3 Things A College Must Do After You Report Sexual Abuse On Campus
College is a time when many young people learn who they are and what their aspirations in life will be. Unfortunately, modern campuses have become places where some young people face sexual abuse. In an effort to curb this type of abuse and prevent it from growing on any campus, legislators passed a law referred to as Title IX. Title IX applies generally to all forms of discrimination or harassment, including abuse of a sexual nature. It's important that you understand your school's obligations after sexual abuse has been reported so that you can protect your rights in the future.
1. Investigate the Incident
Most college campuses have an official Title IX representative on staff. It is this person's job to monitor the school's compliance with all Title IX regulations. If you have been the victim of campus sexual abuse, you should make an appointment to see your school's Title IX official. The official is supposed to be available at all times to students, faculty, and staff members. Once you have made your report to the Title IX official, they must immediately begin investigating the incident so that a proper response can be determined. If the response to a sexual abuse complaint from your school isn't an immediate investigation, you should retain the services of an attorney to help preserve your rights.
2. Provide Reasonable Accommodations
You may not feel comfortable navigating your campus after experiencing sexual abuse. It is the responsibility of the college to provide reasonable accommodations that will help bolster your feelings of safety and security while your claims of sexual abuse are being investigated. Some common accommodations that can be made include authorizing changes to your class schedule or providing a full-time escort that will stay by your side whenever you are on campus. Failure to make these types of accommodations is a violation of the law and should be brought to the attention of an attorney if your school isn't providing reasonable accommodations to ensure your safety.
3. Update School Policies
All colleges should have policies preventing sexual harassment and abuse in place. Anytime a complaint referencing sexual abuse is received, the Title IX official should review these policies to ensure they are up-to-date and effective. Changes should be made to the policies in an effort to prevent the same type of sexual abuse you suffered from happening to other students in the future.
Hiring a campus sexual abuse lawyer to represent you throughout the complaint process will preserve your rights and ensure that campus sexual abuse doesn't sideline your education.