Know Your IX

From Tuesday, March 22.

Whaddya Know?

  1. Name five situations or actions that would be considered violations under Title IX.
  2. What is the name of the co-ordinator of the Title IX Office at Pitt?
  3. How many days does a university have to investigate a Title IX allegation/complaint?
  4. What’s a mandated reporter?
  5. True or False: If you report a sexual assault to the Title IX Office at Pitt, you will have to be questioned about the event by the city police.
  6. Fill-It-In: While investigating a Title IX allegation, your university is obligated under Title IX to provide the victim/survivor with _______.

Answers

  1. Sexual assault, sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of gender, stalking, relationship violence
  2. Katie Pope
  3. A university is required to be prompt in its investigation of a Title IX complaint. The recommended time frame is 60 days, though this may vary slightly for more complex cases, and cases with a simultaneous police investigation.
  4. A mandated reporter is someone who is obligated, under the Clery Act, to report crimes that they are made aware of, including sexual assault.
  5. False.
  6. Accommodations

Some (Okay, A Bunch of) Important Stats

  • About 23% of senior female students reported being victims/survivors of sexual contact involving physical force or incapacitation, about 10% reported experiencing non-consensual penetration (AAU CCS, 2015)
  • About 21% of senior students reported being victims/survivors of sexual conduct that was in violation of Pitt’s student code of conduct- sexual assault. This is in line with national statistics. (AAU CCS, 2015)
  • 27% of University of Pittsburgh students know where to find help if they or a friend are a victim/survivor of sexual assault/sexual misconduct (AAU Campus Climate Survey, 2015)
  • 23% of students said that they know where to go to report sexual assault/sexual misconduct (AAU CCS, 2015)
  • 11% of students said that they know what happens when someone reports an incident of sexual assault/misconduct (AAU CCS, 2015)
  • 90% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the person knows (KYIX)
  • Only about 2% of rapes are false reports, a rate that does not exceed the false reporting rates of other crimes. (2010)
  • 43% of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, technology-facilitated, verbal or other forms of controlling abuse. (2011)
  • Individuals who identify as disabled are three times more likely to experience sexual violence than persons who do not identify as disabled. (2014)

What’s Title IX, Anyway?

  • A Brief History
    • Enacted into law on June 23, 1972, as part of the 1972 Education Amendments Act of 1972. (amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965)Enforced by the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education
    • It states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
    • Applies to all educational institutions (even private ones)
    • Has been expanded and interpreted over the years to include issues of discrimination and sexual/gendered violence
  • Some Definitions to Know (from Pitt Title IX Office):
    • Sexual Harassment – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
    • Sexual Misconduct – rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, sexual coercion, and any other form of non-consensual sexual activity (including when an individual is not in a condition to give legal consent)
    • Stalking – repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating another individual using such methods including, but not limited to, telephone, mail, electronic communication, and social media
    • Domestic Violence – in addition to physical abuse, also includes emotional, verbal and economic abuse
    • Dating Violence – in addition to physical abuse, also includes emotional, verbal and economic abuse
    • Retaliation – adverse academic, social, employment or other actions against anyone reporting a violation or participating in an investigation of any Title IX allegation
  • The Clery Act (1990)The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is the work of the parents of Jeanne Clery, a 19- year old Lehigh University student who was raped and murdered in her dorm.Requires schools to report instances of crime on campus- including hate crimes and sexual violence, as well as to inform victim/survivors of their rights.
  • Anonymity and Reporting
    • Privileged and Confidential Communications: may be obligated to report the date and location of the alleged violation, but are not obligated to report anything that would identify the victim/survivor or the accused
      • SHARE peer educators and staff
      • Student Health Services
      • Counseling Services
      • Pastors
    • Responsible Employees: when told of an incident of sexual violence, have the responsibility and the obligation to report the incident to the University (including the identities of those involved)  in order to begin an investigation. In all cases the victim/survivor will be informed of what information is being shared where.
      • Deans
      • Department Chairs
      • RAs and RDs
      • Title IX Co-ordinator
      • Faculty and TAs***Remember:  you can ALWAYS talk to a CWO Board Member!
  • Requesting AnonymityIf a student shares something with a Responsible Employee but wants that information to remain CONFIDENTIAL, and wishes that no investigation be initiated,  ze may request confidentiality through Title IX.The University then must weigh the victim/survivor’s request against the responsibility to provide a safe campus for students.Some cases in which the University may override a confidentiality request:

    Multiple allegations have been made against the same student

  • The Reporting Process

TitleIX graphic

  • Potential Accommodations
    • Change in living arrangement
    • Change in class schedule
    • University-Issued No Contact Order
    • Mental health and counseling services
    • Academic support
    • Transportation
    • Removal of the alleged perpetrator from campus (suspension)***Accommodations are made BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER a formal allegation and investigation. And are not the sole BURDEN of the victim/survivor.***
  • Complaint InvestigationWhen a Title IX allegation is filed by a victim/survivor, the accused is notified that they are under investigation and may be in violation of university policyAn investigation begins and the victim/survivor will be asked to provide details to campus authorities. Any evidence, is taken into consideration. Both parties are notified of their rights and resources and have the opportunity to review evidence.Mediation: a possible, but NOT REQUIRED avenue for resolution of an investigation. Mediation is NOT to be used in cases of sexual violence.

    Disciplinary Hearing: hearing before the university judicial board. Accusing student and accused give testimonies, or have someone speak on their behalf. If found to be in violation of school policy, disciplinary measures are recommended by the judicial board, to the dean. Both parties may appeal the decision.

  • University vs. Criminal InvestigationsUniversity disciplinary proceedings only require a “preponderance of evidence” to find the respondent responsible; criminal trials require the defendant to be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”Disciplinary measures that the university can take are limitedUniversity proceedings may take less time than criminal trials

    Costs of lawyers, court fees can be weighty

    A lawyer can advise you in the case of a university hearing, but cannot speak on your behalf

  • Title IX Complaints Against Organizations and UniversitiesIndividuals have the right to file a complaint against their school or university if they find that it has violated their rights under Title IXPossible violations include: mishandling investigations, not investigating allegations in a reasonable time, not providing accommodations, placing undue burden or cost on victim/survivor, retaliating against accuser, allowing mediation in cases of sexual violence, etc.Title IX Complaints of this kind are made to the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education (branch at the state capital) in the form of a letter

    Filed within 180 days of alleged discrimination. Or, within 60 days of the last institutional grievance.

    Identity of complainant is kept confidential, and university cannot retaliate

    If complainant is dissatisfied with resolution of complaint, they can file a lawsuit

  • Reporting: Pros and Cons
    • Pros
      • Can be given accommodations
      • Can seek justice for incident
      • Can affect change on campus
      • May help to feel closure
    • Cons
      • Incredibly stressful
      • Triggering
      • Some loss of anonymity
      • May not get the desired outcome
      • Long process

The Most Important Thing to Remember:

There’s no RIGHT thing to do.

Reporting an incidence of sexual or gendered violence or discrimination is the sole decision of the victim/survivor. While others can provide resources and information about your rights and options, don’t believe anyone who tells you that there is a “right” decision to make. The right decision is your decision.

warrier

Resources

Title IX Office at Pitt: http://www.share.pitt.edu/about/title-ix

Know Your IX: http://knowyourix.org

Title IX Info: http://www.titleix.info/History/History-Overview.aspx

The Clery Center: http://clerycenter.org

General Title IX: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_IX

Student Health Services:  https://http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/shs/

University Counseling Center:  https://http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/cc/

SHARE:   http://http://www.share.pitt.edu/

University Police:   http://http://www.police.pitt.edu/ –  412.624.2121

Pittsburgh Police:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/police/  –  911

RAINN:  https://rainn.org/

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape:  http://paar.net/

UPMC Magee:  http://www.upmc.com/locations/hospitals/magee/Pages/default.aspx

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