Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark federal legislation’s comprehensive approach to violence against women combined tough new provisions to hold offenders accountable with programs to provide services for the victims of such violence as dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
Robeson Community College prohibits the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as defined by the Clery Act.
Violence Against Women Act Definitions
- Dating Violence – means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Dating violence includes the use or threat of physical force or restraint carried out with the intent of controlling the victim’s behavior or causing pain or injury.
Examples of Dating Violence:
Hitting, punching, pinching, slapping, or choking
Threats of physical harm
Taking away a person’s cell phone during an argument so the person cannot call a friend or the police for help.
- Domestic Violence -includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person cohabitating with or who has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Examples of Domestic Violence:
Hitting, punching, pinching, slapping, or choking
Violating a protective order.
Harming the victim’s animals or children
- Stalking – means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.
Examples of Stalking:
Repeatedly communicating or attempting to communicate with a person who doesn’t wish to be communicated with.
Persistently following a person or lying in wait for them.
Sending unwanted gifts
- Sexual Assault -is any intentional sexual touching, directly, or over clothing, however slight, with any body part or object,without explicit consent. It is also considered sexual assault if the individual is forced to touch the intimate parts of another individual.
Sexual touching includes:
Intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Sexual assault includes non-consensual sexual intercourse.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (Rape) is any sexual penetration, however slight, with any body part or object, by one person upon another, without consent and/or by force.
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is defined as sexual penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) of the individual by any part of another individual’s body or other object, without explicit consent. It is also considered non-consensual sexual intercourse if the victim has a reasonable fear that the individual or another will be injured if the individual does not give consent, is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity, which may include but is not limited to the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the individual has a mental or physical disability that would prohibit their ability to provide consent.
- Consent-Communication of mutually understandable words or actions, freely, actively, and affirmatively given that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activities or actions. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties involved to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time. Consent cannot be given if the individual has a reasonable fear he or she will be injured if the individual does not give consent, is underage, is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity, which may include but is not limited to the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the individual has a mental or physical disability that would prohibit their ability to provide consent. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator of the sexual activity to make sure they have consent from their partner. Consent can also be withdrawn at any time.
What Constitutes Lack of Consent?
Consent cannot be inferred through silence or lack of resistance. Consent to one activity does not constitute consent to other sexual acts. Past sexual activity does not constitute consent for future acts. A minor cannot provide consent under any circumstances. If at any time consent is uncertain, the initiating party should stop and obtain verbal consent. The use of any force, display of force, coercion, or intimidation typically negates consent.
Individuals who are incapacitated may not legally give consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation includes, but is not limited to, being highly intoxicated, passed out, or asleep. A person who is incapacitated for purposes of this policy is one who is not legally able to give consent because they are mentally or physically helpless. Mentally helpless is when a person has a mental illness or a condition (like being passed out, asleep, or highly impaired) that renders them incapable of understanding the nature of their conduct. Physically helpless means a person has restriction of movement, either temporarily or permanently.
When incapacitation occurs due to alcohol or drug use, indicators of incapacitation may include the following:
Bloodshot or unfocused eyes
Unsteady gait; needing assistance to walk/stand
Outrageous or unusual behavior
Concern expressed by others about the individual
Expressed memory loss or disorientation
An individual may also be in a state known as a “blackout” where they are incapacitated and will likely have no memory of the sexual activity, but are up, and walking and talking. Therefore, it is of particular importance that any people engaging in sexual activity know the other person’s level of intoxication prior to beginning sexual contact. For purposes of the University/College’s policy, the standard that shall be applied is whether or not a reasonable person would have known, based on the facts and circumstances presented at the time of the alleged conduct, that the other party was incapacitated and therefore, not capable legally of consenting. For the accused party, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a defense to this policy and does not excuse sexual misconduct.
Examples of Sexual Assault or Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse:
Having sex with an unconscious or semi-conscious person.
Having sex with someone who is asleep or passed out.
Having sex with someone who has said “no.”
Allowing another person to have sex with your partner without his or her consent.
Having sex with a person who is vomiting, unable to stand without assistance, or has had to be carried to bed by a partner.
Telling someone you will “out” them if they don’t engage in sex (disclose their sexual orientation without their consent).
Telling someone you will fail them or give them a grade different from what they deserve if they don’t agree to have some form of sexual contact.
Telling a subordinate that you will grade them differently on an evaluation, deny them an employment opportunity (like training, a promotion, etc.), deny leave, or impact their employment in some other negative way of they do not agree to have some form of sexual contact.
Having sex with someone whose agreement is obtained through threat, blackmail, or some other form of coercion.
If you believe that you or someone you know are victim(s) of dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault the following options are available to assist in making a compliant.
Non-Criminal Reporting (Students): Complaints alleging sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking committed by a student(s) should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Patricia B. Clark
Title IX Coordinator/Director of Security
5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, N.C. 28360
Administration Building #5, Office #502B
firstname.lastname@example.org (910) 272-3505
Non-Criminal Reporting (Faculty/Staff/Visitors): Complaints alleging sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking committed by Faculty/Staff/Visitors should be reported to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Personnel Specialist
5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, N.C. 28360
Administration Building #2, Office #220
email@example.com (910) 272-3531
- To a prompt and equitable response
- To notify law enforcement and to be assisted by campus authorities
- To obtain no contact orders or enforce an order already in existence
- To obtain contact information for campus and local advocacy, counseling, health, mental health and legal assistance services
- To request assistance in changing academic or working situations
- The opportunity to request prompt proceedings conducted by officials trained on sexual assault and other intimate partner violence issues
- To be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice
- To be informed in writing of the final results within one business day of such outcome being reached which include:
-Findings as to whether the alleged conduct occurred
-Remedies offered to the victim
-Sanctions imposed on perpetrator that relate directly to the victim
-Steps the College is taking to remedy the College environment
- To Confidentiality
Please note…that honoring this request may limit the College’s ability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator.
To be protected from acts of retaliation and the college will: -take steps to prevent retaliation -take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.
- Preserving Evidence
Sexual Assault- save clothing worn during assault, seek medical attention.
Stalking- document this behavior by saving/copying texts, social media posts, seek restraining order, etc.
Domestic/Dating Violence- document this behavior by talking photos of visible bruises, seek restraining order, etc.