View the online Notice of Victim Rights & Options or contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance to request a printed version.
Austin Community College District is committed to fostering a healthy and safe environment. The college supports a culture that does not tolerate sexual discrimination, including sexual violence, and sexual harassment in any form. The college community has a collective obligation, to responsibly address all forms of sexual misconduct, and to provide resources and information on how to report.
Any ACC student or employee who experiences, witnesses or is otherwise affected by any form of sexual misconduct will have equal access to support and counseling services through the college, including supportive measures and resources.
Additionally, the college strongly encourages individuals to report incidents to the proper authority. The college recognizes, however, that the decision to report can be difficult. Individuals who are considering whether to report are strongly encouraged to seek the support of confidential campus and community resources, as provided in this guide, in particular the licensed professional counselors at the college available for all students, or through the college’s Employee Assistance Program for employees. These support resources are available regardless of when or where the incident occurred.
There are many resources available on campus and in the surrounding community. The information contained here is updated annually. Keep in mind that the confidential resources that are provided by law cannot share information without the consent of the individual seeking assistance (in most circumstances).
For the purposes of sharing information on this website, a person who is harmed as a result of a form of sex-based discrimination is referred to as a victim. ACC respects the decision of those who have experienced violence to identify as a victim or a survivor. We recognize that choosing to identify as a survivor is an important part of the healing process for some who have experienced sexual misconduct. When referring to a victim who is in the process of filing a complaint through the ACC policy, they are referred to as a “complainant.”
If someone discloses a possible form of sex-based discrimination, ACC wants to inform them of of its policy and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, whether the incident occurs on or off-campus, as well as their rights, resources, and the college’s responsibilities.
Complainants, can review ACC’s Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct Administrative Rule, referred to as the “policy.” The following procedures are in place to assist those who report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking: Title IX Grievance Procedures; and Sexual Misconduct Investigation Procedures.
Depending on the situation, including stalking that is not gender- or sex-based, certain resources listed on this webpage may not be relevant (for example, information about medical facilities and the services they offer). The Clery Act requires that victims, including instances of stalking, receive written notification of their rights and options. Know that ACC cares for student and employee safety and will address concerns regardless of the type of stalking you experienced. Should victims have any questions, assistance is available in determining which resources will be most helpful to them.
The college’s procedures include information about a victims right to file criminal charges, as well as the availability of medical, counseling and support services. We also offer additional remedies to prevent contact between a complainant and respondent, such as temporary or permanent changes to academic schedule, worksite, and transportation, if reasonably available.
Although the college does not operate on-campus or off-campus housing facilities, assistance with living arrangements can be provided by connecting victims to available community resources. The policy also addresses possible sanctions and interim and/or long-term protective measures that ACC may impose following a report through the final determination of the discipline process.
For more information contained within this webpage regarding any process or procedure, or if you’d like to make a report, ask questions about ACC’s policy or need to request an adjustment to your academic or working arrangements regardless of whether or not you chose to report the crime to law enforcement or campus police, contact the District Title IX Coordinator, Charlene Buckley, 6101 Highland Campus Dr., Bldg. 3000, Ste. 2270, Austin, TX 78752, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, 512-223-7964.
To contact the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-1100
Phone: 800-421-3481; Fax: 202-453-6012
Many resources are available to support victims of sexual misconduct, regardless of when the incident occurred. The following offers guidance to individuals who have recently experienced incidents of sexual assault or interpersonal violence. Our investigators never pressure individuals to take actions that they are not ready to engage in. We are here to support and inform victims, regardless of whether the steps outlined below were followed or were applicable.
After an incident of sexual assault, dating violence, or domestic violence, the victim should consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible. In Texas, evidence may be collected even if you chose not to make a report to law enforcement. State law allows an individual to have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) if the victim/survivor arrives at the facility within 120 hours (5 days) after the sexual assault and consents to the examination. An adult victim does not have to report to law enforcement to obtain a SAFE exam. The decision whether to move forward with a case remains with the victim and it is not a decision that needs to be made immediately.
A victim is not required to participate in the investigation or prosecution of an offense as a condition of receiving the forensic medical examination, or to pay for the forensic portion of the examination or for the evidence collection kit. If a medical facility does not provide these services, victims should be referred to a healthcare facility that does.
Victims may contact SAFE Alliance or BRAVE Alliance for 24/7 free sexual assault forensic exams and medical care from patient-focused, trauma-informed forensic nurses. Nurses can work with confidential advocates to provide holistic care and provide options. The “Medical Facilities for Sexual Assault Forensic Exams” section of the Community Resources lists hospitals that offer SAFE exams and evidence collection.
The organizations listed within the “Victim Advocates” section provide support for both victims and family members as they receive care. Often, advocates can guide individuals at any point of their process, including hospital accompaniment, safety planning, finding housing, or legal filing.
Evidence Preservation & Reporting
It is important that a victim of sexual assault not bathe, douche, smoke, change clothing, or clean the bed/linen/area where they were assaulted if the offense occurred within the past 120 hours so that evidence as may be necessary to the proof of criminal activity may be preserved. If a victim has already done any of those things listed, it’s okay.
In circumstances of sexual assault, if victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted disease.
Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are encouraged to also preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to college investigators or police.
Although the college strongly encourages all members of its community to report these offenses to law enforcement, it is the victim’s choice whether or not to make such a report and victims have the right to decline involvement with the police.
To report an incident involving a sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, contact the District Title IX Coordinator, Charlene Buckley at 512-223-7964. In an emergency, dial 911. Victims are encouraged to report to ACC District Police by phone 512-223-1231 or in person at all campuses. Additional information about the ACC District Police Department may be found online at: www.austincc.edu/police. The District Title IX Coordinator will assist any victim with notifying police if they choose.
Orders of Protection & Other Interim/Protective Measures
Austin Community College complies with Texas law in recognizing orders of protection issued out of Texas and other states. Any person who obtains an order of protection should provide a copy to District Police and the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. The District Police generates a report and acquires a copy of the protective order. A complainant may then meet with District Police to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan for district police and the victim to reduce risk of harm while on campus, or coming and going from campus. This plan may include, but is not limited to: police escorts, changing class sections, classroom location, allowing a student to complete assignments from home, etc. Protective orders may be available through calling the Travis County Attorney’s Office at 512-854-4163 or the county attorney’s office in your jurisdictions (see community resources chart below).
For detailed information about how to obtain protective orders and emergency protective orders, and related resources, please refer to the Victim’s Assistance Information Resource Guide, available at all District Police offices, and the Office of the District Title IX Coordinator. Additionally, mutual no contact orders issued by the college can be obtained from the District Title IX Coordinator.
At the request of the victim, college offices, including Student Affairs, Human Resources, and the District Police, will work cooperatively to ensure that the complainant’s health, physical safety, work and academic status are protected, pending the outcome of a formal college investigation of the complaint. For example, if requested and reasonably available, the college will offer the complainant changes to academic and working situations in addition to ACC Clinical Counseling Services, information regarding off-campus health services, and assistance in notifying appropriate law enforcement, as coordinated by the District Title IX Coordinator.
The college will maintain the privacy of any interim and protective measures provided to the extent practicable and will promptly address any violations of protective measures put in place. Additionally, personal identifiable information about the victim will be treated as private, and only shared with persons with a specific need to know, who are addressing, investigating, adjudicating the complaint, or delivering resources or support services to the complainant.
The college will exclude personally identifying information about the victim when completing publicly available recordkeeping. Victims may request that directory information on file be removed from public sources by request to the Admissions and Enrollment Office at each campus or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the Title IX Resources for Victims page for a list of college, community, state, and nationwide resources for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking.
No victim is ever to blame for being assaulted or abused. Unfortunately, a person who is the victim of sexual or dating violence is more likely to be re-victimized. Below are some tips to help reduce your risk, to recognize warnings signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.
Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior
Domestic and dating abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And, while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic and dating violence are also severe. Warning signs of dating and domestic violence include:
- Being afraid of your partner.
- Constantly watching what you say to avoid a “blow up.”
- Feelings of low self-worth and helplessness about your relationship.
- Feeling isolated from family or friends because of your relationship.
- Hiding bruises or other injuries from family or friends.
- Being prevented from working, studying, going home, and/or using technology (including your cell phone).
- Being monitored by your partner at home, work or school.
- Being forced to do things you don’t want to do.
Sexual violence is never the fault of the victim. There are certain measures that can be taken to help mitigate risk of harm.
Help Reduce Your Risk and Avoid Potential Attacks
- If you are being abused or suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up or intervene.
- Get help by scheduling an appointment or referral with ACC Clinical Counseling Services at www.austincc.edu/counseling.
- Learn how to look for “red flags” in relationships so you can learn to avoid some of those characteristics in future partners.
- Consider making a report with District Police and/or the Title IX Coordinator and ask for a No Contact directive from the college to prevent future contact.
- Consider getting a protective order (Contact ACC District Police Victim’s Assistance at 512-223-1231).
- Learn more about what behaviors constitute dating and domestic violence, understand it is not your fault, and talk with friends and family members about ways you can be supported.
- Trust your instincts—if something doesn’t feel right in a relationship, speak up or end it.
Sexual Assault Prevention
The RAINN: Rape Abuse & Incest National Network has provided the following suggestions for the prevention of sexual assault.
- Be aware of rape drugs.
- Try not to leave your drink unattended.
- Only drink from unopened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured.
- Avoid group drinks like punch bowls.
- Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle and keep your thumb over the nozzle.
- If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible.
- If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital and ask to be tested.
- Keep track of how many drinks you have had.
- Try to come and leave with a group of people you trust.
- Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.). If someone asks for your number, take his/her number instead of giving out yours.
Traveling around Campus (Walking)
- Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged.
- Be familiar with where emergency phones are installed on the campus.
- Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone.
- Take major, public paths rather than less populated shortcuts.
- Avoid dimly lit places and talk to campus services if lights need to be installed in an area.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
- Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) on your keychain.
- Carry a small flashlight on your keychain.
- Walking on campus at night is sometimes unavoidable, so try to walk with a friend.
- If walking feels unsafe, call ACC District Police at 512-223-1231 to arrange an escort.
Whether or not criminal charges are filed, a complainant may file a complaint under Administrative Rule: Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct, alleging that a student or employee violated the college’s Policy. Reports of all sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking made to ACC District Police will be referred to the District Title IX Coordinator for review, regardless of whether the complainant choses to pursue criminal charges.
The college’s disciplinary process will include a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution process. Investigators are trained annually on the issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and taught how to conduct an investigation and adjudication process that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability.
The policy provides that:
The complainant and the respondent each have the opportunity to talk with a trained investigator and share information regarding the situation;
The complainant and the respondent each have the opportunity to be advised by a personal advisor of their choice, if requested, at any stage of the process and to be accompanied by that advisor at any meeting or proceeding;
A determination as to whether prohibited conduct occurred is based on the preponderance of evidence standard, i.e. “more likely than not to have occurred” standard. In other words, the conduct process asks: “is it more likely than not that the respondent violated the college’s prohibition of sexual misconduct?”
The complainant and the respondent will be notified simultaneously in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding, as well as any changes to those results or disciplinary actions prior to the time that such results become final; and The complainant and the respondent each have the right to appeal the outcome of an investigation by informing the District Title IX Coordinator within five days of the decision letter, and based on one of the acceptable reasons for appeal, as contained in the policy, and will be notified simultaneously in writing of the final outcome after the appeal is resolved.
Any person alleging sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking may utilize the complaint and investigatory procedures set forth in the college’s policy in order to remedy any hostile environment. All conduct proceedings against students and employees will be resolved through the Administrative Rule: Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct. Allegations of Title IX violations will be addressed through the Title IX Grievance Procedures. Allegations of other violations of sexual misconduct will be addressed through the Sexual Misconduct Investigation Procedures.
In all cases, investigations that result in a finding of more likely than not that a violation of the Policy occurred will lead to the initiation of disciplinary procedures against the Respondent. College sanctions (including warning, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, criminal trespass warning, no contact order, revocation of admission and/or degree, withholding degree, or suspension or termination of employment) may be imposed upon those determined to have violated the Policy.
The college may implement protective measures following the report of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking which may include some or all of the following actions: Mutual no contact order, adjustment of class or work schedule, or assistance with requesting protective orders, and more. For students and employees, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are violations of this policy. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment, and students are subject to discipline, up to and including, expulsion. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are criminal acts which also may subject the perpetrator to criminal and civil penalties under federal and state law.
If a person would like to press criminal charges for an alleged violation of any of the below criminal offenses, or would like to seek an order of protection, the definitions contained in the Texas Penal Code and Texas Family Code would apply, not the Clery Act definitions on which college policy is based. See Clery Act definitions in the Annual Security Report. View the Annual Security Report.
“An act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:
- is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:
- with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or
- because of the victim’s or applicant’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and
- is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
‘Dating relationship’ means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of:
- the length of the relationship;
- the nature of the relationship; and
- the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a ‘dating relationship.’” Texas Family Code Section 71.0021.
Domestic (Family) Violence
“An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself, or abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household, or dating violence.” Texas Family Code Section 71.004.
“A person who, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct that:
- The person knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening
- bodily injury or death for the other person
- bodily injury or death for a member of the other person’s family or household or for an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship; or
- that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property, and
- causes the other person, a member of the other person’s family or household, or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or in fear that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property, or to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended; and
- Would cause a reasonable person to:
- fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself
- fear bodily injury or death for a member of the person’s family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship;
- fear that an offense will be committed against the person’s property; or
- feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended.
A fact finder may find that different types of conduct described above, if engaged in on more than one occasion, constitute conduct that is engaged in pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct.” Texas Penal Code Section 42.072.
“A person commits an offense if:
- causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
- causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or
- causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
- regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the person intentionally or knowingly:
- causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
- causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
- causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
- causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
- causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
A sexual assault is without the consent of the other person if:
- the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force, violence, or coercion;
- the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person or to cause harm to the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;
- the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
- the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;
- the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
- the actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administering any substance without the other person’s knowledge;
- the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
- the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;
- the actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor;
- the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser;
- the actor is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident, unless the employee and resident are formally or informally married to each other under Chapter 2, Family Code; or
- the actor is a health care services provider who, in the course of performing an assisted reproduction procedure on the other person, uses human reproductive material from a donor knowing that the other person has not expressly consented to the use of material from that donor.
‘Child’ means a person younger than 17 years of age. ‘Spouse’ means a person who is legally married to another.” Texas Penal Code Section 22.011.
The state of Texas does not have a standalone definition of consent, in relation to sexual activity. However, sexual assault is considered without consent of the other person if the conditions outlined in the second paragraph of the sexual assault definition (Sec. 22.011 (b)) as seen above are met.