Frequently Asked Questions

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Reporting

Do I have to report this to the police?

No. Reporting sexual misconduct to the police is an option available to you, but you are not required to notify the police. All members of the Valencia College community are, however, encouraged to reach out to the appropriate police department through safety and security, or on their own to report sexual violence.

How many people am I going to have to talk to?

We are aware that reporting parties often do not want to have to tell their story multiple times and work to minimize how often an individual has to provide information, as well as the number of people that they talk to. The Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator may ask a reporting party to share what took place, and may ask him/her to provide a written account of what happened. If a college investigation is conducted, the complainant may be asked to provide further details then what may have been originally shared at the original time of reporting.

What if I don’t know who did this?

You should still report the misconduct and share any relevant information with the college and/or police. The college will follow up with you, make sure that you are aware of appropriate on- and off-campus resources, and who may be able to investigate based on the information you have provided.

What if I don’t want the person to get in trouble?

The college’s goal is not to get someone in trouble, but to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, eliminate the behavior, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. In all cases, we will review the information available and work with the reporting party to discuss options. In certain situations, Valencia College may need to take action that goes against a reporting party’s request. Part of this action may include disciplinary action taken against another individual, which will involve holding the individual accountable for his/her behavior and taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

Resources

Does Valencia College have a victim/survivor advocate?

The Victim Service Center of Central Florida is a 24-hour helpline and victim/survivor advocate at 211 East Michigan Ave., Suite 210, Orlando, FL 32806. They provide advocates who can be with reporting parties through all steps of the process. Also, Harbor House of Central Florida provides a 24-hour hotline for victims/survivors of domestic/dating violence. They also provide safe shelter, legal advocacy, injunctions and relocation assistance.

24-hour helpline: 407-500-4325

victimservicecenter.org

What protective interim measures are available?

The college can consider interim measures that involve academic classes, no-contact orders and transportation accommodation requests from reporting parties. These requests should be made through the Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator. Efforts will be made to honor these requests, whenever possible.

Where can I obtain a forensic medical exam?

The Victim Service Center of Central Florida is a 24-hour helpline and victim/survivor advocate at 211 East Michigan Ave. Suite 210, Orlando, FL 32806. They provide forensic evidence collection by a sexual assault nurse examiner in a private facility offered in a home-like environment. While no one is required to get this exam, we encourage reporting parties to be seen by a health professional if they have been the victim of sexual assault or other forms of violence.

Phone: 407-497-6701

victimservicecenter.org

Processes and Procedures

What are some examples of sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, interpersonal (dating/domestic) violence, sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, stalking, sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature (when behavior is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating or hostile environment) , threatening to sexually assault someone, cyberstalking, indecent exposure, sexual exploitation (which includes taking non-consensual or abusive advantage of others, i.e. taking sexual photos).

Can I have a friend come with me?

Yes, both reporting parties and accused responding parties can have a person of their choosing with them throughout all steps in the college’s process, including any meeting with the Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator or designee. The supportive person cannot represent the reporting or responding party during a disciplinary hearing (see “advisor” definition in the Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct policy 6Hx28:2-01), but can serve as a supportive person for the reporting or responding party.

Who will explain the college’s response?

The Title IX coordinator/deputy Title IX coordinator (or designee) will be able to sit down with a reporting party to talk about options, assistance, available resources on and off campus, the college’s response and any other questions that may be asked. Reporting parties are strongly encouraged to meet with the above listed individuals to get their questions answered.

What does the process look like?

The process is outlined in detail in the Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct policy 6Hx28:2-01. It is a non-adversarial process in which the college attempts to determine the facts of the report and take the necessary follow up action. It is not a criminal process and does not include the participation of lawyers, judges or juries.

What are some protective measures that may be taken?

When students are accused of sexual misconduct, they may be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the college’s disciplinary process. These include, but are not limited to, emergency suspension from the college, removal from an academic class, restriction from being on campus, restriction from entering a specific building or a specific area of campus, and no-contact with the complainant or others involved in the complaint. When faculty or staff are accused of sexual misconduct, they may be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the college’s process. These include, but are not limited to, leave of absence (voluntary or involuntary), or college imposed leave or separation.

Why am I being punished before my case is heard?

At times, due to the nature of the allegation, it is essential for the college to take immediate action to protect the safety of the campus community. This could include involuntary leave or separation from the college, and/or other interim action. This action is interim and pending the outcome of the college’s process. The immediate and interim action is not a punishment and should not be viewed as such. Every effort will be made so as not to disrupt the academic or work environment.

What prevents retaliation against complainants?

The college will take action against any individual or group of individuals who retaliate against a reporting party or any other party involved in a report of sexual misconduct. Often times, no-contact orders are issued to both the responding and reporting parties to inform them that they are to have no contact with the other individual. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person, via telephone, email, social media, or having others contact the reporting party or other parties on his/her behalf.

What if I don’t want to see the person during a disciplinary process?

Arrangements can be made during a disciplinary process to allow for participants to participate through remote access locations or by providing partitions separating parties should both parties be required to be in the same location at the same time.

Will I find out what happens?

Both the reporting and responding parties will be notified concurrently of the decision of the disciplinary process, any interim action that is being taken and the final outcome of the process, including the status of any appeal.

What if I’ve been accused?

Responding parties should review the information included in policy 6Hx28:2-01 which describes the procedures for how the college will respond. You will be offered an opportunity to meet with the Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator to discuss the process, have your questions answered and be able to provide information regarding the allegations.

Why can’t my lawyer represent me in the process?

Ultimately, the college’s disciplinary process is an educational process and responding parties are not entitled to representation by an attorney or another party. Attorneys can serve as “advisors” (see definition in policy 6Hx28:2-01) who can advise their client but do not play active roles in the college’s process. If attorneys have questions regarding this expectation, they should contact the college’s General Counsel Office at 407-582-3450.

Confidentiality

Who is going to find out?

The staff at the college who will be involved in the response to the report, such as the Title IX coordinator/deputy Title IX coordinator, will be notified. Should a request be made for classroom, employment and/or transportation accommodations, the appropriate offices will be notified of the accommodation request, but not informed of the details of the report. Other students who are not involved and other faculty/staff without a “need to know” role are not informed of the complaint. Additionally, the college does not inform the media/press of the identity of students; however, faculty and staff identities may be revealed in a public records request.

The Title IX coordinator/deputy Title IX coordinator can discuss any request for confidentiality with the reporting party at any time.

Is my family going to be called?

No. However, the college can assist you with notifying supportive individuals, should you choose to do so. Reporting parties under the age of 18, however, may be subject to additional disclosures, based on the situation. If you have questions regarding this disclosure, please contact the Title IX coordinator.

Why can’t the college guarantee confidentiality?

A reporting party may request that his/her name not be disclosed to alleged perpetrators, or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued to address the sexual misconduct, particularly in cases of sexual violence. Valencia College supports a reporting party’s interest in confidentiality in cases involving sexual violence. However, there are situations in which the college may need to override a request for confidentiality in order to meet its obligations. These instances will be limited, and the information will be maintained in a secure manner and will only be shared with individuals who are responsible for handling the college’s response to the incident of sexual misconduct. In the rare situation that the college needs to disclose information, both the reporting and responding parties will be notified.

What happens if the reporting party requests that his/her name be confidential or ask that the college not take any action?

If a reporting party requests that his/her name not be revealed to the responding party, or asks that the college not investigate or seek action against the responding party, the college will inform the reporting party that honoring the request may limit its liability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against the responding party. The college will also explain that policy 6Hx28:2-01 includes protections against retaliation and that college officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation, but will also take responsive action if it occurs. If the reporting party still requests that his/her name not be disclosed to the responding party, or that the college not investigate or seek action against the responding party, the college will need to determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students and staff, including the reporting party.

Possible Criminal/Civil Action

What if I have a pending court case?

Responding parties with pending court cases should contact their attorney to discuss their individual situation. The college’s process will proceed independently of a criminal court case and is not dependent on the decision from the court with regards to cases of sexual misconduct.

What if the court or police dismiss my case?

The college’s disciplinary process is separate from any concurrent or pending charges through the court system. The final results of a police investigation and/or a criminal proceeding do not impact the college’s proces