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Title IX FAQ

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Title IX FAQ

What are some examples of sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, stalking, sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature (when behavior is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating or hostile environment), threatening to sexually assault someone, cyber-stalking, indecent exposure, or sexual exploitation (which includes taking non-consensual or abusive advantage of others, i.e. taking sexual photos).

I want to tell someone what happened but I don’t want it to be reported to Title IX or the police. What are my options?

For absolute confidentiality, contact NOVA's designated victim's services advocate Connie Kirkland at 703.323.2136.

NOVA’s Sexual Assault Services (SAS), family and friends, or places you go to for support off-campus like therapists and doctors don’t report sexual misconduct to NOVA Title IX or the police. There may be exceptions if they have a role that mandates or creates a responsibility for reporting.

Do I have to choose either a Title IX process or a law enforcement process? Can I do both? What if I don’t want to use either process?

You are always welcome to explore law enforcement and Title IX options when, how, and if you would like. Keep in mind that Title IX processes are only available if the person who perpetrated the harm is a member of the College community. Law Enforcement officials always encourage individuals who have experienced harm to sit down with an officer to discuss options. The law enforcement options are going to vary depending on when and in what jurisdiction the harm took place.

Do I have to go through Title IX if I want to work with the police?

No.  It is very common for individuals to choose to work with local police first before using Title IX resources. 

Do I have to talk to Title IX or report what happened right away or can I wait?

We know that any form of sex-based discrimination can be a difficult experience. You can talk with us at any time no matter when or where the conduct occurred. We also want you to remember that after speaking with us and learning about all your options and receiving information about resources, it’s okay if you are not ready to make a decision. We will continue to be here for you.

Who is going to find out?

The College strongly supports a student’s interest in confidentiality in sexual misconduct cases. The College will only disclose information regarding such cases to individuals with responsibility for preparing the College’s response and in accord with local, state, or federal law.

A complainant may request that their name not be disclosed to the respondent or that the College not investigate or seek action against the respondent. The College will determine whether it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant. A complainant’s desire for anonymity may limit the College’s ability to stop, prevent or remedy the misconduct.

The College will notify the complainant of its intention to disclose the complainant’s identity if the College decides that providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the College’s community members outweighs the complainant’s right to inaction or anonymity.

Do I need to participate in an investigation to receive resources?

No. Title IX can provide individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct with resources and support even if they do not wish to pursue an investigation. These resources are called interim measures because they are options that can be provided in the short term while someone is considering whether to move forward with a process. Academic assistance, No Contact Orders, and referrals to on-campus resources like Sexual Assault Services are all considered Interim Measures.

Can Title IX provide other resources and assistance or just the ones mentioned?

Every situation is different. Interim measures such as academic assistance, referrals, and No Contact Orders are the most frequently requested resources. However, other options and resources may be available.

What if I don’t want to get the person in trouble?

The College’s goal is not to get someone in trouble, but to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, stop the behavior, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. This may include taking disciplinary action against the respondent to hold that individual accountable for their behavior and prevent this from happening again.

Can I have someone with me during this process?

Yes. Both complainants and respondents can have a person of their choosing with them throughout all steps in the College’s process. 

Can someone retaliate against me for filing a Title IX claim?

No. Retaliation is a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy. It is against the College’s policy to retaliate against any person who exercises their right to file a sexual misconduct complaint or cooperates with an investigation. Any person who experiences or observes retaliation should promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator.

What if I am not happy with the outcome?

Each party will have an opportunity to appeal if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. The appeal process is described in the Sexual Misconduct policy.

Are there any resources available to people who have been accused of sexual misconduct?

Yes. Interim measures including academic assistance, and referrals to medical and counseling resources are available to respondents. The Title IX office can provide respondents information about support and resources.

I experienced sexual misconduct but the person who did this is not a member of the College community?

Campus conduct processes are only available if the respondent is a member of the campus community. However, resources like academic assistance, and confidential resources are still available to the complainant.

Questions for Responsible Employees

As a Responsible Employee, do I fulfill my obligation by reporting to the Police?

No. Responsible Employees fulfill their reporting obligation by reporting to Title IX. 

Do Responsible Employees only report instances of sexual misconduct involving students?

No. Responsible employees report instances of sexual misconduct involving any and all NOVA community members.

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