If someone shares with you an experience of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, below are some things to keep in mind:

  • Listen. Don't judge.
  • Don't probe for details.
  • Ask if they have safety concerns and if they do, utilize these safety resources (see Saftey Resources below). 
  • Know and be clear and up-front about your ability to maintain confidentiality or not. 
  • Let them take the lead. These types of experiences take away someone's power—don't compound this effect by forcing your opinions on them.
  • Avoid unsolicited touching or hugging.
  • Acknowledge what you don't know and avoid making promises or predictions about things you don’t control.
  • Encourage them to contact an advocate or other confidential resource for support (see Confidential Resources below).
  • If they are receptive to seeking medical attention (see Medical Assistance below), offer to go with or help them connect with an advocate who can do so.
  • If they are interested in reporting the incident to the police and/or the Title IX and Gender Equity Unit, offer to go with or help them connect with an advocate who can do so.
  • If they indicate they are struggling with their university commitments due to the situation, let them know that OSMRC may be able to assist with supportive measures (see Supportive Measures below). 
  • Beyond meeting your reporting obligations, keep the information private and don’t talk about it to others.  
  • Know that retaliation is prohibited. Don’t contribute to an environment in which retaliation occurs. 

If someone tells you they have been accused of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking below are some things to keep in mind:

  • Listen. Don’t judge.
  • Don’t probe for details.
  • Know and be clear about your ability to maintain confidentiality or not.
  • Acknowledge what you don’t know and avoid making promises or predictions about things you don’t control.
  • Encourage them to contact confidential resources (see Confidential Resources below).
  • Refer them to OIE TIXGE if they have questions about university actions being taken.
  • If they indicate they are struggling with their university commitments due to the situation, let them know that OIE TIXGE may be able to assist with supportive measures (See Supportive Measures below). 
  • Beyond meeting your reporting obligations, keep the information private and don’t talk about it to others.
  • Know that retaliation is prohibited. Don’t contribute to an environment in which retaliation occurs.

Relationships are built on trust. There are times when trust is lost because someone makes a promise of confidentiality that they later learn they cannot keep. It is for this reason that we encourage all employees of the university to avoid making assurances of confidentiality when confronted with disclosures about past or current experiences of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Law and policy requirements—driven by concerns about campus safety—may override a request or desire to maintain confidentiality. That said, simply because something needs to be reported does not mean someone will be forced into an unwanted process or that their information will not be kept private.

Know your reporting responsibilities

Depending on your role as a University of Iowa employee, you may have reporting responsibilities. As your role changes, your reporting responsibilities may also change, so we encourage all staff and faculty to be familiar with these pages.

To determine if you are a mandated reporter under university policy, follow these steps.

1. Determine if you are an Academic or Administrative Officer (AAO)

If you are...

  • A collegiate dean (including associate deans and assistant deans)
  • A faculty member with administrative responsibilities at the level of departmental executive officer (DEO) or above
  • Any staff member whose primary job responsibility is to provide advice regarding a student's academic pursuits or other university-related activities
  • Any faculty or staff member serving as departmental (or collegiate) director or coordinator of undergraduate or graduate studies, or as a director or coordinator of any departmental, collegiate, or university off-campus academic program (including any study-abroad program)
  • The president, director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, sexual misconduct response coordinator, vice president (including assistant and associate vice presidents), provost (including assistant and associate provosts), or those persons' designees
  • A director or supervisor in an employment context, including faculty and staff who supervise student employees, in relation to matters involving the employees they supervise (other than Department of Public Safety personnel when receiving criminal complaints or reports)
  • A human resource representative (including all central university Human Resources staff)

... then you are an AAO and must report disclosures of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. The Resources for AAOs (below) for information about what to do.

2. Determine if you are a Campus Security Authority (CSA)

Even if you are not an AAO, you may have reporting responsibilities as a Campus Security Authority (CSA) as defined by the federal Clery Act.

If you are...

  • Working in the campus police department or a campus security department
  • An individual with responsibility for campus security (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into institutional property)
  • An individual to which students and employees should report criminal offenses
  • An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings

...then you are a CSA and must report crimes that occur on campus or near campus, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. The Resources for CSAs (below) contain information about what to do.

3. Determine other reporting responsibilities

Under state law and university policy, all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the University of Iowa Police

To find out if you are an Academic or Administrative Officer (AAO), refer to the Mandated Reporter Defined menu above. The Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct provides additional information about AAOs and their responsibilities. 

Additionally, under state law and university policy, all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the University of Iowa Police

Responding to Disclosures as an AAO

As a university employee, you may learn of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. How you respond is very important, both for the person disclosing and for university policy. OIE TIXGE is here to help - contact us to consult or request training for your department. Download a PDF version of this guide for responding to disclosures as an A/AO.

1. Clarify:

As soon as you think you might be hearing about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, let them know about your responsibilities and the limits of your confidentiality.

Suggested language:

"I want to make sure you know that there are limits to my confidentiality. I am obligated to share information related to [sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking] so that someone can get in touch with you to make sure you know where to turn for help."

"This conversation may feel uncomfortable. I want to acknowledge that, but I will do my best to help you feel safe during this time."

2. Listen:

Start by believing. Remember what barriers they may have had to overcome to share this information. This isn't the time to press for details.

Suggested language:

"Thank you for sharing this information with me and trusting me with it."

"You've been through a lot."

"I'm sorry you had that experience."

"It's not your fault."

3. Check:

Ask if they have immediate safety concerns. If necessary, contact the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) (319-335-6000), Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) (800-373-1043), or Threat Assessment Program (319-384-2955) for help with safety planning.

Suggested language:

"Do you have any immediate safety concerns?"

"Do you feel safe at work? At home?"

4. Refer:

Refer them to RVAP or DVIP. Give them a copy of the Resource and Referral Guide.

Resource and Referral Guide - English
Resource and Referral Guide - (Arabic translation)
Resource and Referral Guide - (Mandarian translation)

Suggested language:

"Here is the contact information for people who can help you."

"An advocate can support you and help you with any hurdles that may come up in this process."

5. Report:

Inform them of options available under the policy (i.e., supportive measures, formal grievance process, or adaptable resolution).

Provide notice of the allegations to OIE TIXGE within two business days.

In cases involving an employee Respondent, provide notice of the allegations to the senior human resources leadership representative of the unit in which the alleged behavior occurred or, when incidents do not occur within a unit, notify the senior human resources leadership representative of the Respondent.

Inform them that you will be contacting OIE TIXGE and that OIE TIXGE may be reaching out to them.

After reporting:

It is common to be uncertain about how much and what type of assistance it is appropriate to provide. For example, you may want "to get to the bottom of it" or confront the Respondent, especially if they are someone with whom you are acquainted or if you feel a personal connection with the person who disclosed. Resist this inclination.

University policy prohibits unauthorized investigations or other attempts to informally resolve reports of sexual misconduct. Even with good intentions, you may exacerbate a situation or compromise a future investigation. 

An individual is presumed not responsible for reported misconduct unless and until there's a determination of responsibility by a preponderance of evidence.

Supportive Measures

You may be able to provide essential and immediate assistance by providing accommodation or other supportive measures (see Supportive Measures below). If someone needs more than you are able to provide or feel comfortable providing, don't hesitate to contact OIE TIXGE. We often work with employees who are trying to assess what constitutes a reasonable request for flexibility.

The Clery Act

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near campus. Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) are required under the Clery Act to report information to university police about crimes that occur on or near campus. 

CSAs are defined as officials of an institution who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. To find out if you are a CSA, visit the Mandated Reporter Defined page.

Additionally, under state law and university policy, all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the University of Iowa Police

How to report

The Department of Public Safety has an online incident reporting form for reporting a crime that has occurred on campus, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Names and identifying information do not need to be shared. Data are used for statistical purposes only, with the goal of providing transparency. 

Annual security reports are available for download from the Department of Public Safety website

Training

The University of Iowa Police provides Clery Act compliance oversight, including an ICON course for employees. To access the course:

  • Log into Self Service using your HawkID and password.
  • Select the "Personal" tab.
  • Locate the "Learning and Development" links and select the "My Training" link.
  • Select the "Available Online Icon Courses" link (near the top of the page).
  • Select on the "Campus Security Authorities" link and follow the onscreen prompt to register for the course.

Whether you have reporting responsibilities or not, familiarize yourself with the Tips for Responding to Disclosures (see above) and Tips for Responding to Someone Accused (see above).

Friends and family members are often in the best position to provide needed support to an individual who has experienced harm or been accused of causing harm to someone else. A friend or family member is usually the first, and often only, person to learn about an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. A friend or family member is also likely the first to hear when an individual receives notice that they have been accused of harming someone else.

In either situation, individuals with the strongest emotional attachments may be inclined to question their son, daughter, or friend's decision-making. An individual’s call for help might become an "I told you so" moment or a lecture on personal safety and risk reduction. This is a natural way of coping with a difficult situation. Unfortunately, it may add to feelings of blame or guilt that reduce the likelihood of someone reporting an incident or asking for needed assistance.  

In addition to being familiar with how to respond to a disclosure (see above) or to someone accused (see above), friends and family members may be in the best position to identify when someone is struggling to cope. You and your loved one are not alone. There are confidential resources available to offer support. 

There are a wealth of opportunities to learn more and get involved.

Schedule a workshop for your student organization or department

Ending Violence at Iowa is a resource for learning about the initiatives, workshops, and other opportunities to get involved in anti-violence work on campus. There's an online form that can be used to request a workshop.

Take a class

The University of Iowa offers classes on numerous topics that intersect with studies on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.  Earn credit and become more knowledgeable at the same time; here are the current course offerings (see Intersecting Courses below). The university offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate, Resilience & Trauma-Informed Perspectives. More information is located in the University of Iowa Course Catalog.

In addition to for-credit classes, students and employees can take free classes through the Department of Public Safety to increase both self-confidence and preparedness for assault and other crimes. 

Volunteer

Local advocacy agencies all depend on volunteers to provide on-call services, prevention education activities, and/or other projects.  Use the provided hyperlinks to learn about opportunities to get involved at RVAP and DVIP

The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) also welcomes volunteers.  Check their websites to learn more about ongoing or event-specific opportunities.

Encourage your student organization or service club to direct a philanthropic project toward an organization involved in anti-violence work.

Engage in research or scholarship

If you're a faculty member or student with interest or expertise on a topic related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, research opportunities abound. Together, we can facilitate collaboration across campus and within the community to improve system response, promote evidence-based prevention strategies and recommend effective training. 

Join the UI Anti-violence Coalition

The UI Anti-violence Coalition works to ensure continuous improvement in policies, procedures, and prevention efforts.

Raise awareness

Educational posters and slides can be downloaded for free from the Ending Violence at Iowa site to help raise awareness about these issues.

Supportive measures are individualized services offered as appropriate and reasonably available to both Complainants and Respondents prior to an investigation, while an investigation is pending or where no investigation has been requested. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive and may not unreasonably burden the other party. Examples include:

  • Counseling
  • Extensions of time or other course-related adjustments
  • Modifications of work or class schedules
  • Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
  • Changes in work or housing locations
  • Leaves of absence
  • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus
  • Other changes to academic, living, dining, transportation, and working situations

Supportive measures will be individualized based on the situation. The measures needed by each party may change over time, and the OIE TIXGE will communicate with parties to ensure that any supportive measures are necessary and effective based on the parties’ evolving needs. An individual may request to receive support – including the measures mentioned in this section – even if they do not choose to participate in a university resolution option.

A sexual assault medical exam ensures:

  • Physical injuries that may have occurred are promptly identified and addressed.
  • Victims may receive medication for the prevention of pregnancy and STIs.
  • Evidence may be collected by a sexual assault nurse examiner and preserved for a criminal investigation or university complaint now or in the future.

Sexual assault medical exams are administered by nurses who have received special training through the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. The cost of the exam is paid for by the Iowa Attorney General's Office, Crime Victim Assistance Division. Forensic evidence may be collected up to 120 hours after the incident occurs. 

UIHC Emergency Treatment Center: (319) 356-2233

Mercy Hospital: (319) 339-3600

If you feel unsafe, trust your instincts and seek assistance.
In an emergency, dial 911. RVAP's confidential 24-hour victim hotline number is (319) 335-6000. 

Safety Planning

We encourage people to work with a victim advocate (listed below) or threat assessment professional to discuss the particular risks and concerns associated with their situation. Still, sometimes people are reluctant to talk about their fears or experiences with someone they don’t know. Fortunately, the following online resources offer helpful information for safety planning.

Transportation

Some services provide free transportation to students. 

  • Nite Ride is a free service provided by campus police that gives students of all genders an alternative to walking home alone late at night. 

Resources for Victims of Crime

IowaVINE is a free resource for receiving information about the custody status of offenders. You can call IowaVINE at 1-888-7-IAVINE (1-888-742-8463) to receive information through an automated information system. You can also go to www.vinelink.com to register for automatic telephone, text, or email updates when there is a change in an offender's custody status.

The Crime Victim Compensation Program is a program of the Iowa Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General. It helps victims with certain out-of-pocket expenses related to injuries from violent crime, or crime-related expenses such as medical care, counseling, lost wages, and funeral expenses (when costs are not covered by insurance or other sources).

The Johnson County Attorney's Office Victim Witness Assistance Program published the Information for Victims and Witnesses pamphlet.

The Safe at Home program is an address confidentiality program that provides survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, or violent crimes, with a substitute address.

Safety concerns might also be addressed through supportive measures (listed below) provided by the university.

OIE (TIXGE) is not a confidential resource. Connecting individuals with confidential, supportive resources are among our primary concerns. 

Victim Advocates

An advocate can confidentially answer questions, provide information about options, and help with safety planning. Advocates can also serve as an Advisor to a Complainant and be present for any meetings related to a university resolution process or criminal complaint.

Counseling

The university provides various options for free and confidential counseling for community members.

Consultation and Conflict Resolution

The Office of the Ombudsperson provides information in a confidential setting about university policies and procedures. The office can also help with informal resolutions without a formal complaint, including mediation. 

The Clery Act

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near campus. Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) are required under the Clery Act to report information to university police about crimes that occur on or near campus. 

CSAs are defined as officials of an institution who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. To find out if you are a CSA, visit the Mandated Reporter Defined page.

Additionally, under state law and university policy, all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the University of Iowa Police

How to report

The Department of Public Safety has an online incident reporting form for reporting a crime that has occurred on campus, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Names and identifying information do not need to be shared. Data are used for statistical purposes only, with the goal of providing transparency. 

Annual security reports are available for download from the Department of Public Safety website

Training

The University of Iowa Police provides Clery Act compliance oversight, including an ICON course for employees. To access the course:

  • Log into Self Service using your HawkID and password.
  • Select the "Personal" tab.
  • Locate the "Learning and Development" links and select the "My Training" link.
  • Select the "Available Online Icon Courses" link (near the top of the page).
  • Select on the "Campus Security Authorities" link and follow onscreen prompt to register for the course.

CE:4191 Advocacy. Introduction to advocacy skills--communicate, convey, negotiate or assert interests, desires, needs, and rights for self or others; opportunity to design and implement a plan of change; ecological model of human interaction that suggests a person must be viewed within context of his or her environment(s); how having power on a personal and social level impacts one's environment and is central to a person's well-being; advocation as a central function of helping professions.

ANTH:1003 Anthropology of Violence.  Sources and manifestations of violence; violence in varied contexts—war, genocide, colonialism, state violence, terrorism, domestic violence; anthropological perspective considering structural, economic, and symbolic violence.

RCE:4176 Child Abuse: Assessment, Intervention, and Advocacy.  Preparation for work involving abused children or child abuse issues; appropriate for careers in counseling, education, health sciences, law, psychology, social work, and so forth; interactive approach.

RHET:2031 Desire, Consent, and Sex in U.S. Culture(s): Replacing Coercion and Violence with Respect. Exploration of desire, sex, consent, and sexual violence in practical and theoretical dimensions; recent demands by students to change the way sexual violence is addressed; theory and sources from popular media; lectures by scholars, activists, and professionals; sexual violence, rape culture, and sexuality-based oppression confronted with academic/therapeutic/political knowledge; real world strategies to help better understand and combar sexual violence, theories. Prerequisites: RHET:1030. Same as GWSS:2000

SSW:3847 Discrimination, Oppression and Diversity. Students examine theoretical and historical perspectives on racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, and their application to social work practice with anti-discrimination strategies.

GWSS:1002 Diversity and Power in the US: Examining Gender, Race, and Class in America. How the intersection of gender, race, class affects individual experience, national ideology, social institutions; interdisciplinary perspective.

SSW:3796 Family Violence.  Child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse; causes, policy aspects, identification, reporting, treatment, prevention.

ANTH:4140 Feminist Activism and Global Health.  How female gender intersects with culture, environment, and political economy to shape health and illness; reproductive health, violence, drug use, cancer; readings in anthropology, public health. Prerequisites: ANTH:1101. Same as CBH:5140, GWSS:4140.

SOC:1310 Gender and Society.  Role and status of women in society; sex differences, sex role socialization, theories about origin and maintenance of sexual inequalities, changes in social life cycle of women, implications for social institutions and processes; focus on contemporary United States. GE: Values, Society, and Diversity. Same as GWSS:1310.

SOC:4461 Gender and Violence.  Extent and nature of gendered violence, interpretation of patterns using feminist theory and perspectives on masculinities and heterosexism; examination of interpersonal violence, including criminal violence committed by women and men, violence against women and men (victimization), spousal/intimate partner abuse, youth gangs, bullying in schools, sexual violence, femicide, and genocide. Same as GWSS:4461.

SOC:7710 Gender Inequalities.  Current sociological research on public policies that affect family life and well being; divorce and child custody policies, teen pregnancy and abortion, family poverty, child care and work family policies. Same as GWSS:7710.

HIST:3157 Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights. History of gender and sexuality as components in international human rights activism and law; current debates, representative topics. Same as GWSS:3157

RCE:4192 Group Leadership in Human Sexuality.  How to teach human sexuality; how to help students achieve an open minded yet responsible attitude toward their own and others' sexuality. Prerequisites: RCE:4130.

EPLS:5278 Helping Skills in Student Affairs Work.  Development of ability to identify, understand, and intentionally apply the active attending and influencing skills; readings and class presentations.

SSW:3712 Human Sexuality, Diversity, and Society.  Physiological, psychological aspects; parameters defined by students, instructor. Same as NURS:3712.

SOC:4430 Interpersonal Violence in Society.  Extent and nature of interpersonal violence in societies, in general and for specific population subgroups; theoretical explanations for the phenomenon; alternative ways of defining and responding to violence across various social contexts; application of scientific method; relevant literatures from multiple disciplines including sociology, anthropology, criminology, psychology, and behavioral economics; types of violence defined as illegal and those which are deviant but not illegal.

GWSS:1001 Introduction to Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies.  Introduction to feminist interdisciplinary study of women's lives, with emphasis on race, class, sexual orientation; work, family, culture, political and social change. GE: Values, Society, and Diversity.

PSY:2501 Introduction to Social Psychology.  Research and theories on people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in social situations; attitudes, attributions, person perception, aggression, stereotypes and prejudice, attraction, relationships, social influence, group processes, altruism. Prerequisites: PSY:1001.

GWSS:3700 Narratives of Gender and Masculinity. Engaging with and deconstructing the stories men and women tell about what it means to be a man in the 21st century; topics may include cultural differences in the construction of gender and masculinity, queer masculinity, masculinity and social justice movements (especially feminism), history of the present moment in masculinity, masculinity from a non-binary perspective, literary representations of masculinity, and masculinity in mass culture.

PSY:3095 Psychology of Relationship Violence. Introduction to psychological theory and research on violence in relationships; topics will include intimate partner violence, sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, and stalking; includes a services learning component. Prerequisites: PSY2701.

SOC:2810 Social Inequality.  Major theoretical perspectives for understanding inequality in economics, power, prestige; the magnitude of social inequality in the United States; sex and race inequality; trends in and causes of social mobility; selected consequences of social inequality. GE: Values, Society, and Diversity.

SOC:1020 Social Problems.  Emergence and distribution of selected social problems; alternative solutions; may include population, inequality, female male relationships, racism, crime. GE: Social Sciences.

GWSS:4820 Sociology of Sexuality.  Sociological perspectives on sexuality, including theoretical and conceptual developments, empirical regularities, and social implications; sexual expression in the United States. Prerequisites: SOC:1010 or SOC:1020. Same as SOC:4820

SOC:3710 The American Family.  Structure and process; change over the life cycle; interrelations with other institutions; historical changes; variations by social class and ethnic group. Prerequisites: 034:001 (SOC:1010). GE: Values, Society, and Diversity.

ANTH:1005 The Evolution of Human Sex.  How evolution has shaped our sexual behavior; patterns of mate choice, parental behavior, social organization, cooperation, and conflict as responses to selection pressure; sexual selection, reproductive strategies, mate choice, sex roles and practices.

ANTH:2150 Transnational Feminism. Introduction to feminist perspectives from U.S. and non-U.S. contexts; how geopolitics shapes understanding of familiar feminist issues (e.g. reproduction, cultural practices, sexualities, poverty); emphasis on global south regions. Same as GWSS:2150

GHS:3015 Transnational Sexualities. How ideas about normative and non-normative sexuality, gender/sexual identities, and related social movements travel across geographical, political, and cultural boundaries; potentials and limits of using conceptual frameworks (i.e. sexuality, gender, LGBT, queer) across the west and global south; how sexuality always intersects with race, class, nationhood, and transnational systems of power; power structures that shape gender/sexuality through a transnational approach; connection of inequalities within the United States with those across the world. Same as GWSS:3010

GWSS:3266 Women and Nonfiction.  Issues of representation and self representation by and about women through the study of documentary film and personal essay; focus on paired texts in literature and cinema for analysis and critical reflection; development along historical and transnational lines of inquiry to explore literary and cinematic depictions of racial and cultural identity; motherhood, friendship, and the family; women during wartime, violence against women, domestic and industrial women's work. Requirements: junior or senior standing

GWSS:3138 Writing to Change the World. Writers who can frame questions, weigh competing perspectives, structure an argument, and write with clarity and respect for diverse audiences as powerful agents for change; writers who have inspired human rights movements; public forms of writing with local organizations whose missions are shaped by social attitudes to gender and sexuality; how language, imagery, popular culture, and history affect perceptions of gender and sexuality; conducting research and evaluation of evidence; best practices for communicating and collaborating; skills needed to be an effective advocate.