PURPOSE: To outline the collection and reporting processes by which Trident Technical College complies with the South Carolina Campus Sexual Assault Information Act.
Sexual assault is strictly prohibited by the College. The College’s Sexual Assault Policy complies with S.C. Code Ann. § 59-105-10 et seq. (Supp. 2002), commonly known as the “South Carolina Campus Sexual Assault Information Act”.
"Sexual assault" is defined as rape or any actual or attempted nonconsensual or forcible sexual touching, including fondling, kissing, groping, attempted intercourse (whether oral, anal or vaginal), penetration or attempted penetration with a digit or any other object. Nonconsensual sexual assault includes those situations in which the victim is unable to consent.
"Rape" is defined as vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse without consent, whether the victim is overcome by force, fear, intimidation resulting from threat of force, or by drugs administered without consent, or when the victim is otherwise unable to consent. Consent requires speech or conduct indicating a freely given agreement to have intercourse or participate in sexual activities. Previous sexual relationships, current relationships with the perpetrator or the use of alcohol and/or drugs may not be taken as an indication of consent. Use of alcohol and/or drugs by the perpetrator is not an excuse for violation of the sexual assault policy.
The term "unable to consent" means:
- unable to understand the circumstances and implications of the sexual advances;
- unable to make a reasoned decision concerning the sexual advances; or
- unable to communicate that decision in an unambiguous manner. Such a situation can result from illness, the influence of alcohol or some other substance, physical or psychological disabilities, unconsciousness or some other cause.
The College will impose sanctions on individuals who commit sexual assault. In cases involving a student, an interim (immediate) suspension may be imposed, which means the accused cannot attend classes or be on campus until an administrative hearing is held (within 10 days). In other cases, the accused may be permitted to attend classes pending a final decision from the Vice President for Student Services. If that recommendation is suspension (from the College) or expulsion (from the College), a hearing will also be held. Among the other disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed are the following: admonition, censure, probation, and the restriction of privileges.
Harassment is a pattern of intentional, substantial and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that causes the person (and would cause a reasonable person) to suffer mental distress. Stalking is a pattern of words or conduct that is intended to and that does cause a targeted person (and would cause a reasonable person) to fear death, assault, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping (either the targeted person or a member of his/her family), or damage to his/her property or a family member's property. The TTC Public Safety Department takes all complaints of ha-rassment and stalking seriously and actively assists students, faculty, and staff in dealing with matters of this type through civil and criminal means. The College’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure are TTC 8-2-0 Sexual Harrassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct Policy and TTC 8-2-1 Sexual Harrassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct.
Sexual Assault Prevention
- Use the campus escort and transit services.
- Be aware of the emergency telephones and their locations.
- Avoid being in classrooms or office buildings alone at night. If you must be there, let the campus police know where you are and how long you will be there. Stay near a telephone.
- Report any suspicious person or activity to the Public Safety Department, whatever the time, day, or night.
- Know who is at your door before opening it.
- Vary your routine. Do not walk the same route night after night.
- When walking at night, be alert. Listen for footsteps and voices to be sure no one is following you.
- Avoid unlit areas. Whenever possible, walk and park in well-lit public areas.
- Always lock the doors in your car, room, apartment, or house. Keep the car doors locked even when you are driving.
- Never pick up hitchhikers. When driving, always make sure you have enough gas to reach your destination.
- When walking to your car at night, have your car keys in your hand before leaving the building.
- When walking from your car to your residence, have your door key in hand before you leave your car. If you are being dropped off, ask the driver of the car to wait until you are safely in your residence.
- Take advantage of the rape awareness and rape defense training offered by the College and community groups.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, drink responsibly.
Public Safety Department Programs
The Public Safety Department offers numerous educational and personal safety programs for students, faculty, and staff. These programs are offered regularly. Notices are posted on the Public Safety Department’s website and at various College bulletin boards.
The College actively promotes campus security by providing services to prevent criminal activities, enhance personal safety, and protect property.
College Public Safety officers are available to escort faculty, staff, students and visitors to their vehicles and as otherwise requested. To request an escort, contact the Public Safety Department at 574-6053.
Reporting a Crime
All members of the College community share the responsibility of preventing crime. Everyone should report all crimes and suspicious activities, whether you are a victim or a witness. Report crimes and other emergencies on campus to the Public Safety Department immediately. The emergency number is 843-574-6911 (6911 on campus) and it is posted throughout the College on telephones and in the College and tri-county area telephone directories.
Emergency telephones are available in buildings and parking lots. In case of a telephone outage, crimes on campus should be reported to local police who will relay the information by radio to the Public Safety Department. Also, report crimes related to College activities occurring off campus to local police and Public Safety immediately. You will need to provide:
- Your name
- Your exact location and the exact location of the incident
- The phone number from where you are calling
- Description of injuries, if any, and need for medical assistance
- Immediate details of the incident (where it occurred, how long ago)
- Information about the suspect (name, physical description, clothing description, direction of flight, description of vehicle, etc.)
S.C. Sex Offenders Registry
Information on all registered adult sex offenders (age 17 and older) is available from the S.C. Sex Offenders Registry Website. Information is also available on registered sex offenders (ages 12-16) who have committed the following offenses: criminal sexual conduct in the first degree; criminal sexual conduct in the second degree; criminal sexual conduct with minors, first degree; criminal sexual conduct with minors, second degree; engaging a child for sexual performance; producing, directing or promoting sexual performance by a child; or kidnapping.
An evaluation must be made on any other requests for information on registered offenders under age 17 who are victims of or witnesses to an offense at public or private schools, child day care centers, family day care centers, or businesses and organizations that primarily serve children, women or vulnerable adults. Evaluations are also required on information requests for offenders who are age 11 or younger who may have a prior conviction or adjudication of delinquency. Those who request the information must complete and submit a written request form at SLED or at a sheriff's office. A copy of the request form is available online, and it may be mailed or faxed to Sex Offenders Registry, SLED, P.O. Box 21398, Columbia, SC 29221. The fax number is 803-896-7022
If you are sexually assaulted:
- Memorize as much detail as possible about the attacker.
- On campus call the College’s Public Safety Department at 574-6911 immediately. Off campus call local emergency medical service immediately by dialing “911” or their local number. This does not obligate you to file charges or testify in court.
- If you prefer not to call the police, but you want to make it known that a rape occurred, you may contact the Vice President for Student Services or any member of the Counseling and Career Development Department.
- Do not bathe, shower, douche, or urinate.
- Do not change clothes, if it can be avoided. If changing clothes is necessary, secure you changed clothes inside a paper bag, not plastic.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, rinse your mouth, or brush your teeth. These actions may destroy evidence.
- Do not disturb the crime scene(s).
- You may call and request medical transportation without divulging that you have been raped. Even if you choose not to become involved with the police, you should seek medical assistance.
- You are strongly encouraged to go through the rape protocol exam for medical attention and for the purpose of preserving important physical evidence of the assault. The rape protocol exam should be done as soon as possible. Physical evidence can be obtained up to 72 hours after the assault. However, as time passes, the quality of the evidence diminishes.
- Contact a friend or family member to be with you.
What Happens When a Rape Is Reported to the Public Safety Department?
When you notify Trident Technical College Public Safety officers of a rape, the following will occur:
- Public Safety will respond to your location on campus, ensure that you are safe and provide you with emergency medical assistance.
- Public Safety will ask you questions about the assault (location and time of the assault, a description of the accused, etc.). If you request to speak to a male or female officer, Public Safety will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your request, to include contacting another law enforcement agency having concurrent jurisdiction. Local law enforcement may become involved depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. A family member, friend, or counselor may be with you during the interview.
- Public Safety will protect the crime scene, contact local law enforcement as may become necessary and assist in the collection and preservation of evidence.
- Public Safety will make contact with and escort you to an appropriate medical facility.
- Public Safety will contact other assistance agencies (People Against Rape, Solicitor’s Office Victims/Witness Program, etc.) on your behalf. The Victims/Witness coordinator from the Solicitor’s Office will help you file any documents related to the S.C. Victim’s Compensation Fund.
- Public Safety will treat you and your case with sensitivity, understanding, and professionalism regardless of your gender or the gender of the accused. Public Safety officers will not prejudge you or blame you for what occurred.
- Public Safety will NOT release your name to the public or the press.
- Public Safety will continue to be available to you, answer your questions, and explain the system and processes involved (solicitor, courts, etc.).
- Public Safety will professionally investigate your case, which may lead to the arrest and prosecution of the accused. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
What Happens When a Rape Is Reported to the Vice President for Student Services?
- Upon learning of a rape, the Vice President for Student Services (or designee) will contact you to offer the services of several Student Services departments. Any information you provide will be kept in the strictest of confidence.
- In the event you want the College to pursue disciplinary action, you will be asked to provide a written report of the incident. That information will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Services, who will start College disciplinary processes. You will be invited, but not required, to meet with the Vice President for Student Services in order to discuss College’s disciplinary procedures further. Please remember that information regarding student discipline is maintained as a confidential record.
- When available information has been reviewed by the Vice President for Student Services, sanctions may be imposed. If the Vice President for Student Services recommends a temporary suspension, suspension (from the College), or expulsion (from the College), an administrative hearing may be scheduled.
- You will have the option to attend the administrative hearing and provide testimony regarding the attack. The Vice President for Student Services will attempt to make special accommodations for testifying if you are not able to face the accused. You will be listened to and treated with respect. You may have a friend, counselor, or support person present during the hearing. All hearings are closed to the public and are confidential.
When you report a rape to the Vice President for Student Services, he/she is required by law to inform the Trident Technical College Public Safety Department. However, reporting this crime to the TTC Public Safety Department in no way obligates you to press charges or testify in court. Even if you do not want to press charges, we strongly encourage you to contact the police for immediate help. You may discontinue the involvement of Vice President for Student Services and any other police or legal services at any point.
- The alleged victim has the right to be informed of the process prior to any disciplinary action involving the incident and has the option of discontinuing the process if he or she is the only witness.
- The alleged victim has the right to attend the hearing that involves the accused student. The alleged victim has the option of providing testimony regarding the incident. The Vice President for Student Services will attempt to make special accommodations for testifying if you are not able to face the accused.
- The alleged victim is entitled to bring an adviser, friend, counselor, or parent during testimony at the hearing. All hearings are closed to the public and are confidential. The alleged victim shall be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. In the event the accused student appeals the decision, the Vice President for Student Services will keep the victim informed of the status of those appeals.
- The alleged victim may request changes in his/her academic situation. The College will accommodate such changes if reasonably possible.
Rights of the Referred Student
The College’s “Rules for Student Disciplinary Procedure and Sanctions” can be found in the "Student Code and Academic Issues" section of the TTC Catalog/Student Handbook or on the College’s website.
How the College Can Help
- The College’s Counseling Office will offer emotional support and refer you to community resources for victims of sexual assault.
- The College will also change your academic situation if changes are requested and reasonably available.