Ensuring the safety and security of victims is top priority for Equal Opportunity Compliance Office staff. We recognize that with each situation, safety measures will differ based on individual circumstances. The college’s Administrative Rule regarding Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct is in place to maintain an environment for students, employees, and visitors that is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sex-based discrimination.
The following are some of the safety options that EOC Office staff provide for any ACC student or employee who experiences or is affected by violations under the college’s policy.
Students and employees who experience sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to report this to college authorities and to the police in order to protect themselves and others. A victim is not required to make a formal incident report or file charges. Support and safety measures will be available regardless of whether a formal incident report is made, or charge filed.
Reporting to the District Title IX Coordinator will not result in a criminal investigation but will result in a victim receiving resources and options and may result in an administrative investigation to determine if this Rule was violated. If the incident occurred on campus, limited information will be shared with the District Police for purposes of determining if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and for purposes of capturing and counting crime data.
ACC District Police can take reports at any of the college campuses. Visit the ACC District Police website to access the address and/or phone number for the appropriate campus or see contact information for each campus in the Equal Opportunity Compliance Resource Guide online or by requesting a copy from the Equal Opportunity Compliance Office. Reporting to the ACC District Police may initiate a criminal investigation into your complaint. The District Chief of Police will also determine if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and will capture and count crime data if the offense was reported to have occurred on campus or on a property owned or controlled by the institution. The District Police will report your complaint to the District Title IX Coordinator.
Local police and sheriff’s departments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 911 for emergencies, 311 for non-emergencies. Updated contact information for local police departments near all ACC campuses are included in the Compliance Resource Guide online or by requesting a copy from the Equal Opportunity Compliance Office.
For some victims of violence, stalking, or sexual abuse, applying for a Protective Order can help to keep the person causing harm away from them.
- Protective Orders are court orders to protect survivors of intimate partner violence (dating or domestic violence), sexual assault and stalking.
- Only a judge can issue a Protective Order. With your input, a judge decides the rules that the person causing you harm, also called the Respondent, must follow in order to have a safe relationship with you and your family or no relationship at all.
- In Texas, a Protective Order will last up to two years. There are some situations where a court can issue a Protective Order that lasts longer than two years.
It can order the respondent to NOT:
- Physically hurt you.
- Verbally threaten to hurt you or a loved one.
- Go near your home or work.
- Go near your children or their daycare or school.
- Follow you.
- Have a gun or a license to carry a gun.
Respondents may also be required to go to counseling, pay child support, or follow a child visitation plan.
The police can arrest the Respondent for violating any of these orders.
Protective Orders are FREE at the district attorney’s office for your county. Walk in services are available and you can find the address under the Resources within the Community section of the ACC Notice of Victim Rights and Options. You can request a Protective Order if:
- Someone has hurt you, or threatened to hurt you, and
- You are afraid that person may hurt you again, and
- Either you, or your spouse or dating partner has a close relationship with the person who hurt you.
- A close relationship includes: marriage, close relatives, dating or living together, or having a child together.
You can also get a Protective Order if you have had a Protective Order against the other person before and the other person violated the parts of the Protective Order designed to protect you. You do not need to make a police report to apply for, or obtain a Protective Order.
You can also get a Protective Order if you have been sexually assaulted or stalked, even if you do not have a close relationship with the person who sexually assaulted or stalked you. To get more information about this kind of Protective Order, contact the Texas Advocacy Project, Inc. at 800-374-HOPE (4673) or the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault at 512-474-7190.
Please note: waiting longer than 30 days after violence has occurred can hurt your chances of having an order granted. You can either do this on your own or with the assistance of a lawyer.
There are three ways to obtain a protective order:
- Represent yourself in the lawsuit; or
- Hire a private attorney; or
- Seek out a non-profit agency in town that provides FREE representation for protective orders. Refer to the Resources for Victims page.
If the respondent violates the protective order, then they could face criminal charges and/or be in civil contempt.
Criminal charges: may result in fines of up to $4,000 and two years in jail, depending on whether the violation is a misdemeanor or a felony. Violations include:
- Committing acts of violence against the applicant/victim.
- Communicating with the applicant in a prohibited manner as listed in the protective order.
- Going within 200 yards of the applicant or other protected persons.
- Going within 200 yards of the applicant’s residence or place of employment or the children’s school or daycare.
- Possessing firearms and ammunition.
Civil Contempt: violations may result in fines of up to $500 and/or six months in jail for all other violations. Violations include:
- Failure to attend Battering Intervention Program and/or drug and alcohol counseling.
- Failure to pay child support.
- Failure to pay court costs.
- Failure to return child(ren) as specified in the Protective Order.
- Failure to stay 200 yards away from applicant/children in public places.
STEP 1: Apply
You must apply in person at the district attorney’s office for your county. Location and office hours can be found under the County Legal Services, Victim Services, and Protective Orders section of the Title IV Victim Rights page. Staff can assist you through the process when you walk in, even without an appointment. Please note that after the initial screening it may take a couple of hours to complete the paperwork.
If you prefer to fill out the forms on your own, you can refer to the Protective Order Kit:
- Application for Protective Order
- Either an Affidavit or Declaration (not both)
- Complete the Affidavit form if you want your date of birth and address kept confidential. An Affidavit must be signed in front of a notary.
- Complete the Declaration form if you want your date of birth and address to be public information (not confidential). A Declaration form does NOT have to be signed in front of a notary.
- Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order
- Protective Order
- Respondent Information
STEP 2: File the forms
After you fill out the forms, take the forms with 2 copies to the courthouse. File them in the county where you or the other person lives. But if you have a divorce or custody case pending against the other person, file the forms in that same county or the county where you live.
STEP 3: Get ready for court
- Fill out a Protective Order before you go to court and bring it with you.
- Bring any evidence you have, like photographs, medical records, torn clothing. Also bring witnesses who know about the violence, like a neighbor, relative or police. The judge may ask them to testify.
- If you had a Protective Order in the past, bring a copy of it.
- Bring proof of your and the other person’s income and expenses, like bills, paycheck stubs, bank accounts, tax returns.
- If the Proof of Service was returned to you, file it with the clerk and bring a copy to court. Proof of Service is a document that shows when and where the other person was given a copy of the Application for Protective Order.
- Practice what you will say:
- Make a list of the orders you want and practice saying them. Do not take more than 3 minutes to say what you want.
- If you get nervous at the hearing, just read from your list. Use that list to see if the judge has made every order you asked for.
STEP 4: Go to court
Even if you get a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order, you must go to the next hearing. It should be in about 2 weeks. The judge will decide if you should have protection and for how long. If you do not go, the Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order may end. Arrive 30 minutes early to make sure you can:
- Find the courtroom.
- When the courtroom opens, go in and tell the clerk or officer that you are present.
- Watch the other cases so you will know what to do.
- When your name is called, go to the front of the courtroom.
If you are in danger, call the police: 911
The following victim advocacy organizations can help: Texas Advocacy Project, Inc.
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Texas Law Help
Family Violence Legal Line 512-476-5770
Texas Legal Services Center
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
In some instances, individuals may request an ‘ex parte’ protective order, also known as a “Kick-Out Order.” An ex parte is court ordered and designed to provide immediate protection from an abuser by removing them from a residence without their presence in court. This is a temporary order that lasts for twenty days, but may be extended under some circumstances.
If an arrest is made for a crime involving family violence or sexual assault, an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) may be extended to a victim and their family. An EPO may be issued for a minimum of 31 days and a maximum of 91 days.
Mental Health and Counseling for Students
Any student in need of immediate emotional or mental health support should contact ACC District Clinical Counseling Services and request to speak with a confidential counselor. To schedule a meeting with a clinical counselor, please schedule counseling online.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
ACC’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free and confidential assessment, short-term counseling, prevention, education, and referral services for employees and their dependents. Trained counselors are available 24/7, 365 days of the year and employees have access to a number of confidential sessions with a counselor at no cost. Visit the EAP webpage to learn more.Back to Top