Know Your Rights
Download Know Your Rights Pamphlet.
Download Know Your Rights Quick Fact Sheet.
Under Title IX, all educational institutions that are federally funded (including the vast majority of private schools) must take action to prevent discrimination based on sex. This includes sexual assault or harassment. If you are the survivor of sexual assault or harassment, you have rights to accommodations from your school to make you feel safer and able to learn, even if you have not and/or do not intend to file any criminal claims against the perpetrator.
The U.S.Department of Education has laid out some of these policies in the “Dear Colleague Letter,” published in 2011. http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PROMPT INVESTIGATION FROM YOUR SCHOOL, INDEPENDENT OF ANY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OR LACK THEREOF.
- You may request confidentiality, and the school must take reasonable steps to ensure this request is honored, though the danger of the alleged perpetrator to others will be taken into account. Even if the school cannot take disciplinary action against the alleged harasser because the complainant insists on confidentiality, it should pursue other steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence.
BOTH PARTIES IN A HEARING HAVE THE RIGHT TO CALL WITNESSES, PRESENT EVIDENCE, AND BE ACCOMPANIED BY ADVOCATES.
- Some schools require that advocates, though present, may not speak during the hearing. Any such requirements should apply equally to both parties. You both have the right to notice of the outcome of the complaint, delivered at the same time. Both parties also have the right to appeal.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED, BOTH FROM THE PERPETRATOR OR FROM RETALIATION RELATED TO YOUR COMPLAINT
- As part of their Title IX obligations, schools must have policies and procedures in place to protect against retaliatory harassment. At a minimum, schools must ensure that complainants and their parents, if appropriate, know how to report any subsequent problems, and should follow-up with complainants to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.
YOU CANNOT BE REQUIRED TO DIRECTLY MEDIATE WITH THE PERPETRATOR.
- In harassment cases, mediation can be carried out on a voluntary basis with supervision from a trained mediator. You have the right to end the mediation process at any time and begin formal procedures. It is never appropriate to hold mediation for incidents of assault.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SAFETY AND TO EDUCATION.
For Example, you can request:
- An escort to help you feel safer moving between classes and activities
- Restrictions on the perpetrator’s access to certain places (such as dining halls), the hours they may be on campus, and involvement in relevant extracurricular activities
- Relocation of the perpetrator’s residence or of your residence; removal of the perpetrator from shared classes. Note: a school should minimize the burden on the complainant and should not remove complainants from residences, classes, etc. while allowing the perpetrator to remain
- Academic accommodations, such as pass/fail or dropped grades that suffered as a result of trauma or apprehension of harm, special accommodations for testing, tutoring services, etc.
- Access to counseling, health, and mental service resources