Discrimination and Harassment Definitions

Discrimination Categories Protected Under Title IV

You cannot be discriminated against on the basis of: 

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Ethnic Group Identification
  • Mental Disability
  • National Origin
  • Physical Disability
  • Race 
  • Religion 
  • Retaliation 
  • Sexual Orientation 
  • Sex (includes harassment)  

 

Choose an option below to learn more.
About Sexual Violence What to Do in a Risky Situation
Different Forms of Sexual Violence What to Do if You Have Been Raped
Community Resources Reduce the Risk of "Date" Rape
Facts About Sexual Assault Definition of Consent
Nine Ways to Avoid Rape  

 

About Sexual Violence and AB 1088

AB 1088: Sexual Violence Section 67385 of the Education Code requires that community college districts adopt and implement procedures to ensure prompt response to victims of sexual violence which occur on campus as well as providing them with information regarding treatment options and services. No community can be totally risk-free in today's society. However, by working together, students, faculty, staff, and visitors can all help to create an atmosphere which is as safe and crime free by reporting criminal behavior to:

Any sexual violence or physical abuse, as defined by California law, whether committed by an employee, student, or member of the public, occurring on college-owned or controlled property, at college-sponsored or supervised functions, or related to or arising from college attendance or activity is a violation of District policies and regulations, and is subject to all applicable punishment, including criminal and/or civil prosecution and employee or student discipline procedures.

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Different Forms of Sexual Violence

Specific Forms of Sexual Violence

  • Dating Violence: Abuse or mistreatment that occurs in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships. It may take place at any time during the dating process - when two people first meet and become interested in one another, on their first date, during their courtship, once they have been involved with each other for some time, or after their relationship has ended.
  • Intimate Partner (Domestic) Violence: Physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.
  • Rape: Unwanted, coerced and/or forced sexual penetration. The perpetrator may penetrate the victim's vagina, mouth, or anus, either with a body part or another object. The victim may also be forced to penetrate the perpetrator's vagina, mouth, or anus.
  • Sexual Harassment: Unwanted verbal sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can also include stalking, voyeurism ("peeping toms"), exhibitionism/exposing, and obscene comments and phone calls. Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace, school, and other settings (such as public transportation, shopping malls, community events, social gatherings, places of worship, health care facilities) and can create an intimidating or hostile environment for the victim. The perception of the victim, not the intent of the harasser, determines whether particular words or actions are harassing.
  • Sexual Violation: Use of sexual contact behaviors that are unwanted by and/or harmful to another person, but do not involve penetration. This can include touching or rubbing against a non-consenting person in public ("frottage"), forced masturbation, and non-consensual touching of the breasts, buttocks, genitals, and other sexualized body parts by another person.
  • Stalking: While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. A stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim's immediate family in fear for their safety. According to California Penal Code 646.9, the victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat. Any sexual violence against the wishes and without the consent of the violated person, whether by a stranger or by an acquaintance, whether against a woman or a man, is a violation of the law.
  • Bullying:Harassment that can occur on the playground, school, in the workforce or any other place. Usually physical and psychological harassing behavior perpetrated against an individual, by one or more persons. HB 1576 defines "bullying" to mean recklessly or intentionally endangering the health or safety of a student by exposing the student repeatedly and over time to physical aggression or intimidation, whether through direct physical contact or through the use of information or communication technology, resulting in bodily injury or other harm to person or property.
  • Psychological Harassment: This is humiliating or abusive behavior that lowers a person's self-esteem or causes them torment. This can take the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures. Falling into this category is workplace mobbing.
  • Racial Harassment: The targeting of an individual because of their race or ethnicity. The harassment's include words, deeds, and actions that are specifically designed to make the target feel degraded due to their race of origin or ethnicity.
  • Religious Harassment: Verbal, psychological or physical harassment's used against targets because they choose to practice a specific religion. Religious harassment can also include forced and involuntary conversions.
  • Mobbing: Violence committed directly or indirectly by a loosely affiliated and organized group of individuals to punish or even execute a person for some alleged offense without a lawful trial. The 'offense' can range from a serious crime like murder or simple expression of ethnic, cultural, or religious attitudes. The issue of the victim's actual guilt or innocence is often irrelevant to the mob, since the mob relies on contentions that are unverifiable, unsubstantiated, or completely fabricated. Hazing: To persecute, harass, or torture in a deliberate, calculated, planned, manner. Typically the targeted individual is a subordinate, for example, a fraternity pledge, a first-year military cadet, or somebody who is considered 'inferior' or an 'outsider'. Hazing is illegal in many instances.
  • Backlash: Backlash or 'victim blaming' occurs when the harasser or other people in the environment blame the victim for the harassment, or the resulting controversies and conflicts after the harassment is reported or discovered. Backlash results when people erroneously believe the victim could stop the harassment if they really tried, or that the victim must have done something to cause the harassment.

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If you are the victim of sexual assault you may choose to:
  • Call 911 or Lemoore Police Department, (559) 924-9574, immediately
  • Push the button on the blue call boxes on campus.
  • Contact the Title IX Compliance officer during business hours at (559) 925-3331

Rape, like other serious felony assaults, requires immediate notification of the Coalinga Police Department. All sex crimes, including indecent exposure cases reported to West Hills College Coalinga will be documented on a report and forwarded to the Investigations Division of the Coalinga Police Department in a timely manner. In those cases in which the alleged victims choose not to have their personal information reported, West Hills College Coalinga will provide a report to the Coalinga Police Department in a timely manner in keeping with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

Community Resources
Facts About Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime of violence. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of all sexual assaults involve the use of weapons, or the threat of violence or death. Rapists often look for potential victims who appear weak or vulnerable; however, anyone can be a victim of a sexual assault, regardless of behavior or appearance. Rape can happen to any person, anywhere or anytime. In a significant number of cases, the rapist is known to the victim. Rape is not just an act committed in a dark alley by an assailant the victim has never met. Most rapes occur in the victim's home and about 60% of the victims who report their rape know their assailants. You can be aware without being afraid.

Nine Ways to Help Prevent Assault 
  1. Always walk briskly. Look alert and confident. Avoid carrying objects requiring the use of both arms.
  2. Stay away from isolated areas, day or night.
  3. Never walk alone when it is dark.
  4. If you are being followed, get away fast, change directions, and walk/run to a crowded area.
  5. Keep all doors to your car and residence locked at all times.
  6. Before you drive home, call your family, a friend, or a roommate so they will expect you and are aware if you are excessively late.
  7. Encourage group activities in the early stages of a relationship.
  8. Take a self-defense course.
  9. Be aware of legislation that concerns your gender and contact legislators to express your views.

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What to Do in a Risky Situation
  • Stay calm and think out what your options are and how safe it would be to resist.
  • Say "NO" strongly. Do not smile. Do not act polite or friendly.
  • Say something like "STOP IT! THIS IS RAPE!"
  • If the attacker is unarmed, fight back physically. Attack the most vulnerable parts of the body. Shout FIRE and escape as soon as possible.
  • If the attacker is armed, try to talk him out of continuing the assault or try passive resistance such as pretending to faint, vomit, or urinate.
What to Do If You Have Been Raped
  • Get to a safe place.
  • Call a friend or family member to be with you.
  • It is advisable to report a rape, even an unsuccessful attempt. The information you provide may prevent another woman from being raped. When you report a rape, any information you can remember about the attack will be helpful - the assaulter's physical characteristics, voice, clothes, car or even an unusual smell.
  • If you have been raped, you should call the police as soon as possible; do not bathe or change your clothes. Semen, hair and material under fingernails or on your clothing all may be useful in identifying and prosecuting the rapist.
  • It may be very helpful to contact a rape crisis center, where qualified staff members may assist you in dealing with your trauma. If you are unable to make the contact yourself, have a friend, family member or police make the call.
  • Finally, it is important to remember that many people will mistakenly blame themselves for being raped. However, being raped is not a crime - the crime has been committed by the person who raped you.

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Reducing the Risk of Acquaintance "Date" Rape
  • When dating someone for the first time, seriously consider doing so in a group situation or meeting them at a public place. This will allow you to assess your date's behavior in a relatively safe environment.
  • Watch for inclinations that your date may be a controlling or dominating person who may try to control your behavior. A person who plans all activities and makes all decisions during a date may also be inclined to dominate in a private setting.
  • If your date drives and pays for all expenses, they may think they're justified in using force to get "what they paid for." If you cover some of the expenses, they may be less inclined to use this rationale to justify acting in a sexually coercive manner.
  • Avoid using alcohol or other drugs when you definitely do not wish to be sexually intimate with your date. Consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs, by both victim and perpetrator, is commonly associated with acquaintance rape. Drug intoxication can both diminish your capacity to escape from an assault and reduce your date's reluctance to engage in assaultive behavior.
  • Avoid behavior that may be interpreted as "teasing." Clearly state what you do and do not wish to do in regard to sexual contact. Such direct communication can markedly reduce a man's inclinations to force unwanted sexual activity or to "feel led on."
  • If, despite direct communication about your intentions, your date behaves in a sexually coercive manner, you may use a "strategy of escalating forcefulness - direct refusal, vehement verbal refusal, and, if necessary, physical force." In one study, the response rated by men as the most likely to get men to stop unwanted advances was the woman vehemently saying, "This is rape and I'm calling the cops." If verbal protests are ineffective, reinforce your refusal with physical force such as pushing, slapping, biting, kicking, or clawing your assailant. Men are more likely to perceive their actions as at least inappropriate, if not rape, when a woman protests not only verbally, but also physically.

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Definition of Consent

Consent is a mutual verbal, physical and emotional agreement that happens without manipulation, threats or head games. Consent cannot be given if the person is asleep, intoxicated, unconscious, mentally disordered, under threat of force, or for any other reason unable to communicate willingness to participate in sexual activity. Intercourse under any of these circumstances is rape. Consent is also MUTUAL where both people must agree and must be CONTINUOUS. You can stop at any time, change your mind and just because you said yes to one thing doesn't mean you've consented to anything else.