Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Violence, and Gender-based Discrimination
Click on the links below to get answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions. If your question isn't listed, please call or email the Executive Director, OED/Title IX Coordinator, Karen Rentz, at 850.474.2175 or email@example.com.
- Complainant - an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Prohibited Conduct. A Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in, a UWF program or activity at the time of filing a complaint.
- Investigators - the individuals designated by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct investigations of alleged Prohibited Conduct under the Title IX policy.
- Mandatory Reporter - an employee who has the duty to report the alleged Prohibited Conduct to an Official with Authority
- Respondent - an individual who has been alleged of engaging in Prohibited Conduct.
- Title IX Coordinator - a University employee with the responsibility of administering the Title IX policy, including identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of Title IX Complaints. The Title IX Coordinator is assisted by Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Who can file a report?
Any UWF student, faculty, or staff may file a report of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or gender-based discrimination against any University student, employee, visitor, or vendor under the UWF Title IX Policy. In those cases where either party is both a University student and a University employee, the Title IX Coordinator will determine, based on the nature of the allegations, the procedures to be used for addressing the alleged misconduct, violence, or discrimination.
The University policy prohibiting sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and gender-based discrimination applies to any allegation of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or gender-based discrimination against a University student, faculty, or staff regardless of where the alleged sexual misconduct occurred. Under the Title IX Policy, the University may take action against a student or employee for misconduct occurring off-campus where one or more of the following applies:
(a) The conduct is disruptive to the orderly processes and functions of the University;
(b) the conduct demonstrates that the continued presence of the student or employee on campus presents a danger to the health, safety or welfare of the University community;
(c) the off-campus conduct is intimidating or threatening to the University community or an individual within the University community;
(d) The off-campus conduct is of such a serious nature that it adversely affects the student or employee's suitability to remain a part of the University community; or
(e) the off-campus conduct is such that it could constitute a violation of the law.
How do I make a report?
Students or employees who feel that they have been victims of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or gender-based discrimination, or have witnessed such, should file a report as soon as possible. There are multiple ways to file a report. See below:
Does information about a report remain private?
The University respects the private nature of reports . If a student or employee discloses a Title IX allegation to a Mandatory Reporter they should expect that, beyond the required notification to the Title IX Coordinator, the report will remain private.
The University also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in a Combined Annual Security and Safety Report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
What if I do not want to pursue an investigation?
If the Complainant does not wish to pursue any remedy under the Title IX Policy and/or requests that his or her complaint remain confidential, the University will consider the Complainant's request. However, the University is required to investigate and take reasonable action in response to information received as part of the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator, will weigh the Complainant's request against the following factors:
- Whether there have been other complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or gender-based discrimination against the same Respondent.
- Whether or not the accusations are of a nature that the continued presence of the Respondent on campus poses a threat to the safety of other community members.
The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant if the University makes the determination to move forward with charges under this Title IX policy without the Complainant's participation.
What if I want to speak with someone about sexual misconduct or sexual violence perpetrated against me, but I want the information kept completely confidential?
University employees are considered Mandatory Reporters and must report information received regarding Prohibited Conduct to a University Official with Authority. Individuals reporting Prohibited Conduct to any Mandatory Reporters should know that every effort will be made to respect the private and sensitive nature of their allegation. However, disclosure of an allegation to any Mandatory Reporter will result in a notification to the University's Title IX office.
If a student wishes to speak confidentially with someone on campus about alleged Prohibited Conduct or any other matter, the individual should contact and schedule an appointment with UWF’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (850.474.2420). If an employee wishes to do the same, the individual may contact the Employee Assistance Program (1.800.860.2058)
How long after the incident can I file a report?
There is no time limit or statue of limitations to make a report of Title IX allegations. Nevertheless, students and employees are encouraged to report alleged Title IX violations immediately in order to maximize the University's ability to obtain evidence and conduct a thorough, impartial, and reliable investigation. Failulre to promptly report alleged Title IX violation may result in the loss of evidence and witness testimony and may impair the University's ability to enforce the Title IX Policy.
What happens after a report is filed?
Upon receipt of notice of any allegation of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or gender-based discrimination, the Title IX Coordinator will schedule an intake meeting with the Complainant and Respondent. This initial intake meeting will provide the student or employee with an understanding of the Title IX Policy, the student's or employee's rights to pursue measures under the Title IX policy, and will serve to identify the sources of support and immediate interventions available to the student/employee on campus and in the local community. The intake meeting may also involve a discussion of any accommodations that may be appropriate concerning academic, University housing and/or University employment arrangements.
Do I have to name the Respondent?
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged Respondent.
If the student or employee does not wish for formal disciplinary action to be taken, but still wants to make a report and seek assistance, a complaint may be filed without naming the alleged Respondent. However, Complainants should be aware than not identifying the Respondent may limit the University's ability to respond in a comprehensive manner.
Will the Respondent know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint.
Title IX allegations are serious offenses and the Respondent has the right to know the allegation(s).
If I accuse someone of Title IX allegation(s), can they retaliate against me?
It is a violation of Federal Regulation and the University's Title IX policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of Title IX allegations, or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) a Title IX allegation. For these purposes, "retaliation" includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse actions threatened or taken against a Complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX Coordinator, and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations.
What can be done immediately until the investigation is completed?
These supportive measures are designed to prevent the recurrence of the alleged Title IX violation and to limit the negative effects of the alleged conduct during the investigation period. Depending on the circumstances, the Supportive Measures that may be available to both parties include, but are not limited to:
- No Contact Order - The University may issue no-contact orders between the Respondent and the Complainant, or others involved. No-contact orders between the Complainant and Respondent are issued as dual no-contact orders.
- Administrative Leave - the University may place an employee on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted.
- On-Campus Housing Reassignment - The University may complete an administrative housing reassignment in order to separate the Complainant and the Respondent. This may include reassigning the Complainant, the Respondent, or others involved. Reassignments may be temporary or permanent.
- Academic Measures - The University may work with a Complainant or Respondent to assist that individual's academic coursework. Depending on the circumstances, this may include working with instructors related to missed classes, assigning the Complainant or the Respondent to a new course section as scheduling permits, allowing either party to finish the course requirements via distance learning or independent study, or where applicable, providing either party with a withdrawal from one or more courses.
- Employment Measures - The University may work with either party in the context of the individual's employment on campus, including student employment. Depending on the circumstances, this may include assigning the employee to work alternative hours, assigning the employee to a different department during the durtion of the investigation. Employment measures will be taken in accordance with UWF employment policies and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
What happens after an investigation?
Once the investigation is completed, the case file is forwarded to, depending on if the Respondent is a student or an employee, the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities, Human Resources, or the Office of the Provost for hearing processing. Detailed descriptions can be found in the Title IX policy.