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Safety and Security Office - Frequently Ask Questions

Where can I find information in regard to Title IX?

Catawba Valley Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex/gender, religion, creed, age, or disability in its programs and activities. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies.

Dean of the School of Access, Development, and Success

2550 Highway 70, SE
Hickory, NC 28602-8302
(828) 327-7000

Director of Human Resources

2550 Highway 70, SE
Hickory, NC 28602-8302
(828) 327-7000

Where can I find information about crimes reported on CVCC campuses?

CVCC maintains an active file of reported crimes in the Safety and Security Office on its Main Campus at 2550 US HWY 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602. The file may be viewed by appointment. The statistics can also be found at

The CVCC Campus Safety and Security Office provides this report in order to be in compliance with federal statute 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f) The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or better known as the Clery Act.

This report is prepared in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies in Catawba County and Alexander County. Campus crime, arrest and referral statistics include those reported to the Campus Safety and Security Office and to local law enforcement agencies. Each year, notice regarding the availability of this report is provided to employees, students, prospective employees, and prospective students in the following manner:

  • To currently enrolled curriculum students by e-mail to their CVCC student e-mail account To current employees by e-mail to their CVCC e-mail account
  • To currently enrolled students in non-credit courses by postcard through the US. Postal Service except for those non-credit students who are also currently enrolled curriculum students and who are notified by e-mail to their CVCC student e-mail account
  • To prospective employees during the hiring process
  • To prospective students when they apply for admission to a curriculum program or when they register for a non-credit course.

The notice includes a brief summary of the report’s content, instructions to request a paper copy, and the direct web address (URL) of the report. CVCC does not withhold, or subsequently remove, a reported crime from its crime statistics based on a decision by a court, coroner, jury, prosecutor, or other similar non-campus official. Clery Act reporting does not require initiating an investigation or disclosing identifying information about the victim. Hate crimes are reported by gender identity, ethnicity, and national origin. Ethnicity and national origin are further split into independent categories. CVCC must withhold as confidential the names and other identifying information of victims when providing timely warnings. CVCC prohibits retaliation by an institution or an officer, employee, or agent of an institution against any individual for exercising their rights or responsibilities under any provision under the Clery Act.

What terminology is best used when discussing incidents of sexual assault?

CVCC prohibits the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as defined in the following definitions of them and associated words.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can be any form of forced sexual contact. Force can be physical or emotional (threat, intimidation, pressure, coercion).

Rape (except Statutory Rape)

The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.


Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual Assault with An Object

To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Statutory Rape

Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. If the victim was incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or mental impairment, either temporary or permanent, law enforcement should classify the offense as Rape, not Statutory Rape.


To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.


To pursue obsessively and to the point of harassment.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in NC is when someone you have had a "personal relationship" with does any of the following to you or your minor child:

  • attempts to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causes bodily injury; or
  • places you or a member of your family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
  • conducts continued harassment, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or
  • commits any rape or sexual offense.


Consent is explicit approval to engage in sexual activity demonstrated by clear actions or words. This decision must be made freely and actively by all participants. Non‐verbal communication (i.e. pushing someone away or moving your body away from someone), silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance does not imply consent. In addition, previous participation in sexual activity does not indicate current consent to participate and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent has not been obtained in situations where the individual:

  • Is forced, pressured, manipulated, or has reasonable fear that they will be injured if they do not submit to the act.
  • Is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity, which includes, but is not limited to, the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol and Ketamine that are often used to facilitate sexual assault and rape.
  • Has a mental or physical disability which inhibits his/her ability to give consent Sexual Misconduct

Clery Geography

Although forcible rape is a Clery Act crime, where it was committed is important in determining if the crime must be disclosed in the annual security report and the Web-based data collection. If a student reports being raped over spring break, the statistic for the rape must be disclosed if it occurred on campus, in or on a non-campus building or property or on public property as defined by Clery Act regulations. If the rape did not occur in one of these locations, do not include it in your Clery statistics.

Hate Crime

A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias. Bias is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin.

Hierarchy Rule

This rule requires you to count only the most serious offense when more than one offense was committed during a single incident. A single incident means that the offenses were committed at the same time and place. That is, the time interval between the offenses and the distance between the locations where they occurred were insignificant. Beginning with the most serious offense, the following list shows the hierarchy for Clery Act reporting:

  • Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter
  • Negligent Manslaughter
  • Forcible Sex Offenses
  • Non-forcible Sex Offenses
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Burglary
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Arrests
  • Referrals for Disciplinary Action

Sex Offenses

Offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and the like.

Forcible Fondling

The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity. Incest Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

What is sexual assault or rape?

Sexual assault can be any form of forced sexual contact. Force can be physical or emotional (threat, intimidation, pressure, coercion). Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent.

  • “Non-Consensual Sexual Contact” means Sexual Contact that occurs without Effective Consent.
  • “Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse” means Sexual Intercourse that occurs without Effective Consent.
  • “Effective Consent” means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Effective Consent cannot be gained by Force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the accused student knows or reasonably should have known of such Incapacitation. Effective Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of Effective Consent previously given. In addition, certain states have designated a minimum age under which a person cannot give “Effective Consent.”
  • “Force” means physical force, violence, threat, intimidation or coercion. “Incapacitation” means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of Incapacitation include, without limitation, sleep, blackouts, and flashbacks. Where alcohol is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Rather, Incapacitation is determined by how the alcohol consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. The question is whether the accused student knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the accused student should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated. Because Incapacitation may be difficult to discern, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume that another person is Incapacitated and therefore unable to give Effective Consent. Being intoxicated or drunk is never a defense to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this Policy.
  • “Sexual Contact” means the deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas), or using Force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.
  • “Sexual Intercourse” means penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object.

What is effective consent?

Effective Consent, as noted above, means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

Effective consent:

  • Requires Communication
    • Words or actions must be used to establish consent. The absence of “no” does not equal “yes.”
  • Must Entail An Uninfluenced yes
    • Consent cannot be established if one person if pressuring the other- this can be physical or emotional. Pressuring another person by saying things like “if you love me you’ll do this”, “I’ll find it elsewhere if I don’t get it from you” does not lead to effective consent and is not respectful of the other person’s wishes.
  • Happens one step at a time - every time
    • Just because your partner agrees to one thing, that does not mean they agree to everything. Oral sex does not give consent for intercourse and vice versa. Also, just because you have hooked up one time, it does not give permission for every other time- even if you are in a relationship, even if it has happened many times before.
  • Is free to be taken back at any time
    • At any point during a sexual encounter each partner should feel free to change his or her mind and the other partner must respect that person’s decision.

Sokolow, Brett A., Lewis, W. Scott, Schuster, Saundra K., NCHERM Institute on Responding to Campus Sexual Misconduct. 2010, p. 49.

What should I do if I believe I have been sexually assaulted?

If you are sexually assaulted, you should do the following:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Do not shower or bathe. Do not urinate, if possible.
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke or brush your teeth if oral contact took place.
  • Do not destroy or wash the clothes you were wearing. If you change, place your clothes in a paper bag. Contact CVCC Campus Safety and Security, local law enforcement (Catawba County Sheriff’s Department, Hickory Police Department, Newton Police Department, Alexander County Sheriff’s Department, or Taylorsville Police Department) or the Executive Officer of Student Services.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately (preferably within 72 hours).

Following the above suggestions will ensure the preservation of evidence. Victims of a sexual offense/assault are encouraged to contact the Campus Safety and Security Office, local law enforcement or CVCC Student Services immediately following an incident. A report may be filed with the Campus Safety and Security Office and/or local law enforcement. The filing of a report does not obligate the victim to pursue charges, but does make filing of charges easier at a later date. Sexual offense/assault victims may seek action through the CVCC conduct and disciplinary policies and/or the judicial system (criminal and/or civil). CVCC will assist in pursuing option(s) elected by the victim. CVCC and the courts are independent systems; charges may be filed in either or both systems. If a sexual offense/assault victim does not wish to pursue action through CVCC or the judicial system, the victim may make an anonymous report. With the victim’s permission, CVCC can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing the victim’s identity. This type of anonymous report helps to ensure the future safety of the victim and others. With such information, CVCC can keep accurate records regarding the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of sexual offenses/assaults with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger.

Because of the traumatic nature of a sexual offense/assault, victims are encouraged to seek immediate counseling. The Rape Crisis Center provides counseling and group services free of charge.

What should I do if I witness someone being assaulted?

CVCC personnel shall observe the following guidelines when responding to a sexual assault report.

  • Assess the victim’s well-being, render aid, and express concern and assurance.
  • Encourage the victim to seek medical treatment (preferably within 72 hrs.)
  • Do not question the victim about the details of the incident. Questioning will be handled by trained personnel.
  • Notify the Campus Safety and Security Office and/or the Executive Officer of Student Services.
  • Identify the assailant if possible.
  • Make sure the victim is in a secure place.
  • Identify the location of the crime.
  • Assist law enforcement or medical personnel responding to the incident as needed.
  • Do not touch, move or collect any evidence unless that evidence may be lost if you do not. If you have to collect evidence, record the following information:
    • Item seized,
    • Time seized, and
    • Location seized.
  • If evidence is given to you, record the following information:
    • The person’s name, address, telephone number and date of birth,
    • The item given to you,
    • The time and location where the person seized the item,
    • The time you received the item, and
    • Document chain of custody of the evidence.

What resources are available for victims of sexual assault?



Catawba Valley Community College CVCC Campus Emergency


»CVCC Campus Safety and Security Office
(828) 327-7000, ext. 0

Dean of Student Services
(828)327-7000, ext. 4143

Student Services
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4216

Crisis Centers

Catawba County

Family Guidance Center – 1st Step Domestic Violence Services (828) 322-1400

Alexander County

Domestic Violence Resource Center (828) 635-8850

Children Services

Child Advocacy & Protection Center (828) 465-9296

Law Enforcement

Catawba County

Catawba County Sheriff’s Dept. (828) 464-5241 (general number)

(828) 464-3112 (to file a report)

Hickory Police Dept.

(828) 328-5551 (Communications)

Newton Police Department

(828) 465-7430

Alexander County

Alexander County Sheriff’s Department (828) 632-4658

Taylorsville Police Dept. (828) 632-4658

Captain James


Catawba Valley Medical Center Emergency Dept. Registration (828) 326-3850
Frye Regional Medical Center Emergency Services

(828) 315-3190
Information & Financial Assistance

NC Department of Public Safety/Division of Law Enforcement

Victim and Justice Services (919) 733-7974

Rape Victims Assistance Program 1(800) 826-6200

NC SAVAN (Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification) 1 (877) 627-2826

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) 1 (800) 656-4673 (HOPE) (24/7 hotline) (online hotline)

NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault (919) 871-1015

NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Eastern Office in Durham (919) 956-9124 or 1 (888) 232-9124

Western Office in Ashville (828) 505-3708

What are my rights?

  • To have all incidents and medical records kept confidential
  • To be treated without prejudice based upon race, class, lifestyle, sex, age, occupation, or religious beliefs
  • To receive private and confidential examination/treatment for personal injuries, sexually transmittable disease, and pregnancy.
  • To be considered as credible as a person reporting any other crime
  • To be made aware of the options available through the College and the judicial system
  • To receive emotional and psychological support and advocacy
  • To prosecute or not to prosecute
  • To receive current information on community and campus resources
  • To answer only those questions relevant to the crime
  • To freedom from harassment
  • To feasible class schedule adjustments (without academic or financial penalty) as necessary to minimize the potential for contact with the alleged perpetrator or those associated with the alleged perpetrator. Student Services will assist victims with any academic concerns or change in class schedule requests that are feasible.

Is there training available?

For students, CVCC provides a training module found on the entry page of each student’s Blackboard landing page. New Students will be emailed at the start of each semester instructions on how to access the Sexual Harassment training module.

For new faculty and staff, CVCC’s Human Resource Department offers a mandatory training course through the Onboarding Website.

CVCC also offers multiple training seminars in regard to Sexual Assault Awareness throughout the year which are coordinated through Renee Neal (828) 327-7000, ext. 4408, CVCC’s New Choices Program Coordinator.

Is my information kept confidential?

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action through CVCC or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Campus Safety and Security Office can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, CVCC can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, faculty, staff, and visitors; determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant; and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crime statistics for CVCC. CVCC does not have counselors who are not required to report crimes for inclusion in CVCC crime statistics. Students may contact the Chief Student Services Officer for information on local agencies and counseling services who may provide confidential counseling services. Faculty/staff may contact the CVCC Personnel Department for information regarding confidential counseling services.

Also, to provide privacy for students, the only reference to any disciplinary action in the database is to see the “hard” file which is maintained in the office of the Chief Student Services Officer.

If an incident occurs between two students, what steps are taken?

Student vs. Student Grievance

A student vs. student grievance may occur about alleged unjust treatment of one student(s) to another student(s).

Step 1: Student Resolution

The aggrieved student(s) should submit the completed “Student Grievance Form about Another Student” to the CVCC Student Advocate or designee within ten (10) college business days of the “event date” of the incident. The CVCC Student Advocate or designee will facilitate and attend a meeting with the aggrieved student and the student where the alleged grievance event originated within five (5) college business days of the receipt of this form. An attempt will be made to resolve the matter equitably and informally at this level.

Step 2: Dean Resolution

If the grievance is not resolved at the informal meeting in Step 1, the student(s) may initiate a Dean Resolution review by completing the student part of the Student Grievance Form and submitting it to the Dean of the School of Access, Development, and Success (ADS) within five (5) college business days of the conclusion of the Step 1 meeting. The Dean of the School of ADS will conduct an investigation into the alleged charge(s). The investigation may include interviewing the aggrieved student(s), interviewing the student(s) who is (are) perceived to have committed the alleged problem, interviewing witnesses, reviewing written statements, consulting other College officials, and other appropriate methods to make an informed decision. The Dean of ADS will respond in writing to the aggrieved student(s) and to the student(s) who allegedly caused the problem within five (5) working days of receipt of the Student Grievance Form with the decision. The Dean will also complete the Dean’s part of the Student Grievance Form and submit it to the Office of the President at the same time.

Step 3: Student Grievance Committee Resolution

If the grievance is not resolved at the Dean Resolution in Step 2, the student(s) may initiate a Student Grievance Committee review by completing the student part of the Student Grievance Committee Review Form and submitting it to the Office of the President within five (5) college business days of the receipt of the Step 2 written decision.

Following receipt of a Student Grievance Committee Review Form, a Student Grievance Committee ("the Committee") shall be selected. The Committee membership (5 voting members and a non-voting chair) shall be as follows and shall not include any members who have had any involvement in the grievance to date:

  • Committee Chair (a non-voting member): A Vice President selected by the President
  • Two (2) voting representatives selected by the Committee Chair from a group of nine (9) faculty or non-credit professional staff representatives (3 from each academic school) appointed by the President
  • One (1) voting representative selected by the Committee Chair from a group of two (2) Student Services counselors or admissions representatives appointed by the President
  • Two (2) voting student representatives selected by the Committee Chair from the group of five (5) current SGA officers

Are accommodations made until grievances are settled?

Following an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, CVCC will make accommodations in conjunction with the campus Safety & Security Officers on a case by case basis. These accommodations could include the changing of class schedule, a change of class format, or withdrawal from classes without penalty.

What are myths about Sexual Assault?

Myth: Rape happens only to certain types of women.

Any person of any age, race, class, religion, occupation, physical ability, sexual identity, or appearance can be raped.

Myth: Most assaults occur as spontaneous acts in dark alleys.

Close to 80% of all sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances. This can range from someone known to the survivor only by sight, to individuals with whom they are very close: a best friend, a lover, or husband. Even adolescent or adult male survivors are primarily assaulted by acquaintances—usually other men, but sometimes women as well.

Myth: Most sexual assaults are interracial.

The overwhelming majority—90%—of sexual assaults involve people of the same race. One cannot assume that a person is potentially dangerous or trustworthy based solely on his/her race or appearance. Instead, an individual should judge potential hazards based on a person's behavior, and trust their instincts in all cases.

Myth: Women give mixed messages because they don't want to admit that they really want to have sex. They just need to be convinced, to relax and enjoy themselves.

Rape is a crime for which the perpetrator has responsibility. By understanding that rape is rape, regardless of the relationship between the parties, and regardless of the behavior of the survivor, the focus will stay on the perpetrator's behavior, not the victim's.

Myth: A rapist is easy to spot in a crowd.

There is nothing about rapists' appearances that distinguishes them from others. Rapists come from all races, ethnic or socioeconomic groups. They can be large, small, able-bodied, or disabled, married or single.

Myth: Men can't be sexually assaulted.

Somewhere between one in six and one in ten males are sexually assaulted. As with female survivors, male survivors can be supported best by talking about the issue in an inclusive way, avoiding the presumption that all survivors are female, and assuming that all male victims are gay.

Myth: Women lie about rape as an act of revenge or guilt.

A judge of the New York State Supreme Court has said, “False rape charges are not frequently made; only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false—the same as other felonies.” FBI statistics support this as well.

Revised: January 12, 2017