The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amended the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act to require certain convicted sex offenders to notify states of each institution of higher education at which the individual is a student or employee. The act also requires states to make such information available promptly to law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction of the location of the applicable institutions of higher education. The act also specifies that local law enforcement officials must enter this information into appropriate state records or data systems. The act also requires institutions to notify the campus community where they can obtain from law enforcement agencies' information concerning registered sex offenders. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains a searchable database to obtain this information.
Sexual Assault and Other Sex Crimes
It is important for all students, faculty, and staff members to know where to turn for help and what to do if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted or raped. Whether the assailants are strangers, acquaintances, close friends, or dates, everyone needs to know how to get necessary treatment, counseling, and other services. Sexual assault and other sex crimes are criminal offenses subject to prosecution under the law. These acts are also violations of the Student Conduct Code.
Studies show that "acquaintance rape" occurs more frequently among college-age students than among any other group. This form of rape is one of the most unrecognized and under-reported crimes because few people identify it as a crime punishable by law.
Reducing Risk — Steps to take to reduce your risk of being a victim of sex crimes include:
- See the Personal Safety and Crime Prevention section for steps to follow for your own personal safety.
- Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist; practice possible responses to situations so that you can recall them, even under the stress of a real encounter.
- Realizing that you could be a victim is the first step in self-protection.
- Use awareness and common sense to avoid potentially dangerous situations.Participate in a self-defense training class.
With regard to date rape and acquaintance rape, remember the following precautions:
- Know your own sexual values, expectations, wishes, and intentions, and communicate them clearly and openly.
- Be observant of your acquaintance's or date's attitudes toward you.
- Avoid using mood-altering chemicals such as drugs and alcohol. Studies have shown that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs contributes to increased incidences of date rape.
- Be assertive about your needs and rights. Reinforce your verbal "no" with physical resistance, unless you feel this will further endanger you. Tell your assailant that he or she is committing a sexual act to which you do not consent and that he or she is breaking the law.
If You are a Victim — You need to be aware of your capabilities and limitations. Your judgment and thinking will be your best weapons. Evaluate the situation for possible avenues of escape. Your first concern should be for your safety and survival. Use your judgment to do what is necessary to save your life. That may mean making a scene and drawing attention to yourself so that the assailant leaves. It may buy you enough time to escape. This action may mean fighting back. It may mean not physically resisting. If you choose not to physically resist the attack, it does not mean that you have asked to be raped. It means that you did what you needed to do to survive. Remember — There is no one "right" way to respond. The person under attack is the best judge of which options will work well in that situation.
If someone assaults or attempts to assault you or someone you know, you should get to a safe place as soon as you can. Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not bathe, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing. Consider calling the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia at (706) 353-1912. The center accepts collect calls. The center will provide counseling, resources, and referrals on issues of sexual abuse. These services are available at no charge. The center keeps all calls completely confidential.
If the attack occurred on campus, contact the vice president for student affairs at (706) 355-5029, the vice president for operations at the Elbert County Campus at (706) 213-2100, the director at the Walton County Campus at (770) 207-3130, or the Director at the Greene County Campus at (706) 453-7435. If the attack occurred off campus, immediately contact a local law enforcement agency by dialing 911. Get medical attention as soon as possible to determine the presence of physical injury, sexually transmittable diseases, or pregnancy. Medical personal can also obtain evidence to assist in criminal prosecution.
Sex crimes can cause psychological after-effects. Counseling is a good idea, whether or not you think you need it. Remember, sex crimes are never the victim's fault. Contact the director of student support services at (706) 355-5081 for assistance.
The Office of Student Affairs will, upon request, help address any judicial and academic concerns victims might have because of an assault. The college will also assist victims in changing their academic or living situations after the assault if requested and reasonably available. If the assailant is a student, the victim may file a written complaint with the vice president for student affairs. Under the Student Code of Conduct, the college affords both the accused and the accuser the same rights.
The Student Activities Office and the Office of Student Support Services schedule seminars on rape and sexual assault prevention throughout the academic year. Staff from these offices posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, electronic message boards, and the college website.