Title IX & Preventing Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Misconduct

Title IX & Preventing Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Misconduct


Terms & Definitions to Understand Sexual Misconduct Polices & Procedures

The College has defined the terms and definitions below to help all stakeholders understand their rights and responsibilities in regard to general conduct and sexual misconduct proceedings.

Sexual Misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent (see definition below) or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.  The term includes, but is not limited to, behaviors often described as sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, and dating or domestic violence (intimate partner or relationship violence).

Sexual Violence* means physical sexual acts attempted or perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent (due to age or lack of capacity), including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.

Sexual Assault means sexual penetration by force or threat of force, or an act of sexual penetration when the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent. Sexual assault can be defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity. Falling under the definition of sexual assault is sexual activity such as forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. It includes sexual acts against people who are unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity.  Factors that can increase the seriousness of criminal sexual assault include, but are not limited to, situations where the offender is armed with, uses, or displays a firearm, dangerous weapon, or similar object; the offender causes bodily harm or death to the victim; the offender threatens or endangers the life of the victim or any other person; the assault is committed during the course of another felony; the victim is elderly or is physically or intellectually disabled; the offender delivers any controlled substance to the victim without the victim's consent or by threat or deception; or when circumstances involve differing ages between the offender and victim.

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  It is behavior found under the sexual misconduct umbrella.  The harassing conduct creates a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s programs.

Domestic Violence means a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. It includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken Illinois domestic violence law. Under this law, family or household members are defined as family members related by blood or marriage; people who are married or used to be married; people who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other dwelling; people who have or say they have a child in common; people who have or say they have a blood relationship through a child; people who are dating or used to date, including same sex couples; and people with disabilities and their personal assistants.  Illinois law states that domestic violence is physical abuse, harassment, forcible actions, or interference with the personal liberty of another family or household member (including but not limited to spouses, former spouses, dating partners, and people who share a home, such as roommates).  Also known as intimate partner violence.

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 and where the existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship, (b) the type of relationship, and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating Violence is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Dating violence is a form of domestic violence and is also known as intimate partner violence.

Stalking is committed when a person (a) engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and the conduct would cause that person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another, or suffer other emotional distress; (b) follows/observes a person on at least two separate occasions and transmits a threat, or causes fear of bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint of that person or a family member; or (c) has previously been convicted of stalking and on one occasion follows/observes that same person and transmits a threat of bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint to that person or a family member.  Stalking may include spying on the target; sending unwanted presents; spreading rumors; damaging the target’s property or defaming the target’s character; and/or unwanted calls, emails, text messages and instant messages.

Consent* is a freely given agreement to sexual activity.  Consent is not given with a person’s lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the use or threat of force; from a person’s manner of dress; or from a person’s consent to past sexual activity.  A person’s consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another.  A person can withdraw consent at any time.  And, a person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including when a person is incapacitated due to the use or influence of alcohol or drugs; if the person is asleep or unconscious; if the person is under age; or if the person is incapacitated due to a mental disability.  Under Illinois law, the age of consent for any type of sexual activity is, typically, 17 years.  This means anyone younger than 17 years of age cannot lawfully consent to any type of sex act involving sexual conduct.

Intimate Partner - An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by the following:

• Emotional connectedness
• Regular contact
• Ongoing physical contact and/or sexual behavior
• Identity as a couple
• Familiarity and knowledge about each other’s lives

The relationship need not involve all of the above dimensions.  Examples of intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, dating partners, or sexual partners. IPV can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.

Bystander Intervention* includes without limitation the act of challenging the social norms that support, condone, or permit sexual violence.

Survivor* means a student who has experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking while enrolled at the College.

Complainant* means a student who files a complaint alleging violation of this comprehensive policy to a Responsible Employee or through DACC’s online Incident Report.

Respondent* means a person who responds to a report/complaint against them.
Investigation means a systematic process for determining what occurred.

Proceeding is the process of appearing before an administrator or investigator so a decision can be made about a complaint; things that are said or done during the investigation and resolution processes. 

Result is the outcome, sanction(s), or conclusion of the complaint and subsequent investigation(s).

Preponderance of Evidence* means it is more likely than not; more than 50% of the evidence points to one outcome.

Advisor - Any complainant or respondent involved in a sexual misconduct complaint may be accompanied by one advisor of their choice throughout the process. The College must be notified that an advisor will be present at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting, unless circumstances call for an expedited meeting.  The role of an advisor is to provide a comforting and familiar presence for the student. The choice whether or not to invite an advisor is solely that of the student(s) involved. An advisor may not speak in a hearing unless asked a direct question by the College official. Advisors may not ask questions, interject, coach, advocate for, or otherwise speak on behalf of a student or student organization. An advisor may not function as legal counsel or “represent” the student for the purpose of the sexual misconduct processes. Advisors may not also serve as witnesses in a hearing about the same matter. If any advisor conducts themselves in a manner inconsistent with these guidelines, then the individual will no longer be considered an advisor and the College official may excuse the individual from the conduct process.  If an advisor is an attorney, this must be disclosed to the College, and DACC reserves the right to have its own legal counsel present for the hearing.

Campus Security Authority (CSA) is an official of the College who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities.  A CSA must report allegations, made in good faith, of Clery Act crimes including sexual assault.  DACC CSAs include the Dean of Student Services, Student Service Administrators, Faculty/Advisors to student organizations/clubs; Athletic Director; Athletic Coaches; Security Officers; and Administrators at off-campus sites.

Responsible Employees are employees who have the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct, who have been given the duty of reporting incidents or sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee, or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.  Confidential Advisors (defined below) do not fall into this category.  Responsible Employees are bound to keep any details about the incident or report confidential from people not required to respond.  Responsible Employees who have observed or received reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, data violence, sexual assault or stalking must:

• Notify the College’s Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee and Campus Security. 
• Help the reporting student contact law enforcement if asked.
• If applicable, help preserve any evidence of the incident.
• Refer the victim to the Dean of Student Services to make reasonable changes in academic, working, living or transportation arrangements to avoid a hostile environment.

Confidential Advisor* means a person who is employed or contracted by the College to provide emergency and ongoing support to student survivors of sexual violence with the training, duties, and responsibilities mandated by IL Public Act 99-426.  DACC partners with the Vermilion County Rape Crisis Center to provide victims with access to a Confidential Advisor.  The Vermilion County Rape Crisis Center is located at 1630 Georgetown Road, Tilton, Illinois.  They can be reached at 1-866-617-3227 or 217-446-1337.

*Terms & Definitions noted in IL Public Act 099-0426

 

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