Violence Against Women

TITLE IV DEFINITION

A United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 3355)

The Act requires investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The law requires educational institutions to provide students with the following:

A statement of policy regarding the school’s programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as defined in 34 CFR 668.46(a), and of procedures that the school will follow when one of these crimes is reported. The statement must include:

  • A description of the school’s educational programs and campaigns to promote the awareness of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as required by 34 CFR 668.46(j)
  • Procedures victims should follow if a crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred, including written information about:
  • The importance of preserving evidence that may assist in proving that the alleged criminal offense occurred or may be helpful in obtaining a protection order
  • How and to whom the alleged offense should be reported
  • Options about the involvement of law enforcement and campus authorities, including notification of 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
    • Decline to notify such authorities
    • Where applicable, the rights of victims and the school’s responsibilities for orders of protection, “no-contact” orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court or by the school
    • Information about how the school will protect the confidentiality of victims and other necessary parties, including how the school will:
  1. Complete publicly available record keeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures, without the inclusion of personally identifying information about the victim, as defined in Section 40002(a)(20) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a)(20))
  2. Maintain as confidential any accommodations or protective measures provided to the victim, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the school to provide the accommodations or protective measures
  • A statement that the school will provide written notification to students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both within the school and in the community
  1. A statement that the school will provide written notification to victims about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures. The school must make such accommodations or provide such protective measures if the victim requests them and if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement
  2. An explanation of the procedures for school disciplinary action in cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as required by 34 CFR 668.46(k) vii. A statement that, when a student or employee reports to the school that the student or employee has been a victim of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus, the school will provide the student or employee a written explanation of the student’s or employee’s rights and options as described in 34 CFR 668.46 (b)(11)(ii) through (vi)

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Safety of students, employees and visitors is a priority at Marion Technical College. MTC is embracing legislation that promotes increased awareness, training and reporting of violence in our community. Marion Technical College prohibits sexual violence, sexual harassment, retaliation and other prohibited behaviors as defined in Section 1000.05 and 1012.86 of Florida Statues. All reported campus crimes are recorded in a Daily Crime Log and an Annual Security Report. Daily Crime Logs are updated with 2 days, and Annual Security Reports are available in our Public Safety Department and through the available Consumer Information.

To learn about the Campus SaVE Act (Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013) visit:  www.thecampussaveact.com.

For more information about the Clery Act visit: https://clerycenter.org/.


HELPFUL DEFINITIONS

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or any non-consensual sexual touching of a person. Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it includes rape, groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner.

Simply put: “An incident that involves sexual contact that is forced on somebody”. For example: “Sexual activity” could be anything from kissing, groping, oral and vaginal rape, and exhibitionism. Victims may be forced into sexual acts through verbal or nonverbal threats, through the use of alcoholic beverages, drugs or even physical violence.

DATING/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence: is defined as abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, or someone with whom the abuser has a child, and has an existing dating or engagement relationship, or has had a former dating or engagement relationship.

Dating Violence: is defined as abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

Dating/domestic violence can affect any kind of relationship. The abuser can identify as any gender. If you have concerns about your relationship or feel that you might be experiencing dating or domestic violence, please seek out support.  There are several confidential resources on campus and in the community that may be able to help you.  For more information about dating or domestic violence, or to speak with someone about safety planning, please see the Helpful Resources section below.

STALKING

Stalking is behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.

Stalking behaviors may include:

  1. Following you and showing up wherever you are.
  2. Sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards, e-mails or text messages.
  3. Damaging your home, car, or other property.
  4. Monitoring your phone calls or computer use.
  5. Using technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  6. Driving by or hanging out at your home, school, or work.
  7. Threatening to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  8. Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  9. Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

Steps to take if you are being stalked:

  1. Typically, the first step in getting unwanted contact to stop is to tell the person initiating the contact to stop their behavior.  This can be useful when you know the person and/or the stalking hasn’t escalated to threats of violence.  This step may not be possible if you feel it is unsafe.
  2. It is important to document all stalking behaviors and unwanted contact.  You can do this by keeping a log of the date, time, type of contact, any witnesses and any actions you took – including reporting the behavior.
  3. Stalking is a crime and also prohibited by MTC policy – you have the right to report the stalking behavior.

If you would like to speak with someone confidentially about your options or safety, please see the Helpful Resources section below.


AWARENESS PROGRAMS

Marion Technical College employees a variety of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence awareness and prevention programs.

On Campus

  1. Information available throughout campus with local and national resources for our students.
  2. Wellness Courses taught to our students on a variety of subjects including Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and HIV Prevention.

RISK REDUCTION

How You Can Help Yourself

It is important to remember that while we can take steps to minimize risk, the only person to blame when sexual violence occurs is the perpetrator.

Strategies you can use to minimize risk of sexual assault include:

  1. Trust your gut instinct. If a situation doesn’t feel right, don’t worry about offending someone, just leave.
  2. Notice when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to assert your right to have your boundaries respected.
  3. Most perpetrators of sexual violence will look for vulnerable targets: appear to not be aware of their surroundings, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, isolated from their friends, etc.
  4. Control access to your home, dorm room or car by locking your doors and closing windows if they provide easy access
  5. Travel in groups when possible
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in situations where you feel unsafe: ask for an escort to your car, tell your friends you want to leave the party, ask a friend to stay with you, etc.

How You Can Help Others

If you witness a crime report it immediately to a member of the faculty or Campus Security.

If you are witness to a crime, a warning sign of abuse or assault. or are generally worried about a friend, please consider one of the following options:

      1. If it’s an emergency and someone’s life is in immediate danger contact 911 immediately.
      2. If there’s no immediate safety concern but you are worried about a friend, your CCP counselor would be happy to have a consultation with you to discuss the situation. Please call 352-671-4134 to speak with a counselor or to schedule a time to come in.
      3. Call an anonymous hotline. There is always someone available on-call to discuss your concerns anonymously. Making a call today can make a significant difference.
        • Ocala Domestic and Sexual Assault Center Hotline
          352-622-5919 or 352-622-8495 (Ask for Crisis Intervention Specialist)
        • Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
        • Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Hearing Impaired Individuals
        • de Prevención del Suicidio – 1-888-628-9454
        • Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The School Board Policy 2.71 forbids discrimination against any student on the basis of sex. The Board will not tolerate sexual harassment activity involving any of its students. This policy includes teachers, staff, volunteers or anyone that has contact with students. Sexual harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances
  2. Unwelcome request or demands for sexual favors. (This includes unwelcome requests for dates.)
  3. Verbal abuse or kidding that is sex-oriented and considered unwelcome.
  4. Any type of sexually oriented conduct that would unreasonably interfere with work or academic performance.
  5. Creating a work or school environment that is intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive because of unwelcome or unwanted sexually oriented conversations, suggestions, requests, demands, physical contacts or attentions.

STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

In the event a student believes that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment, the student shall contact the school principal or guidance counselor within a reasonable time of the alleged act or event.

  1. The administration or school counselor shall assist the student in completing the Sexual Harassment Complaint Form and shall immediately forward the complaint form to the Superintendent’s office.
  2. Upon receipt of a completed sexual harassment complaint form, the Superintendent shall designate an appropriate person to conduct an investigation of the complaint. It is suggested that in cases where an employee of the district is the alleged cause of a sexual harassment complaint, the Director of Employee Relations should be designated; and in cases where a student is the alleged offender, the Director of Student Services should be appointed to investigate the matter.
  3. The Superintendent’s designee shall meet with the complainant within three (3) days in order to discuss the specific facts of the complaint. Any additional facts ascertained during that meeting shall be appended to the original complaint form.
  4. The Superintendent’s designee shall meet with the respondent within three (3) days following the conference with the complainant. During that meeting, the Superintendent’s designee shall discuss the particulars of the complaint and request the respondent’s explanation and defenses.
  5. A substantiated charge against a student shall subject that student to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion, consistent with the Code of Student Conduct.

INCIDENT RESPONSE PROCEDURE

This is an overview of the Incident Response Procedure for Marion Technical College. While the Title IX Officer has a general responsibility for oversight of the reporting process and investigation of reports, other member of the administration team or faculty may be involved and consulted as deemed necessary.

  1. REPORTING
    1. Any person may make a report of Prohibited Conduct to:
      • Delores Holcomb (School Counselor)
      • Scott Carpenter (Title IX Officer)
      • Any other member of the Marion Technical College Faculty member, Staff member, or member of the Administration Team
      • Reports can be made to another appropriate office such as the Student Services department, Program Manager of your program, or to the Human Resources Office.
    2. It is recommended that any employee receiving a report to refer students to Delores Holcomb (School Counselor) or to Scott Carpenter (Title IX Officer).
    3. Any report made to any employee or department will be sent forward to the Title IX Officer.
    4. Reports of any Prohibited Conduct should be brought forward as soon as possible.
    5. All incidents should be reported even if significant time has elapsed but prompt reporting will better enable Marion Technical College to respond, investigate, provide an appropriate remedy, and impose discipline if appropriate.
  2. ASSESSMENT OF REPORT
    1. Scott Carpenter (Title IX Officer) will make an initial assessment of the report and follow mandated guidelines and Marion County School Board policy of reporting crimes and violations of Prohibited Conduct.
    2. The Title IX Officer may consult with other members of the administration team, Campus Security, faculty, staff, MCPS Risk Management, or members of Law Enforcement as deemed necessary.
    3. If the Report finds Prohibited Conduct in violation of Marion Technical College or Marion County School Board Policy, the college will take prompt and effective steps to stop the violation, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, provide disciplinary actions.
  • REQUIRED NOTIFICATIONS
    1. Individuals making reports shall be informed about:
      • Confidentiality of reports, including when reports cannot be kept confidential.
      • The range of possible outcomes of the report, including Health and Safety measures, remedies, and disciplinary actions that may be taken.
    2. If the matter results in a disciplinary proceeding, at the conclusion of that proceeding both parties will be simultaneously informed of the outcome of the proceedings.
  1. OVERVIEW OF RESOLUTION PROCESS
    1. Reports of Prohibited conduct may be addressed through the resolution process deemed necessary by Scott Carpenter (Assistant Principal, Title IX Officer) and other members of the Administration team, in accordance to Marion Technical College Prohibited Conduct policy and Marion County School Board Employee and Student complaint and grievance procedures.
    2. After preliminary assessment of the facts presented, the Title IX Officer will initiate a resolution process which may, or may not include:
      • Mediation (except in cases of sexual violence)
      • Separation of the parties
      • Referral for disciplinary action, including but not limited to:
        1. Suspension
        2. Expulsion
  1. LOCATION RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. Designate and provide adequate resources and independence to a Title IX Officer. The responsibilities of the Title IX Officer include, but may not be limited to, the following duties:
      • Coordinate compliance with Title IX, including investigations, reports and remedies.
      • Coordinate with other responsible units to ensure that local sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention education and training programs are offered and provided, as required by the Policy.
      • Provide educational materials to promote compliance with the Policy and familiarity with local reporting procedures.
      • Provide training for College faculty and staff who are responsible for reporting or responding to reports of Prohibited Conduct.
      • Provide prompt and equitable response to reports of Prohibited Conduct according to the Policy.
      • Maintain records of reports of Prohibited Conduct at the location, as well as any actions taken in response to reports, including records of investigations, resolutions, and disciplinary action, in accordance with College records management policies.
      • Post on the sexual violence website the names and contact information of the Title IX Officer and of additional designated, trained, sexual harassment or sexual violence advisors.
    2. Individuals who consult with such confidential resources will be advised that their discussions in these settings are not considered actual reports of Prohibited Conduct and that without additional action by the individual, these discussions will not result in any formal action by the University to resolve their concerns.
    3. Provide mandatory annual training and education, about Prohibited Conduct and how such conduct can be reported, to all students, faculty, and staff in accordance with applicable State and federal law, and school board policies.
    4. Offer primary prevention programs and awareness campaigns to the student, faculty, and staff to promote ongoing awareness of sexual violence, including preventing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
    5. Follow Marion Technical College established and approved processes for investigation, adjudication, and sanctioning.
    6. Provide written explanation of rights and available options as outlined in this Policy including:
      • How and to whom to report alleged violations.
      • Options for reporting to and/or notifying law enforcement and campus authorities.
      • Counseling, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available within both the College and the community.
      • Applicable procedures for institutional disciplinary action.

STUDENT SERVICES COUNSELING SUPPORT

Counseling support services are available in Student Services through our Career Certification Program Counselor – Delores Holcomb. Our counselor is available to meet with students, faculty and staff members to provide consultation, support, intervention and/or referral.

  1. Emergency walk-in consultation and crisis stabilization for students accompanied by faculty or staff.
  2. Phone consultations for faculty and staff related to students exhibiting troubled, disturbing, or disruptive behaviors.
  3. If you are bringing a student in distress to Student Services and are able to, please contact Delores Holcomb – ext. 56855, email: delores.holcomb@marion.k12.fl.us, or the Student Services direct line: 352-671-4134, so that counseling can be made available as soon as possible.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

IN AN EMERGENCY, DO NOT HESITATE. DIAL 911.

STATE OF FLORIDA RESOURCES

  1. Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    Sexual Predator and Sexual Offender Registry
    1-888-357-7332,  http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender

MTC RESOURCES

  1. Counselor available in Student Services: 352-671-4134, ext. 56855
  2. Assistant Principals: 352-671-7200
  3. Director of Career and Technical Education: 352-671-7200

MCPS RESOURCES

  1. Safe Schools Coordinator: 352-671-7274, ext. 56922
    Speak Up Hotline:  866-SPEAK-UP, or Text “SPEAKUP” to 847411

MARION COUNTY RESOURCES

  1. Ocala Domestic and Sexual Assault Center Hotline
    Ask for a Crisis Intervention Specialist: 352-622-5919 or 352-622-8495
  2. Ocala Police Department
    402 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL 34471, 352-369-7139 or 352-369-7134
  3. Marion County Sheriff’s Office
    692 N.W. 30th Ave., Ocala, FL 34475, 352-369-6745 or 352-732-9111
  4. Marion County Fire Rescue
    352-622-3456 or 352-732-9111
  5. Interfaith
    435 N.W. 2nd St., Ocala, FL 34475, 352-629-8868, ext. 27
  6. United Way
    1401 N.E. 2nd St., Ocala, FL 34470, 352-732-9696
  7. Salvation Army
    320 N.W. First Ave., Ocala, FL 34475, 352-732-8326, ext. 302