Addressing the Problem of Sexual Violence Against Students THE PATH • • • • Enhanced Understanding Legal Framework Practical Challenges Opportunities for Improvement • University Protocol & Resources Title IX and the Dear Colleague Letter Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. ED issued the DCL on April 4, 2011, to explain the requirements of Title IX to cover sexual violence and to remind schools of their responsibilities to take immediate and effective steps to respond to sexual violence. “Knows” or “Reasonably should know” Legal Requirements • Requirement to take immediate and appropriate action to determine what occurred. • Prompt & effective steps to: – End sexual violence – Prevent recurrence – Address its effects Legal Requirements • Interim steps to protect complainant • Grievance procedure • • • • • • Equal opportunities for all parties Preponderance of the evidence standard No mediation All parties notified of the outcome Reasonably prompt time frames May not wait for criminal justice system Context • “When young women get to college, nearly 20% of them will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault, as well as about 6% of undergraduate men.” • Victims of sexual assault are more likely to suffer academically and from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, to abuse alcohol and drugs, and to contemplate suicide. • Acts of sexual violence are vastly underreported. Challenge Survivor Hesitation to Report • Unclear it was a crime • Self blame • Not wanting anyone to know • Fear of getting in trouble for policy violation • Difficulty understanding what happened • Identification as LGBT • Fear of losing social support • Fear of reprisal from assailant • Lack of memory of what happened Opportunity • • • • • Overcome Survivor Hesitation to Report Training & Education Reinforce support for survivors Provide immediate resources for survivors Provide clear and easy to access for reporting Challenge Poor Coordination & Communication • Lack of cooperation between campus and police • Complaint and reporting process confusing • Confusion about prosecution • Fear of the unknown Opportunity Overcome poor coordination and communication • Training & Education • Clear and accessible policies and procedures • Central coordination • Clearinghouse for information • Regular communication University Policy The University of Montana fosters a safe learning and working environment that supports academic and professional growth of students, staff, and faculty and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, relationship abuse and violence, and stalking regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, class, religion, or relationship status. When incidents occur, the University will hold perpetrators accountable through appropriate disciplinary actions, while respecting the rights of survivors, in accordance with federal and State law, the University's Student Conduct Code, and other applicable University policies. University Policy • Employees must report information they have about sexual assaults of students to the Title IX Coordinator. • Survivor name not required. • Exemptions from reporting exist for employees who serve in a professional role in which communication is privileged under Montana law (e.g., medical providers, licensed professional counselors, rape crisis counselors). University Policy • University sexual assault team will immediately determine: – Appropriate scope of investigation balancing any confidentiality request of survivor and safety of community; – Appropriate communication with local law enforcement authorities; – Possible Clery Act or other campus notification. University Policy The Title IX Coordinator will investigate the situation and take steps to ensure that any ongoing harassment is stopped, future harassment is prevented, and to the extent possible that the effects of any harassment are remedied. The Title IX Coordinator will also ensure that interim measures are taken to ensure the safety of the survivor and that the survivor’s educational experience is not jeopardized. Resources • The Student Assault Resource Center (SARC) provides free and confidential services for students of UM who have experienced sexual or relationship violence, stalking, or harassment. SARC has a 24 hour help line: 406.243.6559. Going to SARC does not trigger a report of sexual assault. • First STEP provides medical care and evidence collection for victims of sexual assault, in a safe and private environment, 24 hours of the day. (406.329.5776). Nurses are trained to collect evidence, administer medication for the prevention of STD’s and pregnancy and provide information and referrals. If an individual thinks that he or she has been drugged, First STEP will provide toxicology testing. All services are provided at no cost to the survivor and evidence can be stored for up to one year. Going to First STEP does not trigger a report of sexual assault. Resources • Curry Health Center (CHC) Medical Clinic is available to UM students. (406.243.2122). CHC can assist with most medical concerns, pregnancy and STD testing following an assault. CHC does not collect evidence in cases of sexual assault. Going to CHC does not trigger a report of sexual assault. • The Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action will take reports of sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking and any other form of sexual harassment against a UM student or employee. (406.243.5710). • The Dean of Students will investigate reported cases of interpersonal violence and sexual assault in accordance with the Student Conduct Code. (406.243.6413). Supporting a Survivor • When an individual chooses to open up to you about an assault, respect the trust he or she has put in you. • Your job in that moment is to believe them and help them access appropriate resources. – It is not your job to ask for facts. • You may call the SARC crisis line. • Advise the student that you will be required to report to the Title IX Coordinator. Thank You & Go Griz!