Sexual Misconduct / Title IX Overview

Table of Contents


What is Title IX and how does it affect me?

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination and harassment in educational institutions. The law prohibits sex/gender discrimination.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

 

What is Sexual Harassment/Misconduct?

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) deems all acts of non-consensual sexual contact (i.e. “sexual violence”), such as “rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion” as sexual harassment and therefore within Title IX’s purview.

Sexual Misconduct includes unwanted or attempted sexual activity, touching, or behavior. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to the following:

Sexual Harassment: Unwanted behavior or language based on gender that prevents someone from attending or benefiting from class, work, or other RRCC activities. Harassment can happen between any people and can be mild or severe (see below matrix).

Quid Pro Quo is a type of Sexual Harassment that exists when an employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual's participation in uncwelcome sexual conduct, such as unwelcome sexual conduct, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Hostile Environment occurs when a person is subjected to verbal or physical conduct based on a protected class that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive, and objectively offensive to alter the conditions of a person's employment or unreasonably interfere with a person's ability to participate in o benefit from CCCS educational programs or activities, from both a subjective and objective viewpoint.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any sexual touching (such as groping or fondling) that is on purpose and/or by force.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual penetration (such as rape or unwanted oral sex) without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Exploitation: Taking advantage of another person in a sexual situation. For example:
Invasion of sexual privacy, recording sexual activity without consent, or watching another
Person in an intimate situation without consent.

Dating Violence, which is 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 reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. There is no Colorado state law on dating violence; therefore, CCCS abides by the definition used in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013.

  • Dating Violence is violence and abuse committed by a person to exert power and control over a current or former dating partner.
  • Dating violence often involves a pattern of escalating violence and abuse over a period of time. Dating violence covers a variety of actions, and can include physical abuse, physiological and emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. It can also include “digital abuse”, the use of technology, such as smartphones, the internet, or social media, to intimidate, harass, threaten, or isolate a victim.

Domestic Violence, which includes any act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic Violence also includes any other crime against a person or property, including an animal or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. C.R.S. 18-6-800.3. Domestic violence further includes felony or misdemeanor crimes 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 person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Colorado, 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 Colorado.

  • Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to maintain power and control over another current or former intimate partner.
  • Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behavior that intimidates, manipulates, humiliates, isolates, frightens, terrorizes, coerces, threatens, hurts, injures, or wounds someone.

Stalking, which is directly or indirectly through another person, is knowingly:

  • Repeatedly following, approaching, contacting, placing under surveillance, or making any form of communication with another person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. C.R.S. 18-3-602.
  • Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can include frightening communications, direct or indirect threats, and harassing a victim through the internet.
  • Stalking also includes engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.          

Examples:

  1. Unwanted sexual advances, asking for sexual favors.
  2. Gender-based stalking, bullying, or hazing.
  3. Trying to pressure an unwilling person into a sexual situation.
  4. Violence between people in a relationship.
  5. Repeatedly giving someone unwelcome attention that is sexual in nature.

 

Who is Affected?

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual misconduct that often involves an abuse of power; however, it can also occur between peers, such as student-to-student. It is also possible for a student to harass a faculty member or employee of the college. Sexual harassment can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Both men and women can be targets or perpetrators of harassment. Persons who observe someone being harassed may also be intimidated or offended and experience sexual harassment.

What is “Consent” or a Consensual Relationship?

Consent

Consent must be clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Also, in order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. Furthermore, consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent. Incapacitation could result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingestion of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution or any of these substances, including but not limited to Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy.

Having sex with someone whom you know to be, or should know to be, incapacitated (mentally or physically) is a violation of this procedure.

Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this procedure.

If You Experience Sexual Misconduct/Harassment:

If anything described on this website happens to you or someone you know, or you suspect something, it is your obligation to Report It!

Patty Davies
Executive Director, Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator
patty.davies@rrcc.edu
303.914.6298

 

Deborah Houser
Director of Employee Engagement, Human Resources
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
deborah.houser@rrcc.edu
303.914.6224

Or, please complete the complaint form here: Incident Reporting Form

If You Experience Sexual Violence:

  1. Go to a safe place and call someone. Call 911.
  2. Don’t shower, wash your hands, change or remove your clothes, or apply or take medication.
  3. Go to a hospital for medical attention.
  4. Get help, like counseling or victim assistance. (College staff are required to report alleged violations under Title IX)

If you would like to speak to someone but not report the alleged violation, you can receive a counseling referral from Student Affairs or contact Denver's rape crisis center, the The Blue Bench | Formerly known as RAAP - Denver. Call their 24-hour hotline at 303.322.7273, or learn more at www.raap.org.

Under Colorado law, public colleges are required to provide the following information for students who are victims of sexual assault:

If you are a victim of a sexual assault, you may request a medical forensic exam. This is important if you think you want to seek legal action.  It is vital that a victim obtains medical treatment as soon as possible and does not bathe, shower, douche, or change clothes until given permission by medical personnel. You can have the exam without having to report the assault to law enforcement. You will not be charged for the cost of the exam.

The College has an agreement with the following providers for the exam. 

                                  St. Anthony Hospital

                                  11600 W 2nd Place

                                  Lakewood, CO 80228

If you do not have transportation to the facility, you may contact a friend or family member, public safety, perhaps sexual assault advocates will provide transportation, taxi service, public transportation. Any cost for transportation is the responsibility of the student.

If you have any questions, please contact the following campus staff:

Retaliation is Prohibited:

It is a violation of CCCS policy and RRCC procedures to engage in retaliatory acts against any employee or student who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, or any employee or student who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding, investigation, or hearing relating to such allegation of sexual misconduct.

Dealing with Sexual Harassment:

  1. Tell the person to stop immediately.
  2. Be proactive: If you are uncomfortable with the behavior, say so.
  3. Be Consistent: Each time a person’s behavior “crosses the line”, confront the person.
  4. If you are uncomfortable confronting the person, contact a college administrator, supervisor, or Human Resources.

RRCC and CCCS Sexual Misconduct Policy Links:

Incident Reporting Form

RRCC and CCCS Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process

Student Disciplinary Procedure

Reporting an Incident of Sexual Misconduct or Harassment:

RRCC employees and students have an ethical obligation to report an incidence they are aware of concerning discrimination and/or harassment. If the employee or student is unsure, he/she may direct their questions to the Human Resources Director at the college.

Incident Reporting Form

Rights of Involved Parties

  • To be treated with respect by Colorado Community College System employees.

  • To take advantage of System and College support resources – i.e. counseling

  • To experience a safe living, educational and work environment.

  • To have an advisor of their choice present at any meeting.

  • To refuse to have an allegation resolved through conflict resolution procedures – student can request a formal investigation, even if it does not rise to that level.

  • To receive amnesty for minor student misconduct that is ancillary to the incident – i.e. drinking, drug use, etc.

  • To be free from retaliation.

  • To be informed in writing of the outcome/resolution of the grievance.

  • To have assistance in contacting law enforcement.

  • To housing, employment, and/or educational accommodations.

  • To have no further contact with the opposite party.

Confidential Resources:

Denver's rape crisis center, the Blue Bench Program (formerly RAAP) is available to help at any time. Call their 24-hour hotline at 303.322.7273, or learn more at www.thebluebench.org.

Jefferson County Action Center
http://theactioncenterco.org/
8755 W. 14th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 303.237.7704
Fax: 303.237.6002
office@theactioncenterco.org

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners
http://www.metrocrisisservices.org/
1-844-493-TALK (8255)

Jefferson County Mental Health
Emergency Line (24/7): 303-425-0300
Toll-free: 800-201-5264
TDD: 303-432-5540

Suicide Hotline
1-800-273-TALK
(1-800-273-8255)

Porchlight, A Family Justice Center

11100 W 8th Ave, Suite 200

Lakewood, CO 80215

Phone: 720.853.8850

https://www.porchlightfjc.org/

 

Trainings:

COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM/ COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF DENVER PRESENTATIONS AND TRAININGS

CCCS Live Hearing Training: Investigator/ Witness Role (Presented March 3, 2021)
CCCS Title IX/ EO Training for New Coordinators and Investigators (Presented April 21, 2021)

All Title IX Training Materials for coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, facilitation of informal resolutions, and live hearing are under SP 19-60, Training and Compliance Requirements (Appendix B).