If you become aware of an allegation of sexual violence that involves a member of the Carthage community, you must immediately inform a Title IX coordinator of the situation and share whatever information you have learned.
The information you share will be treated as confidentially as possible, but the Title IX coordinator may need to consult with other administrators. At times, the Title IX coordinator will need to take action in the interest of safety. In planning any response, the wishes of the complainant are given full consideration.
How should I respond to someone who comes to me with an account of sexual violence?
1) Recognize that the person talking to you is likely in need of support as well as information.
- Listen attentively and non-judgmentally.
- Affirm the choice to disclose the incident.
- Take note of any information shared, but do not push for details the person is unwilling to share. Note dates/times as much as possible.
- If you are talking with the potential complainant, do what you can to let that person make decisions about what happens next.
2) Affirm that Carthage takes sexual violence very seriously, and that the College policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports sexual violence.
3) Describe the available resources and accommodations.
- The Health and Counseling Center is usually the best place to start. The Health and Counseling Center’s Counselor/Coordinator of Victim-Survivor Support Services is the victim counselor for our campus. The Center and staff member’s services are entirely confidential. The Counselor/Coordinator of Victim-Survivor Support Services can assist potential complainants in their ability to make an informed decision. For students, The Health and Counseling Center can also coordinate additional services and actions.
- People can also go directly to the Office of Student Life, Carthage Security, or any of the Title IX coordinators. All of these entities will coordinate with one another as necessary. People can start wherever they feel most comfortable.
- Clarify that there are internal judicial procedures for sexual violence, as well as the option for criminal investigation with the Kenosha Police Department. Criminal and judicial options can be pursued simultaneously.
- Ensure the person knows about “accommodations” for people who have experienced sexual violence — steps the Title IX coordinator can take to minimize the impact of an incident and to provide a safe educational and work environment. This may include measures such as no-contact orders, temporary suspensions, and changes to working, academic, or living arrangements.
- Offer to make the initial connection to one of these resources. For example, you could call the Office of Student Life, start the conversation, and hand over the phone.
4) Be very open about your obligation to share what you have learned with one of the Title IX coordinators. The person you are talking to may be concerned about the loss of confidentiality and/or control of the situation. You can offer assurance that the coordinators are mindful of these concerns. Except in cases of serious threat to the complainant or the campus community, they will not take action or share information without the complainant’s knowledge and consent.
5) If appropriate, arrange a time for a follow-up meeting to offer ongoing support.
If you would like further assistance, contact a Title IX coordinator or the Office of Student Life (262-551-5800). They can assist you during the meeting, or in advance if you anticipate a disclosure. We can answer questions, identify options, and assist with the discussion.
How do I report the information?
You should call or email a Title IX coordinator or the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students as soon as possible to report the information confidentially. See the list of Carthage’s Title IX Coordinators. The Associate Vice President of Student Life/Dean of Students may be best able to help you, but you may contact any of them; sometimes, privacy concerns may make one of the others a better choice. If this is an emergency, please contact 911. The Title IX coordinators should not be used in lieu of emergency services.
What details do I need to provide?
You must share whatever information has been shared with you, including the name(s) of any individuals involved, the details of the incident, and the complainant’s wishes regarding next steps. This is required by law.
What kinds of sexual violence do I need to report?
You need to report any incident that might fall within Carthage’s definition of Sexual violence: “a range of behaviors including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is non-consensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person.” For more details, see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Please note: you do not need to be certain that an incident constitutes violence, nor that it is sufficiently serious to warrant action. You must make a report for anything that might. The Title IX coordinator will assess the information and determine the appropriate next steps.
Do I need to report if the information I hear is second-hand, a rumor, or vague? What if the offender or victim is not a member of our community? What if the incident took place away from campus or when school was not in session?
Yes. When in doubt, report. Even partial information may be helpful, as we work to ensure that people have access to resources and that our community is safe.
What happens after I file a report?
A Title IX coordinator will assess the information you have provided, and take appropriate action. In all cases, the deputy Title IX coordinators will confer and report the information to the Title IX coordinator. If your report includes names or other identifying details, a Title IX coordinator may reach out to make sure that anyone who has experienced sexual violence has access to accommodations, support, and options for taking action. The Title IX coordinator will not contact any individuals accused of committing sexual violence until a complaint has been filed or an investigation initiated.
Once I have filed my report with a Title IX coordinator, do I have other responsibilities?
No. Once you file a report, your reporting obligation is complete. You should preserve any notes you may have taken, or give them to the Title IX coordinator. You may continue to talk with the person who shared the information with you; please keep the Title IX coordinator updated if you learn new details or if the situation evolves.
Will the Title IX coordinator update me on what happens?
No. You may be involved in some of the next steps — helping to arrange an accommodation, for example, or speaking with an investigator. It is understandable that you may wish to know more, but it is critical to protect the privacy of the parties involved and the confidentiality of Carthage’s sexual violence response system.
What are my additional responsibilities if there are minors involved?
Under Carthage policy and Wisconsin Law, you must report any suspected abuse of a minor (a person under 18) to the appropriate law enforcement agency as soon as possible, but no later than 12 hours after the events that created a reasonable suspicion.