Domestic violence cases up on campus

By Joel Umanzor, Sports Editor

The annual Campus Crime Awareness Report for the Contra Costa Community College District was released in October.
This year’s report for Contra Costa College shows an uptick in domestic violence, dating violence, burglary and aggravated assault on campus. Domestic violence and dating violence are distinguished separately, with domestic violence being violence against a spouse or someone with a shared child/residence and dating violence is defined as “violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.”
The report details different crimes that occur on the three district campuses, Contra Costa, Diablo Valley and Los Medanos colleges, and in the areas adjacent to the them.
This yearly review of crimes is reported in order for the district to remain in compliance with Title IX regulations.
CCC Police Services Lt. Tom Holt said, “The report is actually a release (of crime information) to the campus community. It is a law, established by the Clery Act, in which all colleges and universities that receive federal financial aid must comply with.”
Each year, all colleges and universities in the U.S. release their report before Oct. 1. It contains crime statistics from the previous three-year period detailing specific crimes and security policies for institutions.
The Clery Act was established in the 1990 as the Campus Security Act in response to the murder of Jeanne Clery at Lehigh University in 1986.
Amendments to the Campus Security Act renamed it in honor of Clery in 1998.
Lt. Holt said the ways students can ensure they are being proactive in preventing crimes on campus would be to report suspicious activity and to not leave valuables left unattended or in their vehicles.
Holt said, “Use the new Campus Shield app. There is safety in numbers, so travel in pairs or groups.”
Students were surprised by the increase in these domestic violence crimes.
Freshman Deborah Damaris said, “It’s kind of like that everywhere for girls, especially walking on the street. I always have to keep my guard up whenever I walk around campus alone, especially in the morning since my class is early.”
Damaris said seeing data being recorded showing these crimes being committed on campus should help raise awareness for female students to be aware whenever they are alone on campus.
Another student, Erin Pasado, said that the issues highlighted in the report give the student body an idea of what is going on around them.
Pasado said, “It’s definitely eye-opening to see cases like this here at school. But it’s important to be informed.”
CCC is the only college in the district that had cases of domestic violence and had twice as many dating violence cases as Diablo Valley and Los Medanos colleges combined.
Aggravated assault crimes increased from one case in 2016 to three reported cases in the 2017 school year at CCC.