Sexual Misconduct -Prevention and Education
This April, the Associated Students, in collaboration with the SMC Foundation, the SMC Associates, Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and SMC President’s Title IX Task Force are leading Consent Month. At SMC, we will empower our students, faculty, and staff by holding a month of seminars and events on campus. Nationally, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we would like to educate the Santa Monica College community to encourage a safer environment.
Facts About Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a crime of violence. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of all sexual assaults involve the use of weapons, or the threat of violence or death. Rapists often look for potential victims who appear weak or vulnerable; however, anyone can be a victim of a sexual assault, regardless of behavior or appearance. Rape can happen to any person, anywhere or anytime. In a significant number of cases, the rapist is known to the victim.
Rape is not just an act committed in a dark alley by an assailant the victim has never met. Most rapes occur in the victim's home and about 60% of the victims who report their rape know their assailants. You can be aware without being afraid.
Some people believe that rapists are overcome with sexual desire or that women "ask for it" by the way they dress or act. Some people even believe that women want to be raped. These ideas assume that rape is motivated by sexual desire. IT IS NOT! Rape is a crime of violence - a hostile act - and it is motivated by the assailant's need to hurt and humiliate the victim. It is about power. In California, any form of sexual conduct carried out upon a person, against that person's will, is a crime. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime of rape. P.C. 261 & 263
Specific Forms of Sexual Violence
Dating Violence: Abuse or mistreatment that occurs in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships. It may take place at any time during the dating process - when two people first meet and become interested in one another, on their first date, during their courtship, once they have been involved with each other for some time, or after their relationship has ended.
Intimate Partner (Domestic) Violence: Physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.
Rape: Unwanted, coerced and/or forced sexual penetration. The perpetrator may penetrate the victim's vagina, mouth, or anus, either with a body part or another object. The victim may also be forced to penetrate the perpetrator's vagina, mouth, or anus.
Sexual Harassment: Unwanted verbal sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can also include stalking, voyeurism ("peeping toms"), exhibitionism/exposing, and obscene comments and phone calls. Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace, school, and other settings (such as public transportation, shopping malls, community events, social gatherings, places of worship, health care facilities) and can create an intimidating or hostile environment for the victim. The perception of the victim, not the intent of the harasser, determines whether particular words or actions are harassing.
Sexual Violation: Use of sexual contact behaviors that are unwanted by and/or harmful to another person, but do not involve penetration. This can include touching or rubbing against a non-consenting person in public ("frottage"), forced masturbation, and non-consensual touching of the breasts, buttocks, genitals, and other sexualized body parts by another person.
Hate Crimes: Hate violence as defined in the statute "means any act of physical intimidation or physical harassment, physical force or physical violence, or the threat of physical force or physical violence, that is directed against any person or group of persons because of the ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or political/religious beliefs of that person or group".
Stalking: While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. A stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim's immediate family in fear for their safety. According to California Penal Code 646.9, the victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat.
Any sexual violence against the wishes and without the consent of the violated person, whether by a stranger or by an acquaintance, whether against a woman or a man, is a violation of the law. Consent cannot be given if the person is asleep, intoxicated, unconscious, mentally disordered, under threat of force, or for any other reason unable to communicate willingness to participate in sexual activity. Intercourse under any of these circumstances is rape.
Any person who has been the victim of sexual violence is strongly urged to report the situation as soon as possible to City Police (911) or College Police (310) 434-4300. Any person with information regarding sexual violence on campus should contact College Police or the Dean of Students as soon as possible.
AB 1088: Sexual Violence
Section 67385 of the Education Code requires that community college districts adopt and implement procedures to ensure prompt response to victims of sexual violence which occur on campus as well as providing them with information regarding treatment options and services. No community can be totally risk-free in today’s society. However, by working together, students, faculty, staff, and visitors can all help to create an atmosphere which is as safe and crime free by reporting criminal behavior to:
- Santa Monica Police Department: 911
- Campus Police: 310-434-4300
- Dean of Students: 310-434-4220
- Psychological Services: 310-434-4503
- Student Health Services: 310-434-4262
- Title IX Coordinator: Sherri Lee Lewis, Dean of Human Resources 310-434-4415
Any sexual violence or physical abuse, as defined by California law, whether committed by an employee, student, or member of the public, occurring on college-owned or controlled property, at college-sponsored or supervised functions, or related to or arising from college attendance or activity is a violation of District policies and regulations, and is subject to all applicable punishment, including criminal and/or civil prosecution and employee or student discipline procedures.
Assault on Campus
• The District will address the needs of the sexual assault survivor by providing a consistent, caring, and timely response when sexual assault occurs within the college community. After initial consultation, referrals for treatment will be made and ongoing support will be offered to survivors.
• Any person who has been sexually assaulted is strongly encouraged to file a complaint with the Santa Monica College Police Department, and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. When a complaint is filed with the Santa Monica College Police Department, the District staff should initiate the following steps:
- Request that a nurse from Student Health Services provide immediate medical attention and appropriate medical and psychological referrals.
- Provide assistance to the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center.
- Notify the appropriate college personnel of the incident for further administrative action.
- The Santa Monica College Police Department will be responsible for conducting a thorough investigation which may include contacting other public agencies.
- Ensure that the survivor is given appropriate protection while on campus, including protection from retaliation for filing the complaint, if necessary. Such protection may include placing appropriate restrictions on the accused.
- Ask the survivor questions to assess the potential for continuing threat to the survivor and/or other members of the campus community.
To protect the privacy of the individuals involved, names will not be released by the District without their consent unless the release is essential to the health and safety of the survivor or the campus community, or to otherwise fulfill the legal obligations of the college.
Student Conduct and Discipline
Students may be expelled, suspended or placed on probation for acts committed on campus or at campus-related events. The cause for suspension and expulsion listed in California Education Code 76033 include assault, battery, or any threat of force or violence upon a student or college personnel and the willful misconduct which results in injury or death to a student or college personnel. In compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, victims of violent crimes, including sexual assault, are to be informed whenever information regarding disciplinary action taken by the college is included in a student's file. For further information, contact the Dean of Students, 310-434-4220.