"Students should be able to report anonymously online and should be able to access different resources, like health care services you might need afterward, without having to name their assailant and without mandating referrals to the police.We need to honor the choices of survivors."Anonymous reporting allows survivors to get the help they need and enables schools to gather statistics on campus sexual assault without forcing victims, who may already feel a loss of control over their own bodies, to feel further disempowered. "Make sure it's easy to find out what the judicial process is," Friedman says.But different schools have different standards when it comes to what evidence they need to take action against an alleged perpetrator.
Schools don't have the power to incarcerate but they still have an obligation to protect the rest of their students, so they use a variety of other standards.
Some rely on a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which is also used in civil cases and essentially means that the evidence must indicate that an accused student is more likely guilty than not before he or she will face disciplinary measures.
They are deeply in denial and are not going to handle it well.
A school that says, 'Yes, we have a problem, and here's what we are going to do to work on it' is a school that is going to engage with you."It might sound counterintuitive, but a high number of reports doesn't necessarily mean a higher number of assaults — it might mean a higher number of students who feel safe coming forward.
And if anonymous reports include names of alleged assailants, schools can collect information on perpetrators as well — most sexual assailants commit their crimes repeatedly against many victims, and if a school allows anonymous reporting, it can identify patterns and serial offenders. "Make sure there's transparency about how it works and that there are advocates available for victims who want to press charges.
You also want to look at outcomes: How many cases have been brought, and how many of those people were found responsible?
You should be able to find out the evidentiary standard the school uses (see No.
7), who's on the disciplinary panel, potential consequences for perpetrators who are found responsible, privacy rules, whether you can have an advocate with you at a hearing, and whether you have to face the alleged assailant.
It removes potential conflicts of interest, and you don't have to work with a person who heard the most intimate details of your rape." Both sides should also have the chance to appeal, Wanjuki says — some schools only allow the accused assailant that right.6.
Are sexual assault survivors held responsible for violating student conduct codes?
"Look for schools that have clear policies," says Jaclyn Friedman, sexual assault educator and author of . 1 red flag is a school that says, 'We don't have a problem with sexual assault,'" Friedman says.