or next of kin when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, or if an accused student has signed a release of records to allow such communication.

Students Who Are under 18 Years

When students under age 18 are involved in a sexual misconduct case, the District is legally required to notify both the student's parents and law enforcement.   

What about legal advice?
Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because representation will be handled by the District Attorney's office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the respondent or are considering filing a civil action. The respondent may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus conduct proceeding.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the respondent's responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant's memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence, and/or witnesses to prove their complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused student.

Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

What about retaliation?
The District prohibits retaliation in any way against an individual or group.  Retaliation can take many forms and may be committed by an individual or group against an individual or group.  The District recognizes that complainants, respondents, and witnesses can all be subjects of retaliation. The District will take prompt and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary or other action as appropriate.  All parties should be mindful of their actions and behavior and avoid all direct and indirect contact with the other party or parties until the matter is resolved.

How can I best support someone who has been raped, sexually assaulted, or abused? 
For information on supporting survivors, please see the resources listed on the Care and Support page.  For tips on safety and prevention, please see RAINN's "Safety for Students" page

For Complainants

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault? 

Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim's person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been the victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should call the police in the town where the assault took place. The police will accompany you to the ER at Anaheim Regional Medical Center. In order to preserve evidence, you should not wash yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or "SANE," a specially trained medical provider at the hospital, is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the SANE; ER will refer you.  You may also contact Forensic Nurse Specialists at (562) 430-6220 for additional information about Anaheim Regional Memorial Center's SART/Safe Place and SANEs). An advocate can also accompany you to the hospital, and law enforcement or security can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but the victim is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to the victim but will not obligate the victim to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise this option.

Victims should know that the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns, and account for the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene; leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

Will the respondent know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense, and the respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant. If there is a hearing, the District/College does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, room dividers, or separate hearing rooms.

If I share information about a sexual assault, what is the difference between confidentiality and privacy?
Confidentiality 
Under California law, communications with some individuals are confidential.  This means that any information shared by the victim/survivor with a specific individual will not be used against the individual in court or shared with others.  This individual cannot be subpoenaed to testify against the survivor in a court of law.

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons: 

  • Psychological counselor (including psychologists at campus Student Health Centers)
  • Personal attorney
  • Religious/spiritual counselor

Privacy

The District is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct.  The District will safeguard the identities of students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct.  

A District employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy.  Information is disclosed only to select District personnel who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities.  As is the case with any educational institution, the District must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community at large.  Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

Do survivors of sexual assault have to pay for medical care/counseling?
Not typically, if the institution provides these services already. If a victim is accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for these will usually be at the cost of the student and will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc.  

If a victim receives medical care at Anaheim Regional Medical Center's The Safe Place, the handling local law enforcement agency (i.e. the agency that oversees the location where the crime occurred) will pay for the examination.  

Can I file charges with local law enforcement?
The District and Colleges encourage reporting the incident to the police as soon as possible. However, even if the victim chooses not to report immediately, a report can be made later. Reporting an incident of sexual assault does not mean the victim has to go to court, but it does begin the legal process should the decision to prosecute be made at a later time. The police will investigate the crime and present the case to the prosecutor. It is the prosecutor’s decision if the case goes to trial. Even if the prosecution does not occur, the police report and relevant evidence may be useful during the College's or District's investigation and adjudication procedures or for other victims who may file similar reports against the offender in the future. A person my file as a “confidential victim” if desired and is entitled to advocacy services.

If you choose to report, you may withdraw your involvement with law enforcement at any time; you should consent to a Sexual Assault Evidence Exam within 72 hours (although some may be completed later); you are encouraged to have a victim's advocate stay with you at the hospital; you will be interviewed by law enforcement, medical staff, an investigator or detective, and possibly the prosecutor/attorney; and your medical fees will be paid for by the State of California.

If you choose not to report, you will not automatically receive a Sexual Assault Evidence Exam, but you may obtain one, paid for by the State of California; you should receive a general medical exam at the Student Health Center or a private clinic; you can change your mind and file a report to the police (your evidence will be more substantial with the Sexual Assault Evidence Exam); and you should seek support from some kind of victims' service, sexual assault crisis center, a victim's advocate, or a licensed therapist.     

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened? 
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the District's Sexual Misconduct Policy, you should contact the applicable Title IX Coordinator (non-confidential).  Students may speak with a licensed therapist in the Student Health Center at GWC or at OCC (confidential), and employees may speak with a licensed therapist through the Employee Assistance Program (confidential). All are welcome to engage with one of the confidential community resources listed on the Care and Support page. They can help you to define and clarify the event(s) and advise you of your options. More importantly, you will be given additional on and off-campus resources to ensure care and support.

For Respondents

What should I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
DO NOT contact the complainant (alleged victim). You may immediately want to contact someone who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Title IX Coordinator for your site for an explanation of the District's/College's procedures for addressing complaints relating to sexual misconduct. You may also want to talk to a licensed therapist in the Student Health Center or seek other community assistance.

Can I be charged both on campus and off campus?
Yes.  Complainants have the right to pursue both campus resolution of a complaint and civil and/or criminal resolution.  It is up to the complainant to decide how they want to proceed.  The District's/College's process will move forward regardless of whether there is criminal or civil legal action taken regarding the same incident.


Coast Community College District Nondiscrimination Policy

The Coast Community College District is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment, and all access to institutional programs and activities.

The District does not discriminate unlawfully in providing educational or employment opportunities to any person on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, or genetic information or because he/she is perceived to have one or more of the foregoing characteristics, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.