Campus Victimization and Assistance Services
S. Daniel Carter  -  2006/7/27
1. schools are hesitant to refer victims to outside police authorities when there has been "on-campus" victimization. Are you aware of any well written policies on this issue? 2. When an order of protection has been issued by a judge that includes instructions to "stay away from the school of (victim name) some schools allow the offender to go to the school "when the victim/student" is not scheduled to be in class/on campus. This allows the offender to access the victims campus mail box, car if parked on campus, dorm room, bulletin boards etc. which often allows the offender to continue to harass/intimidate/stalk the victim. Are you aware of any well written policies on enforcing orders of protection when the protected party attends school?
1.  Daniel Carter
 Getting schools to enforce judicially issued no contact orders has proven difficult and unfortunately we're not familiar with any school that has explicitly adopted a policy to deal with this type of situation. What we have found though is that it is often necessary to make the situation clear to the court that issues the order so that it can be written in a way that deals with the unique aspects of the campus environment (dining schedules, ec...) up front.
2.  Daniel Carter
 The federal Clery Act REQUIRES colleges to notify students of their "option to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police" in sexual assault cases and further they must assist complainants in reporting to either on or off-campus law enforcement. We've also helped secure legislation in Tennessee that requires that the local police be brought in on a joint investigation of any reported rape. Getting schools to enforce judicially issued no contact orders has proven difficult and unfortunately we're not familiar with any school that has explicitly adopted a policy to deal with this type of situation. What we have found though is that it is often necessary to make the situation clear to the court that issues the order so that it can be written in a way that deals with the unique aspects of the campus environment (dining schedules, ec...) up front.
(1.) With the general decline of crime across the United States, did you find a parallel decline of crime on campus? Why or Why Not? (2.) If crime is generally reduced, does that present unique readiness problems for Campus Victim Assistance Services? (3.) Why can't these victims use the services available from the cities or counties in which they reside? For example a church, a major industry or hospital (also societal institutions) don't field victmimization services - why should a campus? Are we marginalizing our crime victims by treating them differently from others?
1.  Daniel Carter
 A DOJ study has found a decrease in crimes against students, but we've not had reliable summary information under the Clery Act for long enough to draw any conclusive long term trends about actual "on campus" crime. The most serious problems on campus involve acquaintance sexual assault and alcohol fueled violence, both of which tragically remain extremely prevalent. Schools should base their victim assistance services on these needs not broader national statistics. Unlike other institutions, colleges are more like their own cities. This is especially true in more rural areas or college towns. The college may be the best suited institution in those areas to provide these services. Also, when dealing with institutional proceedings campus advocates may have the best knowledge of the system. But local resources, where available, should also be options, and the Clery Act does require that students be informed about them.
Are you aware how prevalent is Sexual Harassment by faculty members against female undergraduate and graduate students in college campuses and what is being done to counter this practice? Given tenure policies in universities many times victims have to endure the presence of the perpetrators not only in their campus but in their departments because the university cannot remove them from their positions. Have you looked at tenure policies in public institutions and what recourse victims have when it has been proven by the investigative bodies of their own institutions that this act has been perpetrated against them, but the perpetrators remain in their position because they are protected by tenure?
1.  Daniel Carter
 At SOC we deal exclusively with criminal misconduct so sexual harassment absent a criminal component (sexual assault, for example, is viewed as an extreme form of hostile environment sexual harassment) isn't our expertise. But we do know that Title IX requires schools to remedy a hostile environment so this requirement would certainly need to be balanced with tenure protections.
How can we deal with underreporting of crime by campus police departments? If they aren't reporting, we can't assess victim needs appropriately.
1.  Lynne
 I know that some campuses in NC use anonymous reporting forms, so that if a student who is a victim of a crime does not want to publically report the crime, she/he can still report it. This is a possible way for the campus to have more accurate statistics and also be aware of any patterns in crime activity. Also, some schools have revised their policies to state that a student who is a victim of a crime will not be punished if they were engaged in underage drinking or drug use when the crime happened (particularly in the case of sexual violence, this fear is one deterrent that keeps survivors from coming forward).
2.  Daniel Carter
 Clery Act compliance is an institutional responsibility, not just one for the campus police. Many offices on campus have to report crime, including housing and student affairs for example. Schools that don't report properly need to understand that they are putting the safety of their students at risk and also risk being penalized by the U.S. Department of Education. Someone who is concerned that their school isn't properly reporting can contact SOC for more information about how we can work with you to help bring your school into compliance.
I am full-time faculty at a small, southern university. We have not had any serious crime problem on campus but still I am curious what recommendations you would make to help ensure our campus remains a safe one.
1.  Ben A-Zeman
 I agree with Daniel - I'd add that most sexual assault victims will not report - and, in fact, will blame themselves for the assault because they were drinking, were attracted to their assailant, went up to their room, etc. If the rapist used coercion, cajoling, etc. instead of physical force, they may also have blamed their victim, instilling that shame and guilt and absolving themselves of any culpability, in their minds. Same with victims of dating violence, especially non-physical power and control, emotional abuse, etc. No reported crime might not necessarily be a good thing - your victims may simply be reluctant to come forward.
2.  Daniel Carter
 Most campus crime, even that at small or rural institutions, is student-on-student and alcohol or other drug related. So educating students about substance abuse and to respect each other and their community is key to keeping your campus safe. Training staff how to respond and providing victim services play an important role, as does partnering with off-campus resources.
How do you recommend breaking the barrier with universities that are hesitant to serve IPV survivors directly and through providing educational programming for the fear that they will appear like a "dangerous" institution?
1.  Daniel Carter
 Education of faculty, staff and students is imperative in breaking down myths surrounding Intimate Partner Violence. IPV is a pattern and general happens repeatedly and heightens with each instance possibly leading to death. This is a very serious crime and police/security frequently recognize these cases as the most dangerous for them to intervene. Breaking the barrier is necessary in serving IPV victims as they may be in more danger on a college campus since it is smaller and their abuse has more access to them. The wellness, women’s center, health services, and police/security should all be trained on how to assist a victim of IPV. It is also important to develop a task force that includes college representatives and representatives from the local domestic violence/IPV agency. This is a free resource and staff wants to help break these barriers.
It is so frustrating to look at the stats that many universities provide to reporting agencies and know that it is not the true picture of the sexual assault on their campus--is there anything that your agency can do to insist that the schools not down-play the crime and categorize it as something other than a sexual assault when they send in their stats?
1.  Daniel Carter
 SOC has done extensive work to both educate schools about campus crime reporting requirements (definitions, who has to report, etc...) and to bring misreporting to the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, the agency that enforces the federal Clery Act's crime reporting provisions. Beginning this fall we'll be offering a series of Clery Act training seminars on crime reporting and victim assistance across the country, funded in large part by a grant from the OVC. Someone who is concerned that their school isn't properly reporting can contact SOC at for more information about how we can work with you to help bring your school into compliance.
Does the department of education monitor or oversee (and for how long) universities that it has investigated and with whom they have agreed on changes to their sexual assault policy? If yes, how do I find out the results of the dept of education's monitoring. If not, how does any decision made by the department of education do anything to change campus policy?
1.  Daniel Carter
 When ED's Office for Civil Rights reaches an agreement with a school there is usually a set monitoring period, say 6 months to a year. OCR will check back and verify that policies and practices have been changed to comply with Title IX requirements and will then usually close the case. Clery Act reviews often involve a initial program review determination followed by a "final" program review determination several months or years later documenting improvements, if any, made by the school. Schools that don't make the agreed upon or required changes face punitive actions. Information about these proceedings are available from the U.S. Department of Education under the Freedom of Information Act. Personal information about victims will be redacted but information about changes in institutional policy will be available.
What is the most effective way to change sexual assault policy on campus? How can faculty help victims of sexual assault?
1.  Allison
 After my assault, the facutly at my university was key to my healing. They listened, worked with me about turning in assignments,and some supported me in hearings and speakouts. I now work at a rape crisis center in a metro city and we offer a workshop called "Friends of Survivors." The goal is to train staff/faculty on how to be sensitive towards survivors by explaining rape trauma sydrome,etc. After the training, a sticker is placed on their door so students know they are going to a "safe" person.
2.  Daniel Carter
 The key is educating the campus community, especially key decision makers, about the extent of the problem, best practices from key disciplines, and the legal requirements of laws like Title IX (requires a prompt and equitable response to eliminate a hostile environment created by a sexual assault) and the Jeanne Clery Act (affords victims certain specific rights). Then convening a multidisciplinary task force empowered to make and follow-up on meaningful recommendations across the board. The SOC web site is a good starting point to research these issues. If campus leaders aren't open to changes public pressure is often helpful in moving things forward, students and faculty leaders can be critical here. If that doesn't work a review by the U.S. Department of Education to see if there are Title IX or Clery Act violations may be warranted. Although faculty members are not usually tasked with the responsibility of formally responding to sexual assault complaints, they may be the first person that a victim reaches out to. It would be helpful if schools could provide them with a basic understanding of how to respond sensitively to these reports and what resources the school offers. On their own faculty can consult with either on or off campus advocates about how to respond, and can learn more about their own school's resources for victims by reviewing their school's Clery Act report.
Based on the Clery Act, are campuses required to have educational workshops for students, staff and/or faculty?
1.  Daniel Carter
 The Clery Act requires "educational programs" about sexual assault but does not proscribe the exact format that schools must use, such as workshops. The exact type of program used by every school must be listed in their Clery annual security report. The Clery Act also requires colleges to disclose information about what campus security and crime prevention programs they offer, but an institution is free to not offer such programming so long as this is clearly disclosed in their Clery report. We, of course, strongly recommend that schools do offer such programming. And of course the intent is if parents and others see a school not offering it they'll demand it.
As a small university, one of the problems we have with servicing victims is that they often want to talk to someone, but they do not want anyone to see them going into the counseling center. The counseling staff is skeletal (3 for 5,000 students), so most students are referred out anyway. Is there a better way to protect the anonymity of victims while also trying to offer them the services they need?
1.  Daniel Carter
 I had in mind another location on your campus, but a less conspicuious one.
2.  Lori Sudderth
 Do you mean setting up a counseling office that is off campus?
3.  Jan Deeds
 We have established several locations on campus where our Victim Advocate will meet with someone besides here in the Women's Center. Also having the VA at the Women's Center, which provides a library and lots of non-violence related programming, offers some "cover" for victims.
4.  Daniel Carter
 Is it possible to operate a satellite office in a less conspicuous location for these clients?
There is much talk about on campus violence. What can be done to get college administrators to take a more serious role in the prevention of on campus use of alcohol and to have better proctoring of dorms and students.
1.  Daniel Carter
 Administrators need to be educated about the extent of these problems, what they can do, and told that by taking them on their actually putting their school in a positive light. All schools have these problems and we tell parents that schools dealing with them upfront are the best schools for their children. They should also be aware of potential negative consequences including bad publicity, ED reviews, and lawsuits that could all result from failing to take campus crime seriously.
What is the single most important prevention tool to be used by college students? Is there a list or directory of victim service providers for Ohio Colleges that is available for new college students?
1.  J. Renfro
 Another tool that might be helpful in prevention methods is to conduct a campus safety survey. This usually consists of an outside consultant review lighting, landscaping, emergency phones, etc.
2.  Paul Steiner
 Prevention does require collaboration among all members of the university community. As in any community, the authorities cannot prevent crime without the help of citizens. One of the most important prevention tools is education on personal safety and awareness for new students prior to the start of the academic year. The highest victimization rates occur in the first week of school.
3.  Daniel Carter
 Crime prevention is a collaborative approach between all campus community members. But if I had to identify one thing that students could take responsibility for on their own it is to be aware of their environment, and understanding what types of crimes happen in the campus community. Clery Act disclosures and the campus newspaper are a good source for getting this information.
My experience in the last 22 years as both a state and federal victim's advocate is that many college campus deans, and others responsible for dealing with rape victims, often not only make it difficult for victims to report rapes on campus but sometimes actively discourage rape victims from reporting the rapes to proper authorities. They often refer the victim to campus police who are often not qualified to investigate such crimes and may not even have jurisdiction to investigate felonies, or they urge the victim to deal with a campus "punishment" and not to pursue criminal charges. Has that changed in your experience or is it esentially the same? If so, what can we do about it? Thanks, Shane
1.  lauren
 Daniel,Can you tell me what the statute of limitations is for filing a complaint against a university in violation of the Clery Act?
2.  Daniel Carter
 Under Title IX colleges potentially face multimillion dollar lawsuits for failing to comply. ED's Office for Civil Rights may also impose sanctions, although in every case we're aware of schools have complied and avoided sanctions. Under the Clery Act three schools have been fined from $15,000 to $200,000. If a school refused to comply perpetually they'd lose their eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.
3.  Shane VerPlanck
 Daniel, What then are the types of sanctions that schools who have violated Title IX and the Cleary Act experience? Do these laws have teeth that really discourage colleges and universities to comply?
4.  Daniel Carter
 Through public pressure, the Clery Act's "Campus Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights" and the application of Title IX to these cases things have improved a bit. There are still obviously a lot of problems though, we see them everyday. Educating school officials about their obligations under Clery and Title IX are one thing that can be done, helping victims bring violations to the attention of the U.S. Department of Education when a school won't cooperate is another.
Can you describe the latest trends in campus safety, with a particular emphasis on preventing sexual assault? Thanks
1.  Daniel Carter
 SOC's peer education program at is one resource. Professional listserves are another good way to find out about what other campuses are doing.
2.  Nikki Gausman
 Do you know of any way to get further information on specific programming that is used so that we do not have to recreate the wheel here too?
3.  Amy
 Students educating students is a very popular and effective trend. College peer educators present to classes, greek life, athletics, etc. Involving the students in their safety provides them with ownership of these issues.
4.  Daniel Carter
 Educating both male and female first year college students on what sexual assault is is one trend that we've seen, several states including California have adopted or are considering legislation mandating some type of training like this.
do you have sample policies that you would be willing to share that colleges and universities across the country can adapt without having to recreate the wheel and also feel confident that those policies are in compliance with federal guidelines?
1.  Daniel Carter
 We do frequently get this type of request and I'll see if we can't gather some sample policies to share.
2.  Daniel Carter
 We don't offer sample policies, and of course each school will have their own unique needs. But we do offer resources to help you understand what victims need, and the requirements of the Clery Act & Title IX.
What programming on university campus' have you found to be the most successful in dealing with women's issues?
1.  Dawn
 Dr. John Foubert from William and Mary University has a program in effect that provides peer education to university males, and there are students who drive to campuses to provide the training to the students there. The name of the group is "One in Four", and they have a website that discusses the program. He reports that he has had positive results with education of males, as well as a reduction in the liklihood of participants offending after the training.
2.  Daniel Carter
 In general we've found that peer education is often the most effective type of programming on many issues.
Does your agency have any suggestions on how to apporach campus faculty and staff about training issues. I find that our outreach is not effective, or that the colleges don't want to hear what types of crimes may be happening on thier grounds.
1.  Daniel Carter
 Having someone from within the campus community to speak for the cause can be very helpful. Often there are interest groups with concerned students or faculty, and response professionals on campus that may be able to help you in different ways. Going to the campus newspaper to educate them about your resources, and then everybody on campus through their coverage can also be helpful. Reaching out to victims through ads, if you have the budget, and other resources to help serve them directly can also work. And as I've mentioned before, as a last resort let them know that there are federal requirements dealing with how they handle crime on campus, and depending upon your jurisdiciton there may be state law issues too.
How do most schools deal with handling an administrative hearing (Judicial Process) for a student accused of committing a sexual assault who has also been charged criminally by the University Police? What can be done to make a universal way to handle both instances without infringing on either case?
1.  Daniel Carter
 Unfortunately we do see schools hold off on their student judicial response while a corresponding criminal investigation is ongoing. This can subject the victim to undue trauma by having to continue to face their assailant. We don't believe that this is proper under Title IX and ED's Office for Civil Rights has said "because legal standards for criminal investigations are different, police investigations or reports may not be determinative of whether harassment occurred under Title IX and do not relieve the school of its duty to respond promptly and effectively." One option that should be written into institutional policies is to provide for an interim suspension during the criminal investigation. If a hearing needs to be held during the investigation coordination with police will be key.
What about the school who calls in local police officers or deputies to make the actual arrest? Doesn't that misrepresent the amount of crime on campus and how can we remedy that?
1.  Daniel Carter
 The Clery Act requires institutions to report certain covered crimes in their annual statistics that are known to campus officials including campus police as well as the local police, and to report in a public crime log ALL crimes reported to their police or security department. Who makes the arrest is irrelevant. Colleges are required to request crime report information from local authorities. And crime log entries are to be updated for 60 days after their creation, so if the campus authorities know that a crime reported to them resulted in an arrest by the local police that should go in the log.
Mr. Carter, At our University the University Police and city police have an extremely cooperative relationship and work together on campus crime. Do you find this typical of other universities?
1.  Daniel Carter
 Cooperative agreements have become increasingly common over the last 10-15 years. They are essential in many respects to address the mutual needs and overlapping jurisdictions of agencies. Several states, including California and New York, have adopted laws requiring or encouraging them. And Tennessee requires campus and local agencies to work together on death and rape cases.
Hi, Daniel! You guys do such great work - thanks for doing this OVC seminar. I've met many students that have been sexually assaulted on their campus, only to find that their campus judicial process is almost worse than their initial rape. They go through the proper channels, face their rapist in campus judicial proceedings, only to have their rapist be given a slap on the wrist which is then not even enforced. The rapist then continues to rape others. Do these double-victims have any grounds to bring a lawsuit against these campuses? Thanks again! - Ben
1.  Daniel Carter
 Following the U.S. Supreme Court's 1999 ruling in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629, that Title IX permitted private lawsuits for student-on-student harassment there have have been an increasingly large number of successful campus rape cases brought under Title IX. Christy Brzonkala's (who went public and is perhaps best known for her Violence Against Women Act case) case against Virginia Tech was the first such case and it was settled before trial, which most are. Other cases have involved Yale and the University of Georgia. The most recent case we're aware of involved South Carolina's Erskine College, they settled in just the last couple of months.
2.  Ben Atherton-Ze
 Have any such lawsuits been successful?
3.  Daniel Carter
 We frequently assist sexual assault victims who have been revictimized by the student judicial process, this is probably the single largest problem we deal with in fact. If we're involved early enough we advocate on their behalf to get their rights upheld before the proceedings begin, if we're involved after the fact we will help them first file administrative complaints under the Clery Act and Title IX with the U.S. Department of Education. If that does not resolve the situation we will help the victim locate an attorney who may be able to help them with a civil lawsuit under Title IX for money damages.
Are registered sex offenders required to notify campus officials if they are living on campus and how would students be notified, if at all.
1.  Carolyn Brauniu
 Rules regarding sex offenders vary by state. In New York State, the Division of Criminal Justice Services has a very useful website: for information on the New York State Sex Offender Registry.
2.  Daniel Carter
 Currently how registered sex offenders are handled on campus differs from state to state. The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, sponsored by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, was adopted in 2000 and expanded sex offender registration provisions to include the college environment but states have responded in many different ways. Some states require registrants to present themselves to the campus police, while others may simply note campus status in a web registry, some schools have posted notices on their web sites.
Many students live in off-campus housing. Are there strategies developed to reduce crimes targeted at these students?
1.  Daniel Carter
 We don't deal specifically with students living in off-campus housing, but many tips that apply generally to crime prevention work here.
Can you tell us if the Clery Act requires reporting of crimes ONLY if they occured on campus property?
1.  Daniel Carter
 This is a complex question, but the Clery Act does require the reporting of crimes for certain narrowly defined areas that aren't technically campus property. This includes public property like streets and sidewalks that are within or right on the periphery of the campus. It also includes property either on or off campus used by officially recognized student organizations (think Greek houses). Please see the "Clery Act" page for more information or contact us with specific questions.
We serve crime victims and have an outreach office on campus, do you have any advice for how to increase students usage of our services? We currently send out mass e-mails, have posters, and events. Elaine
1.  Daniel Carter
 Make sure the "first responders" on campus know about your resources. This would include resident assistants or advisors, campus police, and even professors who may be the first person a victim turns to. Try to get the campus newspaper to run an article about your services. Get student leaders to support your work and talk it up.
It seems that local police and campus police have different missions: one more enforcement oriented, the other more focused on education and intervention. Any advice on improving cooperation and coordiantion between the two.
1.  Daniel Carter
 Another complex question. Generally make sure that the two agencies have face to face meetings. And understand that their missions do overlap, and that both of them want to protect their communities. There is much to be learned from both approaches that you've described.
What is the number one issue for a new campus police chief?
1.  Dee
 Join IACLEA. They have a tremendous amount of resources available to you and are especially helpful providing information which will help you understand the Clery Act and requirements for compliance.
Is it your recommendation that all colleges/universities have a victim advocate on campus? If no, please list criteria as to when a school should consider employing one.
1.  Daniel Carter
 We would recommend that all colleges and universities have a crime victim advocate on campus. They should be independent enough to effectively help their clients, so a Dean who has to be "impartial" in disciplinary cases would not make a good advocate, for example. At smaller schools the advocate may have to do double duty, with another job being their primary responsibility, but again it shoulden't be another job that raises conflicts of interest. Also importantly they should be plugged into all the resources for victims on and off campus and be able to connect them.
What suggestions or practices for judicial proceedings are you aware of that would enable the victim and the accused to go through the process without being in the same room?
1.  Daniel Carter
 We've seen schools set up closed circuit television connections, or set up barriers to keep victm and accused seperated. Having seperate waiting areas is also important, say on seperate sides of the hearing area so they don't have to cross paths. But the most important thing is to make sure that the accused doesn't get to badger and revictimize their victim during the proceedings. There needs to be a clear authority keeping control of the proceedings.
Hello Daniel, have college campuses been including LGBTQ sexual assault survivors in their programs, awareness, training, etc.; and, are these issues becoming more prevalent on campuses then in the past?
1.  Daniel Carter
 Yes. There was even one case publicly reported on several years ago where a women's college had refused to adopt a sexual assault policy feeling that since they had no male students they would have no assaults (they'd had several though with visitors or male students from neighboring colleges as the accused). They had a female and female sexual assault in part as a result of this adopted a policy.
On our campus, the Director of our sexual assault program sees clients who have been assaulted and is bound by standards of confidentiality that are unique to psychologists. However, this office typically is also responsible to report crimes on campus via the Clery Act. This seems to create a situation that poses two legal responsibilities against one another (one to maintain confidentiality with respect to reporting and one that mandates reporting). What are your thoughts on how this issue would be best managed?
1.  Daniel Carter
 The Clery Act specifically exempts "priviliged" information from having to be reported for even statistics. And we always contended that counselors never needed to report details, just how many cases they handled, although schools disagreed and forced counselors to secure the current exception. But the Clery Act does contain a means by which counselors can voluntarily refer clients to a voluntary, wholly confidential reporting program for statistics only.
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