General Information


THE LAW
Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, otherwise known as the Clery Act, is a federal law that requires institutions of higher education to provide current and prospective students and employees, the public, and the Department of Education with crime statistics and information about campus crime prevention programs and policies. Among other crimes, the Clery Act requires that colleges and universities report forcible sex offenses, including sexual assault and rape. The Clery Act was most recently amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition protects against sexual harassment and sexual violence and extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or nonconformity with stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. Other examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include: the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics; discrimination in a school’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and programs; and discrimination based on pregnancy or parental status.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a primary authority for investigating alleged violations of Title IX in educational institutions because the Department of Education (ED) gives financial assistance to all public postsecondary schools and any private colleges and universities that accept students who pay, in part, with federal financial aid directly distributed to the students.  Other agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), that give federal grants or assistance to an educational institution, share authority for addressing alleged violations of Title IX in educational institutions. If a school that receives the ED’s federal funds is found to have violated Title IX and does not come into compliance voluntarily, OCR may initiate proceedings to withdraw federal funding granted by ED or refer the case to DOJ for litigation.

VAWA
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 amended the Violence Against Women Act and the Clery Act to provide new requirements for institutions of higher education to prevent and respond to sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Some of these requirements include: providing primary prevention education and awareness programs for all incoming students and employees; collecting statistics on domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in addition to current requirements to collect sexual assault statistics; issuing complainants a written notice of their rights; and adopting grievance policies that are prompt, fair, and impartial as well as administered by trained officials. These updates are sometimes referred to as Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act or Campus SaVE Act.

YOUR RIGHTS AS A MEMBER OF OUR COMMUNITY
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal funding, including colleges and universities.

This law applies to all students – women, girls, men, and boys; straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming; part-time and full-time students; students with and without disabilities; and students of different races and national origins – all  have the right to pursue an education free from sex discrimination, including sexual violence and harassment.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division enforce Title IX in our nation’s schools. Sex-based discrimination in public schools also implicates legal rights under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Assistance for Victims: Rights and Options
In Washington State, a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking has these rights: (RCW 7.69.030)
  • To be provided with the information of a local crime victim/witness program
  • To be informed of the final disposition of the case
  • To be provided with accurate court dates, if subpoenaed
  • To be provided with protection from harm and/or threats
  • To be given information on fees to which they are entitled
  • To be given a secure waiting area during court proceedings
  • To have any/all stolen or other personal property returned to them quickly when no longer needed as evidence
  • To be provided with services to ensure their employer cooperates to minimize loss of pay/benefits resulting from court appearances
  • To access immediate medical assistance and not be detained for long by police before accessing these services
  • To receive reasonable leave from employment
  • To have any support person of the survivor’s choosing present at any judicial proceedings to provide emotional support to the crime victim
  • To be physically present in court during trial
  • To be informed by the prosecuting attorney at the date, time, and place of the trial and of the sentencing hearing
  • To submit a victim impact statement or report to the court
  • To present a statement personally or by representation at the sentencing hearing for felony conviction
  • To enter an order of restitution by the court in all felony cases

OUR RESPONSIBILITY
Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual violence.

When CCS knows (or reasonably should know) about possible sexual violence, it must quickly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve CCS of its duty under Title IX to resolve reports promptly and effectively.

CCS must ensure that the person who experienced the sexual violence is safe, even while an investigation is ongoing.