Guiding Principles for Support Services

Support

  1. Provide robust accommodations to victims/survivors. Accommodations following experiences of intimate partner and other forms of violence should minimize the victims'/survivors' burden of continuing their education by addressing safety, They should address safety, Title IX rights, academic needs, privacy, and resulting financial burden. Learn More
  2. Consider a victim’s/survivor’s relevant circumstances. Accommodations should be provided with attention to ability status, religion/faith, cultural identity, racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial situation, etc. Learn More
  3. Take interim measures promptly and prevent retaliation. As soon as it has notice of an allegation of intimate partner violence, the school should take interim measures to protect students and investigate what happened. The school should also provide the victim/survivor with periodic updates on the status of the investigation and work to prevent and address any retaliation. Learn More
  4. Provide private, trauma-informed support. This support for victims/survivors should come from all parts of campus. Learn More
  5. Accommodations should be equitable, not necessarily identical, for reporting and responding parties.
    • Response systems can be trauma-informed without being biased toward survivors.
    • The policies and processes of these systems should be designed to put all students on the same level and be applied fairly and consistently.
    Learn More

Support Services in Real Life

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View additional resources related to this topic

For more information specifically on sexual violence, visit the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Guiding Principles for Support Services

#1 Provide robust accommodations to victims/survivors. Accommodations following experiences of intimate partner and other forms of violence should minimize the victims'/survivors' burden of continuing their education by addressing safety, They should address safety, Title IX rights, academic needs, privacy, and resulting financial burden.

What's Required

Address Victims'/Survivors' Rights and Resources for Assistance

Institutional policies should support robust accommodations and personalized academic support and guidance that victims/survivors need to succeed and to avoid further victimization and decrease the negative impact of the hostile campus environment. This includes providing victims/survivors with information, assistance, and support to ensure that they can remain a student at the college/university, meet academic standards, obtain necessary health/mental health treatment, and maintain social relationships. These services should be available to victim/survivors whether or not they choose to report the offense to campus security authorities.

Examples of critical accommodations and services include:

  • Reducing Proximity to Perpetrator - At the victim’s/survivor’s request, and depending on the risk and lethality of the individual situation, schools should consider removing the alleged perpetrator from victim’s/survivor’s residence hall, classes, or other shared spaces, imposing an interim suspension for the alleged perpetrator, and/or limiting the alleged perpetrator’s access to engage in school-related activities. If it is not possible to remove a particular alleged perpetrator, schools should assist the victim/survivor in seeking alternate housing (and/or lock changes), and academic and other types of assistance and support, which might include, but not be limited to:
    • Arranging dining schedules
    • Arranging study area schedules
    • Security escorts
    • Change in on-campus work schedule
  • Offering No-Contact Orders - Schools should offer campus-based no-contact orders to victims/survivors when both the reporting and responding parties are students enrolled at the Institution (regardless of whether victims/survivors have obtained court-issued protection orders). This should also be available to students who request them against a faculty or staff member. Campus no-contact orders should prohibit the responding party from contacting the victim/survivor in person, via technology, or through a third-party (e.g., mutual friends). Schools should explicitly state the consequences for breaking a no-contact order (and, if there are no consequences, schools should make this clear so that victims/survivors can seek other protective measures).
  • Providing Academic Accommodations – Academic assistance and support for the victim/survivor should include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Academic support and tutoring
    • Change in academic schedule
    • Change in course load, including reduced course load or alternative assignments
    • Excused class absence for treatment, hospitalization, and medical or mental health conditions
    • Retrospective withdrawal from classes
    • Immediate withdrawal from a class
    • An option for independent study for the victim/survivor
    • Leave of absence from the institution
  • Offering Access to Services/Free Transportation - Schools should ensure victims/survivors can access services 24/7 and should provide free transportation to a local hospital (e.g., for a forensic evidence exam), court (e.g., to obtain a civil protection order/restraining order), and advocacy and counseling services (e.g., if your school does not provide adequate counseling services for IPV, stalking, and sexual violence victims/survivors on campus).
  • Ensuring Confidentiality/Privacy - Schools should ensure confidentiality and privacy for victims/survivors. 
    • Identify how the institution will protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors, including how publicly-available record-keeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim/survivor, to the extent permissible by law. There are always exceptions to confidentiality, particularly if there is risk of serious harm to self or others.
    • Even when a school has determined that it can respect a victim’s/survivor’s request for privacy and therefore may not be able to respond fully to an allegation of sexual violence and initiate formal action against an alleged perpetrator, the school must take immediate action to protect the victim/survivor while keeping their identity private. These actions may include: changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests; and considering whether increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred would be appropriate. 
    • Make clear to students the differences between filing a formal report with law enforcement and submitting the paperwork to notify the institution of the abuse. Students should always be fully informed of their options when they pursue one or both of these avenues of redress. They should also be informed what actions law enforcement and/or the institution will take as a result.
    • Many victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence live in fear of the perpetrator discovering where they live. In reviewing their student directory policies, schools should make students’ contact information private as the default option, as some students will be matriculating with past experiences of IPV. An institution should never release directory information that a student requests be kept private. Schools can also assist victims/survivors with the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.
    • See Section E of the Office for Civil Rights Guidance Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence – (April 2014) for more detailed information on confidentiality.
  • Considering Who Needs to Know - Clearly state that only individuals who have a need to know about the issue should be informed, and materials and information should be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and other relevant parties. Disclosure of such information may be made if it is determined that there is a serious and imminent threat to the community. In these events, the victim’s/survivor’s name and identifying information should not be needed.
  • Handling a Request for No Action by a Victim/Survivor - While any request made by a victim/survivor that a matter not be investigated should be taken into account, appropriate steps must be taken in response to protect the victim’s/survivor’s safety as soon as the school has notice of the abuse/violence. In cases of serious and imminent threat to the community, the school should move forward with formal action to protect the safety of the victim/survivor and others. For more information on this topic, visit the Support Students Who Request No Action section under Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.
  • Providing Confidential Campus and Off-Campus Resources - Inform victims/survivors of the confidential resources available on and off campus. These resources can share options and advice without any obligation to inform other college/university staff members, unless requested by the victim/survivor (for example: counseling services, health and mental health services, and ministry/religious life staff). Clearly state which college/university staff and faculty are required to inform campus authorities when they become aware of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence affecting a student. 
  • Addressing Retaliation - Neither the school nor any of its constituents (students, staff, etc.) may retaliate against a victim/survivor in any way following a report of IPV. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
    • Retaliation is not always direct. It also includes indirect behavior that targets and harms the victim/survivor, like online harassment, maligning rumors or gossip, or third-party/proxy stalking. 
    • Considering that students can experience retaliation as a result of reporting an incident, schools should ensure that reporting students and their support network, if appropriate, know how to notify law enforcement and/or the institution of any subsequent problems. Schools should follow up regularly with reporting students to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

The following section is a direct excerpt from the April 2014 Office for Civil Rights Guidance (Questions and Answers on Title IX, 2014).

The Federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. This means that if an individual brings concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention, including publicly opposing sexual violence or filing a sexual violence complaint with the school or any State or Federal agency, it is unlawful for the school to retaliate against that individual for doing so. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual because he or she testified, or participated in any manner, in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceeding. Therefore, if a student, parent, teacher, coach, or other individual complains formally or informally about sexual violence or participates in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceedings related to sexual violence, the school is prohibited from retaliating (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual) because of the individual’s complaint or participation.

A school should take steps to prevent retaliation against a student who filed a complaint either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another student, or against those who provided information as witnesses.

Schools should be aware that complaints of sexual violence may be followed by retaliation against the complainant or witnesses by the alleged perpetrator or his or her associates. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. Title IX requires the school to protect the complainant* and witnesses and ensure their safety as necessary. At a minimum, this includes making sure that the complainant and his or her parents, if the complainant is in elementary or secondary school, and witnesses know how to report retaliation by school officials, other students, or third parties by making follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or acts of retaliation, and by responding promptly and appropriately to address continuing or new problems. A school should also tell complainants and witnesses that Title IX prohibits retaliation, and that school officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

* This section uses the term “complainant” as it is quoted directly from the Office for Civil Rights guidance.

Provide a Written Notice of Rights

Additionally, written notice of these rights must be provided to a student or employee when they file a report about and/or notify the institution of their victimization. VIctimes/survivors will be provided with their written rights to:

  • Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to law enforcement.
  • Change their academic, living, transportation, and working situations (if they desire, and if accommodations are reasonably available). Accommodations are not contingent on the filing of a formal report to law enforcement.
  • Be notified of their right to obtain or enforce a no-contact directive from the institution and/or a civil restraining (protection) order.
  • Receive a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process, including a detailed timeline for each stage of the disciplinary process, and know the range of possible sanctions. (The description should specify that the investigation must conclude within sixty days.) 
  • Receive a comprehensive list of resources, including web sites, names, addresses, and phone numbers of on-campus and off-campus community resources available for students regarding IPV, stalking, and sexual violence: 
    • Athletics
    • Campus advocate
    • Campus and community-based, culturally-specific resources
    • Campus law enforcement
    • Campus response team
    • Civil Clerk’s Office
    • Community counseling services
    • Community Sexual Violence (SV) and Domestic Violence (DV) centers
    • Dean of Students
    • Director of Religious Life
    • Director of Residential Life
    • Disability ServicesDistrict Attorney’s Office (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
    • LGBTQI+ Center
    • Local hospital
    • Local Legal Aid Office
    • Local NC Domestic Violence Center/shelter where applicable 
    • Local police departments (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit
    • Magistrate’s Office
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    • Off-campus medical care
    • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
    • On-campus counseling
    • On-campus medical care
    • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner [SANE] Program
    • Sheriff’s department (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit) 
    • Title IX Coordinator

What's Recommended

Employ a Trained Victim/Survivor Advocate

By having designated, trained advocates, both schools and victims/survivors will benefit from advocates' specialized knowledge of campus policies, procedures, protocols, and resources, as well as the focused attention in response to incidents of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence. The advocate should also facilitate victims’/survivors’ access to community resources.

Sign MOUs with Local Entities

Guidance recommends that colleges/universities should sign memoranda of understanding with local domestic violence and rape crisis centers as well as local law enforcement agencies regarding victim/survivor services and protocols. Care must be taken to establish a victim/survivor-centered advocacy structure in which expectations about confidentiality parameters are clear.

For more information and guidance on confidentiality, view the Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.

For more information on developing a Memorandum of Understanding with local gender violence service providers, visit https://www.justice.gov/ovw/page/file/910381/download

For more information on developing a Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement, visit https://www.justice.gov/ovw/page/file/910376/download 

Assist Victim/Survivors in Seeking Civil Protective Orders

While we recognize that not all institutions can guarantee this, we recommend that they make clear that victims/survivors will suffer no academic penalties for missing class to secure a civil protection order or other forms of assistance and support.

Eliminate Financial Burden

Victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence may incur financial burdens as a result of the violence they experienced. This can include medical costs, fines associated with needing to change housing or parking, or potentially job loss. NCCADV recommends that campuses establish a protocol for consideration of resources to alleviate financial burden on students receiving care related to IPV, stalking, and/or sexual violence.

Any policy should highlight free services or financial support victims/survivors are eligible to receive, particularly as they relate to physical and mental health care, as well as on-going support navigating academic, campus conduct, or law enforcement systems. Ideally, the policy should also demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing IPV, stalking, and sexual violence by providing services for the victim/survivor that include access to physical and emotional care at no financial charge to the victim/survivor. Wherever possible, colleges and universities providing counseling services for students should provide victims/survivors with access to unlimited free counseling.

Further, institutions should consider a victim/survivor fund through which victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence can apply to alleviate financial burdens outside of the campus. This fund would also provide a confidential option for victims/survivors who may be reluctant to receive medical services due to the fear that their parents would find out. As most college students are still covered under their parents’ insurance policy, parents would likely be notified once medical costs were filed.

Assist with the Creation of a Safety Plan

Students who have experienced IPV can benefit greatly from developing a safety plan with the assistance of a counselor or advocate. A safety plan highlights areas of concern related to specifics of the victim’s/survivor’s environment and makes concrete suggestions about navigating it in the safest possible way. It is best to complete with a trained professional staff member (e.g. advocate, counselor, police, etc.). Copies of developed safety plans should be provided to trusted friends and/or family members for continuing assistance and support.

For an example of a sample comprehensive IPV Safety Plan for college/university students, visit pages 82-88 of the NCCADV Guidance and Model Policy Documents.

Additional Recommendations for Campus Stakeholders

Visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence for further recommendations for these groups:

  • Administrators - page 14
  • Advocates - page 28
  • Faculty and Other Instructional Employees - page 38
  • Title IX/Campus Disciplinary Professionals - page 46
  • Campus Law Enforcement/Security - page 58
  • Prevention Specialists - page 68

For more information about recommended minimum training requirements, visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence.

#2 Consider a victim’s/survivor’s relevant circumstances. Accommodations should be provided with attention to ability status, religion/faith, cultural identity, racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial situation, etc.

What's Required

Address Victims'/Survivors' Rights and Resources for Assistance

Institutional policies should support robust accommodations and personalized academic support and guidance that victims/survivors need to succeed and to avoid further victimization and decrease the negative impact of the hostile campus environment. This includes providing victims/survivors with information, assistance, and support to ensure that they can remain a student at the college/university, meet academic standards, obtain necessary health/mental health treatment, and maintain social relationships. These services should be available to victim/survivors whether or not they choose to report the offense to campus security authorities.

Examples of critical accommodations and services include:

  • Reducing Proximity to Perpetrator - At the victim’s/survivor’s request, and depending on the risk and lethality of the individual situation, schools should consider removing the alleged perpetrator from victim’s/survivor’s residence hall, classes, or other shared spaces, imposing an interim suspension for the alleged perpetrator, and/or limiting the alleged perpetrator’s access to engage in school-related activities. If it is not possible to remove a particular alleged perpetrator, schools should assist the victim/survivor in seeking alternate housing (and/or lock changes), and academic and other types of assistance and support, which might include, but not be limited to:
    • Arranging dining schedules
    • Arranging study area schedules
    • Security escorts
    • Change in on-campus work schedule
  • Offering No-Contact Orders - Schools should offer campus-based no-contact orders to victims/survivors when both the reporting and responding parties are students enrolled at the Institution (regardless of whether victims/survivors have obtained court-issued protection orders). This should also be available to students who request them against a faculty or staff member. Campus no-contact orders should prohibit the responding party from contacting the victim/survivor in person, via technology, or through a third-party (e.g., mutual friends). Schools should explicitly state the consequences for breaking a no-contact order (and, if there are no consequences, schools should make this clear so that victims/survivors can seek other protective measures).
  • Providing Academic Accommodations – Academic assistance and support for the victim/survivor should include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Academic support and tutoring
    • Change in academic schedule
    • Change in course load, including reduced course load or alternative assignments
    • Excused class absence for treatment, hospitalization, and medical or mental health conditions
    • Retrospective withdrawal from classes
    • Immediate withdrawal from a class
    • An option for independent study for the victim/survivor
    • Leave of absence from the institution
  • Offering Access to Services/Free Transportation - Schools should ensure victims/survivors can access services 24/7 and should provide free transportation to a local hospital (e.g., for a forensic evidence exam), court (e.g., to obtain a civil protection order/restraining order), and advocacy and counseling services (e.g., if your school does not provide adequate counseling services for IPV, stalking, and sexual violence victims/survivors on campus).
  • Ensuring Confidentiality/Privacy - Schools should ensure confidentiality and privacy for victims/survivors. 
    • Identify how the institution will protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors, including how publicly-available record-keeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim/survivor, to the extent permissible by law. There are always exceptions to confidentiality, particularly if there is risk of serious harm to self or others.
    • Even when a school has determined that it can respect a victim’s/survivor’s request for privacy and therefore may not be able to respond fully to an allegation of sexual violence and initiate formal action against an alleged perpetrator, the school must take immediate action to protect the victim/survivor while keeping their identity private. These actions may include: changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests; and considering whether increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred would be appropriate. 
    • Make clear to students the differences between filing a formal report with law enforcement and submitting the paperwork to notify the institution of the abuse. Students should always be fully informed of their options when they pursue one or both of these avenues of redress. They should also be informed what actions law enforcement and/or the institution will take as a result.
    • Many victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence live in fear of the perpetrator discovering where they live. In reviewing their student directory policies, schools should make students’ contact information private as the default option, as some students will be matriculating with past experiences of IPV. An institution should never release directory information that a student requests be kept private. Schools can also assist victims/survivors with the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.
    • See Section E of the Office for Civil Rights Guidance Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence – (April 2014) for more detailed information on confidentiality.
  • Considering Who Needs to Know - Clearly state that only individuals who have a need to know about the issue should be informed, and materials and information should be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and other relevant parties. Disclosure of such information may be made if it is determined that there is a serious and imminent threat to the community. In these events, the victim’s/survivor’s name and identifying information should not be needed.
  • Handling a Request for No Action by a Victim/Survivor - While any request made by a victim/survivor that a matter not be investigated should be taken into account, appropriate steps must be taken in response to protect the victim’s/survivor’s safety as soon as the school has notice of the abuse/violence. In cases of serious and imminent threat to the community, the school should move forward with formal action to protect the safety of the victim/survivor and others. For more information on this topic, visit the Support Students Who Request No Action section under Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.
  • Providing Confidential Campus and Off-Campus Resources - Inform victims/survivors of the confidential resources available on and off campus. These resources can share options and advice without any obligation to inform other college/university staff members, unless requested by the victim/survivor (for example: counseling services, health and mental health services, and ministry/religious life staff). Clearly state which college/university staff and faculty are required to inform campus authorities when they become aware of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence affecting a student. 
  • Addressing Retaliation - Neither the school nor any of its constituents (students, staff, etc.) may retaliate against a victim/survivor in any way following a report of IPV. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
    • Retaliation is not always direct. It also includes indirect behavior that targets and harms the victim/survivor, like online harassment, maligning rumors or gossip, or third-party/proxy stalking. 
    • Considering that students can experience retaliation as a result of reporting an incident, schools should ensure that reporting students and their support network, if appropriate, know how to notify law enforcement and/or the institution of any subsequent problems. Schools should follow up regularly with reporting students to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

The following section is a direct excerpt from the April 2014 Office for Civil Rights Guidance (Questions and Answers on Title IX, 2014).

The Federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. This means that if an individual brings concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention, including publicly opposing sexual violence or filing a sexual violence complaint with the school or any State or Federal agency, it is unlawful for the school to retaliate against that individual for doing so. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual because he or she testified, or participated in any manner, in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceeding. Therefore, if a student, parent, teacher, coach, or other individual complains formally or informally about sexual violence or participates in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceedings related to sexual violence, the school is prohibited from retaliating (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual) because of the individual’s complaint or participation.

A school should take steps to prevent retaliation against a student who filed a complaint either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another student, or against those who provided information as witnesses.

Schools should be aware that complaints of sexual violence may be followed by retaliation against the complainant or witnesses by the alleged perpetrator or his or her associates. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. Title IX requires the school to protect the complainant* and witnesses and ensure their safety as necessary. At a minimum, this includes making sure that the complainant and his or her parents, if the complainant is in elementary or secondary school, and witnesses know how to report retaliation by school officials, other students, or third parties by making follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or acts of retaliation, and by responding promptly and appropriately to address continuing or new problems. A school should also tell complainants and witnesses that Title IX prohibits retaliation, and that school officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

* This section uses the term “complainant” as it is quoted directly from the Office for Civil Rights guidance.

What's Recommended

Eliminate Financial Burden

Victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence may incur financial burdens as a result of the violence they experienced. This can include medical costs, fines associated with needing to change housing or parking, or potentially job loss. NCCADV recommends that campuses establish a protocol for consideration of resources to alleviate financial burden on students receiving care related to IPV, stalking, and/or sexual violence.

Any policy should highlight free services or financial support victims/survivors are eligible to receive, particularly as they relate to physical and mental health care, as well as on-going support navigating academic, campus conduct, or law enforcement systems. Ideally, the policy should also demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing IPV, stalking, and sexual violence by providing services for the victim/survivor that include access to physical and emotional care at no financial charge to the victim/survivor. Wherever possible, colleges and universities providing counseling services for students should provide victims/survivors with access to unlimited free counseling.

Further, institutions should consider a victim/survivor fund through which victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence can apply to alleviate financial burdens outside of the campus. This fund would also provide a confidential option for victims/survivors who may be reluctant to receive medical services due to the fear that their parents would find out. As most college students are still covered under their parents’ insurance policy, parents would likely be notified once medical costs were filed.

Assist with the Creation of a Safety Plan

Students who have experienced IPV can benefit greatly from developing a safety plan with the assistance of a counselor or advocate. A safety plan highlights areas of concern related to specifics of the victim’s/survivor’s environment and makes concrete suggestions about navigating it in the safest possible way. It is best to complete with a trained professional staff member (e.g. advocate, counselor, police, etc.). Copies of developed safety plans should be provided to trusted friends and/or family members for continuing assistance and support.

For an example of a sample comprehensive IPV Safety Plan for college/university students, visit pages 82-88 of the NCCADV Guidance and Model Policy Documents.

#3 Take interim measures promptly and prevent retaliation. As soon as it has notice of an allegation of intimate partner violence, the school should take interim measures to protect students and investigate what happened. The school should also provide the victim/survivor with periodic updates on the status of the investigation and work to prevent and address any retaliation.

What's Required

Address Victims'/Survivors' Rights and Resources for Assistance

Institutional policies should support robust accommodations and personalized academic support and guidance that victims/survivors need to succeed and to avoid further victimization and decrease the negative impact of the hostile campus environment. This includes providing victims/survivors with information, assistance, and support to ensure that they can remain a student at the college/university, meet academic standards, obtain necessary health/mental health treatment, and maintain social relationships. These services should be available to victim/survivors whether or not they choose to report the offense to campus security authorities.

Examples of critical accommodations and services include:

  • Reducing Proximity to Perpetrator - At the victim’s/survivor’s request, and depending on the risk and lethality of the individual situation, schools should consider removing the alleged perpetrator from victim’s/survivor’s residence hall, classes, or other shared spaces, imposing an interim suspension for the alleged perpetrator, and/or limiting the alleged perpetrator’s access to engage in school-related activities. If it is not possible to remove a particular alleged perpetrator, schools should assist the victim/survivor in seeking alternate housing (and/or lock changes), and academic and other types of assistance and support, which might include, but not be limited to:
    • Arranging dining schedules
    • Arranging study area schedules
    • Security escorts
    • Change in on-campus work schedule
  • Offering No-Contact Orders - Schools should offer campus-based no-contact orders to victims/survivors when both the reporting and responding parties are students enrolled at the Institution (regardless of whether victims/survivors have obtained court-issued protection orders). This should also be available to students who request them against a faculty or staff member. Campus no-contact orders should prohibit the responding party from contacting the victim/survivor in person, via technology, or through a third-party (e.g., mutual friends). Schools should explicitly state the consequences for breaking a no-contact order (and, if there are no consequences, schools should make this clear so that victims/survivors can seek other protective measures).
  • Providing Academic Accommodations – Academic assistance and support for the victim/survivor should include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Academic support and tutoring
    • Change in academic schedule
    • Change in course load, including reduced course load or alternative assignments
    • Excused class absence for treatment, hospitalization, and medical or mental health conditions
    • Retrospective withdrawal from classes
    • Immediate withdrawal from a class
    • An option for independent study for the victim/survivor
    • Leave of absence from the institution
  • Offering Access to Services/Free Transportation - Schools should ensure victims/survivors can access services 24/7 and should provide free transportation to a local hospital (e.g., for a forensic evidence exam), court (e.g., to obtain a civil protection order/restraining order), and advocacy and counseling services (e.g., if your school does not provide adequate counseling services for IPV, stalking, and sexual violence victims/survivors on campus).
  • Ensuring Confidentiality/Privacy - Schools should ensure confidentiality and privacy for victims/survivors. 
    • Identify how the institution will protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors, including how publicly-available record-keeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim/survivor, to the extent permissible by law. There are always exceptions to confidentiality, particularly if there is risk of serious harm to self or others.
    • Even when a school has determined that it can respect a victim’s/survivor’s request for privacy and therefore may not be able to respond fully to an allegation of sexual violence and initiate formal action against an alleged perpetrator, the school must take immediate action to protect the victim/survivor while keeping their identity private. These actions may include: changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests; and considering whether increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred would be appropriate. 
    • Make clear to students the differences between filing a formal report with law enforcement and submitting the paperwork to notify the institution of the abuse. Students should always be fully informed of their options when they pursue one or both of these avenues of redress. They should also be informed what actions law enforcement and/or the institution will take as a result.
    • Many victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence live in fear of the perpetrator discovering where they live. In reviewing their student directory policies, schools should make students’ contact information private as the default option, as some students will be matriculating with past experiences of IPV. An institution should never release directory information that a student requests be kept private. Schools can also assist victims/survivors with the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.
    • See Section E of the Office for Civil Rights Guidance Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence – (April 2014) for more detailed information on confidentiality.
  • Considering Who Needs to Know - Clearly state that only individuals who have a need to know about the issue should be informed, and materials and information should be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and other relevant parties. Disclosure of such information may be made if it is determined that there is a serious and imminent threat to the community. In these events, the victim’s/survivor’s name and identifying information should not be needed.
  • Handling a Request for No Action by a Victim/Survivor - While any request made by a victim/survivor that a matter not be investigated should be taken into account, appropriate steps must be taken in response to protect the victim’s/survivor’s safety as soon as the school has notice of the abuse/violence. In cases of serious and imminent threat to the community, the school should move forward with formal action to protect the safety of the victim/survivor and others. For more information on this topic, visit the Support Students Who Request No Action section under Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.
  • Providing Confidential Campus and Off-Campus Resources - Inform victims/survivors of the confidential resources available on and off campus. These resources can share options and advice without any obligation to inform other college/university staff members, unless requested by the victim/survivor (for example: counseling services, health and mental health services, and ministry/religious life staff). Clearly state which college/university staff and faculty are required to inform campus authorities when they become aware of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence affecting a student. 
  • Addressing Retaliation - Neither the school nor any of its constituents (students, staff, etc.) may retaliate against a victim/survivor in any way following a report of IPV. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
    • Retaliation is not always direct. It also includes indirect behavior that targets and harms the victim/survivor, like online harassment, maligning rumors or gossip, or third-party/proxy stalking. 
    • Considering that students can experience retaliation as a result of reporting an incident, schools should ensure that reporting students and their support network, if appropriate, know how to notify law enforcement and/or the institution of any subsequent problems. Schools should follow up regularly with reporting students to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

The following section is a direct excerpt from the April 2014 Office for Civil Rights Guidance (Questions and Answers on Title IX, 2014).

The Federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. This means that if an individual brings concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention, including publicly opposing sexual violence or filing a sexual violence complaint with the school or any State or Federal agency, it is unlawful for the school to retaliate against that individual for doing so. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual because he or she testified, or participated in any manner, in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceeding. Therefore, if a student, parent, teacher, coach, or other individual complains formally or informally about sexual violence or participates in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceedings related to sexual violence, the school is prohibited from retaliating (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual) because of the individual’s complaint or participation.

A school should take steps to prevent retaliation against a student who filed a complaint either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another student, or against those who provided information as witnesses.

Schools should be aware that complaints of sexual violence may be followed by retaliation against the complainant or witnesses by the alleged perpetrator or his or her associates. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. Title IX requires the school to protect the complainant* and witnesses and ensure their safety as necessary. At a minimum, this includes making sure that the complainant and his or her parents, if the complainant is in elementary or secondary school, and witnesses know how to report retaliation by school officials, other students, or third parties by making follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or acts of retaliation, and by responding promptly and appropriately to address continuing or new problems. A school should also tell complainants and witnesses that Title IX prohibits retaliation, and that school officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

* This section uses the term “complainant” as it is quoted directly from the Office for Civil Rights guidance.

Written Notice of Rights

Additionally, written notice of these rights must be provided to a student or employee when they file a report about and/or notify the institution of their victimization. VIctimes/survivors will be provided with their written rights to:

  • Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to law enforcement.
  • Change their academic, living, transportation, and working situations (if they desire, and if accommodations are reasonably available). Accommodations are not contingent on the filing of a formal report to law enforcement.
  • Be notified of their right to obtain or enforce a no-contact directive from the institution and/or a civil restraining (protection) order.
  • Receive a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process, including a detailed timeline for each stage of the disciplinary process, and know the range of possible sanctions. (The description should specify that the investigation must conclude within sixty days.) 
  • Receive a comprehensive list of resources, including web sites, names, addresses, and phone numbers of on-campus and off-campus community resources available for students regarding IPV, stalking, and sexual violence: 
    • Athletics
    • Campus advocate
    • Campus and community-based, culturally-specific resources
    • Campus law enforcement
    • Campus response team
    • Civil Clerk’s Office
    • Community counseling services
    • Community Sexual Violence (SV) and Domestic Violence (DV) centers
    • Dean of Students
    • Director of Religious Life
    • Director of Residential Life
    • Disability ServicesDistrict Attorney’s Office (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
    • LGBTQI+ Center
    • Local hospital
    • Local Legal Aid Office
    • Local NC Domestic Violence Center/shelter where applicable 
    • Local police departments (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit
    • Magistrate’s Office
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    • Off-campus medical care
    • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
    • On-campus counseling
    • On-campus medical care
    • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner [SANE] Program
    • Sheriff’s department (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit) 
    • Title IX Coordinator

Equal Rights for Both Parties

As required by the Campus SaVE Act and Title IX, both the victim/survivor and alleged perpetrator must be offered equal rights. This includes being entitled to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation, including the same opportunities to present witnesses and other evidence, have an advisor of their choice, and be notified of the outcome of the investigation.

Accommodations for victims/survivors and alleged perpetrators should be equitable, though not necessarily identical. While these laws only require that accommodations be offered to victims/survivors, most schools recognize that and alleged perpetrators might also need such supports (although not necessarily the same ones) and will offer them when appropriate.

What's Recommended

Employ a Trained Victim/Survivor Advocate

By having designated, trained advocates, both schools and victims/survivors will benefit from advocates' specialized knowledge of campus policies, procedures, protocols, and resources, as well as the focused attention in response to incidents of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence. The advocate should also facilitate victims’/survivors’ access to community resources.

Assist Victim/Survivors in Seeking Civil Protective Orders

While we recognize that not all institutions can guarantee this, we recommend that they make clear that victims/survivors will suffer no academic penalties for missing class to secure a civil protection order or other forms of assistance and support.

Eliminiate Financial Burder

Victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence may incur financial burdens as a result of the violence they experienced. This can include medical costs, fines associated with needing to change housing or parking, or potentially job loss. NCCADV recommends that campuses establish a protocol for consideration of resources to alleviate financial burden on students receiving care related to IPV, stalking, and/or sexual violence.

Any policy should highlight free services or financial support victims/survivors are eligible to receive, particularly as they relate to physical and mental health care, as well as on-going support navigating academic, campus conduct, or law enforcement systems. Ideally, the policy should also demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing IPV, stalking, and sexual violence by providing services for the victim/survivor that include access to physical and emotional care at no financial charge to the victim/survivor. Wherever possible, colleges and universities providing counseling services for students should provide victims/survivors with access to unlimited free counseling.

Further, institutions should consider a victim/survivor fund through which victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence can apply to alleviate financial burdens outside of the campus. This fund would also provide a confidential option for victims/survivors who may be reluctant to receive medical services due to the fear that their parents would find out. As most college students are still covered under their parents’ insurance policy, parents would likely be notified once medical costs were filed.

Assist with the Creation of a Safety Plan

Students who have experienced IPV can benefit greatly from developing a safety plan with the assistance of a counselor or advocate. A safety plan highlights areas of concern related to specifics of the victim’s/survivor’s environment and makes concrete suggestions about navigating it in the safest possible way. It is best to complete with a trained professional staff member (e.g. advocate, counselor, police, etc.). Copies of developed safety plans should be provided to trusted friends and/or family members for continuing assistance and support.

For an example of a sample comprehensive IPV Safety Plan for college/university students, visit pages 82-88 of the NCCADV Guidance and Model Policy Documents.

#4 Provide private, trauma-informed support. This support for victims/survivors should come from all parts of campus.

What's Required

Address Victims'/Survivors' Rights and Resources for Assistance

Institutional policies should support robust accommodations and personalized academic support and guidance that victims/survivors need to succeed and to avoid further victimization and decrease the negative impact of the hostile campus environment. This includes providing victims/survivors with information, assistance, and support to ensure that they can remain a student at the college/university, meet academic standards, obtain necessary health/mental health treatment, and maintain social relationships. These services should be available to victim/survivors whether or not they choose to report the offense to campus security authorities.

Examples of critical accommodations and services include:

  • Reducing Proximity to Perpetrator - At the victim’s/survivor’s request, and depending on the risk and lethality of the individual situation, schools should consider removing the alleged perpetrator from victim’s/survivor’s residence hall, classes, or other shared spaces, imposing an interim suspension for the alleged perpetrator, and/or limiting the alleged perpetrator’s access to engage in school-related activities. If it is not possible to remove a particular alleged perpetrator, schools should assist the victim/survivor in seeking alternate housing (and/or lock changes), and academic and other types of assistance and support, which might include, but not be limited to:
    • Arranging dining schedules
    • Arranging study area schedules
    • Security escorts
    • Change in on-campus work schedule
  • Offering No-Contact Orders - Schools should offer campus-based no-contact orders to victims/survivors when both the reporting and responding parties are students enrolled at the Institution (regardless of whether victims/survivors have obtained court-issued protection orders). This should also be available to students who request them against a faculty or staff member. Campus no-contact orders should prohibit the responding party from contacting the victim/survivor in person, via technology, or through a third-party (e.g., mutual friends). Schools should explicitly state the consequences for breaking a no-contact order (and, if there are no consequences, schools should make this clear so that victims/survivors can seek other protective measures).
  • Providing Academic Accommodations – Academic assistance and support for the victim/survivor should include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Academic support and tutoring
    • Change in academic schedule
    • Change in course load, including reduced course load or alternative assignments
    • Excused class absence for treatment, hospitalization, and medical or mental health conditions
    • Retrospective withdrawal from classes
    • Immediate withdrawal from a class
    • An option for independent study for the victim/survivor
    • Leave of absence from the institution
  • Offering Access to Services/Free Transportation - Schools should ensure victims/survivors can access services 24/7 and should provide free transportation to a local hospital (e.g., for a forensic evidence exam), court (e.g., to obtain a civil protection order/restraining order), and advocacy and counseling services (e.g., if your school does not provide adequate counseling services for IPV, stalking, and sexual violence victims/survivors on campus).
  • Ensuring Confidentiality/Privacy - Schools should ensure confidentiality and privacy for victims/survivors. 
    • Identify how the institution will protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors, including how publicly-available record-keeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim/survivor, to the extent permissible by law. There are always exceptions to confidentiality, particularly if there is risk of serious harm to self or others.
    • Even when a school has determined that it can respect a victim’s/survivor’s request for privacy and therefore may not be able to respond fully to an allegation of sexual violence and initiate formal action against an alleged perpetrator, the school must take immediate action to protect the victim/survivor while keeping their identity private. These actions may include: changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests; and considering whether increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred would be appropriate. 
    • Make clear to students the differences between filing a formal report with law enforcement and submitting the paperwork to notify the institution of the abuse. Students should always be fully informed of their options when they pursue one or both of these avenues of redress. They should also be informed what actions law enforcement and/or the institution will take as a result.
    • Many victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence live in fear of the perpetrator discovering where they live. In reviewing their student directory policies, schools should make students’ contact information private as the default option, as some students will be matriculating with past experiences of IPV. An institution should never release directory information that a student requests be kept private. Schools can also assist victims/survivors with the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.
    • See Section E of the Office for Civil Rights Guidance Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence – (April 2014) for more detailed information on confidentiality.
  • Considering Who Needs to Know - Clearly state that only individuals who have a need to know about the issue should be informed, and materials and information should be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and other relevant parties. Disclosure of such information may be made if it is determined that there is a serious and imminent threat to the community. In these events, the victim’s/survivor’s name and identifying information should not be needed.
  • Handling a Request for No Action by a Victim/Survivor - While any request made by a victim/survivor that a matter not be investigated should be taken into account, appropriate steps must be taken in response to protect the victim’s/survivor’s safety as soon as the school has notice of the abuse/violence. In cases of serious and imminent threat to the community, the school should move forward with formal action to protect the safety of the victim/survivor and others. For more information on this topic, visit the Support Students Who Request No Action section under Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.
  • Providing Confidential Campus and Off-Campus Resources - Inform victims/survivors of the confidential resources available on and off campus. These resources can share options and advice without any obligation to inform other college/university staff members, unless requested by the victim/survivor (for example: counseling services, health and mental health services, and ministry/religious life staff). Clearly state which college/university staff and faculty are required to inform campus authorities when they become aware of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence affecting a student. 
  • Addressing Retaliation - Neither the school nor any of its constituents (students, staff, etc.) may retaliate against a victim/survivor in any way following a report of IPV. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
    • Retaliation is not always direct. It also includes indirect behavior that targets and harms the victim/survivor, like online harassment, maligning rumors or gossip, or third-party/proxy stalking. 
    • Considering that students can experience retaliation as a result of reporting an incident, schools should ensure that reporting students and their support network, if appropriate, know how to notify law enforcement and/or the institution of any subsequent problems. Schools should follow up regularly with reporting students to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

The following section is a direct excerpt from the April 2014 Office for Civil Rights Guidance (Questions and Answers on Title IX, 2014).

The Federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. This means that if an individual brings concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention, including publicly opposing sexual violence or filing a sexual violence complaint with the school or any State or Federal agency, it is unlawful for the school to retaliate against that individual for doing so. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual because he or she testified, or participated in any manner, in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceeding. Therefore, if a student, parent, teacher, coach, or other individual complains formally or informally about sexual violence or participates in an OCR or school’s investigation or proceedings related to sexual violence, the school is prohibited from retaliating (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual) because of the individual’s complaint or participation.

A school should take steps to prevent retaliation against a student who filed a complaint either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another student, or against those who provided information as witnesses.

Schools should be aware that complaints of sexual violence may be followed by retaliation against the complainant or witnesses by the alleged perpetrator or his or her associates. When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation by other students or third parties, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. Title IX requires the school to protect the complainant* and witnesses and ensure their safety as necessary. At a minimum, this includes making sure that the complainant and his or her parents, if the complainant is in elementary or secondary school, and witnesses know how to report retaliation by school officials, other students, or third parties by making follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or acts of retaliation, and by responding promptly and appropriately to address continuing or new problems. A school should also tell complainants and witnesses that Title IX prohibits retaliation, and that school officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

* This section uses the term “complainant” as it is quoted directly from the Office for Civil Rights guidance.

Publish Procedures in the Annual Security Report

Institutions must publish their procedures in their Annual Security Report. This should include information about specific rights for all students and employees who report and/or notify the institution of an incident of sexual violence (which includes intimate partner violence and stalking). The protection of these rights applies to all victims/survivors regardless of whether they pursue any formal complaint.

For more information, visit this content: Outline Statistical Reporting Requirements and Confidentiality in the Policy Development Section.

Written Notice of Rights

Additionally, written notice of these rights must be provided to a student or employee when they file a report about and/or notify the institution of their victimization. VIctimes/survivors will be provided with their written rights to:

  • Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to law enforcement.
  • Change their academic, living, transportation, and working situations (if they desire, and if accommodations are reasonably available). Accommodations are not contingent on the filing of a formal report to law enforcement.
  • Be notified of their right to obtain or enforce a no-contact directive from the institution and/or a civil restraining (protection) order.
  • Receive a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process, including a detailed timeline for each stage of the disciplinary process, and know the range of possible sanctions. (The description should specify that the investigation must conclude within sixty days.) 
  • Receive a comprehensive list of resources, including web sites, names, addresses, and phone numbers of on-campus and off-campus community resources available for students regarding IPV, stalking, and sexual violence: 
    • Athletics
    • Campus advocate
    • Campus and community-based, culturally-specific resources
    • Campus law enforcement
    • Campus response team
    • Civil Clerk’s Office
    • Community counseling services
    • Community Sexual Violence (SV) and Domestic Violence (DV) centers
    • Dean of Students
    • Director of Religious Life
    • Director of Residential Life
    • Disability ServicesDistrict Attorney’s Office (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
    • LGBTQI+ Center
    • Local hospital
    • Local Legal Aid Office
    • Local NC Domestic Violence Center/shelter where applicable 
    • Local police departments (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit
    • Magistrate’s Office
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    • Off-campus medical care
    • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
    • On-campus counseling
    • On-campus medical care
    • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner [SANE] Program
    • Sheriff’s department (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit) 
    • Title IX Coordinator

What's Recommended

Provide Information Online

Institutions should make the following available online, as well as through print media and personal contact:

  • All information about the policies and processes related to IPV, stalking, and sexual violence.
  • Information on all campus and local services related to prevention, intervention, and response.

Doing so removes obstacles to reporting created by a fear of the unknown. Many students lack understanding about gender-based violence and might remain unaware of the institution’s philosophy toward IPV, stalking, and sexual violence if they are not specifically informed. Ideally, an individual should not have to click more than three (3) times from the college/university home page to access a complete listing (via current hyperlinks) of resources and information.

Employ a Trained Victim/Survivor Advocate

By having designated, trained advocates, both schools and victims/survivors will benefit from advocates' specialized knowledge of campus policies, procedures, protocols, and resources, as well as the focused attention in response to incidents of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence. The advocate should also facilitate victims’/survivors’ access to community resources.

Sign MOUs with Local Entities

Guidance recommends that colleges/universities should sign memoranda of understanding with local domestic violence and rape crisis centers as well as local law enforcement agencies regarding victim/survivor services and protocols. Care must be taken to establish a victim/survivor-centered advocacy structure in which expectations about confidentiality parameters are clear.

For more information and guidance on confidentiality, view the Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.

For more information on developing a Memorandum of Understanding with local gender violence service providers, visit https://www.justice.gov/ovw/page/file/910381/download

For more information on developing a Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement, visit https://www.justice.gov/ovw/page/file/910376/download 

Assist Victims/Survivors in Seeking Civil Protective Orders

While we recognize that not all institutions can guarantee this, we recommend that they make clear that victims/survivors will suffer no academic penalties for missing class to secure a civil protection order or other forms of assistance and support.

Eliminiate Financial Burder

Victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence may incur financial burdens as a result of the violence they experienced. This can include medical costs, fines associated with needing to change housing or parking, or potentially job loss. NCCADV recommends that campuses establish a protocol for consideration of resources to alleviate financial burden on students receiving care related to IPV, stalking, and/or sexual violence.

Any policy should highlight free services or financial support victims/survivors are eligible to receive, particularly as they relate to physical and mental health care, as well as on-going support navigating academic, campus conduct, or law enforcement systems. Ideally, the policy should also demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing IPV, stalking, and sexual violence by providing services for the victim/survivor that include access to physical and emotional care at no financial charge to the victim/survivor. Wherever possible, colleges and universities providing counseling services for students should provide victims/survivors with access to unlimited free counseling.

Further, institutions should consider a victim/survivor fund through which victims/survivors of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence can apply to alleviate financial burdens outside of the campus. This fund would also provide a confidential option for victims/survivors who may be reluctant to receive medical services due to the fear that their parents would find out. As most college students are still covered under their parents’ insurance policy, parents would likely be notified once medical costs were filed.

Assist with the Creation of a Safety Plan

Students who have experienced IPV can benefit greatly from developing a safety plan with the assistance of a counselor or advocate. A safety plan highlights areas of concern related to specifics of the victim’s/survivor’s environment and makes concrete suggestions about navigating it in the safest possible way. It is best to complete with a trained professional staff member (e.g. advocate, counselor, police, etc.). Copies of developed safety plans should be provided to trusted friends and/or family members for continuing assistance and support.

For an example of a sample comprehensive IPV Safety Plan for college/university students, visit pages 82-88 of the NCCADV Guidance and Model Policy Documents.

Create a Campus and Community Resource Team

Institutions should establish a multidisciplinary resource team that will provide a comprehensive, campus-wide plan to both prevent and respond to IPV, stalking, and sexual violence. Members of the team should meet monthly and receive regular specialized training. (Key college/university staff such as advocates and law enforcement should also serve on their community’s domestic and sexual violence response teams. These are often organized by their community-based domestic violence and rape crisis services providers.)

Key response team members:

  • Administrators
  • Advocates
  • Athletics
  • Community law enforcement
  • Community sexual and domestic violence service providers
  • Counselors
  • District Attorneys
  • Disability Services
  • Faculty and other instructional employees
  • Faith-based leaders
  • Health Services
  • Housing
  • Law Enforcement/Campus Security
  • LGBTQI+ Center
  • Library
  • Local NC domestic violence center/shelter where applicable
  • Local hospital(s)
  • Local law enforcement
  • Multicultural Center
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV)
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA)
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Prevention Specialists
  • Residential Life
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Government
  • Student representatives
  • Threat Assessment team members
  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Women’s Center

Every member of the Campus Resource Team shall be educated regarding:

  • Awareness and prevention of IPV, sexual assault, and stalking
  • The IPV, sexual assault, and stalking policies of the college/university
  • The provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act
  • Victim/survivor-centered response and the role of community-based intimate partner violence and sexual assault victim advocates
  • Communicating sensitively and compassionately with victims/survivors, including, but not limited to, an awareness of responding to victims/survivors with diverse cultural backgrounds, and providing services to assisting in locating services for such victims/survivors
  • Campus trends and relevant community assessments
  • Reporting requirements
  • Current data and research
  • States laws on sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking:

Additional Recommendations for Campus Stakeholders

Visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence for further recommendations for these groups:

  • Administrators - page 14
  • Advocates - page 28
  • Faculty and Other Instructional Employees - page 38
  • Title IX/Campus Disciplinary Professionals - page 46
  • Campus Law Enforcement/Security - page 58
  • Prevention Specialists - page 68

For more information about recommended minimum training requirements, visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence.

#5

Accommodations should be equitable, not necessarily identical, for reporting and responding parties.
  • Response systems can be trauma-informed without being biased toward survivors.
  • The policies and processes of these systems should be designed to put all students on the same level and be applied fairly and consistently.
 

What's Required

Ensure Equal Rights for Both Parties

As required by the Campus SaVE Act and Title IX, both the victim/survivor and alleged perpetrator must be offered equal rights. This includes being entitled to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation, including the same opportunities to present witnesses and other evidence, have an advisor of their choice, and be notified of the outcome of the investigation.

Accommodations for victims/survivors and alleged perpetrators should be equitable, though not necessarily identical. While these laws only require that accommodations be offered to victims/survivors, most schools recognize that and alleged perpetrators might also need such supports (although not necessarily the same ones) and will offer them when appropriate.

What's Recommended

Additional Recommendations for Campus Stakeholders

Visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence for further recommendations for these groups:

  • Administrators - page 14
  • Advocates - page 28
  • Faculty and Other Instructional Employees - page 38
  • Title IX/Campus Disciplinary Professionals - page 46
  • Campus Law Enforcement/Security - page 58
  • Prevention Specialists - page 68

For more information about recommended minimum training requirements, visit Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence.