Frequently asked questions
IU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy governs all sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, other forms of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. For purposes of this policy, sex or gender based discrimination is considered sexual misconduct.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, and accordingly IU must respond promptly and effectively to sexual harassment, including sexual violence, that creates a hostile environment. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which provides guidance for institutions in meeting Title IX obligations, states that any “Responsible Employee” that knows or should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence must report it to the University Title IX Coordinator or other school designee (Deputy Title IX Coordinators), so that necessary and appropriate actions can be taken to respond appropriately. Responsible Employees include any employee who has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate University designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. At IU, Responsible Employees include, but are not limited to:
- All instructors, including full-time professors, adjuncts, lecturers, Associate Instructors (AIs), Teaching Assistants (TAs), and any others who offer classroom instruction (whether in-person or online) or office hours to students;
- All advisors;
- All coaches and other athletic staff that interact directly with students;
- All student affairs administrators;
- All residential hall staff;
- Employees who work in offices that interface with students; and
- All supervisors and university officials.
Confidential Employees (those specifically identified on each campus as mental health counselors, those working in campus health care centers, and victim advocates) do not have an obligation to report information know to them, and students may speak to them with anonymity if desired. Confidential Employees may not share personally identifying information with university officials without an individual’s consent.
The Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery”) requires that IU collect and publish statistics for crimes reported to have occurred on our “Clery Geography” (i.e., occurring on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus, and on other noncampus IU property), for the purpose of informing current and prospective students and employees. Each campus publishes an Annual Security Report, which contains these crime statistics as well as campus specific information on resources, campus emergency responses, safety and security policies, and disciplinary procedures. Clery also requires “timely warnings” be issued to the campus community for crimes occurring on Clery Geography that are considered a serious or continuing threat to students or employees. Under Clery, any good-faith report of a crime must be included in the statistics.
Campus Security Authorities (CSA) are those employees who have the responsibility under Clery of ensuring that information regarding a crime reported or known to them, is conveyed to the University for record keeping and reporting purposes. At IU, CSAs include, but are not limited to:
- A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution.
- Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department...such as an individual who is responsible for monitoring entrance into institutional property.
- Any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses.
- An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, campus judicial proceedings and all athletic directors, coaches, trainers.
Typically, this does not include instructors who don’t otherwise have responsibilities for student or campus activities outside the classroom. Under Clery, licensed mental health counselors and pastoral counselors, acting within the scope of that role, are exempt from reporting statistical information for Clery.
What’s the difference? While Clery’s purpose is to disseminate information about certain crimes (including sexual-based crimes) occurring on campus, Title IX’s purpose is to ensure the university appropriately responds and prevents incidents of sexual misconduct (both sexual harassment and sexual violence). Both require that certain employees report information known to them to the appropriate campus officials designated to receive that information.
Additional information on the Clery Act, including definitions of terms can be found here.
(See Question 4 below for more information on reporting sexual misconduct if you are both a CSA and a Responsible Employee.)
When a Responsible Employee is made aware of sexual misconduct involving a member of the university community, the university is considered to be on notice and must act promptly and appropriately. Responsible Employees have an obligation to promptly contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or the University Title IX Coordinator on their campus and report all information they know about an incident of sexual misconduct when the incident involves students, employees, or others affiliated with IU. This includes situations where the misconduct has been perpetrated against or by a third party.
By reporting, you ensure that the university is able to properly respond. More important, you ensure that the individual who experienced sexual misconduct is connected with those on campus trained to assist them, offer support, and address the safety of the individual and others within our university community.
Otherwise, in non-emergencies or when the incident was responded to by a non-IU police department, report the incident to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus as a Responsible Employee, (described above in no. 3). As part of their duties, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for each campus will ensure that any reports received about a sex offense (as defined by the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, will be reported to the appropriate Clery officials for their campus. By reporting the information to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus, you have fulfilled both your obligation as a Responsible Employee and a CSA, and made it possible for the individual to receive the resources they need.
Some Confidential Employees under Title IX (see no. 2 above) are not exempt from reporting Clery information to IUPD. Specifically, any Confidential Employee who is not a licensed mental health counselor or pastoral counselor serving in those roles, must still provide non-identifying aggregate information regarding any Clery crime known to them directly to IUPD.
When someone shares this information, they are sharing something very personal so it is important to respond in a supportive and helpful way. Here are some important tips:
- Be supportive in your words and actions
- Listen without judgment
- Avoid questions, especially those that may imply blame or second guess their behavior
- Avoid using words that question their actions or prescribe a certain a response like “Why did (or didn’t you)?” or “You should…” You ought to….”
- Ask how you can help
- Remind them that the incident is not their fault
Remember to be patient. It may be hard for the person to describe what happened in words and they may seem confused, so let the person share what information they are comfortable sharing with you.
IU has trained medical and counseling staff that can assist students with traumatic events, and we encourage you to refer them or assist them in locating that resource on campus. This information can be found on this website, Stop Sexual Violence, under the “Get Help” tab.
Tips on appropriate things to say:
Listen and focus on what that person may need in the moment. There is no need to investigate or ask for more specific information. To be supportive and reassuring, consider the following:
- “I am sorry this happened to you.”
- “How can I help?”
- “Do you have a safe place to be?”
- “Have you had a chance to see a doctor?”
- “I am glad you shared this with me.”
- “Thank you for telling me.”
- “What happened is not your fault.”
Yes. It is important the person sharing information with you understands that you will be informing the Deputy Title IX Coordinator of this information (including their name and nature of the incident), why you are sharing this information (obligation to provide to those on campus in a position to respond), and what will happen next (that the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will be reaching out to them to provide support and information).
If you anticipate someone may want to share information with you about a particular incident, consider gently asking them to pause and explain to them the following: “I want to let you know that given my role on campus, I have an obligation to share information about incidents of sexual misconduct with our Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The University needs to make sure you have information about local resources that might be helpful, and must make sure that you and others on campus are also safe. They will work with you to help you understand your rights and options and connect you with appropriate and available resources. You can decide how much or how little you want to share with them—that is up to you. It is just my job to let them know.” Remember, if you are a Responsible Employee, and the individual has already shared information with you about an incident of sexual misconduct, you must still report that information.
If they express a desire for confidentiality or say that they don’t want the university to investigate the matter, you must still report the information as required, and inform the individual that while specific university administrators need to receive the information from you, you will convey their concerns and the university will certainly consider their requests and desires.
You cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality, but you can assure them that you and the university will uphold their privacy and confidentiality as much as possible, and only share with those who have a need to know in order to respond. You can explain that the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will weigh requests for confidentiality against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. In reporting the details of the incident to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus, make sure you share the person’s concerns about confidentiality along with the information you learned about the incident.
If the person has not shared any details about an incident of sexual misconduct, but asks if they can tell you something in confidence, be sure to let the person know your obligation to report.Suggest that they instead consider talking to one of the Confidential Employees on your campus.
Explaining the university process may help the person feel more comfortable with your reporting obligations to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Let them know that after you report to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus, the Deputy will notify the University Title IX Coordinator.
You can also explain that the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus (or another appropriate member of the campus) will typically reach out to the individual to ensure they have access to appropriate and available resources (e.g., counseling services) and interim measures (e.g., no contact orders and assistance with changing living, academic, work, and/or transportation situations). They will also explain to the individual their rights and options, including the procedure for pursuing an institutional complaint against the individual as well as filing a criminal complaint.
Be cautious about overwhelming the student with information about a process that you do not manage or have direct experience. Be comfortable saying “I do not know the answer to your question, but I will help connect you to those who do.”
We encourage you to find and familiarize yourself with the information provided on this site. When speaking with the person, you canshare specific information about available counseling and medical attention, campus-specific resources, and contact information.
You can also let students know they can report the incident online or directly to the campus authorities identified on their campus Report an Incident page of this website. It is helpful to reassure them that the individuals in these offices are there to assist them.
No. The investigation and response to reports of sexual misconduct require significant and specific training. It is not your job to investigate, to determine if a crime has been committed or a university policy violated, or to be a counselor. Those responsibilities are assigned to specific offices on campus and in the community:
- The police will investigate complaints of a crime
- Campus Title IX officers will investigate violations of university policy and help arrange accommodations and other measures of assistance
- Medical professionals will address the person's physical needs
- Advocates can assist with resources and reporting options
- Mental health professionals are available to support the process of recovery
If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911. Consider taking the person to the counseling office/resource on your campus or in your community. Available counseling resources on your campus and in your community are listed in the Find help section of this site.
No. Once you have reported the incident to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for your campus, you should not share the information with anyone else. It is your obligation to keep the information confidential, except for your reporting obligations required under Title IX and the Clery Act. If your supervisor, or someone else within your reporting line, has an expectation that you would share such a report with them, you can let them know that you’ve made a report (without sharing specifics) and give then the name of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or University Title IX Coordinator, so they may follow up directly with any concerns or questions.
Explore this site for information about resources for fighting sexual misconduct on all IU campuses.