Does Title IX mandate victims/survivors to report their assault to their school/to the police?
No. Title IX allows each victim/survivor to make their own decision about whether or not to report an assault to the school and/or police. When a school receives information about a possible sexual assault or incident of Sexual Harassment, it must provide the victim/survivor the option to notify law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses, and to decline to notify such authorities.
Is there a time limit for making a report to the Title IX Office?
No. Students may report incidents of Sexual Harassment at any time, regardless of where or when they occurred. Additionally, responsible employees must report all incidents of Sexual Harassment they are made aware of, regardless of when the incident occurred. While the ability to do an investigation or take action against a perpetrator may be limited if the event occurred in the past, the Title IX Office can still provide support and resources to those who have been affected by Sexual Harassment.
What is the difference between a confidential source and a responsible employee?
Most school employees are “responsible employees” who have an obligation to notify the school’s designated Title IX Coordinator of any reports or incidents of sex-based discrimination, including sexual violence. Specifically, the concept of a “responsible employee” includes any employee who has the authority to take action to redress harassment; has the duty to report harassment or other types of misconduct to appropriate officials; or is someone a student could reasonably believe has this authority or responsibility. According to BYU's Sexual Harassment Policy, a responsible employee includes anyone in a supervisory, managerial, or teaching role.
By contrast, a “confidential employee” is a school employee who is not required to report identifying information to the Title IX Coordinator. This includes campus mental health counselors, ecclesiastical leaders (bishops), social workers, psychologists, heath center employees, or any other person who holds a professional license requiring confidentiality and whose official responsibilities include functioning within the scope of the license when they receive the report. In addition, a school may designate certain nonprofessional counselors or advocates as confidential. BYU has designated the victim advocate and Women’s Services & Resources as confidential sources. Responsible employees must share with the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details of the report, including names, dates, and their relationship to the individual.
What is the role of a faculty member?
BYU faculty members are considered responsible employees and must share reports of Sexual Harassment incidents with the Title IX Coordinator. The report should include all details of the report, including names, dates, reported behavior, and the faculty’s relationship to the victim. The role of responsible employees is to report to the Title IX Coordinator – beyond that, faculty should protect the privacy of the parties involved and avoid interfering with the investigation by not asking questions or attempting to gather additional information.
Can a victim remain confidential in reporting?
The Title IX Office will handle investigations as confidentially as possible. If a victim chooses to make a report but does not want an investigation, the Title IX Office will typically honor a victim’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation and thereby keep their identity confidential.
Sometimes a victim makes a report or discloses to a “responsible employee” of the school (see above for a definition of responsible employee) but then requests that the school not take any action. It is important to understand that while the Title IX Office will do its best to honor the victim's wishes, some rare situations may require the school to proceed with investigating the report. Some examples are when the report involves allegations of the use of a weapon, when there are multiple perpetrators or the perpetrator has been involved in other Title IX reports, when the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others, and circumstances suggesting there is an increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence. Remember that even when a school decides to proceed with an investigation, a victim is never obligated to participate.
If a victim wishes for the school to investigate an incident of sex or gender discrimination including Sexual Harassment, the victim will not be able to remain confidential. In most cases, the respondent (accused individual) will have a right to be informed as to who has made the report. For this reason, a victim may wish to consult with a confidential source, such as the victim advocate, in order to make an informed choice about reporting.
Does Title IX cover complaints of Sexual Harassment made by a student about a faculty or staff member?
Yes. Title IX and BYU’s Sexual Harassment Policy prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking perpetrated by or against any university students, university employees, participants in university programs and activities, or visitors to campus.
If someone has filed a sexual assault complaint against me, what should I do?
You may wish to review BYU’s Sexual Harassment Policy to learn about your rights in the school’s investigation process, consult with an advisor or attorney, or seek support from a confidential source such as a counselor. BYU also has a designated Confidential Respondent Advisor, whose contact information you can find here.
It’s important to follow any directives from the school that may require you to not have contact with the reporting party. BYU’s Title IX Coordinator and/or investigator will be able to provide you with detailed information about the school’s investigation and resolution process. Keep in mind that the Title IX Office may make findings and issue sanctions even without your participation in the investigation process, so it is important to not ignore any letters or notifications you receive.
How can I make a report to the Title IX Office?
There are many ways a report can be made to the Title IX Coordinator:
- In person at 1085 WSC
- By phone at 801-422-8692
- Through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online at titleix.byu.edu/report
The names, office addresses, and telephone numbers of the Title IX Coordinator and the deputy coordinators are also posted on the university’s Title IX website at titleix.byu.edu/contact-us. In addition, individuals may submit anonymous reports through EthicsPoint, the university’s 24-hour hotline provider by telephone at 888-238-1062. Anonymous reports may also be made online at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/default_reporter.asp. Please keep in mind, however, that responsible employees are not allowed to make anonymous reports if they received the information while in their employee role.