Truman’s sexual assault procedure

Sexual Assault Awareness Week was last week. There were teal ribbons handed out to support victims of sexual assault, a vigil held in the sunken garden, a march to raise awareness and more.

There were five rapes committed on campus in 2017, all in the residence halls, according to the Annual Security and Fire Report. Earlier this month, the Department of Public Safety sent out an email to all students about a sexual assault occurring in the residence halls.  

Janna Stoskopf, vice president for student affairs, said when a sexual assault occurs the student affairs office first ensures the victim is given medical and emotional support resources.

Currently, Stoskopf’s office is the place to report sexual assault on campus, but it will soon be the institutional compliance office’s position to receive reports, Stoskopf said.

The Title IX office provides protection and services to all parties involved in a sexual assault, Stoskopf said. The office can help change class schedules to prevent confrontation, get new housing options and more, depending on the case. Stoskopf said the resources are not all victim-driven, and that there are protections for the accused in place.

“The concern about having to consistently see the other person is taken out of the picture for both parties,” Stoskopf said.

Stoskopf said in her office they make it a point not to judge. She said they will not deny services to anyone relating to academics, like working with a student’s professors if someone involved asks for that service.

There are two main steps a complainant could take after telling Title IX — they could report with the Title IX office or DPS. Title IX goes through the University, and DPS initiates a criminal investigation. The reporter has the option to go through both. Stoskopf said how there are many options for victims, but they are not forced to do anything.

Stoskopf said the accused party will be sent a letter stating what policies they are accused to have violated. Then both parties are interviewed separately. She said the next step is to gather all the information, and an investigator writes a report analyzing all the evidence. The investigator decides if someone is in violation on the grounds of “more than likely not.” The report then gets sent to an administrative panel, where they either agree or disagree with the initial finding as a final ruling.

Stoskopf said either party can appeal the final decision made.  

For more, pick up a copy of The Index on Thursday, Sept. 27.