Sexual Assault Programs, Definitions and Response Procedures
Programs and Procedures for Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking as required by the Clery Act (as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act) and for sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
The Clery Act, as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), requires colleges and universities to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking through programs, awareness campaigns, policies and procedures. Title IX is an important civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs or activities. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence or sexual assault, is a form of discrimination based on sex that is prohibited by Title IX. Regulations on Title IX require grievance procedures require providing prompt and equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints and guidance on prevention awareness, resources and responsible employee training programs for individuals with reporting responsibilities.
The University will continue to take a series of specific and continuing steps in compliance with these federal requirements and recommendations to address these types of conduct, including sexual violence, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape), sexual battery, sexual coercion, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (hereinafter referred to as “sexual violence and related misconduct”) as further defined in the Clery Act and Title IX.
Educational Programs for Students, Faculty, and Staff
The University offers educational programs for students, faculty and staff to promote the prevention and awareness of sexual violence and related misconduct. Programs the University has implemented include information about many of the specific topics outlined in the federal Office of Civil Rights guidance and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act:
- Statements that the University prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.
- The definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in this jurisdiction.
- The definition of consent in reference to sexual activity.
- Positive, safe approaches to bystander intervention.
- Information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior.
- Information on how to report incidents of stalking, sexual violence, or relationship violence and seek support.
- Information about trauma, including neurobiological change.
The following trainings and programs are among those offered by the University:
Healthy Heels Ambassadors is a peer education program consisting of students who are educated and empowered student leaders modeling and supporting the health and wellness of the larger Carolina community. This group serves the Student Wellness and Carolina missions by providing educational workshops and training to students at the University. These workshops and trainings cover a variety of topics, focusing on the intersection of health promotion and violence prevention.
- Healthy Relationships 101: The Healthy Relationships Workshop discusses characteristics of healthy relationships, offers skills to help students understand their wants, needs and boundaries in relationships and teaches communication strategies to improve relationships. Participants will consider the aspects of healthy relationships of every kind, including but not limited to romantic, friend, familial, residential, etc.
- Sustaining Healthy Relationships Online Module: This course explores the unique challenges in relationships involving sexual and gender minorities. These modules are centered on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/trans, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirit and same gender loving communities, though the information applies to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Relationships can take many forms, as discussed in section one of this module. The content in this course applies to all relationships whether they are for one night or many years, between partners, family members, coworkers, etc. These modules have been developed as a collaboration between the LGBTQ Center and Student Wellness at the University.
One ACT is a bystander intervention training available to any student, staff, or faculty member at the University, but intended primarily for undergraduate and graduate students. The training teaches participants how to identify different types of violence, equips them with strategies for intervening in potentially violent situations, and guides them through several realistic scenarios to help them develop confidence in their intervention skills. The curriculum has been tailored to meet the needs of undergraduate, graduate and professional and Greek Life audiences.
Raise the Bar training educates restaurant and bar staff on how to identify and prevent sexual violence in alcohol-serving establishments near the University campus. The training explores how sexual violence might manifest in public spaces, equips participants with strategies for intervening in potentially violent situations and helps participants confront their own biases about what sexual violence and its perpetrators look like. The curriculum also features a skill-building section, in which participants discuss appropriate intervention and prevention strategies for several realistic scenarios of sexual violence and harassment. Raise the Bar is currently offered in conjunction with the Chapel Hill Police Department Be A Responsible Server (BARS) Training, which focuses on North Carolina alcohol laws and safe alcohol service.
The Heels United for a Safe Carolina Awareness Campaign supports the University’s commitment to a safe and welcoming Carolina – a campus that is free from discrimination and harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence and stalking. The campaign raises awareness of these issues, prevention efforts, available resources and University policies. The campaign, which is led by the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office with the support of key campus partners, includes a social media component as well as resources, events and programs and the Heels United Project. The campaign’s focus areas are addressed here in more detail.
- Resources: For 2021-2022, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office distributed resources to students through its Heels United social media campaign, tabling events during awareness months and at orientation, and through partnerships with Carolina Housing and Student Wellness.
- Heels United Project: The Heels United Project is an ongoing communication installation about creating a safe campus for all. The project includes installations about a range of topics, including consent, relationship violence and bystander intervention. In January 2022, for Stalking Awareness Month, Heels United shared information about the definition of stalking, setting and respecting boundaries, and how to get help for those experiencing stalking.
- Heels United commemorated Sexual Assault Awareness Month this year by posting to Instagram about campus resources and healthy relationship boundaries. In June 2022, Heels United celebrated Pride Month by posting to Instagram about LGBTQ protections in University policies and how the LGBTQ community can report an incident of harassment or discrimination to the University. Also in June 2022, Heels United celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX by sharing information about campus resources.
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
Throughout summer 2022 the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office participated in New Student Orientation, providing resources and information about harassment and discrimination, including sexual assault, interpersonal violence and stalking. The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office also provides training to resident advisors, community partners, sports groups and organizations about these types of prohibited conduct and resource and reporting options.
The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office also continues to maintain, in close collaboration with other campus partners, the Safe at UNC website, the main portal for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and visitors at UNC-Chapel Hill for resources and information about discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking. It includes information about the University’s response and prevention efforts, as well as community resources. The website was created by several UNC-Chapel Hill departments, offices and centers that provide response and prevention services.
Bystanders play a crucial role in the prevention of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking and relationship violence. We hope Carolina students will intervene directly or indirectly when they notice that someone is experiencing or at risk of experiencing these types of violence. There are five basic steps to bystander intervention:
- Notice the event.
- Interpret the situation as a problem.
- Assume personal responsibility.
- Choose how you’ll intervene.
We may not always know what to do even if we want to help. Below are some suggestions for things you can do:
- Watch out for your friends and fellow students/employees. If you see someone who looks like they could be in trouble or need help, ask if they are ok.
- Confront the person who is engaging in this behavior directly, if you feel safe to do so.
- Create a distraction, like flipping the lights on at a party, spilling a drink, or asking people to go get food with you.
- Create a plan with the people around you. Have some of your friends talk to the person engaging in the harassing behavior while another couple of friends make sure the person experiencing harm is okay.
- Familiarize yourself with campus resources so that you can reach out for help for you or your peers.
No one asks to be sexually assaulted or to experience abuse in a relationship and the person responsible for violence is the person who caused harm, not the person who experienced it. However, there are some things it would be helpful to keep in mind to reduce your risk (adapted from the Rape and Incest National Network):
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it is okay to leave.
- Avoid being isolated with someone you do not trust or someone you do not know if you can.
- When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends, arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
- Do not leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom or making a phone call. If you have left your drink alone, just get a new one.
- Be thoughtful about accepting drinks from people you don’t know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink:
- Go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured and carry it yourself.
- At parties, do not drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
- Watch out for your friends and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they have had, or is acting out of character, get them to a safe place immediately.
- If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:
- Remember that you are not obligated to do anything you do not want to do or be nice to someone who is scaring you or is making you uncomfortable. “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
- Have a code word with your friends or family so if you do not feel comfortable you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.
- Lie if you do not want to hurt the person’s feelings, as it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared or worse. Some excuses you could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, having somewhere else that you need to be, etc.
- If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.
State of North Carolina Definitions of Rape, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Stalking
- Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:
- Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or
- Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or
- Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.21 through G.S. 14-27.33.
- For purposes of this section, the term “personal relationship” means a relationship wherein the parties involved:
- Are current or former spouses;
- Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
- Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;
- Have a child in common;
- Are current or former household members;
- Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.
- As used in this Chapter, the term “protective order” includes any order entered pursuant to this Chapter upon hearing by the court or consent of the parties. (1979, c. 561, s. 1; 1985, c. 113, s. 1; 1987,c. 828; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 893, ss. 1, 3; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 591, s. 1; 1997-471, s. 1; 2001-518, s. 3; 2003-107, s. 1; 2009-58, s. 5; 2015-181, s. 36.)
- A person is guilty of first-degree forcible rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person by force and against the will of the other person and does any of the following:
- Employs or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon.
- Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person.
- The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
- Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony.
- Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes. (1979, c. 682, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 4; 1981, c. 63; c. 106, ss. 1, 2; c.179, s. 14; 1983, c. 175, ss. 4, 10; c. 720, s. 4; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 22, s. 2; 2004-128, s. 7; 2015-181, s.3(a), (b).)
- A person is guilty of second-degree forcible rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person:
- By force and against the will of the other person; or
- Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
- Any person who commits the offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class C felony.
- Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child conceived during the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes. (1979, c. 682, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 5; 1981, cc. 63, 179; 1993, c. 539, s. 1130; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2002-159, s. 2(b); 2004-128, s. 8; 2015-181, s. 4(a), (b).)
- A person is guilty of a first-degree forcible sexual offense if the person engages in a sexual act with another person by force and against the will of the other person and does any of the following:
- Employs or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon.
- Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person.
- The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
- Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony. (1979, c. 682, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 6; 1981, c. 63; c. 106, ss. 3, 4; c. 179, s. 14; 1983, c. 175, ss. 5, 10; c. 720, s. 4; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 22, s. 3; 2015-181, s. 8(a), (b).)
- A person is guilty of second degree forcible sexual offense if the person engages in a sexual act with another person:
- By force and against the will of the other person; or
- Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
- Any person who commits the offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class C felony. (1979, c. 682, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 7; 1981, c. 63; c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1131; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2002-159, s. 2(c); 2015-181, s. 9(a), (b).)
- A defendant is guilty of stalking if the defendant willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose and the defendant knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to do any of the following:
- Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of the person’s immediate family or close personal associates
- Suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment.
- A violation of this section is a Class A1 misdemeanor. A defendant convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor under this section, who is sentenced to a community punishment, shall be placed on supervised probation in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking after having been previously convicted of a stalking offense is guilty of a Class F felony. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking when there is a court order in effect prohibiting the conduct described under this section by the defendant against the victim is guilty of a Class H felony.
- Pursuant to G.S. 15A-134, if any part of the offense occurred within North Carolina, including the defendant’s course of conduct or the effect on the victim, then the defendant may be prosecuted in this State. (2008-167, s. 2.)
State of North Carolina Definitions of Dating Violence and Consent
North Carolina does not have a state statute defining dating violence or consent to sexual activity. North Carolina criminal law prohibits sexual acts that are by force and against the will of the other person or acts that are against people who are mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. In determining whether a person gave consent, or was capable of giving consent, the facts of the situation will be assessed. Physical resistance is not necessary to prove the lack of consent, nor is actual force. In North Carolina, consent is not submission due to fear, fright, coercion or the realization that in a particular situation resistance is futile.
The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct does provide a definition of consent which is also used in the University’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX. The policy states that:
- Consent is the communication of an affirmative, conscious and freely made decision by each participant to engage in agreed-upon forms of sexual contact. Consent requires an outward demonstration, through understandable words or actions, that conveys a clear willingness to engage in sexual contact.
- Consent is not to be inferred from silence, passivity or a lack of resistance and relying on nonverbal communication alone may result in a violation of this policy.
- Consent is not to be inferred from an existing or previous dating or sexual relationship, or from consent to sexual activity on any prior occasion.
- Consent cannot be obtained by coercion or force or by taking advantage of one’s inability to give consent because of Incapacitation or other circumstances.
Procedures for Reporting Sexual Violence and Related Misconduct
The individual who has experienced violence has the right to notify law enforcement and the option to decline to notify law enforcement. In an emergency, a party who wishes to report this conduct to law enforcement should call 911 immediately so the appropriate law enforcement agency can respond to provide protection and to initiate a criminal investigation. When 911 is dialed on campus, UNC Police will respond and inform University staff of the incident when necessary.
For nonemergency situations, parties wishing to report conduct should call local law enforcement and ask to speak with an investigator. Local law enforcement agencies can be reached at the following nonemergency numbers:
- On campus – UNC Police at 919-962-8100.
- In Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760.
- In Carrboro – Carrboro Police Department at 919-918-7397.
- In Orange County (outside city limits) – Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 919-245-2900.
Those who have experienced sexual violence and related misconduct are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical treatment.
The preservation of evidence is important in these cases. Evidence collected can be used to support a report and may be helpful in obtaining a protection order through the court system. In order to preserve evidence, an individual who has experienced sexual assault is encouraged not to change clothes, bathe or use the bathroom before seeking medical assistance. The individual may have a forensic exam completed either at UNC Hospitals by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or at Campus Health. A forensic exam can be completed up to five days after an assault. If an individual first reports sexual violence to law enforcement, they can transport the individual to receive medical assistance. In many cases, the cost of treatment can be covered by the University’s Survivor Assistance Fund.
If an individual seeks medical assistance, Campus Health or UNC Hospitals personnel will, at the individual’s request, contact law enforcement. It is the decision of the individual who has experienced sexual violence as to whether to speak with a law enforcement officer at the time the forensic exam is completed. Under North Carolina law, an individual can opt to have evidence collected and have the evidence held while they decide when or if they wish to make a report to law enforcement. Individuals are encouraged to consider preserving evidence as soon as possible after an incident regardless of whether the individual has decided to contact law enforcement and/or to report the incident to the University.
In addition to pursuing criminal charges through the legal system, an individual who has experienced sexual violence and related misconduct can choose to report the incident to the University, which provides the option of addressing the incident under the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct or the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX. Reports of sexual violence and related misconduct are submitted to the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office, which includes the Title IX Compliance Coordinator and Report and Response Coordinators:
- Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
- 214 W. Cameron Ave., 919-966-3576
- Title IX Compliance Coordinator
- 214 W. Cameron Ave., 919-445-1297
- Report and Response Coordinators
- 214 W. Cameron Ave., 919-962-5882, 919-445-1292 or 919-445-1578
These resources will also assist employees and students in notifying UNC Police and other local police authorities, as requested.
The University has several options for reporting an incident of sexual violence anonymously:
- Individuals can make an anonymous report on the EOC website.
- Individuals can submit an anonymous report of any crime, including sexual assault and interpersonal violence, via the UNC Police Silent Witness website. These reports are reviewed by UNC Police, but will generally not result in an investigation.
There are different procedures depending on whether the conduct meets the definition and jurisdiction of the University’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX or the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. If the conduct is addressed under the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX, then the University’s Procedure for Reporting and Responding to Complaints of Sexual Harassment Under Title IX will apply. If the conduct is addressed under the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, then separate procedures will apply and will depend on the status (student, employee, third party) of the party reported to have engaged in the prohibited misconduct.
Under either set of procedures, parties may agree to a voluntary resolution of their report, instead of a formal investigation and adjudication. Voluntary resolutions are voluntary and must be agreed to by the participating parties; do not involve an investigation or disciplinary action against the Responding Party; and are not appropriate in all cases. The University retains discretion to determine whether voluntary resolution is appropriate and reaches that determination using factors set out in the relevant procedures. There are two categories of Informal Resolution: 1) resolutions that focus on supporting the Reporting Party with no participation or involvement by the Responding Party, and 2) resolutions that involve a facilitated agreement with the Responding Party. Resolutions may involve supportive measures, education and training, increased monitoring or security, facilities conversations between the parties, mutually agreed upon parameters for interaction between the parties, and other measures designed to create an inclusive and non-discriminatory environment. The time frame for completion of Voluntary Resolution may vary depending on the complexity of the matter, but the University will seek to complete the process within thirty (30) business days of the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office’s determination that Voluntary Resolution is appropriate. Alternatively, reports may be resolved through a formal investigation, described in more detail below.
Under all procedures for investigations of incidents of sexual violence and related misconduct, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office will conduct the investigation. If the conduct is being addressed under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, the EOC investigator(s) will determine whether there has been a violation of the policy using a preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not”) standard; depending upon the outcome and preferences of the parties, there may also be a hearing. If the conduct falls under the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX, the determination of whether there has been a violation of that policy will be made by a hearing panel after conducting a live hearing; the panel will use the preponderance of the evidence standard. For matters investigated beginning June 6, 2022, determinations under the Title IX Policy are made by a Hearing Officer rather than a hearing panel. The Hearing Officer will use the preponderance of the evidence standard.
The investigators, hearing panelists and Hearing Officer receive annual training and ongoing training throughout the year on issues related to sexual violence and related misconduct. They are also provided training on how to conduct investigations and hearings in a fair and equitable manner, without conflicts of interest that both protect the safety of those involved and promote accountability.
Consistent with the goal to maximize educational opportunities and minimize the disruptive nature of the investigation and resolution, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office and Title IX Compliance Coordinator seek to resolve all reports involving a student as the responding party within one academic semester, depending on when the report is received. In general, an investigation may last up to 60 business days. Adjudication will generally take up to 30 business days. The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office and Title IX Coordinator may set reasonable time frames for required actions under the policy. Those time frames may be extended for good cause as necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation, comply with a request by external law enforcement, accommodate the availability of witnesses, accommodate delays by the parties, account for University breaks or vacations, or address other legitimate reasons, including the complexity of the investigation (including the number of witnesses and volume of information provided by the parties) and the severity and extent of the alleged conduct. Any extension of the timeframes, and the reason for the extension, will be shared with the parties in writing. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner while also ensuring thoroughness and due process.
During the investigation and hearing under the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX, a reporting and responding party each have the right to an advocate of choice as well as an additional support person. The non-attorney advocate or attorney can participate in all meetings and proceedings to the same extent as the party.
Under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, the student parties are entitled to a support person of the student’s choosing as well as an additional support person or advocate (non-attorney or attorney).
The University recognizes the sensitive nature of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and is committed to protecting the privacy of any individual involved in a report of prohibited conduct. UNC Police ensure personally identifying information about victims will not be included in any publicly available recordkeeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures such as the annual security report and the daily crime log. Personally identifying information includes:
- A first and last name.
- A home or other physical address.
- Contact information (including a postal, email or Internet Protocol address, or telephone or fax number).
- A social security number, driver’s license number, passport number or student identification number.
- Any other information, including date of birth, racial or ethnic background, or religious affiliation that would serve to identify any individual.
Under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, where a reporting party makes a report of sexual violence or related misconduct but requests their name or other identifiable information not be shared with the responding party or that there be no investigation or adjudication, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office will balance this request against the following factors in reaching a determination about whether the request can be honored:
- The nature and scope of the alleged conduct, including whether the reported misconduct involves the use of a weapon.
- The respective ages and roles of the reporting and responding parties.
- The risk posed to any individual or to the campus community by not proceeding, including the risk of additional violence.
- Whether there have been other reports of misconduct by the responding party.
- Whether the report reveals a pattern of misconduct (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
- The reporting party’s wish to pursue disciplinary action.
- Whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence.
- Considerations of fundamental fairness and due process with respect to the responding party should the course of action include disciplinary action.
- The University’s obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.
Where possible based on the facts and circumstances, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office will seek action consistent with the reporting party’s expressed preference for manner of resolution, recognizing the University must move forward with cases in which there appears to be a threat to any individual or the University as a whole. The University’s ability to fully investigate and respond to a report may be limited if the reporting party requests their name not be disclosed to the responding party or declines to participate in an investigation.
Under the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX, the University will move forward with a formal investigation only upon receipt of a Formal Complaint by the reporting party or Title IX Coordinator. In all cases, the University will protect the confidentiality of the parties and witnesses.
Services and Support for Individuals Affected by Sexual Violence or Related Misconduct
Individuals disclosing sexual violence or related misconduct to the University are notified in writing of counseling, health, mental health, visa and immigration and victim advocacy services. Individuals may seek confidential emotional and psychological support as well as medical care from on-campus University resources for incidents of sexual violence and related misconduct by contacting:
- Campus Health Services (students): 919-966-2281.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (students): 919-966-3658.
- ComPsych Employee Assistance Program Service (employees): 877-314-5841.
- Gender Violence Services Coordinators (students and employees): 919-962-1343.
- University Ombuds Office (students and employees): 919-843-8204.
Confidential off-campus resources include:
- Compass Center for Women and Families: 919-929-7122.
- Emergency Department at UNC Hospitals: 984-974-4721.
- Orange County Rape Crisis Center: 919-967-7273.
Identifying information shared with a confidential resource will not be disclosed to anyone else, including the University, without the reporting party’s express permission, unless there is a continuing threat of serious harm or there is a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., suspected abuse of a minor). At the student’s request, the University offices listed above will help the student contact a law enforcement agency.
As reflected in the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, the University provides a collaborative course of action when an individual reports or discloses sexual violence or related misconduct. The following staff members work together to identify and provide support and protective measures in a confidential manner to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the institution to provide the accommodations or protective measures:
- Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.
- Title IX Compliance Coordinator.
- Report and Response Coordinators.
- Gender Violence Services Coordinators.
- Campus Health Services.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
- UNC Police.
- Office of the Dean of Students.
- Carolina Housing.
- Office of Human Resources.
- Academic deans and advisors.
These measures, which include no contact orders, counseling, workplace accommodations, visa and immigration assistance and academic (e.g., extension of time to complete class work, withdrawal from a course, section or schedule change) and housing accommodations, are available regardless of whether the affected individual pursues adjudication under University policy or through criminal proceedings.
Carolina Housing also provides several safe spaces in campus housing for temporary use. These spaces are located in the residence halls and provide the option for a support person to accompany the affected individual until other arrangements are confirmed. Arrangements for safe spaces are made by contacting UNC Police at 919-962-8100, which will connect the affected individual to the live-in professional staff on call.