ASSAULT PREVENTION AND AWARENESS
If you have been raped, sexually assaulted or are in immediate danger, call 911 and/or Campus Police at 510-466-7236 from your cell phone or ext. 6468 from any campus phone.
What to Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
If you have been sexually harassed or physically or verbally assaulted, the College urges you to report the incident to the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Title IX Coordinator, or to Campus Police Services.
- FIRST AND FOREMOST, KNOW THAT WHAT HAPPENED WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!
- After an assault has occurred, GO TO A SAFE PLACE. Seek a friend or a trusted person on campus to be with you for moral support. You can also go to the home of a friend or a family member, or any place where you can find physical safety and receive emotional support. The Student Health Services on each campus is a safe and confidential place to report.
- Report the attack to law enforcement immediately. If the assault occurs on campus, we urge you to contact:
- Merritt College, Vice President Student Services and Title IX Coordinator at 12500 Campus Drive, R- 113E or call (510) 436-2478.
- Call 911 for local authorities.
If you have experienced or have witnessed sexual assault, harassment, or violence on campus, you may remain anonymous when calling 911 or the Peralta Community College District Police by identifying the call as a SaVe Act call instead of giving your name.
Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (women may also be at risk for pregnancy). We encourage you to go to the Merritt College Student Health Services Building R-106 or call (510) 436-2533 for medical, counseling services, and/or contact any of the following health referral services:
- Oakland Police: Dial 911 or (510) 777-3333
- Alameda County Victims of Crime Services: (510) 272-6180
- 24 Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline: (510) 845-7273
- Preserve all evidence of the attack.
- Do not bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, eat, or smoke.
- Do not clean or straighten up or remove anything if you are still at the location in which the crime occurred.
- Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the perpetrator.
If you want more information, contact RAINN’s (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) National Sexual Assault Hotline at:
- Call (800) 656-HOPE
- Use the internet to access help at rainn.org. A counselor can help you understand the reporting process.
When Should I Report A Complaint?
Sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct, or violence can take many forms, including any sexual conduct that lacks mutual consent. Harassment may take the form of stalking or the distribution, display, or discussion of any written, graphic, visual or auditory material that is sexual in nature and has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or interfering with a person’s ability to study or work. All such behaviors should be reported immediately. Peralta Community College District and Merritt College are committed to ensuring a community that is safe for all who study, live, work, and visit here. Immediate notification of an issue is critical to fulfilling our commitment to you. We understand that sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct, or violence may be difficult to report but immediate reporting allows for the best possible efforts to support victims and to investigate and address the report. Retaliation against anyone who reports in good faith or participates in the investigative process is prohibited and may be subject to sanctions as determined by the College.
What Happens When I Report A Complaint To District Police?
When the incident is reported to campus police the following can occur:
- The police will investigate and cooperate with the local police, District attorney, and other appropriate agencies, if the severity of the incident warrants such interactions.
- As a current student, the police also will report the incident to the College Title IX Coordinator and the Vice President of Student Services (VPSS).
- The Title IX Coordinator will provide you with referral information to appropriate support services and resources. You will be asked if you would like to file a formal complaint. If you make the decision to formally file a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide you with the Peralta Community College District Formal Discrimination Complaint Form. He or she can assist you in completing the form if you prefer.
- If another student is involved, the VPSS or designee, who is usually the Director of Student Activities and Campus Life, will follow appropriate disciplinary procedures. If a staff or faculty member is involved in the complaint, the Vice-Chancellor of Human Resources will be contacted.
If I Do Not Report To The District Police, To Whom Do I Report A Complaint?
Complaints of sexual discrimination, misconduct, or harassment should be filed with:
Merritt College Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Lilia Chavez, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the incident is reported, to the staff, faculty, or administrator, the staff member will complete the Title IX Incident Report Form and send it to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will then contact you and schedule a meeting.
Important Merritt College Contacts
Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Lilia Chavez, Rm R-113E, (510) 436-2478
Campus Police, Student Center, (510) 466-7236
Director of Student Health Services, Stefani de Vito, Rm R-106, (510) 436-2468
Director of Student Activities and Campus Life, Doris Hankins, Rm R-124, (510) 434-3982
Campus Sexual Assault Victim Bill Of Rights
Victims of sexual assault will have the right to:
- Reasonable changes to academic and living situations
- Referrals to counseling and assistance in notifying law enforcement
- Same opportunity as accused to have others present at the disciplinary hearing
- Unconditional notification of outcomes of hearing, sanctions, and terms of sanctions in place
- Opportunities and assistance to speak (or choose not to speak) to anyone regarding the outcome
- Name and identifying information kept confidential (FERPA).
Major Terms Defined
- Consent is an act of reason and deliberation; a person who has sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent decision demonstrates consent by performing an act recommended by another. Consent assumes that a person has the physical power to act and can reflect, and be unencumbered in exerting these powers;
“Consent is shared permission for sexual activity. For consent to be considered effective, it must be knowing and voluntary. Effective consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from the beginning to the end of each instance of sexual activity and for each form of sexual contact. Effective consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent may not be given if a person is incapacitated or under duress, and non-communication does not indicate consent.” (Guilford College, Sexual Assault Information)
To be consensual, there must be “. . . positive cooperation” and “the person must act freely and voluntarily . . .” (See California Penal Code, 261.6 for complete definition).
- Sexual Assault means conduct in violation of one or more of the following California penal code sections:
- Section 261—rape;
- Section 261.5—statutory rape; 264.1—rape in concert;
- Section 285—incest;
- Section 286—sodomy;
- Subdivision c of section 288—lewd or lascivious acts upon a child; 288a—oral copulation; 289—sexual penetration; or 647.6—child molestation.
- Domestic Violence/Family Violence means abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, “cohabitant” means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to:(1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters;
(2) sharing of income or expenses;
(3) joint use or ownership of the property;
(4) whether the parties consider themselves out as husband and wife;
(5) the continuity of the relationship, and
(6) the length of the relationship. For complete information see California Penal Code Section 13700
- Dating Violence includes any abuse, mistreatment, or sexual contact without consent at any stage of a dating relationship.
- For resources and references please refer to the following:
- Stalking means any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, of his or her immediate family.
- The Elements of Stalking:
- A person willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed or harassed by another person;
- That person following or harassing made a credible threat;
- The person who made the threat did so with the specific intent to place the other person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of the immediate family of such person(s).
- For more info see California Penal Code 646.9
- Campus Security Authorities (CSAs)
Under the Clery Act, campus security authorities include:
- District Police
- Vice President, Student Services
- Vice-Chancellor, Human Resources
- Director, Student Activities and Campus Life
- Faculty or staff advisors to the ASMC (Associated Student Merritt College) & authorized clubs
- Coaches and/or the Athletic Director.
- The Elements of Stalking:
However, the Peralta Community Community College District which includes Merritt College have been advised by District Counsel to follow the all-encompassing Title IX laws and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) which include the Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) listed above and
Title IX Coordinator, deans, directors, and professors
- Have the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct
- Have a duty to report sexual misconduct, or
- Is an employee who the student reasonably believes has above authority or duty
- Examples of who is Exempt as a Campus Security Authority include:
- Pastoral counselors
- Professional counselors including Mental Health counselors
- Person uncertified but acting under the supervision of an exempt counselor
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that applies to educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an educational institution’s programs or activities, including employment, academic, educational, extracurricular and athletic activities (both on and off-campus). Title IX protects all people regardless of their gender or gender identity from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, which are forms of sex discrimination. Title IX requires institutions to take necessary steps to prevent sexual assault on their campuses and to respond promptly and effectively when an assault is reported.
Title IX Of The Education Amendments Of 1972
(“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq, is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter “schools”) receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Therefore, 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 education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Although Title IX is primarily known for advancing equity in women’s sports, it provides federal civil rights that prohibit sex discrimination in education programs and activities such as:
- Admissions or financial aid.
- Housing and facilities.
- Courses, academic research, and other educational activities.
- Career guidance, counseling, or other educational support services.
- Employment, training for employment or advancement in employment.
Title IX On A College Campus
The protections of Title IX also extend to sexual harassment and sexual assault or violence that impairs or interferes with access to equitable educational and employment opportunities. Title IX is applicable to all members of the campus community, individuals doing business with the campus, those using campus facilities, and those who engage in volunteer activities or work for FM.
Each school must designate a Title IX coordinator to review, update, and implement Title IX and to ensure effective and timely response to complaints of sexual violence, discrimination, or harassment.
- Dr. Lilia Chavez, Vice President for Student Services is the Merritt College Title IX Coordinator. She can be reached at (510) 436-2478.
- Doris Hankins, Director of Student Activities and Campus Life. She can be reached at (510) 434-3982
What Is The Clery Act?
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (commonly referred to as the “Clery Act”) was named after a 19-year old freshman at Lehigh University. In 1986, Jeanne was raped and murdered in her residence hall. The perpetrator was another student she did not know. Her death led to national awareness of the campus crime Federal Jeanne Clery Act.
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report annual statistics on crime, including sexual assault and rape, on or near their campuses, and to develop and disseminate prevention policies.
What Is VAWA And The SaVE Act?
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R.335) signed as L. 103–322by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provides $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes theOffice on Violence Against Women within theDepartment of justice on March 7, 2013, President Obama signed a bill that strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Included in the bill was the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE), which amends the Jeanne Clery Act and clarifies that “sexual violence” includes domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, which must be included in campus Clery reports, and also requires that institutional policies address and prevent sexual violence through training, education, and certain discipline procedures.
Campus SaVE Act higher education obligations include:
- Increases transparency about sexual assault issues on campus by expanding sexual crime reporting;
- Identify the institution’s Campus Security Authority (CSA’s) personnel
- Creates a Campus Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights;
- Sets standards for disciplinary proceedings; and
- Requires campus-wide prevention education programs while the Clery Act requires annual reporting of statistics for various criminal offenses, including forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and aggravated assault, VAWA’s SaVE Act provision adds domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the categories that, if the incident was reported to a campus security authority or local police agency, must be reported under Clery.
Additional County, City, District, College, and Community Resources
Oakland Police Depart: Emergency dial 911 or (510) 777-3333
Peralta Community College District Police Services: (510) 466-7236
Merritt College Student Health Services: (510) 436-2533
Alameda County Victims of Crime Services:
- Victim Witness Services – (510) 272-6180
Alameda County Crisis Support Services
- 24 Hour Crisis Line: (800) 309-2131
- Grief Counseling/Support: (800) 206-0094
- 24 Hour Stress Support Hotline: (888) 866-7561
Alameda County Emergency Shelter Program: (510) 786-1284
Alameda County Community Food Bank: (510) 635-3663 or (800) 870-3663
24 Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline: (510) 845-7273
- Healthcare Line: (510) 437-4800
- Domestic Violence Line: (510) 534-9290
- Psychiatric Outpatient: (510) 535-7476
East Bay Community Recovery Project: (510) 446-7100
Bay Area Legal Aid: (510) 250-5270 or (800) 551-5554
Emergency Shelter Program: (510) 786-1284
Cal Fresh Food Assistance/MediCal (Peralta Rep): (510) 444-9655