Sexual Assault Policy

The United States Congress enacted the "Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights"Will open new browser window or tab in 1992 as a part of Public Law: 102-325, section 486 (c). This law requires that all colleges and universities (both public and private) participating in federal student aid programs afford sexual assault victims certain basic rights.

Bossier Parish Community College is committed to preventing this violence through incorporation of educational programming and the adoption of clear guidelines informing students, faculty, and staff of the College's procedures in handling such cases. Sexual assault crimes are heinous, and these crimes occurring on the College campus will not be tolerated under any circumstances. College community members found guilty of any sexual assault crime will be severely dealt with through the appropriate College office. The College also may take disciplinary action in off-campus cases involving a BPCC student as defined in Sanctions 4.17-4.20 in the Student Code of Conduct.

Definition

The College shall refer to the Louisiana Criminal Law and Procedure Handbook to determine when a sexual assault has occurred. Sexual violence is defined by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g. due to the person’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, intimate partner abuse/domestic violence, dating violence, sexual battery, sexual abuse, sexual coercion, and stalking. Sexual violence can be carried out by College employees, other students, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

Guidelines for Reporting Sexual Assault

Victims of on-campus sexual assault are advised to adhere to the following important guidelines:

Preservation of Evidence:

  1. Do not bathe, shower, douche, or change clothes.
  2. Do not disturb the crime scene; save all clothing and items involved.
  3. Do not brush teeth, drink anything, or smoke a cigarette until you have been examined.

Although adhering to the above guidelines is most difficult under such traumatic conditions, the victim aids law enforcement agencies in the preservation of evidence when following these three recommendations.

Procedures for Reporting Assault and Receiving Help

  1. Report the assault either in person or by telephone 318-678-6013 to Campus Security. If the victim chooses a telephone, give present location in order that police may come to the victim and personally take a report in a private atmosphere. Campus Security will notify the Bossier City Police Department. Even if you don't want to file charges, you can file an informational report that may help the police locate the attacker. The designated counselor will be present, if possible, during the taking of the report.
  2. Following the report given to the police, the victim is strongly advised to seek medical assistance from a local hospital. Call the YWCA Sexual Assault 24-hour Crisis Line at 222-0556. A volunteer escort will meet you at the hospital, stay with him/her through the medical examination and during conversation with the police, and provide support to ease the victim's pain.
  3. A victim of sexual assault is highly encouraged to participate in follow-up counseling. Failing to openly address the emotional trauma of sexual assault can be devastating to the victim. Usually, victims undergo tremendous stress and fear of normal social interaction following such an assault. Thus, learning to cope with a multitude of feelings and fears can be accomplished through ongoing counseling. The victim may seek help by contacting the YMCA Sexual Assault Center (222-0556), 710 Travis Street, Shreveport, LA.

Legal Action

The victim may proceed to take action against the accused by:

  1. Pressing criminal charges through the District Attorney's Office with the assistance of Campus Security. This action is encouraged whether the accused is or is not found to be a College student.
  2. If the accused is found to be a BPCC student, the victim may request that College disciplinary proceedings begin for redress of the assault.

Campus Discipline Procedures

During College disciplinary proceedings both the victim and the accused are entitled to have an advisor present. Furthermore, both the victim and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.

The Rights of the Victim in Alleged Sexual Assault Cases

  1. The right not to have the victim's past sexual history discussed during an investigation or during a hearing;
  2. The right to choose persons to accompany the victim throughout the investigative and disciplinary proceeding;
  3. The right to be present throughout the entire disciplinary proceedings;
  4. The right to have a campus restraining order or ban imposed on the accused to prohibit them from contacting or harassing the victim;
  5. The right to be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings dealing with the alleged sexual assault;
  6. The right to be informed of counseling available on the BPCC campus and of counseling available in the community;
  7. The right to change academic environments after an alleged sexual assault incident;
  8. The right to be informed of criminal proceedings in the city and district courts.

Penalties for Sexual Assault

The College has the right to take disciplinary action, independent of the criminal justice system, against any student the College finds guilty of sexual assault. The College has jurisdiction in sexual assault cases occurring on the College campus. The College also may take disciplinary action in off-campus cases involving a BPCC student as defined in Sanctions 4.17-4.20 in the Code of Student Conduct.

Louisiana criminal penalties, which may be invoked against offenders, are listed in the Louisiana Criminal Law and Procedure Handbook.

Campus Security maintains all data on sexual assaults occurring on campus. This data is collected from August 1 through July 31 annually. Members of the College community who would like to obtain this information may contact the Vice Chancellor for Student Services or the Director of Campus Security.

Avoiding the Occurrence of Sexual Assault

All members of the College community are advised to exercise caution while on campus both day and night. Although students, faculty, and staff comprise the majority of people found on the campus, many non-College related individuals visit daily. Consequently, students and employees must use good judgment and make wise decisions in the course of daily activities on the campus. Special precautions are advised in the following situations:

  • Walking to and from parking areas both day and night. Have keys in hand when returning to an automobile and always check the automobile before entering.
  • Walking the campus alone at night. Walk with groups or wait for a Campus Watch member to walk with you.
  • Working late at night in College offices and laboratories. (When possible, keep doors locked and let someone know you are in that area.)
  • Avoid walking in dimly lit areas of campus. (All areas needing better lighting should be reported to the Administrative Office.)

Summary of Louisiana Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting Law (L.S.A-R.S. 14:403;; La. Children’s Code Arts. 601-616)

Criminal statute L.S.A.-R.S.14:403 specifies that any person in the Children’s Code who is required to report abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse of a child under age l8, is to report information to authorities when that person has cause to believe a child’s physical or mental health or welfare is endangered. Willful and knowing failure to report can result in $500.00 fine or imprisonment for six (6) months, or both.

La. Children’s Code Art. 603 defines those persons who must report child abuse as mandatory reporters, which include: any person who provides health care services, e.g., doctors, nurses, technicians; mental health or social services professionals who provide counseling services to a child or his/her family; members of the clergy; teaching or child care providers; law enforcement officers and commercial film processors.

Art. 603 (13) (c) provides an exception to the mandatory reporting requirement for a “Member of the clergy.” He is not required to report a confidential communication, i.e., “one made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to the persons present in furtherance of the communication from a person,” if the member of the clergy, in the course of the discipline or practice of that church, denomination, or organization, is authorized or accustomed to hearing confidential communications, and under the discipline or tenets of the church, denomination, or organization has a duty to keep such communications confidential. In that instance, the member of the clergy shall encourage that person to report the allegations to the appropriate authorities.

Art. 610 is the reporting procedure that requires mandatory reporters to immediately report to local child protection unit of Department of Social Services in cases where the abuser is believed to be a parent, caretaker, a person who maintains an interpersonal dating or engagement relationship with the parent or caretaker, or a person living in the same residence with the parent or caretaker as spouse whether married or not. If such a person or caretaker is not believed to have any responsibility for the abuse or neglect, the report should be immediately made to the appropriate local or state law enforcement agency. Dual reportings shall be permitted.

The initial report may be verbal, and should contain the following information, if known:

  • name, address, age, sex and race of the child;
  • nature, extent and cause of child’s injuries or endangered condition, including any previous known or suspected abuse to the child or child’s siblings;;
  • name and address of parent(s) or caretaker;
  • names and ages of all other members of child’s household;;’
  • name and address of the reporter;
  • account of how child came to reporter’s attention;;
  • (explanation of cause of child’s injury or condition offered by child, the caretaker of any other person;
  • any other information which the reporter believes might be important or relevant.

If the initial report is verbal, it shall be followed by a written report within five (5) days to the appropriate agency, i.e., local child protection unit or law enforcement agency.

Article 611 grants immunity from civil or criminal liability to any reporter, for the making of any report in good faith, and without knowledge of the falsity of such information, or reckless disregard for the truth of the report.

Training and Education

Each semester the Director of Security and the Director of Environmental Health/Safety provide information to faculty, staff, and students concerning preventative measures including but not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, anti-bullying, and anti-hazing. Annually, the Director of Environmental Health/Safety provides education to faculty and staff on sexual violence and other violence in the workplace. In addition, the College has Crisis Intervention Services provided by the BPCC Mental Health Coordinator in conjunction with the Crisis Intervention Team. This team is composed of professional faculty and staff from various areas of the College: Student Services, Campus Security, Physical Plant, Environmental Health/Safety, Human Resources, Disability Services, Workforce Development, and Behavioral and Social Sciences. The mission of this team is to aid in promoting awareness each academic year in the following areas: domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This team works closely with Campus Security ensuring the safety and well-being of the campus community.

The Crisis Intervention and Referrals policy represents the current guidelines for safely assessing an urgent or emergency situation where a student is considered to be “in crisis.” All BPCC faculty and staff are expected to perform within the guidelines set forth. Each academic year, the Crisis Intervention and Referrals Policy and Procedures are distributed campus wide. Additionally, information regarding the campus referral process is sent out in an effort to educate existing and new hires on the policy and procedures of what to do when a student is in crisis.


For further information you may contact us at studentservices@bpcc.edu.