The perpetration of sexual assault on U.S. college and university campuses is an epidemic. Reliable national studies by the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have consistently found that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 women are victimized by sexual violence while undergraduates.1 Also, a survey of student bodies at more than two dozen campuses revealed that over 5% of undergraduate men and 24% of undergraduate students identifying as transgender, queer, or gender nonconforming were victimized by sexual violence.2
Sexual assaults (as defined by the law in each campus’ state) perpetrated on campus trigger more than one systemic response: the criminal justice system and the campus institutional response and student disciplinary processes. The purpose and scope of these responses are entirely different. They move at different speeds. Often there is no communication between the processes. This module provides an overview of the legally required response by schools, typical aspects of campus disciplinary processes, and how the campus process can impact the criminal justice system’s response. This module focuses on advocacy for students who are navigating both the criminal justice system and campus administrative processes. For information on campus-based advocacy alone, see http://www.legalmomentum.org/title-ix.
1. Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., Turner M.G., “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000, available at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf.; Krebs, C.P., Lindquist, C.H., Berzofsky, M., et al., “Campus Climate Survey Validation Study: Final Technical Report,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016, available at https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ccsvsftr.pdf.
2. Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., et al., “AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct,” Association of American Universities, 2015, available at https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/%40%20Files/Climate%20Survey/AAU_Campus_Climate_Survey_12_14_15.pdf.