Reporting an incident of Title IX Prohibited Conduct can seem intimidating. Whether you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, it can be confusing to determine who to turn to for support, where to report information, and what happens once the University receives your report.
Below you will find answers to common questions about reporting, including who can help you make a report, how to get support, and what the University does to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all parties involved in the reporting process.
- Title IX Prohibited Conduct
Includes the following specifically defined forms of behavior defined in the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (Sexual Misconduct Policy): Quid Pro Quo Harassment (by an employee), Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking where the alleged conduct occurred in the United States and in the University’s education program or activity.
- Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct
Includes the following specifically defined forms of behavior as defined in the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (Sexual Misconduct Policy): Quid Pro Quo Harassment, Sexual and Gender-Based Hostile Environment Harassment, Non-consensual Sexual Contact, Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Retaliation, and Complicity not otherwise defined as Title IX Prohibited Conduct.
A notification to the University Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any Responsible Employee made by any person who believes that Title IX Prohibited Conduct may have occurred.
Any individual, including students, faculty, staff, and third parties, who disclose an alleged act of Title IX Prohibited Conduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or a Responsible Employee. A Reporter may be the Complainant or another individual.
A person who is reported to have experienced conduct that could constitute Title IX Prohibited Conduct. This person is not necessarily the one that makes a report or files a complaint.
Any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Prohibited Conduct.
- Confidential Employee
Someone who is not required by law to report a potential incident of Title IX Prohibited Conduct. Examples of Confidential Employees include but are not limited to University healthcare providers while they are performing their job duties, University employees who perform administrative or operation support to healthcare providers, and Athletic Trainers who are working under a healthcare provider.
- Responsible Employee
Any employee of the University who is not a Confidential Employee. A Responsible Employee is required to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an incident of Prohibited Conduct that involves any Student as a Complainant, Respondent, and/or witness.
- Formal Complaint
A document filed and signed by the Complainant or Title IX Coordinator alleging Title IX Prohibited Conduct against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of Title IX Prohibited Conduct. Because a formal complaint requires a signature, it cannot be completed over the phone or through Just Report It (since Just Report It is anonymous).
- Formal Resolution
A form of resolution following the filing of a Formal Complaint that includes an investigation conducted by an investigator, a hearing before a Decision Maker, and a remedy and sanction (if applicable) (as described in Section VII.D of the Grievance Process).
- Informal Resolution
A form of resolution following the filing of a Formal Complaint where all parties involved request to forgo a hearing and reach an agreement and solution without a Hearing. Resolution can be reached through the use of advisors, settlements, mediation, and restorative justice.
- Supportive Measures
Individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and free to the Complainants before or after filing of a Formal Complainant or where no Formal Complaint has been filed and to Respondents after a Formal Complaint has been filed.
Any person, including an attorney, who is not otherwise a party or witness to the reported incident(s). Advisors can attend any meeting or proceeding to provide support and advice. Individuals have the right to choose their advisor, but if they do not the University will provide them with one.
- Appeals Officer
A trained University official responsible for receiving, reviewing, and responding to appeals of the Decision Maker’s Written Determination.
- Decision Maker
A trained member of the University community or an external professional who has experience with Title IX Prohibited Conduct cases. This person will ultimately make the final decision at the end of a Hearing and will help to decide what sanctions are appropriate.
- Dismissal Appeals Officer
The University’s Associate Vice President for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) or designee and is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and responding to appeals of dismissals under this Grievance Process.
A person assigned to investigate a Formal Complaint through the Grievance Process. The Investigator may be an employee of the EOCR team or an external investigator trained on the requirements of the Grievance Process.
- Informal Resolution Facilitator
The individual assigned to facilitate the Informal Resolution, this person is usually a University employee or a trained professional from another organization. Informal Resolution is defined in Section E of the Grievance Process.
What is Title IX Prohibited Conduct?
Title IX Prohibited Conduct is a variety of forms of sexual misconduct, namely the different types of sexual and gender-based harassment and sexual violence. In the policy, these are defined as Quid Pro Quo Harassment, Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Sex-Based Stalking. You can find the policy definitions of these behaviors here.
What does "reporting" mean?
Here’s a helpful way to think about reporting: report rhymes with support. Reporting is telling the University that some kind of sexual misconduct happened to you or to someone you know (or maybe someone you don’t know but you’ve become aware of an incident), so the University can reach out and offer help and resources. What a victim chooses in terms of what they need — including whether to move forward with an investigation — is entirely up to them. Reporting also lets the University document that something concerning happened, so we can track incidents of sexual misconduct on-Grounds and in our community to better evaluate safety and see trends or concerns in incidents that we can respond to and better prevent them from happening in the first place.
What are my options for reporting?
You can directly tell the University about an incident that you’ve experienced through the online form at Just Report It. If you submit something through JRI, you’ll get a response within twenty-four hours. Otherwise, you can report in-person to the Title IX Office (email [email protected] to make an appointment) or to SS&ST (you can drop in to their office in Peabody Hall). But you can also tell any non-confidential employee at the University — like an RA or a professor or a coach — and they will make a report for you to connect you to the support resources in SS&ST and the response resources in Title IX. (Want to learn more about the confidential resources on-Grounds? Click here!)
Who can report an incident of Title IX Prohibited Conduct?
Any person who believes that Title IX Prohibited Conduct may have occurred can make a report; it does not need to be made by the person who was targeted by the incident. The University encourages anyone who becomes aware of any incident to report it.
Who do I report an incident to?
A report can be made by contacting the University’s Title IX Office at any time (including during non-business hours) by Zoom, telephone, mail, and email, or in-person during regular office hours at their office in O’Neil Hall. A report can also be made through the University’s website for online reporting, Just Report It.
If I make a report, does that mean the University or the police would start an investigation if I didn't want it?
No. Whether or not a person wants to have an incident investigated is a personal choice. It’s rare for the University to ever move forward without a victim’s participation — that would only be in circumstances where a significant and articulable threat is present, like when there are allegations of serious physical violence, the use of a weapon, or multiple reports against a single person alleging sexual misconduct.
Can I report an incident to law enforcement and the University?
Yes. An individual can choose to report an incident to the University, law enforcement, or both.
In what circumstances is it required that information about the report will be shared with law enforcement?
If the Evaluation Panel concludes that there is a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of the Complainant or any other University member, the UPD Representative will contact law enforcement. Additionally, if the alleged act of Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct constitutes a felony violation of the Code of Virginia, the UPD representative will inform the Evaluation Panel as well as law enforcement.
Can I report an incident anonymously?
Yes, the individual who is making the report may download and print a PDF reporting form and deliver it to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, by mail, email, or phone from a restricted number. (However, Responsible Employees cannot make anonymous reports when they are sharing what has been disclosed with them per the Reporting Policy.) It’s important to remember, though, that if you make an anonymous report, the University may be quite limited in what it can do in response without the ability to come and ask you for more information. At the very least, the University will document the information. If you are comfortable speaking to the Title IX Office while revealing your identity though, they can walk you through your options and what happens if you share information before you choose whether to report anonymously or if you would be okay with identifying yourself — you don’t need to make a report to talk about the decision to report!
If I make an anonymous complaint, can I also ask for an investigation and stay anonymous throughout it?
No. To ensure fairness, we need to be able to share the identity of the complainant with the respondent. The respondent wouldn’t be able to adequately respond if they didn’t know who was accusing them of harm.
What is the difference between responsible employees and confidential employees?
While responsible employees are required to report any incidents of Title IX Prohibited Conduct (whether they witness it directly or hear about it), confidential employees are not required to report. Confidential employees are able to keep information you share confidential because it is a provision of their licensing, typically as medical, clinical, or mental health professionals. Responsible employees include RAs and professors, while confidential employees include healthcare providers and some employees from the UVA Women’s Center.
Are my professors required to report incidents of Title IX Prohibited Conduct?
While professors are responsible employees, meaning that they are required to report any incidents they are aware of, this does not apply to any mention of prohibited conduct in the context of a class discussion or assignment. The option to report in this situation is left to the discretion of the professor.
Is information about reports and any ensuing actions kept confidential?
Yes, all parties involved are entitled to privacy in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policy and any other legal requirements.
For students: I am not sure if I want to report an incident, but I would like to get support. Who can I talk to?
The University and community offers both in-crisis and ongoing confidential counseling resources. A full list can be found on pages 4 and 5 of the Student Resource Guide, as well as the Help and Support section. Want to explore your options more fully? Go to the Interactive Resource Guide for a comprehensive clickthrough of all the places you can turn to for support on and off-Grounds.
For employees: I am not sure if I want to report an incident, but I would like to get support. Who can I talk to?
The University and community offers both in-crisis and ongoing confidential counseling resources. A full list can be found on pages 4 and 5 of the Employee Resource Guide, as well as the Help and Support section.
As a complainant and/or respondent, what are my responsibilities?
All parties involved are expected to provide truthful information in connection to any report and throughout the entire process. The University also expects all parties involved to refrain from retaliating against anyone who makes a good faith report or anyone involved in proceedings.
What happens once I submit a report?
Once a report is received, the Title IX Coordinator will assess the information provided and respond to any immediate concerns. This means that they may reach out to the Complainant to collect additional information or offer resources.
What additional information might the Title IX Coordinator reach out to me about once the report is received?
The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the Complainant regarding their well-being and safety, as well as offering support, resources, and potential options for proceedings. Resources can be found on the Student Resource Guide.
- What are some supportive measures that can be taken before a Formal Complaint is filed?
Supportive measures designed to address the Complainant's safety and wellbeing and to preserve or restore equal access to educational opportunities without unreasonably burdening the other party may be taken. These may include no contact directives (NCDs), housing accommodations, academic accommodations, and/or work accommodations.
- What accommodations are available to me if I want to make a report or go through this process?
If requested, the University will provide accommodations for a disability or necessary language translation or interpreter services. This is done to ensure that everyone is able to participate in any proceedings.
- What is a No Contact Directive (NCD)?
A No Contact Directive (NCD) is a written request asking one or both parties to refrain from communicating with one another directly or through proxies. An NCD can be for students or employees.
- What supportive measures are offered through law enforcement?
Law enforcement can arrange a meeting to discuss or report Title IX Prohibited Conduct, and can also arrange meetings to discuss safety planning. However, law enforcement only becomes involved at the request of the Complainant.
- What supportive measures are offered for counseling?
Access to counseling services and assistance setting up initial appointments can be provided by the University. Additional resources for support can be found here.
- What supportive measures are offered regarding housing and transportation?
The University can assist with temporary or permanent housing relocation, modifying assigned parking, arranging campus escort services, and modifying University employment arrangements as needed.
- What supportive measures are offered for academic assistance?
The University can assist with modifying class schedules (including transferring to another section), withdrawing and retaking a class or attending with alternative means, extension of assignment deadlines, and voluntary leaves of absence or withdrawals.
- Who is responsible for coordinating and implementing supportive measures?
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures and may enlist the assistance of other University officials, such as staff from the Student Safety & Support Team (SS&ST).
What happens after the initial assessment of a report?
Following the initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will forward to an Evaluation Panel all information then known about the reported incident of Title IX Prohibited Conduct. The evaluation panel will then conduct a threat assessment and will advise the Title IX Coordinator on whether a Formal Complaint should be filed.
- What is a threat assessment?
A threat assessment determines whether there is an imminent threat to the physical health or safety of a person arising from the reported incident of Title IX Prohibited Conduct.
- Who is on the Evaluation Panel that conducts a threat assessment?
An evaluation panel consists of the Title IX Coordinator, a representative of the University Police Department, and a representative from the Division of Student Affairs. Additionally, the panel may choose to include a representative from Human Resources or the Office of the Provost, depending on the circumstances. This panel will meet within 72 hours of receiving the initial information from the Title IX Coordinator.
- What risk factors are considered when the evaluation panel conducts a threat assessment?
- Whether the Respondent has prior arrests, is the subject of prior reports and/or complaints related to any form of Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct, or has any history of violent behavior;
- Whether the Respondent has a history of failing to comply with any University No Contact Directive (NCD), other University protective measures, and/or any judicial protective order;
- Whether the Respondent has threatened to commit violence or any form of Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct;
- Whether the Title IX Prohibited Conduct involved multiple Respondents;
- Whether the Title IX Prohibited Conduct involved physical violence. “Physical violence” means exerting control over another person through the use of physical force. Examples of physical violence include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, strangling, and brandishing or using any weapon;
- Whether the report reveals a pattern of Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct (e.g., by the Respondent, by a particular group or organization, around a particular recurring event or activity, or at a particular location);
- Whether the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct was facilitated through the use of “date-rape” or similar drugs or intoxicants;
- Whether the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct occurred while the Complainant was unconscious, physically helpless, or unaware that the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct was occurring;
- Whether the Complainant is (or was at the time of the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct) a minor (under 18);
- Whether any other aggravating circumstances or signs of predatory behavior are present.
- What happens once the threat assessment is complete?
Once the health and safety threat assessment is complete, the Evaluation Panel advises the Title IX Coordinator about what they believe the best course of action is. This could include filing a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator is the one who ultimately makes the decision about whether to file a formal complaint or not.
What is taken into account when the Title IX Coordinator makes a final decision about filing a formal complaint?
The Title IX Coordinator will attempt to honor the Complainant’s request about what course of action to take. However, they also must consider:
- The totality of the known circumstances;
- The presence of any risk factors, as described in Section VI.B.1 of these Procedures;
- The potential impact of such action(s) on the Complainant;
- Any evidence showing that the Respondent made statements of admission or otherwise accepted responsibility for the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct;
- The existence of any independent information or evidence regarding the Title IX Prohibited Conduct or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct;
- Any other available and relevant information.