What is Sexual Harassment?
It is the unlawful harassment and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment is illegal when it is persistent, severe, and creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive environment. The EEOC also defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome behavior” in which a victim may seemingly consent to or agree to certain conduct and may actively participate in conversations or situations even though it is offensive and objectionable. Yet, any type of sexual harassment is unwelcome whenever the person subjected considers it inappropriate.
A person subjected to sexual harassment may experience one or more of the following:
- Unwelcome sexual attention toward a person’s appearance, clothes, or body
- Pressure for sexual favors
- Unwelcome deliberate touching, leaning into, cornering, or other gestures that violate personal space or connote sexual signals
- Unwelcome sustained looks or inappropriate gestures
- Unwelcome letters, telephone calls, emails, or materials of an inappropriate nature
- Sexual innuendos or stories
- Whistling, cat calls, winks, or demeaning referrals such as “hunk,” “babe,” or “doll,”
- Unwelcome sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions about one’s sexual history
Who should seek assistance?
- All persons who believe that they are or may have been victims of improper harassment
- Students who believe they are being sexually harassed, particularly as explicitly or implicitly in exchange for a good grade
- Students who want to know what their options are in dealing with the harassment or the harasser
- Students who believe someone else is being harassed
Who do I report this to?
Contact Shanequa D. Warrington, Equity and Title IX Coordinator:
980 South Cobb Drive
Building C 1102B
Marietta, GA 30060
Public Safety at 770-529-2311 (for dispatch) or at these campus locations:
Appalachian Campus: 404-798-2591
Austell Campus: 770-732-59111
Canton Campus: 404-392-9836
Marietta Campus: 770-5284486
Mountain View Campus: 770-509-6318
Paulding Campus: 770-443-3634
Woodstock Campus: 678-454-1813
What will happen if I call?
If you feel you are being harassed, you do not have to accept this mistreatment. If comfortable speaking out, indicate that verbal or non-verbal behaviors and actions being communicated are not welcome and are not acceptable. Do not ignore the situation hoping it will stop, particularly if a pattern of unwelcome communication is being displayed regularly. While a random, inappropriate remark may be tolerated once to some degree, any situation that constitutes a hostile or intimidating environment needs to be reported at once. Students are encouraged to seek resolution promptly by immediately contacting the appropriate person to seek advice and instructions on what to do next and how to report the situation.
Students seeking assistance will be given information as to what options and resources are available to them. The student will be given information about the internal (within the college) and external (agencies in the community) options available to them. In all cases, the report of sexual harassment will be immediately investigated by the equity coordinator and appropriate action taken to stop the harassment and consider disciplinary action for the offender.
If I am being harassed, what should I do?
- Keep a record of the times, dates, places, witnesses, events and your response. Keep the records in a safe place.
- Keep notes of what was said or done.
- Stand up for yourself. Be firm in your conviction in how you wish to be treated. Challenge behaviors, verbal and non-verbal actions, disrespectful language and visual images that promote harassment.
- Do not blame or doubt yourself, you are not responsible for the harasser’s behavior.
- Harassment will not stop unless you do something about it. The situation could even get worse. Tell someone. Take offense out loud to what is being said.
- Get involved when you see someone being harassed or bullied. If you feel uncomfortable getting directly involved by yourself, unite yourself with others or report it to appropriate faculty, staff, or security personnel.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact. The law makes a number of distinctions among the types of sexual contact and the level of force used to obligate or force a victim to have sexual contact. At times, sexual assault is committed by someone who knows the victim and may be termed ‘acquaintance’ sexual assault. Even though this type of assault is a crime, it is rarely reported to police. Remember: No matter how careful you are, it is not your fault if you fall victim to sexual assault. No student deserves to be assaulted or abused. All cases should immediately be reported.
If I was sexually assaulted, what should I do?
- Call 911 or the Campus Police as soon after the assault as possible to preserve evidence and receive care.
- Get immediate medical attention to:
– Treat any injuries you may have and
– Assess your risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy
- Preserve all physical evidence:
– Avoid showering, using the toilet, changing clothes, brushing teeth, or any other behavior that would eliminate physical evidence before your medical examination.
– Gather all the physical evidence such as clothes or linen, if you wish to press charges.
– If clothing is removed, place it in a paper bag and take it along to the examination.
Note: Even if you feel certain that you do not wish to bring charges against your assailant, particularly if you know the individual, it is important to gather as much physical evidence as possible in case you change your mind later.
- Help yourself recover:
– Remember that nobody asks or wants to be sexually assaulted or harassed no matter how one dresses, how one looks, or whether or not one has consumed alcohol or are seemingly implying consent by lack of clear response.
– Give yourself plenty of time to recover from the physical and emotional shock.
– If in need of counseling services, contact Cheri Mattox-Carroll at (770) 975-4152 or email Cheri.Mattox-Carroll@ChattahoocheeTech.edu.
What if my friend was a victim of sexual assault?
- Attend to the victim’s medical needs. Encourage your friend to seek immediate medical treatment. Accompany the person to the hospital, immediate care facility, or doctor’s office.
- Encourage your friend to contact campus police or local police to make a report.
- Listen without judging. Never assess blame upon the victim.
- Do not assume that a person who is acting calmly has not been affected by the assault. Shock will mute a person’s response to a situation.
- Separate your feelings about the incident from what may be in the best interest for the victim.
- Help develop a safety plan if there is future danger.
- Provide companionship if the victim does not wish to be alone.
- Explain the need to avoid showering, brushing teeth, or any other behavior that would eliminate physical evidence.
- Assist in preserving each piece of clothing in a separate paper bag to avoid contamination.
- Check in periodically to see how the person is coping.
- Encourage the victim to seek counseling.
- Seek support yourself.
What can I do to prevent sexual assault?
While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted in social situations.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other, and leave together.
- Practice safe drinking. Try not to leave any beverages unattended or accept drinks from someone you don’t know.
- Have a buddy system. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if someone is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about you or your friend’s safety.
- If someone you don’t know or trust asks you to go somewhere alone, reply that you would rather stay with the group.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way out of a bad situation.
- If you don’t want to have sex, say “NO!” like you mean it and fight off advances if you have in order to protect yourself.
- When going to and from your car, be aware of your surroundings. If the parking lot is dark, have someone accompany you. It is not advisable to remote access to your car far before you reach it, thus bringing attention to you and your vehicle. Briefly check in and around the car before getting in the vehicle.
Helpful Links and Resources:
YWCA of Northwest Georgia: https://www.ywca.org/ or call 770-427-3390
48 Henderson Street Southwest, Marietta, GA 30064
The YWCA of Northwest Georgia has many support services to help victims of sexual assault, including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners who are available 24-hours a day to provide medical forensic examinations for sexual assault victims, a 24-hour crisis line, and counseling and support groups.
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA) 404-815-5261
GNESA Provides technical support and staff training to rape crisis centers, and professional training to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and law enforcement professionals. Also develops community awareness events and media campaigns about sexual assault issues. Link to centers.rainn.org/ to find a Rape Crisis Center near you.
Grady Rape Crisis Center (404-616-4861)
80 Jesse Hill Junior Drive Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30303
Grady offers 24-hour medical treatment and crisis support for victims and family. Support during evidence collection, and on-going support for victims (including accompanying victims to court and providing individual and family counseling. No charge for pelvic exam, collection for evidence, and initial medication.
Men Stopping Violence (MSV) (404-270-9894)
2785 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, GA 30033
Men Stopping Violence is a social change organization dedicated to ending men’s violence against women. This organization provides training, education, intervention, and works with other organizations for social justice.
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) (1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
RAINN provides services and support to sexual assault victims and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a free, confidential hotline to support sexual assault victims 24/7. RAINN also educates the public about sexual assault prevention, prosecution, and recovery and works nationally to improve victim services.
United 4 Safety (404-200-5957)
United 4 Safety is a collaboration of agencies and experts within the metro Atlanta area working to reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQQI) community by improving the community’s understanding of and response to domestic violence through education, training and resource development.
Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center (770-476-7407)
Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center (GSAC-CAC) is nationally recognized for its exceptional delivery of comprehensive services to victims and families impacted by crimes of sexual assault and child sexual/physical abuse. Services provided are developmentally-appropriate and specialized to meet the distinctive needs of each individual impacted by crimes of sexual violence. There is no charge to victims using this service.
Safe Horizon: http://www.safehorizon.org
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault: http://www.gnesa.org/
My Strength: http://www.mystrength.org/
Office for Civil Rights: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/addresses.html
Chattahoochee Technical College Equity Statement:
Chattahoochee Technical College, the Technical College System of Georgia and Technical Colleges shall promote the realization of equal opportunity through a positive continuing program of specific practices designed to ensure the full realization of equal opportunity. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: the Chattahoochee Technical College Title IX Coordinator Shanequa D. Warrington, 980 South Cobb Drive, Building C 1102B, Marietta, GA 30060, 770-975-4023 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Chattahoochee Technical College Section 504/ADA Coordinator Caitlin Barton, 5198 Ross Road, Building A1320, Acworth, GA 30102, 770-975-4099, or Caitlin.Barton@ChattahoocheeTech.edu, and the Chattahoochee Technical College Section 508/ADA Coordinator Stephanie Meyer, 980 South Cobb Drive, Building A 2114, Marietta, GA 30060, 770-528-3761, or Stephanie.Meyer@Chattahoocheetech.edu.