Amanda Gomez

 

How to Report sexual harassment in college

 

When you bend over and the guy next to you takes a picture and snapchats it to his friends, look up the definition to see if that’s what happened. Verify that leering and pictures and graphic commentaries all fall under what it means to be harassed.

 

Nineteen pages describing harassment, assault, and what sexual misconduct actually is. At least two pages of contact information, and you still won’t know how to report it. Search through any of the lady names you find and e-mail the one that sounds most congenial in an attempt to get help.

 

- unless it’s close to the weekend or break, and if that’s the case, it’ll take another week or two. The lady you e-mail will respond very nicely, cc her boss, provide the link for anonymous reporting. She’ll use catch phrases: you’ve done the right thing, and get the help you need. If she’s good, she may even quote your own words back to you: I understand you were “extremely uncomfortable” with this situation. And it’ll surprise you. You forgot you ever used those words. Then, they’ll anger you. Not for what he did, but you. You don’t like being reminded you’re a victim – the e-mail glaring like an interrogating light.

 

They won’t tell you how long until they talk to your offender, so you’ll probably have to run into him at least five times before anything is done. The first time you’ll panic: victim’s guilt. You’ll obsessively think he knows you reported him. Obviously, that’s why, out of all the students in the world, you’re in the same back third floor hallway of the library at the same time. The second time: you’ll try not to look his way. Of course, you do anyway and think: What if he tells them I was flirting when really I’m panicking? You’ll send an e-mail each time you see him: it’s for documentation, just in case. But when you tell them you keep running into him, they’ll tell you: there’s nothing we can do. We haven’t had time to pull him in yet.

 

 

But when the official process begins, a lawyer will look at your complaint. Tell you: there’s worse that occurs on campus. What she means to say: their office handles worse cases than yours. She’ll tell you this so you can trust her– but it doesn’t matter. You’re pretty sure she doesn’t think your case is serious. After all, it’s just snapchat; I don’t have it, but from what I’m aware of, the pictures disappear.  You tell her again:  I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. I just want to make sure the pictures are deleted. Did anyone take a screenshot and save it? What if there copies still floating around? And of course, you’ll think in your head: Everyone must think be thinking “This chick’s paranoid. She’s not that pretty to keep her picture around.”

 

When you say I know I said I ran into him, but I’m scared. I can’t remember his face, they’ll tell you: You’ll have an uphill battle. If you can’t remember his face and you don’t have a name, there’s not much we can do. And if the committee doesn’t have much else and can’t determine what happened they might think you misreported it. This won’t look good for you.

 

A lady will walk with you to the women’s center. She’ll make you coffee to go and chat about how fast the semester went. You’ll wait in a room filled with boxes. A lady will come in and ask what happened. She’ll give you a journal. It’s best to write it out, all the details, she says. Don’t leave it in your head. Whenever you remember something – write it down. What they don’t tell you is you’ll regret the whole process of ever reporting it; you relive it over and over.

1. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual attention.

 

 

 

2. Reports of the incident must be met with undue delay.

 

 

 

 

3. The reporting individual will be contacted promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The AVPED/Title IX Coordinator will discuss the complaint with the respondent as appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. No employee will attempt to dissuade any student from filing a complaint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Students who file a complaint will experience no retribution.

 

 

 

 

7. The Coordinator will conduct a prompt, adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of the complaint.