Learn the Facts About Title IX, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence and Stalking
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs, activities, admission and employment. Complaints of sex-based discrimination, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual or gender-based harassment are governed by the Title IX Policy. NOVA’s Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy explains how the college assesses, investigates, and resolves reports of such prohibited conduct. Student complaints of discrimination are handled through the Student Grievances process at https://www.nvcc.edu/policies/policies.aspx?num=15. For assistance in determining which process applies to you, please contact the Title IX Office at 703-323-2262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A person who has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence or stalking (the respondent) has certain rights under NOVA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. These rights can be found at the following link.
What Is Consent?
Any sexual activity or sex act committed against one’s will, by the use of force, threat, intimidation, or ruse, or through one’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness is without consent. Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually-agreed upon sexual activity. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities, or a current or previous dating relationship, does not imply ongoing or future consent. Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). An individual cannot consent who is under the age of legal consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred. Non-consensual acts constitute a violation of Title IX.
What Is Campus Sexual Violence?
This issue of the newsletter by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) provides a concise explanation of sexual violence on campus, the organizations involved, and a list of resources and references.
Understanding the Campus SaVE Act
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act increases transparency on campus about incidents of sexual violence, guarantees victims enhanced rights, sets standards for disciplinary proceedings, and requires campus-wide prevention education programs. The Campus SaVE Act amends the Clery Act, which addresses campus sexual assault policies within the Higher Education Act of 1965. President Obama signed SaVE into law on March 7, 2013 as part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization.
Clery Act Compliance
This act requires all postsecondary institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was amended in 1992, 1998 and 2000. The 1998 amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986. It is generally referred to as the Clery Act.
Sexual Assault Services Program (SAS)
The NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) program addresses issues of sexual assault, dating/partner violence and stalking. SAS provides free and confidential support services to any member of the NOVA community; including students, faculty, staff and immediate family members, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. A Sexual Assault Services Coordinator is on call 24 hours a day to assist members of the NOVA Community via cell phone, email or in person. A SAS Coordinator can provide options and information to the victims/survivor at a safe place on any NOVA campus.
Sexual Violence Awareness & Prevention: A Training for Students
This 20-minute video explains what constitutes consent, various forms of sexual misconduct and violence, and how to help prevent an assault from happening to you or someone else. To access the video, you will need an account with StudentLingo; click here to create a free account.
Above all, confidentiality of victims must be protected. Identifying information of a victim will be protected as much as possible. This means that a victim’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without her/his permission. When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not she/he participates in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. For absolute confidentiality, contact NOVA Sexual Assault Services (703.338.0834 or by email at email@example.com).