Faculty and Staff: Mandated Reporters of Sexual Misconduct

As a faculty or staff member, you may be the first point of contact for a victim of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing offenses such as: 1) sexual harassment, 2) non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse or attempts to commit the same, 3) sexual exploitation, 4) relationship violence or 5) stalking.

If you receive information about sexual misconduct involving any university student, faculty or staff member, you must report the incident to any of the following:

You may become aware of sexual misconduct from a victim or a third party. Your reporting obligations are the same regardless of who informs you about the sexual misconduct.

Your duty is to report the matter and provide all relevant details. It is not your duty to investigate the matter to determine whether the conduct alleged meets the definition of sexual misconduct or whether it is likely that it occurred.

Be sure the person disclosing information to you understands your obligation to report this information. As a mandated reporter, you may not promise confidentiality. However, you can ensure the information you report will be kept private and only select individuals within the university will know about the incident. The university will, to the extent possible, respect a victim’s request for confidentiality and anonymity. You may wish to call the victim advocate with the student present and say that the advocate can talk more in depth about resouces and options.

Tips for Responding to a Report of Sexual Misconduct:

  • Believe what the person is telling you.
    • It takes a lot of courage for someone to share what has happened, and they trust you to help.
  • Listen, but don’t press for details.
    • Asking someone for details can result in the victim feeling blamed. Let them decide how much to share and when.
    • What to say:
      • “I believe you.”
      • “It’s not your fault.”
      • “I am sorry this happened.”
      • “No one deserves to be hurt like that.”
      • “I want to help. Can I call Advocacy Services for you?”
  • Offer support.
    • Due to the sensitive nature of sexual misconduct, recognize that he or she might be struggling with painful feelings such as anger, fear, denial, or embarrassment.
    • Give assurance that campus resources are available to help. Encourage them to take advantage of the resources available.
    • Seeking assistance from any resource must always be the survivor’s choice and you must respect the person’s decision.
    • A university victim advocate can be reached at (414) 288-5244. The advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The advocates can provide support and information about campus and community resources.
  • Respect privacy.

Resources

Reporting Options

For more information, visit FAQs of mandatory reporting and maintaining a harassment-free educational environment in the classroom.