Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Sexual Misconduct



What should I do if I or a friend may have experienced sexual misconduct at a District Site?

Go to a safe place and seek medical attention as soon as possible.  If you are in immediate danger, call 911.  You may also call Campus Safety (contact information below) to make a report, and they will help you or your friend get resources. 

You can make a police report to the following agencies: 

  • ​​Santa Ana Police: (714) 245-8665  
  • Orange Police Department: (714)​ 744-7444 
  • Campus Safety
    • ​SAC: (714) 564-6330
    • SCC: 714-628-4730

If you wish to pursue a complaint against the alleged perpetrator, or if you wish to discuss your options please consult with the District's Title IX Coordinator.

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What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault? 

Physical evidence of a crime must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 72 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from physical items (i.e., towels, sheets, clothes, etc.) for much longer periods of time.  If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault and/or battery, you should go to a medical facility capable conducting a forensic exam and has specially trained staff to do so before washing yourself or your clothing. There are two options in Orange County – an abbreviated/VAWA forensic exam with optional police involvement or a full forensic exam.

For a full forensic exam, call to report the incident to local police. A Victim Advocate and a Forensic Nurse will be dispatched to meet you at SAFE Place at Anaheim Regional Medical Center. A police officer can take you to SAFE Place and bring you back home. The Forensic Nurse will explain and conduct the procedure, and the Victim Advocate will provide information and resources.

For an abbreviated/VAWA forensic exam, call Wayfinders​​ (formerly Community Service Programs, Inc.) at (949) 831-9110. Inform the Responder that you are interested in an abbreviated exam. Remember to ask questions and share information only if you are comfortable. This is a scheduled appointment, and evidence will be kept for two years.​

As a reminder, having the evidence collected in this manner will help keep all options available, but will not obligate you to any course of action.  Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to exercise it.  If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless).  If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. Remember to preserve all evidence (do not brush your teeth or bathe) and write down as many details as you can remember.  Even if you have evidence collected, you do not need to have an investigation. ​

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What should I do if I am uncertain about what I experienced constitutes sexual misconduct?

If you believe that you have experienced a non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a crime or undecided on your next steps, you should contact a confidential source. If you are on campus, the psychologist at the Student Health Center can be a resource. You may also call a rape crisis hotline (it is available 27/7) at (714) 957-2737 or (949) 831-9110. 

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Does the complaint to the District remain confidential?

The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be strictly observed, except insofar as it interferes with the College’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and to ensure a fair process for the Parties.  Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis.  Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted.  Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused student may lead to conduct action by the District. 

The District also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics.  This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

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If I share information about a sexual assault, what is the difference between confidentiality and ​privacy?

CONFIDENTIALITY: Under California law, communications with a predefined and limited group of individuals are confidential.  This means that any information shared by the victim/survivor will not be used against the individual in court or shared with others.  This individual cannot be subpoenaed to testify against the survivor in a court of law.

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:

  • Psychological counselor (including psychologists at campus Student Health Center)
  • Personal attorney
  • Religious/spiritual counselor

PRIVACY: RSCCD is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct.  The district will safeguard the identities of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct.  District employees (other than a psychologist) will seek to keep the information shared by an individual private.

A district employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy.  Information is disclosed only to select district personnel who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities.  As is the case with any educational institution, the district must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community at large.  Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a timely warning under the Clery Act. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

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Do I have to name my assailant?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged assailant.  No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint.  Survivors should be aware that not identifying the assailant may limit the District's ability to respond comprehensively.

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Will the accused student know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint.  Sexual misconduct is a serious offense, and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the Complainant.  If there is a hearing, the District does provide options for questioning without confrontation.  However, the answer changes if no specific name or identity is provided.  In this situation, the issue may be counted in the District's reporting data, but no formal investigation or confrontation can be conducted.

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If I report my assailant, I am afraid that I will be subject to retaliation from their friends. What kinds of protection can the District provide to me?

It is a violation of District policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group of individuals reported an allegation of sexual harassment or misconduct.

The District recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that a Respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the Complainant or a third party.  The District will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate.  An individual reporting sexual harassment or misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not substantiated.

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What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?

It is never okay to force, threaten or coerce someone into having sex against their will, even if they are in a relationship.  Just because you have been intimate with someone in the past does not automatically mean you give consent for any and all future sexual activity.

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Will my parents be told?

Whether you are the Complainant or the Respondent, the District's primary relationship is to the student and not the parent.  However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.  District officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instances where a health or safety emergency exists, or if the District determines such communication is necessary.

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What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

Do not contact the alleged victim.  You must contact the Title IX Coordinator, which will explain the District's procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also learn more by visiting this page

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My assailant attends one of my classes. I am having difficulty concentrating on my schoolwork. How can I change or receive help with my courses?

If your assailant attends one of your classes, you may change classes.  The Title IX Coordinator can work with your class Dean and/or the Registrar’s Office to help switch your classes and assist in getting extensions on course work if necessary. 

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Will a student be punished when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if they have illegally used alcohol and/or other drugs?

The District's primary concern is the health and safety of its students.  When conducting an investigation of a policy violation, the District's focus will be on addressing the policy violation and not the lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed.  The District may, however, provide referrals to counseling or require other educational options.

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Will the use of alcohol or other drugs affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the responsibility of the Respondent.  However, alcohol and/or other drugs are likely to affect memories and may affect the outcome of a case.

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Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

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If I engage in sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual misconduct?

It depends, it is against the District's Sexual Misconduct policy to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated. If an individual is incapacitated, they are unable to provide consent.  Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation.  However, it varies on a case by case basis.  For a variety of reasons, it is not advisable to engage in sexual activity while intoxicated.  When one or both parties are intoxicated, people may misinterpret another’s sexual intentions and often proceed before consent has been reached. 

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Can I file a complaint with the District and also with the police? Can I do one and not the other?

Yes, you may take action through both the campus disciplinary system and the criminal justice system. The District encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct that may also be crimes under California law.  The District will also assist a Complainant in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law.  However, a Complainant may also choose not to pursue criminal action, and under most circumstances, the local Police Department will not force a Complainant to pursue charges if he/she is not willing to do so.

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What is the time frame for resolution?

The investigation and resolution (including appeal) of all reports will generally be completed within 60 to 90 days. Extenuating circumstances including the complexity and severity of a complaint may arise that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 to 90 days. In general, a Complainant and Respondent can expect to receive periodic updates as to the status of the review or investigation.  In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.

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