Things You Can Do To Stay Safe

  • Educate yourself and know what to watch for.
  • Be alert. There may be warning signs that make you uncomfortable.
  • Trust yourself and your feelings if you feel pressured for sex or intimacy.
  • If a perpetrator is someone you know, a normal reaction to this person’s behavior is to plead with him or her to stop. These attempts are likely not to be effective at preventing rape.  Use verbal and physical resistance.  Be clear and assertive in saying “NO!” and “STOP!”  Raise your voice and put your face and eye contact clearly in the aggressor’s face.
  • Leave if you can by calling others, making excuses to get away, or looking for an escape route.
  • Be careful with drugs and alcohol. Don’t accept drinks from strangers and never leave a drink unattended.
  • Stick with your friends and watch out for one another.
  • About 80% of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Be aware anytime you are isolated from other people.
  • If you feel unsafe, use HCC Public Safety Escort Service available on-campus by calling x2272, or 443-412-2272.

The HCC Department of Public Safety works with Student Services to provide a variety of resources and educational opportunities, including crime prevention programs and services:

  • Student Intervention, Public Safety and the HCC Warriors Registered Student Organization sponsor "What’s Love Got to do With It?", a poetry and monologue jam in remembrance of Yardley Love, to raise awareness about dating and domestic violence.
  • HCC Continuing Education and Training (CET) offers a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) course to females each semester. Refer to the CET schedule for specific course offerings.
  • What Students Should Know About Sexual Harassment on Campus brochure
  • A Student Guide for Responding to Sexual Assault brochure
  • Department of Public Safety Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop it. brochure
  • The Student Activities Office sponsors an annual program on healthy relationships.
  • Sexual Harassment training is provided to all students who attend new student orientation.
  • Incident Response to Violence training is offered to all new employees.
  • All HCC employees must complete bi-annual online Sexual Harassment Training, including a section pertaining to Title IX.
  • Information regarding Title IX updates are provided at Quarterly Supervisor’s Meetings.

The following additional efforts to prevent sexual misconduct are in place in the Athletics Department:

  • All coaches and other staff members receive a copy of the HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedure and review it once a year at an annual staff meeting;
  • The Coaches Handbook references the HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedure;
  • Head coaches review the HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedure with student-athletes on their respective teams during the team’s preseason meeting; and
  • The HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedure are referenced in the Student-Athlete Handbook.

Responding to Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes: unwelcomed sexual advances; conduct of a sexual nature, or requests for sexual favors that affect a person’s employment, unreasonably interferes with work or school performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Without limiting what can be sexual harassment, generally there are two forms of sexual harassment:

  1. Quid Pro Quo (this for that) – 
    when one person indicates to another person that they will favor that person if the person accepts the unwanted sexual behavior. An example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is an instructor promising to give a higher grade than what was earned in exchange for the student engaging in sexual activity.
  2.  Hostile Environment – 
    pervasive, sex-related verbal or physical conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, and unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or school performance. Examples include, but are not limited to, unwanted touching or kissing; blocking a person’s path or hindering his/her movement; making sexually suggestive gestures; leering, winking, or throwing kisses; name calling; spreading sexual rumors; asking about the person’s sex life; and sending drawings, pictures, or cartoons that are sexually offensive to the person.

If you are comfortable doing so, communicate clearly and directly to the harasser that their behavior is making you uncomfortable. Be specific about which behaviors they are exhibiting that you want them to stop. Say “No!” clearly and directly. A defining characteristic of sexual harassment is that it makes the recipient UNCOMFORTABLE. You have a right to be free from harassing behavior.  Make it more about your feelings and less about theirs.  Try something like, “when you tell those jokes, I feel uncomfortable. I feel sexually harassed.”  You don’t have to participate in discussions in which they try to rationalize their behavior.

Reinforce your statements with strong, self-respecting body language: eye contact, head up, shoulders back, a strong, serious stance. Don’t smile and don’t try to send this serious message in a joking manner. Timid, submissive body language will undermine your message. If the harassment continues, repeat yourself if you have to. Learn to set your own boundaries. If setting boundaries is new to you, try some role playing with a friend.  Practice confronting the problem with your friend playing the role of the harasser.  If this kind of response makes you too uncomfortable, consider writing a letter or email message laying out what makes you uncomfortable and what behavior you would like to cease.

Document the Harassment:

  • Save any emails, texts, voicemail or answering machine messages, letters and gifts.
  • Keep a log of what is happening with date, time and details of phone calls, and conversations. Also, note how it made you feel, preferably in a bound notebook, (e.g., scared, unsafe, threatened, etc.). Note the presence of any witnesses and or individuals to whom you talked about the incident.
  • Document any adverse actions that are taken against you. Keep copies of performance evaluations that attest to the quality of your work. Document your work and/or school performance and any steps you have taken.

Get help and support from your family and friends. Staying silent protects harassers. Individuals subject to harassing behavior can experience anxiety, stress, frustration and feelings of being out of control. They may also have some difficulty carrying out usual responsibilities. They can equally develop a fear of coming to the environment in which this is happening.

Be Clear About Consent

  • Consent is a positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter.
  • Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of the person saying "no".  A clear "yes," verbal or otherwise, is necessary.
  • Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply present or future consent.
  • Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.
  • Consent cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force.
  • Consent cannot be obtained from a person who is incapacitated. Incapacitated refers to those persons who have mental or physical disabilities that temporarily or permanently render the person incapable of appraising the nature of the sexual activity, resisting the sexual activity, or able to communicate an unwillingness to engage in the sexual activity.
  • A perpetrator who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is still responsible for his/her behavior and can be found guilty of rape if positive consent was not shared.

Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated due to alcohol, drugs, medication, or some other condition.