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Responding to Incidents of Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence

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Victims/Survivors

  1. Any University of Minnesota student or employee who has been sexually assaulted or physically harmed is strongly encouraged to contact the police department for the location where the assault occurred. University police (Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris campuses) or campus security departments (Crookston Rochester) can assist in making the contact to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  2. Victims/survivors are also encouraged to contact the campus or local victim/survivor service office and/or counseling and health care services.¹ These services are strictly confidential.
  3. The University strongly encourages individuals to report sexual assault and relationship violence to appropriate officials because it is the only way that action can be taken against an alleged violator of the policy. Timely reporting and a medical examination within 120 hours is critical in preserving evidence of sexual assault, and the ability to respond effectively, but a victim/survivor can report an incident at any time.
  4. Victims/survivors are also encouraged to contact University officials for appropriate action. Specific contact information is contained the Contact section above, but in general:
    • University housing residents should contact any Housing/Residential Life staff.
    • If a student is accused, report it to the student conduct office on the appropriate campus.
    • If an employee is accused, report it to the campus's Equal Opportunity officer.
    • Reports of misconduct by University employees can be made to the University through U Report. These reports can be made anonymously.

University Employees and Students (when informed of an incident of assault)

  1. Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse. If the assault was against a child, you must immediately report the abuse to your university or local police department, county sheriff, or local county social services agency. In addition, inform your supervisor you have made the report. For further information about mandatory reporting for the protection of minors, consult Administrative Policy: Safety of Minors or the Office of General Counsel.
  2. Encourage Prompt Reporting to Police. If the assault was against an adult, encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police.
  3. Encourage Contact with Victim Services. Encourage the victim/survivor to contact the campus program against sexual violence or the local victim/survivor service office and/or counseling and health care services.1
  4. Make Appropriate University Reports. If you are a University employee with supervisory or advising responsibilities, contact your campus student conduct office, or Equal Opportunity office, to inform them of the reported assault and to obtain guidance on next steps. You may also contact your campus's program against sexual violence for guidance on responding to the report. Once informed, appropriate University offices will work to assist the victim/survivor, including by providing guidance in reporting to law enforcement, obtaining counseling or other health or academic services, and filing a complaint with University conduct offices. All other (nonsupervisory) employees, talk to your supervisor for guidance for any next steps. You may also contact your campus's program against sexual violence for guidance on responding to the report.
  5. Confidentiality. University employees cannot guarantee confidentiality, except when the reports are privileged communications with counselors or health care professionals. If a complainant requests confidentiality, the University must take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond consistent with that request, taking into account that confidentiality may not be possible in every case given the University's responsibility to provide a safe environment for all. To ensure that the University has met its obligations, University employees must consult with appropriate University offices (listed below) concerning whether and what identifying information they can or must share within the institution to respond to the report and to promote campus safety.
  6. Reports for Crime Statistics. The University must track reports of alleged incidents of sexual violence for purposes of its required annual crime statistics under the Clery Act. Any employee who is a campus security authority or has supervisory or student-advising responsibility must report the fact of a report of sexual assault as part of the University’s annual crime statistics. Clery Act reporting is for crime occurring on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus, and in or on non-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University.

University Offices Receiving a Report

Victim/survivor support services will:
  • Maintain the contacts as strictly confidential.
  • Provide crisis intervention and advocacy, in some cases including assisting victims/survivors in seeking restraining orders.
  • Assist and support the victim/survivor in contacting police and/or reporting to other University offices, if the victim/survivor consents.
  • Assist the victim/survivor in obtaining medical assistance and counseling, changing academic programs or housing, etc.
  • Make appropriate reports for purposes of Clery Act crime statistics.
Counseling and health care services will:
  • Maintain the contact as confidential
  • Encourage, assist (as needed) and support the victim/survivor in reporting the incident to the police
  • Provide appropriate counseling and medical services.
Police departments will:
  • Contact campus programs against sexual violence for victim/survivor assistance (on campuses without University police (Crookston and Rochester), local police departments are requested to assist in contacting local victim services agencies).
  • Investigate and refer for prosecution when warranted.
  • Determine whether to issue a crime alert.
  • Appropriately log and report the incident as required under the Clery Act.
Housing/Residential Life Offices will:
  • Contact, or encourage contact with, the campus or local victim/survivor service office, and assist in obtaining medical care if needed.
  • Encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police, and assist in making the report if requested by the victim/survivor. Housing/Residential Life may report to the police the fact that an assault was reported and may share the alleged perpetrator's name, but the name of the victim/survivor will only be provided with the victim/survivor's consent, except in extenuating circumstances.
  • If the person accused is a student, report the incident to the campus office responsible for administering the Student Conduct Code.
  • Report for appropriate investigation by campus authorities or police (where no police investigation is warranted, Housing/Residential Life may conduct the investigation).
  • Make determinations regarding temporary relocation of residents, and regarding interim suspensions from Housing pending Student Conduct Code proceedings.
  • Make appropriate reports for purposes of Clery Act crime statistics.
Equal Opportunity Office will:
  • Contact, or encourage contact with, the campus or local victim/survivor service office, and assist in obtaining medical care if needed.
  • Encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police, and assist in making the report if requested by the victim/survivor. The Equal Opportunity officer may report to the police the fact that an assault was reported and may share the alleged perpetrator’s name, but the name of the victim will only be provided with the victim/survivor's consent, except in extenuating circumstances.
  • If the person accused is an employee, promptly investigate, and make recommendations for action, as appropriate (in many cases the police may conduct the investigation).
  • Proceed independently of any action taken in the criminal or civil courts, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Criminal court proceedings are not a substitute for University procedures.
  • Allow the victim/survivor and the person accused to have a non-participating/non-witness support person present for interviews.
  • Not require a victim/survivor to mediate directly with the person accused.
  • Inform both victim/survivor and accused person of the outcome. If the person accused is a student, report the incident to the campus office responsible for administering the Student Conduct Code.
  • Make appropriate reports for purposes of Clery Act crime statistics.
Campus student conduct offices will:
  • Contact, or encourage contact with, the campus or local victim/survivor service office, and assist in obtaining medical care if needed.
  • Encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police, and assist in making the report if requested by the victim/survivor. Campus conduct offices may report to the police the fact that an assault was reported and may share the alleged perpetrator’s name, but the name of the victim/survivor will only be provided with the victim/survivor's consent, except in extenuating circumstances.
  • Respond promptly to the allegations and discipline if needed, consistent with the Student Conduct Code and the campus’s student disciplinary process (in many cases the police may conduct the investigation).
  • Proceed independently of any action taken in the criminal or civil courts, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Criminal court proceedings are not a substitute for University procedures.
  • Permit the victim/survivor and the person to have a support person or advisor present at any interview or hearing, in a manner consistent with the governing student conduct procedures.
  • Not require a victim/survivor to mediate directly with the person accused.
  • Inform both victim/survivor and accused person of the outcome of any disciplinary process.
  • Make appropriate reports for purposes of Clery Act crime statistics.

1 Victim/survivor service offices include the Twin Cities Aurora Center, Crookston's Community Violence Intervention Center, Duluth's Program Against Violence and Sexual Assault, and the Violence Prevention Program serving Morris, and Rochester's Talk One-to-One or the Olmsted Medical Center Skyway Clinic Health Services.

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Last modified on January 31, 2014