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Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking: What You Should Know

Collin College strives to maintain a healthy and safe environment where all members of its campus community are treated with dignity and respect. Collin College prohibits all forms of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as those terms are defined for purposes of the Clery Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), as amended May 19, 2020and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

Definitions
Collin College's definitions of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (i.e., prohibited conduct) can be found here.

Consent to Sexual Activity
In some instances dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking occur because people do not have a good understanding of "consent"; therefore, it is important to know what constitutes consent to sexual activity. Collin College's and the State of Texas' definitions of consent to sexual activity can be found here.
 
Procedures Victims of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Should Follow
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
If you request it or if you have already reported the incident to a law enforcement official, a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) or doctor will conduct both a forensic and medical exam and collect evidence. Having a forensic exam conducted does not require you to file a police report or proceed through the criminal justice process, but it will preserve evidence in the event you decide to do so at a later time. 

For evidence collection to take place, it is best for an exam to occur within five (5) days (i.e., 120 hours) of the incident. It is advised that you do not shower, bathe, eat, drink, wash your hands, change clothes, brush your teeth, or do anything that may interfere with the collection of evidence. If you do change your clothes, be sure to take the clothes you had on when the incident occurred with you to the hospital in a paper (not plastic) bag. It is also important to share as much information as you can remember with medical personnel. Learn more about the sexual assault exam process here.
 
Collin County has a mobile SANE team. If you go to any hospital in Collin County, the staff can contact the mobile SANE team, and they will come to that hospital to assist you. 

You can receive attention at any medical facility; however, the local hospitals listed here have specially-trained staff to assist survivors of sexual assault. Victims 17 years of age and under must be seen at a hospital with an approved colposcope. These hospitals are noted with an asterisk (*) in the list. Collin College does not provide transportation to any of these hospitals.
 
Consider Reporting the Incident to the Appropriate Law Enforcement Official
For immediate notification to local law enforcement, call 911. To report the incident to the Collin College Police Department, call 972.578.5555 or extension 5555 from any campus phone. Contact information for local law enforcement agencies can be found here.
 
If you need assistance with reporting to law enforcement, you can ask the medical professionals at the hospital if you received medical attention. Additionally, if you request assistance, a Collin College official will help you with the process of reporting to law enforcement. Note: Victims have the right not to report a crime or to decline to notify authorities if they so choose. 

Consider Counseling and/or Other Support Services
This is a difficult and stressful time, and you may need assistance now or in the future. Counseling services are offered free of charge to all current Collin College students. Counseling sessions are confidential and conducted by licensed mental health professionals. Additionally, Counseling Services can provide appropriate referrals to both on- and off-campus resources for Collin College students and employees. The Counseling Services Office can be reached at 972.881.5126 or personalcounseling@collin.edu.

Collin College employees can contact the Human Resources Office (HR) for advocacy and support. HR can assist employees with accommodations and reporting to law enforcement. Additionally, HR provides appropriate referrals to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and off-campus resources.  HR can be reached at 972.758.3856 or hr@collin.edu.
 
Keep a Journal
Write down everything you can remember about what occurred including, but not limited to the:

  1. events that led up to the incident,
  2. date the incident occurred,
  3. time the incident occurred, and
  4. names of any potential witnesses or persons who may have additional information.

If applicable, keep any emails, harassing letters, online postings, photos, texts, voicemails, etc. as evidence.

Preservation of Evidence
Collin College recognizes that making the decision to report dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking may take time. Nevertheless, pending the decision to report, all individuals are strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to preserve evidence that may assist in proving the alleged criminal offense occurred; be helpful in obtaining a protective order; or assist with an investigation by the police, Collin College, or both. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following: 

  1. a forensic sexual assault examination completed within five (5) days (i.e., 120 hours) of the incident;
  2. any clothing, sheets, or other materials containing bodily fluids. These items should be stored in cardboard boxes or paper bags, not plastic;
  3. electronic exchanges to the extent that they can be captured or preserved (e.g., emails; text messages; and social media posts in Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.);
  4. photographs, including photographs stored on smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices;
  5. voicemail messages; and
  6. any other physical, documentary, or electronic data that might be helpful or relevant in an investigation.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Risk reduction consists of options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment in an effort to promote safety and help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence. Risk reduction strategies include, but are not limited to, the following.

  1. Trust your intuition. It’s right most of the time. If a situation feels uncomfortable or you are uncertain about something, trust your instincts, remove yourself from the situation, and ask for help.
  2. If someone is behaving disrespectfully or making you feel uncomfortable, take steps to remove yourself from the situation early, especially if you are concerned it may become violent.
  3. If you feel afraid or threatened, look for a Blue Light emergency phone, call the Collin College Police Department at 972.578.5555, or dial 911.
  4. If you feel as though someone may be stalking you, talk to someone who understands these issues (e.g., Collin College Police Department, local law enforcement, Dean of Students Office, Counseling Services) to help you clarify what’s happening and develop a safety plan.
  5. If you are being stalked, tell everyone you know. Ask your friends to keep an eye out for your stalker and report any suspicious or unusual activity to the Collin College Police Department at 972.578.5555 or local law enforcement at 911.
  6. Do not second-guess yourself or the intentions of the person attempting to harm you.
  7. Know that you have the right to set limits concerning your sexual activity. Make your limits known as early as possible and communicate them clearly and consistently.
  8. If you change your mind during sexual activity, speak up and communicate your decision to no longer proceed clearly and firmly. Say something like, "No" or "I want you to stop."
  9. If you have indicated you do not want to engage in a particular sexual activity and your partner ignores you, take this as a sign he or she has no intention of taking your feelings into consideration. This will help you decide what to do next.
  10. There is no shame in being a victim. Talk to someone who has knowledge of Collin College and community resources. There are many people on campus and in the community who can help you identify resources and options, and who may be able to reduce the impact on your well-being and help you end the abuse.
  11. You have the right to defend your body, personal integrity, and yourself.
  12. Your voice and your body are your best weapons. Learn effective ways to use them by taking a self-defense class.
  13. Have a plan. Tell someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to return. If you go together, leave together. Do not leave a friend behind.
  14. In social situations, do not accept food or open beverages, as it can be easy for someone to slip a drug into them without your knowledge. Warn your friends if you see someone tampering with their food or drink.
  15. Take responsibility for your alcohol intake and/or drug use. Using these substances lowers inhibitions and may make you a target.
    If you feel you have been victimized, find a safe place away from the aggressor and call the police or a community agency, such as a rape crisis center, domestic violence hotline, or hospital.
  16. Do not assume, "It can't happen to me."
  17. If you see something of concern, say something.

Reporting Incidents of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
Any Collin College student or employee who believes he or she has experienced prohibited conduct or believes another student or employee has experienced prohibited conduct should immediately report the alleged act(s) to one (1) of the following Collin College officials 

1. Title IX Coordinator for Students 
    Terrence Brennan 
    Dean of Students
    3452 Spur 399
    Suite 457
    McKinney, TX 75069
    Phone: 972.881.5734 
    Email: tbrennan@collin.edu
 
2. Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students
    Amy Throop
    Associate Dean of Students
    2200 West University Drive
    Suite B-336
    McKinney, TX 75071
    Phone: 972.881.5734
    Email: athroop@collin.edu
 
 3. Title IX Coordinator for Employees 
    Floyd Nickerson 
    Chief Talent Officer, Human Resources
    3452 Spur 399
    Suite 339
    McKinney, TX 75069
    Phone: 972.599.3159 
    Email: fnickerson@collin.edu
 
4. Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees 
    Tonya Jacobson
    Manager, Employee Relations
    3452 Spur 399
    Suite 339
    McKinney, TX 75069
    Phone: 972.758.3856
    Email: tjacobson@collin.edu
 
In addition, prohibited conduct can be reported to any instructor, administrator, campus security authority (CSA), or other Collin College employee, or by submitting the appropriate online complaint form.
 
Available Options and Interim Action
If appropriate and regardless of whether a criminal or regulatory investigation regarding the alleged conduct is pending, Collin College will promptly take interim action calculated to address prohibited conduct prior to the completion of Collin College’s investigation. Collin College must provide certain options and interim action if the victim requests them and they are reasonably available, regardless of whether a victim chooses to report to local law enforcement, the Collin College Police Department, or the student or employee disciplinary process. Learn more about available options and interim action here.

If you have a protective order against a person, notify the Collin College Police Department at 972.578.5555 as soon as possible.

Confidentiality
Collin College recognizes incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking can be difficult to discuss, and victims may want complete confidentiality in addition to support. To the greatest extent possible, Collin College will respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. Limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation and comply with applicable law.

Collin College will complete publicly available recordkeeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures, without inclusion of personally identifying information about the victim. Additionally, Collin College will maintain as confidential any accommodations or protective measures provided to the victim, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality does not impair Collin College’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures.

Voluntary Confidential Reporting
Victims of crime who do not want to pursue action within the Collin College system or the criminal justice system, may still want to consider making a confidential report. With the victim’s permission, the Collin College chief of police or designee can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing the victim’s identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with the victim’s wish to keep the matter confidential while taking steps to ensure the future safety of the victim and others. With such information, Collin College can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, employees, and visitors; determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant; and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in Collin College’s annual crime statistics.
 
Anonymous Reports of Sexual Assault
Victims can submit an anonymous report of sexual assault. However, doing so may limit Collin College’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation, respond appropriately, and stop the behavior from reoccurring.

Additionally, if a victim of sexual assault files a report and later determines he or she would like to remain anonymous, the Collin College Police Department can assign a pseudonym to the victim. The pseudonym will be used in place of the victim’s name to identify the victim on any further documentation that could become public information. 

Collin College's Investigation
When a report is received that alleges a Collin College student committed dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the Title IX coordinator for students or designee will assign an appropriate member of the Dean of Students Office to investigate the complaint. The investigator will follow the process outlined in Board policy FFDA (LOCAL) and explained in this flowchart and the Dean of Students Office Disciplinary Process explained in this flowchart. For more information on investigations regarding complaints against a Collin College student, contact the Dean of Students Office at 972.881.5604 or dos@collin.edu
 
When a report is received that alleges a Collin College employee has committed dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the Title IX coordinator for employees, deputy Title IX coordinator for employees, or designee will assign an appropriate Collin College official to investigate the complaint. The investigator will follow the process outlined in Board policy DGBA (LOCAL) and explained here. For more information on investigations regarding complaints against a Collin College employee, contact the Human Resources Office (HR) at 972.758.3856 or hr@collin.edu

At a minimum, all investigators will receive annual training on issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as well as how to conduct an investigation that protects victim safety and promotes accountability. This annual training is conducted in person and includes, but is not limited to, information on the following topics: 

  1. basic procedural rules for conducting an investigation;
  2. relevant evidence and how it should be used during an investigation;
  3. proper techniques for questioning witnesses;
  4. avoiding actual and perceived conflicts of interest;
  5. conducting trauma-informed investigations;
  6. updates to and new local, state, and federal regulations; and
  7. how to provide appropriate advocacy and interim measures while maintaining confidentiality.

Collin College provides support (e.g., answering questions; appropriate assistance, resources, and referrals; etc.) to both complainants and respondents throughout the process. Additionally, Collin College assists complainants and respondents with understanding their rights and responsibilities related to the investigation, evidence-gathering, findings and recommendations, any appeal(s), and resolution. 

Both the complainant and student respondent may have an advisor (i.e., any individual who provides support, guidance, or advice) of his or her choice present during any meetings with the investigator. Collin College will not limit the complainant or student respondent’s choice of advisor or the advisor’s presence in any meeting or institutional disciplinary proceeding. However, Collin College may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the advisor may participate in the disciplinary proceedings, as long as these restrictions apply equally to both the complainant’s and student respondent’s advisors.
 
The Collin College official investigating the complaint will use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard (i.e., more likely than not to have occurred) when determining whether or not there was a violation.

If the investigation reveals improper conduct that did not rise to the level of prohibited conduct, Collin College may take disciplinary action in accordance with Collin College policy and procedures or other corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct. 

If the results of an investigation indicate that prohibited conduct occurred, Collin College will promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct in accordance with Collin College policy and procedures.

Collin College will provide simultaneous written notification of the outcome, within the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or other applicable law, to the victim and the person against whom the complaint is filed.

In accordance with federal laws, information about the outcome regarding a student respondent will be disclosed in writing to the victim in cases involving crimes of violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sex discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, and retaliation. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, Collin College will treat the victim’s next of kin as the alleged victim, in accordance with the law.

This simultaneous written notification will include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  1. the results of any disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  2. Collin College’s procedures for the victim and the respondent to appeal the results of the disciplinary proceeding;
  3. any change to the results (e.g., through the appeal process); and
  4. when such results become final.

Amnesty
In accordance with the Texas Higher Education Code Section 51.9366,  Collin College will give amnesty to (i.e., not take disciplinary action against) a student who reports, in good faith, that he or she was the victim of or a witness to an incident of prohibited conduct as defined by this policy. This amnesty policy applies regardless of the location at which the incident occurred or the outcome of Collin College’s disciplinary process regarding the incident, if any. This amnesty policy does not apply to a student who reports his or her own commission or assistance in the commission of prohibited conduct as defined by this policy.

Prevention and Awareness Programs 
Primary Prevention and Awareness Programs
In order to comply with the federal government’s mandated training requirement under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), Collin College provides primary prevention and awareness programs on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other relevant topics to all incoming students, faculty, and staff. These programs include information on Collin College’s and the State of Texas’ definitions of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and consent to sexual activity; personal safety; safe and positive options for bystander intervention; the importance of preserving evidence; risk reduction strategies; and reporting options. Click here for a list of all of Collin College’s primary prevention and awareness programs.
 
Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Programs
Ongoing prevention and awareness programs (e.g., presentations, seminars, trainings, videos, etc.) on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other relevant topics are also offered to all new and returning students, faculty, and staff members throughout the academic year. These programs include information on Collin College’s and the State of Texas’ definitions of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and consent to sexual activity; personal safety; safe and positive options for bystander intervention; the importance of preserving evidence; risk reduction strategies; and reporting options. Click here for a list of all of Collin College’s ongoing prevention and awareness programs.
 
Federal Regulations
The federal government has enacted various statutes to ensure students' rights are upheld and colleges are in compliance with federal laws. These statutes include:
 
  1. Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act)
  2. Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act)
  3. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), as amended May 19, 2020
  4. Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA)

Collin College Policies
Collin College has enacted various policies to ensure students' rights are upheld and the college is in compliance with the federal laws listed above. These policies include: 

  1. Board Policy DGBA (LEGAL)
  2. Board Policy DGBA (LOCAL)
  3. Board Policy DIAA (LEGAL)
  4. Board Policy DIAA (LOCAL)
  5. Board Policy FFDA (LEGAL)
  6. Board Policy FFDA (LOCAL)
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