Sexual Assault Policy

Harford Community College is committed to providing a working and learning environment in which all members of the academic community are free from any crime and the fear it may elicit. Therefore, the College prohibits and will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct by an employee, student, or participant in any College-sponsored program. This includes any individual present on the College's campus or any property that the College owns or leases or is being used for a College-sponsored program.

Sexual Assault

is when a person is touched in a sexual way without that person giving consent to that sexual contact, either forcibly and/or against the person's will, or where the victim is incapable of giving consent, such as instances of physical or mental impairment. This nonconsensual, physical conduct of a sexual nature applies whether it occurs between members of the same gender or between members of opposite gender.

Consent

means that both partners actively initiate and participate in specific sexual acts or freely provide verbal agreement to engage in specific sexual contact.

Lack of consent can be implied by circumstances other than physical resistance or verbal refusal. Silence, previous sexual relationships, current relationships, or use of alcohol and/or drugs cannot be taken as an indication of consent. Someone who is asleep or unconscious is incapable of providing consent. An individual who is significantly impaired by alcohol or drugs may also be considered incapable of providing consent.

Although consent may initially be given, it may be revoked at any point, either verbally, through physical resistance, or by losing consciousness. Failure to respond promptly to a withdrawal of consent constitutes sexual assault.
Maryland Criminal Law Article 3, Section 303-308, Rape/Sexual Offenses outlines what legally constitutes the offense (s) of sexual assault and the criminal penalties. Copies of the statute are available from the Department of Public Safety.

College Response to Victims of Sexual Assault

The Department of Public Safety Office is open 24 hours a day to assist victims of sexual assault. Any individual who believes he or she has been a victim of sexual assault occurring at HCC or during the course of HCC-sponsored activities should report the incident to the HCC Department of Public Safety and/or may contact any College administrator who will notify the Associate Vice President for Student Development and the Vice President for Student Development and Institutional Effectiveness. All complaints will be investigated, and confidentiality will be maintained to an extent with the College's duty to investigate the complaint.

HCC Department of Public Safety will inform the alleged victim of his or her right to notify the appropriate law enforcement authorities to file criminal charges and the importance of preserving evidence necessary as proof of the criminal sexual offense. With the victim's consent, the HCC Department of Public Safety may notify the Harford County Sheriff's Office to conduct official criminal investigations of any allegations of sexual assault. With the victim's consent, Department of Public Safety will arrange for transportation to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for medical evaluation and treatment.

Student victims of sexual assault will be connected with a member of the Harford Community College Student Intervention and Prevention (SIP) Team for support and assistance through the reporting process. The student will also receive referrals for immediate assistance from professionally trained crisis intervention counselors who are specifically experienced in dealing with sexual offense crises.

Only those College administrators with a legitimate need to know will be informed of the incident. They include the Associate Vice President of Student Development, Vice President of Student Development and Institutional Effectiveness and others with concrete knowledge of the incident or with a legitimate need to know. This notification is to ensure that any reasonable academic accommodations that need to be made on behalf of the victim can be completed upon request.

Enforcement

Individuals of the campus community who have been found to have committed crimes involving sexual assault are subject to severe sanctions through the campus judicial/disciplinary systems and/or the criminal justice system in accordance with existing procedures outlined in the Harford Community College Student Code, found in the College Catalog and Student Handbook. Such sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension or expulsion and criminal and/or civil prosecution.

Copies of the Maryland Law Article 3, Sections 305-308, Rape/Sexual Offenses statute, which outlines the criminal penalties associated with sexual assault offense(s), can be obtained from the Department of Public Safety Office.

Procedures

Both the individual who claims to be a victim of a sexual offense and the individual accused of the alleged sexual offense may have a person of his or her choice present with them during any meeting or hearing conducted during the course of a disciplinary proceeding arising out of an alleged sexual offense, provided that the unavailability of such a person shall not be reason to delay or postpone any meeting or hearing. Both the individual who claims to be a victim of a sexual offense and the individual who is asserted to have committed such an offense may be informed, in writing, of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding arising out of the sexual offense.

There shall be no acts of retaliation against a person who files a complaint of a sexual offense, except when an individual knowingly files a false complaint. This individual will be subject to appropriate administrative action according to the Harford Community College Student Code, found in the College Catalog and Student Handbook.

Education and Prevention

Harford Community College's commitment to preventing sexual assault is demonstrated by the implementation of educational programs to promote the awareness of sexual assault, including date and acquaintance rape. Students, staff and other participants in College-sponsored programs are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these programs to further develop an understanding of what constitutes a sexual offense, steps that may be taken to prevent such conduct, and steps to be taken in the event such conduct does occur.

Services to Assist Students

Staff are available in Advising, Career, and Disability Services to assist students in crisis situations. Local referrals to community services are also available through Advising, Career, and Disability Services.


 

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