Frequent Questions Related to Title IX & Sexual Misconduct
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Question 1: I thought Title IX only applied to athletics?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding. While Title IX is most commonly known for equity in college athletics, it does not only apply to athletics. For purposes of Title IX, sex discrimination includes any form of unwelcome sexual conduct and non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking (collectively referred to as “Sexual Misconduct”). Once a school knows about Sexual Misconduct, Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate it, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
Question 2: Does Title IX apply to on-campus incidents only?
No, Title IX applies to incidents occurring both on and off-campus.
Any member of the College community who violates Eastern Florida State College's Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure while on-campus is subject to institutional discipline. Similarly, any member of the College community who violates the College's Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure in the context of an off-campus College-related program or activity will be treated in the same manner.
In addition, even if off-campus Sexual Misconduct by a member of the College community does not occur in the context of a College-related program or activity, the College will consider the effects of the off-campus Sexual Misconduct when evaluating whether there is a hostile environment on-campus; and if so, the College will take appropriate action to eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
Question 3: How do I make a report of Sexual Misconduct?
If you would like to report Sexual Misconduct, you can contact any of the following College representatives:
Lt. Mark Renkens
Security & Title IX Compliance Coordinator
Melbourne Campus, Bldg. 10, Rm. 215
3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935
Darla Ferguson, AVP Human Resources
Chief Equity & Diversity Officer
Cocoa Campus, Bldg. 2, Rm. 113
Joe Ambrose, Chief of Security
Melbourne Campus, Bldg. 8, Rm. 201
You will be asked to fill out the College's Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form. You may choose to fill out the form prior to meeting with the above-named individuals. If the College is closed or it's after regular hours, you can submit the form to a Campus Security Office, which are open 24 hours, seven days a week.
You will likely be asked to discuss the information provided and determine appropriate next steps. If you choose, you may bring someone with you for support.
Victims also can make an anonymous report by filling out an Anonymous Reporting Form and submitting it to any Campus Security Office. However, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited depending on the level of information provided about the incident or the individuals involved.
Question 4: I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I make a report. What can I do?
The College prohibits retaliation in any form against a person who reports Sexual Misconduct, assists someone with a report of Sexual Misconduct, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a Sexual Misconduct report. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, stalking, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or education.
In addition, you can make an anonymous report by filling out an Anonymous Reporting Form and submitting it to any Campus Security Office. However, please understand that the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited depending on the level of information provided about the incident or the individuals involved.
Question 5: It has been several weeks since the incident. Is it too late to make a report?
Reports should be brought forward as soon as possible after the alleged conduct occurs. While there is no stated time frame for reporting, prompt reporting will better enable the College and local law enforcement authorities to investigate the acts, determine the issues, and provide an appropriate remedy and/or action.
All incidents should be reported even if a significant amount of time has passed. However, delay in reporting may impede the College’s and/or law enforcement’s ability to conduct an investigation and/or effect appropriate remedial and disciplinary actions. The College will respond to reports to the greatest extent possible, taking into account the amount of time that has passed since the alleged conduct occurred.
Question 6: Do I have to contact the police?
If you are a victim, you are not obligated to contact the police. However, please understand that if you do not contact the police, your ability to bring criminal charges may be compromised. Police provide immediate assistance in obtaining medical attention, preserving evidence and documenting the incident, apprehending the perpetrator, and helping you access important community resources such as shelters, nurse examiners, and victim advocates. The College encourages police involvement whenever alleged conduct is so severe that it could be the subject of a criminal prosecution.
In addition, any reports to College officials involving persons under the age of 18 may require disclosure to the Department of Children and Families, which could result in police involvement.
If you do not want to contact the police, it is important you understand the following:
After an assault, your first instinct will be to clean yourself. It is extremely important that you do not shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, wash your hands, or change clothes. If you can avoid it, do not go to the bathroom. Do not eat, drink, or take any medication including Tylenol or aspirin, unless life sustaining.
Seek medical attention. To ensure your health and to help with proper evidence collection, you should be examined immediately after the assault by medical personnel. If you are injured or feel that you may have been drugged, you should go to the Emergency Room.
It is your right to have a forensic sexual assault exam regardless of your decision to report the crime to the police. Brevard County Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) has a Rape Crisis Center staffed with sexual assault nurse examiners and victim advocates ready to assist you. To access SAVS, call 321-784-HELP (4357).
Question 7: If I decide to report, will be it confidential?
If the report is received by any representative of the College, it is important to understand that the College has certain obligations under Title IX to respond to such a report. Accordingly, when any representative of the College receives information involving Sexual Misconduct, he or she is obligated to forward the information to other College officials to investigate and provide an appropriate response. A person who reports Sexual Misconduct may request confidentiality, and such a request will be considered by the College in determining an appropriate response. However, there are situations where the College must override the request for confidentiality in order to meet its legal obligations under Title IX and other laws. For example, any reports involving known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect must be disclosed to the Department of Children and Families. It should be noted that while confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, any information received by the College will be kept as private as possible and only shared with a limited number of individuals who "need to know" in order to review, investigate, and provide an appropriate response.
If you wish to keep the matter strictly confidential, Florida law allows for confidentiality of reports to a sexual assault counselor (see Florida Statute § 90.5035), domestic violence advocate (see Florida Statute § 90.5036), members of the clergy (see Florida Statute § 90.505), psychotherapists (see Florida Statute § 90.503), psychiatrists (see Florida Statute § 456.059), and similar medical professionals. If in doubt, confirm the person's ability to keep confidentiality before confiding in the person. Individuals who consult with confidential resources should note that their discussions in these settings are not considered reports to the College, and that without additional action by the individual (i.e. making a report to the College), the discussions will not result in any action by the College.
In addition, an anonymous report can be made by filling out an Anonymous Reporting Form and submitting it to any Campus Security Office. However, please understand that the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited depending on the level of information provided about the incident or the individuals involved.
Question 8: Can I make an anonymous report?
Yes, you can make an anonymous report by filling out an Anonymous Reporting Form and submitting it to any Campus Security Office. However, please understand that the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited depending on the level of information provided about the incident or the individuals involved.
Question 9: I asked for a resolution by the College, but I changed my mind. What can I do?
If you requested a resolution by the College, you can change your mind, but please understand that under some circumstances, the College may have an obligation to continue the process. For example, depending on the nature of the allegations, the College may have an obligation to move forward with a Formal Investigation if the accused poses a risk to the campus community. Obviously, if you change your mind, the College’s ability to respond will be limited.
Question 10: What happens if someone intentionally makes a false report?
Individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action and possible arrest and criminal action. This does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report cannot be substantiated by an investigation.
Question 11: Someone has filed a report of Sexual Misconduct against me, what do I do?
Cooperate fully with College officials.
If someone files a report of Sexual Misconduct against you, you have certain rights. Review the College's Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide and familiarize yourself with College policies and procedures on Sexual Misconduct so you know your rights and what to expect.
It is important that you DO NOT contact the reporting party by any means (in person, by phone, by mail, by social media or any electronic communication or through someone else).
The standard of evidence that will be applied is called a "preponderance of the evidence," meaning you will only be considered responsible for Sexual Misconduct if the evidence shows that you more likely than not committed the violation. Less evidence is required under this standard than under the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard that would be used if you are also charged criminally by the State Attorney's office.
Be advised that it is possible for the College to take immediate action to change a class assignment or working relationship, or issue a campus protective order, so that you will be separated from the reporting party to the greatest extent possible during the investigation/resolution process. These actions will not be considered in determining whether you are responsible for the alleged Sexual Misconduct, and will not prejudice you under that process.
Direct any questions or concerns to the College's Chief Equity and Diversity Officer or Title IX Compliance Coordinator.
Question 12: What happens if there is a criminal prosecution going on at the same time?
The College is obligated to provide a prompt and effective response to reports of Sexual Misconduct. The fact that an act may be subject to criminal investigation and/or prosecution does not alleviate the College’s responsibility to conduct an administrative investigation to determine if any violation of College policy or procedures were violated and to take prompt corrective action as appropriate. It is possible that the College may determine a policy or procedure violation and take corrective action long before the criminal case is fully resolved.
Question 13: I am employed by EFSC, and someone tells me they were a victim of Sexual Misconduct. What should I do?
If a report involving Sexual Misconduct is made to you, follow these steps:
1. Determine if any person requires immediate medical attention. If so, call 911. Then call Campus Security.
2. Ask the person who endured the incident if they want to call the police. Advise the person of their right to contact or not to contact the police. If the person has questions about whether or not they should call the police, DO NOT GIVE THEM ADVICE but rather explain their rights, and further explain that the College encourages police involvement any time alleged misconduct is of a serious nature. If the person requests your help in calling the police, give them help.
3. If the incident recently occurred, and if appropriate, make sure the person understands the importance of preserving evidence and suggest they not bathe, douche, brush teeth, wash hands, change clothes, go to the bathroom, eat, drink, or take any medication until they have received proper medical attention.
4, Provide the person with a copy of the College's Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide.
5. Before the person reveals any details of the incident to you, make sure the person understands that you are required to report any information you receive to College officials. Let the person know that College officials will follow up with him or her if the person discloses any information. If the person wants to keep the matter strictly confidential, politely suggest that the person may want to speak with someone other than yourself, such as a Sexual Assault Counselor or Domestic Violence Advocate, as you are required to notify College officials. It is important to give the person as much control over the situation as possible.
6. If the person wishes to continue speaking with you, use the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form for College Employees. Go through each of the questions on the form, asking the person to provide as much detail as they feel comfortable. Ask the person to sign the form at the end.
7. After you have completed the form, explain to the person that appropriate College officials will follow up to discuss the information provided and determine appropriate next steps.
8. Once the encounter has concluded, immediately forward the completed form to the person(s) identified within the form. If you do not hand deliver the form, please follow up with a telephone call to confirm receipt.
Question 14: Can I speak to anyone else about my rights under Title IX?
You are free to present inquiries about your rights under Title IX to outside governmental
agencies such as:
Florida Department of Education
Division of Florida Colleges, Equity and Civil Rights Compliance
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1544
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights, Atlanta Office
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927