Northern Virginia Community College
Rights of Students and Employees Accused of Sexual Misconduct
If you have been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence or stalking, you have certain right under NOVA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. These rights are listed below for your information. The complete Sexual Misconduct Policy is available online at http://www.nvcc.edu/current-students/policies–forms/docs/SexualMisconductPolicy.pdf.
- CHARGES. You have the right to be notified of the charges against you. You will be notified in writing and will be provided a copy of the complaint against you.
- PROMPT, FAIR AND IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION. You have the right to a prompt, fair and impartial investigation of the complaint against you, including an opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. You may present documents, the names of witnesses, and other evidence to the investigators. The investigators may also interview other witnesses and consider other evidence. You may not be present for the complainant’s interview unless the complainant consents, and vice versa.
- ADVISOR. If you have been accused of sexual assault, you have the right to select an advisor to support and accompany you at all times throughout the College proceedings. The advisor may support you, but may not represent you or speak for you. You may contact the Title IX Coordinator if you have procedural questions or concerns during any stage of the process.
- STANDARD OF EVIDENCE. You will not be considered responsible for violating NOVA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy unless you are found to be responsible by a preponderance of the evidence, in accord with the procedures described in that policy. Nevertheless, at the complainant’s request, NOVA may take action to change a class assignment or working relationship, or issue a campus protective order, so that you will be separated from the complainant to the greatest extent possible. 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.
- CONFIDENTIALITY. You have the right to have your name and all information related to the alleged sexual misconduct kept as confidential as reasonably possible. Absolute confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances, especially when NOVA needs to act to protect the safety of others. As a general matter, all persons involved in a complaint of sexual misconduct are to respect the privacy of the individuals involved and must keep the matter as confidential as reasonably possible.
- SANCTIONS. You have the right to know the potential sanctions that may be imposed if you are found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy. These sanctions are described in the policy and may include, but are not limited to, admonitions, probation, suspension, dismissal from the College and/or termination from employment.
- INFORMATION. You have the right to information regarding the status of the complaint against you, including the outcome of the campus investigation and any disciplinary action, the procedures to appeal a disciplinary action, and the final outcome.
March 10, 2014
Northern Virginia Community College
Victims’ Rights Provisions – 2014
Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at Northern Virginia Community College. Reports of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking are taken seriously. It is important to NOVA that victims (complainants) are informed, protected, and respected. The complete Northern Virginia Community College Sexual Misconduct Policy is available online at www.nvcc.edu. More information about the College’s responsibilities under Title IX to address complaints of sexual violence can be found online.
The following rights are afforded to any NOVA student, staff, or faculty member who experiences such an incident. It is NOVA’s hope that these rights will provide you with adequate information from which to choose your options.
- CONFIDENTIALITY. Above all, confidentiality of victims must be protected. Identifying information of a victim will be protected as much as possible. This means that a victim’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without her/his permission. When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not she/he participates in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. For absolute confidentiality, contact NOVA Sexual Assault Services (see below for contact information).
TIMELY WARNINGS. Any timely warning that is broadcast through NOVA websites or emails for the safety of our community will not identify a victim by name.
- REPORTING OPTIONS. It is your choice whether or not you decide to report your victimization. At NOVA, there are several offices to report an incident if you choose to do so. See list below.College Police – 703-764-5000To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation
Local Police Department – 911
To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation with minimal college involvement
Campus Dean of Students – Contact the Dean Of Students at your own campus or center
To report the incident and begin a Student Code of Conduct investigation
Human Resources – 703-323-3110
To report the incident and begin a staff or faculty investigation
Sexual Assault Services – firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.338.0834 24 hour availability
***To access confidential support, advocacy and intervention for those affected by these issues
Title IX Coordinator – Mr. Therman Coles – 703-323-3266
To report the incident and begin an administrative Title IX investigation
- NO CONTACT or PROTECTIVE ORDERS. The College will honor any protective order that you may have acquired through the local courts. Please bring a copy of such a court order to the College Police for their information and enforcement. In addition, a NOVA administrative no contact order may be created by the Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator once the incident is reported to that office.
- PRESERVING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. If you are considering a criminal prosecution, it is extremely important to preserve all evidence of an assault. If you go to a hospital as a result of a penetrating sexual assault, you are entitled to a free evidence collection examination called a SANE exam. SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. In Northern Virginia, the preferred hospital for such an exam is INOVA Fairfax, where they have specially trained nurses on call 24 hours a day for such purposes. INOVA Fairfax Hospital provides care to sexual assault victims no matter where in Northern Virginia the crime occurred. The nurse will collect the evidence and ask the police in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to pick it up and store it for at least six months. The evidence will be in a box marked only with a number, not your name. You are not required to make an official police report for this evidence to be collected. If you later decide to make such a report, the hospital will give your name to the police and the evidence kit will be tested for possible use in a court case. For more information about how to preserve evidence, contact NOVA Police at 703.764.5000 or NOVA Sexual Assault Services at 703.338.0834.
- STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS. If you are a student and your perpetrator was also a student, then you may choose to report the incident (as the complainant) to your Dean of Students to begin a conduct process. This is not a court trial; you may or may not choose to contact the police to use this process. A hearing will be held on campus to determine whether the perpetrator is responsible for the act that you have reported. Sanctions for this process are confined to the College only and range from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident. For more details, see the current NOVA Code of Student Conduct within the NOVA Student Handbook, accessed online or in hardback copy.
- HUMAN RESOURCES PROCESS. If you are an employee, then you may choose to report the incident to NOVA Human Resources, specifically to the Director of Human Resources, Employee Relations Specialist or the designated HR Campus Consultant. Additionally, you may also choose to contact College Police to use this process or to begin a criminal investigation.
- REQUESTS FOR CHANGES. You may request a change in academic setting (class or campus) or work assignment in order to be more clearly separated from the accused perpetrator. Such a request will be granted to the greatest extent possible. These requests should be made to the Campus Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator (if you are a student) or the Director of Human Resources or Title IX Coordinator (if you are an employee). Requested changes will be made as soon as alternative arrangements can reasonably be made and regardless of whether you choose to pursue an investigation into your incident..
- FAIR AND IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION. You can expect a fair and just process as your complaint is handled, either through the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or Title IX Coordinator. You can obtain more information about these processes by accessing the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook or Classified Staff Handbook, which can all be found online at www.nvcc.edu.
- RETALIATION CONCERNS. Threats, intimidation, and any form of retaliation for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct are prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as Federal law and may be grounds for disciplinary action. If any retaliation occurs, it is important to contact either the Campus Dean of Students, the College Police, the Title IX Coordinator, and/or Human Resources.
- COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Since NOVA does not offer mental health counseling to students or employees, it is important to be aware of community resources that are both free and confidential. All offer 24 hour services. It is best to choose the service listed below that is closest either to your home or your campus. Every student or employee can use NOVA SAS, however, no matter where you live, work, or study.
NOVA CC- Sexual Assault Services (SAS)– email@example.com or 703.338.0834
ALEXANDRIA – Sexual Assault Center – 703.683.7273
FAIRFAX COUNTY – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) – 703.360.7273
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY – Sexual Assault Victims’ Advocacy Services (SAVAS) – 703.368.4141
LOUDOUN COUNTY – Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) – 703.777.6652
In an emergency, call 911. Consider reporting any of these crimes to the police.
NOVA Police can be reached at 703.764.5000.