Is a University Required to Report a Sexual Assault Case to the Police?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Unfortunately, sexual assault can happen on your college campus. When survivors report to their university, they might expect the administration to send the report to the police. After all, it can be extremely difficult for survivors to go to the authorities themselves. But, does your school have a legal responsibility to report a sexual assault case to the police?

Although universities need to address instances of Title IX violations on campus, including sexual assault, they have no legal obligation to report to the police. To reduce negative media attention, universities often decide to handle cases of sexual assault internally, never including the police. Unfortunately for survivors, that allows universities to act without a survivor’s best interest in mind. When that happens, survivors have the right to sue their university for violating their Title IX rights.

For many years, the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin have supported survivors in their fight to seek justice. You can sue your university if it has mishandled a sexual assault case. For a free, confidential consultation, call the compassionate sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.

Is My University Required to Report a Sexual Assault Case to the Police?

Your university is not required by law to report a sexual assault case to the police. In some instances, survivors prefer to report to their university first and expect that the school will handle the situation correctly. Although colleges must address and prevent Title IX grievances on campus, that doesn’t mean they always do so in the best way.

While some universities address cases of sexual assault seriously, not all colleges protect survivors. Unfortunately, many survivors are met with indifference and dismissal after reporting a sexual assault case to their university. While it’s not always the case, the fact that universities can handle these cases internally and are not required to report to the police can negatively impact victims of sexual assault.

According to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, any institution that receives federal funding is barred from allowing acts of sex-based discrimination. This includes sexual assault. Schools and universities are tasked with addressing and preventing instances of sexual assault. However, universities are not typically required to report sexual assault cases to the police, despite sexual assault being a crime.

Universities often treat cases of sexual assault as a campus issue rather than a criminal or civil issue. If your university is responsible, an investigation into your allegations will be carried out. Unfortunately, many universities have histories of ignoring these claims and silencing survivors. Because schools are not legally required to report sexual assault to the police, offenders may not be held accountable for their actions.

Why Isn’t My University Required to Report a Sexual Assault Case to the Police?

If you report a sexual assault case to your university, you may think that the administration would alert the police on your behalf. Survivors often feel more comfortable reporting to their universities first and then to the police once they have their administration’s support. However, since universities aren’t required to report to the police, instances of sexual assault can be ignored. How is that possible?

Universities rarely fall under the category of mandated reporters. Anyone who works with children under the age of 18 must report allegations to the police. However, since universities largely only educate adults over the age of 18, university staff and administration are often not required to report cases of sexual abuse to the police. Unfortunately, survivors might not know that.

While colleges aren’t required to report allegations of sexual assault to the police, there are steps they are required to take. For example, universities must alert their Title IX coordinator and open an investigation. Your school has to make a record of any allegations and properly investigate them. Though there is a process in place to address cases of sexual assault within universities, it does not include informing law enforcement. As your claims are investigated, you can hire an attorney to walk you through each step of the process and protect your Title IX rights.

Some survivors do not wish to press charges against an offender or involve the police. It can be preferable for some survivors for a sexual assault case to be handled by their university. Unfortunately, that can allow university officials to neglect the severity of a situation and fail to adequately address an offender’s actions.

Can I Sue My University if It Doesn’t Report a Sexual Assault Case to the Police?

While you can’t sue your university for failure to report a sexual assault case to the police, you can sue your school for violating your Title IX rights. There are several reasons to file a lawsuit against a university for sexual assault. The simple fact that a sexual assault happened on campus because a university did not have adequate preventative measures can warrant litigation. Lawyers like the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin can do more than help you file a lawsuit against your university. You can also decide to sue an individual offender for physical and emotional damages.

Ignoring Preventative Measures

Under Title IX, universities are required to instill preventative measures that inhibit sexual assault on campus. These preventative measures can vary from school to school. Requiring students to complete sexual assault awareness programs and providing security on campus can decrease instances of sexual assault. Swiftly addressing the actions of offenders can prevent repeat offenses. Universities can screen faculty and staff to protect students. There are many ways to implement preventative measures on campus.

Suppose your university has promised to use such methods to prevent sexual assault and has failed or has decided to ignore the need for these measures altogether. In that case, you can sue for a Title IX violation with the help of the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. Remember, your university has a duty to you as a student. It’s the responsibility of a university to protect its students from sexual assault.

Dismissal of Claims

Dismissing your allegations is a blatant violation of your Title IX rights. By ignoring your claims, your university is in clear violation of its duties under Title IX. If this happens to you, you can file a lawsuit against your university. Although colleges are permitted to handle cases of sexual assault internally, they need to address them. Refusal to acknowledge a sexual assault case or silencing a survivor altogether is against a student’s Title IX rights.

Not only is dismissing your claims a violation of your rights, but it can be traumatic for survivors. Filing a lawsuit against a university that has proved to be indifferent about your experience can be scary. That’s why it’s helpful to have the support of a compassionate lawyer, like the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. As you stand up for your rights, it’s comforting to have a strong support system around you.

Retaliation Against Survivors

If you do file a Title IX lawsuit against your university, an agent of your college might retaliate. Whether it’s in the form of biased grading or negative treatment on campus, retaliation is strictly forbidden by Title IX. Should your university retaliate against your lawsuit in any way, it will have violated your rights once again. That can warrant additional litigation. If that happens at any point, inform your legal team. Coming forward with your experience should never cause you to be isolated or threatened by your school.

If You Have a University Sexual Assault Case, Our Attorneys Can Help

If you’ve been sexually assaulted on campus and your university has refused to help, your Title IX rights have been violated. To schedule a free a confidential consultation, call the sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.