Reporting Policy And Procedures
VIU strongly encourages individuals that have been impacted by Prohibited Conduct to promptly report to the Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee. Prompt reporting allows VIU to respond immediately to the incident and to provide the impacted individual with resources. However, there is no time limit on when an incident can be reported. An individual does not have to be a student or employee of VIU to file a complaint.
Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality. All employees are required to keep private any report or information provided to them about an incident of Prohibited Conduct. Responsible Employees are required to report all details of an incident of Prohibited Conduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Professional Counselors are not required to disclose any identifying information unless required by law.
Making a report to VIU does not require participation in any subsequent VIU proceedings, nor is a report required for an individual to receive support or remedial measures.
Upon receipt of a report, the university will inform the reporting individuals of their right to file (or to choose not to file) criminal charges, as well as the availability of medical and counseling services, and the availability of Interim Measures.
If you have an emergency, dial 911.
If a victim is not ready to report an incident of Prohibited Conduct to VIU administration, they may choose to seek out the assistance of a Professional Counselor.
Members of the VIU community may discuss any alleged Prohibited Conduct in strict confidence with VIU’s professional, licensed counselors1 who are licensed to provide mental-health counseling. Professional Counselors are not required to report any personally identifiable information about an incident without the individual’s signed permission.
A Professional Counselor is available to all students. For more information visit the Counseling Services website2. To set up an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Professional Counselors within the Sexual Misconduct Policy, refer to page 10.
1. Virginia International University does not have any pastoral counselors or licensed healthcare professionals.
2.The Counseling Services website can be accessed at: https://www.viu.edu/student-life/services/counseling-services/
An individual has the option to report to VIU, to local law enforcement, or not at all. An individual may choose to report to VIU and not local law enforcement. Or to report to local law enforcement and not to VIU. Or to report to both. Or to make a report anonymously. The decision to report, and to whom, is the individual’s decision. VIU fully supports and respects whatever decision an individual makes, but VIU encourages prompt reporting that allows for immediate investigation and remedial action.
Reporting to VIU
Reporting to a Responsible Employee
An individual may report an incident of Prohibited Conduct to a Responsible Employee. A Responsible Employee is any employee who:
- Has the authority to redress sexual violence;
- Has been given the duty to report to appropriate school officials about incidents of Prohibited Conduct, or any other misconduct by students; or
- A student could reasonably believe has the authority or the responsibility to report.
Title IX operates under the theory of “notice.” A school is on notice when a Responsible Employee knew, or should have known, that an incident of Prohibited Conduct has occurred. Responsible Employees must report to the Title IX Coordinator all alleged incidents of Prohibited Conduct that have been reported to them or which they have witnessed. The Title IX Coordinator is required to investigate and take reasonable action to address and remedy the effects of any incidents of Prohibited Conduct.
Responsible Employees are required by law to report to the Title IX Coordinator all information they receive regarding an alleged Prohibited Conduct incident as soon as is practical, but the report must be made within 24 hours of receiving the information. While a Responsible Employee must disclose information to the Title IX Coordinator, they are required to maintain the privacy of the parties involved and should not disclose any information to anyone unless the Title IX Coordinator authorizes such a disclosure.
A Responsible Employee will make every effort to inform an individual of the employee’s reporting obligations and ensure that the individual understands the meaning of these obligations before any information is revealed. If an individual decides to share information with the Responsible Employee but also wants to maintain anonymity, the Responsible Employee will inform the individual that VIU will consider the request, but may not be able to honor it. Requests for anonymity are addressed below on pages 18-19, along with other potential requests an individual may make.
A Responsible Employee will not pressure an individual to:
- Reveal any information they are not comfortable disclosing;
- Not pursue disciplinary action;
- Discourage them from filing a report with law enforcement;
- Pursue disciplinary action; or
- To file a report with local law enforcement.
A Responsible Employee will:
- Honor and support the individual’s wishes while abiding by their obligations as a Responsible Employee;
- Provide the individual with their rights and resources, in writing;
- Provide the individual with information about their options, in writing;
- Provide the individual with a copy of the grievance and disciplinary procedure, in writing;
- Inform the individual that this information will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator; and
- Inform the individual of the next steps that will be taken, in writing.
Failure of a Responsible Employee to report an incident, or incidents, of prohibited Sexual Misconduct that they knew about, or should have known about, is a violation of this policy and federal law, and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
If an employee has any questions about this policy and its application or is in doubt as to whether certain conduct violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, they should contact the Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator.
Reporting to Campus Security
All crimes that take place on campus should be reported to the Office of Emergency Management and Campus Security, this includes any Prohibited Conduct. VIU fully encourages prompt reporting that allows for an immediate investigation. All reports may be made by telephone by calling (703) 865-6422, by email at email@example.com or in person at 4401 Village Drive by requesting at the front desk to speak with someone from the Office of Emergency Management.
Virginia International University does not employ a dedicated campus law enforcement agency. In the interest of maintaining a safe and secure environment, the university has contracted with a fully licensed security organization to provide armed security guard services to the institution. The guards are considered security personnel for VIU and they are available on campus during all hours of operation. The guards are considered Responsible Employees and are required to report incidents of Prohibited Conduct.
Anonymous Reporting to VIU
VIU has a web form that allows for anonymous reporting and the web form is easily accessible on the university website3.The purpose of anonymous reporting is to allow individuals to take steps to promote safety without self-identifying. Anonymous reporting allows the university is able to keep current and accurate numbers of incidents, and determine if there is a pattern of criminal activity in a certain time period or location on campus, and to react appropriately.
Anonymous reports can also be submitted in writing to any Responsible Employee. However, the level of detail or identifying information regarding the alleged Prohibited Conduct will determine the VIU’s ability to thoroughly investigate and respond to the report.
Reporting to Local Law Enforcement
If you have an emergency, dial 911.
An individual may choose to make a report to local law enforcement. In the case of an emergency, always dial 911. The contact information for local law enforcement is below for non-emergency situations. For all emergency situations, dial 911 immediately,
City of Fairfax Police Department
10455 Armstrong St.,
Fairfax, VA 22030
Dispatch: (703) 385-7924
Fairfax County Police Department
Fair Oaks District Police Station
12300 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy,
Fairfax, VA 22033.
Dispatch: (703) 691-2131
The security personnel at VIU work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies, but VIU does not currently have any signed MOUs with these entities.
The report of or filing of a complaint of Prohibited Conduct under the Sexual Misconduct Policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding. VIU will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceeding to commence its own investigation or to put in place Interim Measures. VIU’s investigation may be temporarily delayed to allow the gathering of evidence for a criminal investigation at the request of law enforcement. If VIU’s investigation is delayed so as not to compromise any criminal investigation, VIU will take Interim Measures to ensure the safety of the reporting individual and the VIU community. In the event that VIU’s investigation is delayed by a criminal investigation, the Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator will contact the necessary parties to inform them of the delay and what measures are being taken during this period.
The standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation under this policy. As a result of this difference, VIU will investigate an incident and may pursue disciplinary action even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime or declines to prosecute. VIU’s resolution of an incident of Prohibited Conduct may differ from the resolution of a criminal investigation. If VIU learns that a court has entered a lawful order relating to any incident of Prohibited Conduct, such as a protective order or a restraining order, the Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator will review the order and take actions to comply with the applicable law.
Prohibited Conduct may constitute both a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and criminal activity. VIU encourages students to report Prohibited Conduct to the university, as well as the Fairfax County Police Department. An individual can pursue both a VIU disciplinary action and a criminal investigation. Nevertheless, an individual is not required to report the incident to local law enforcement. VIU respects the choice of an individual to not report to local law enforcement, however, VIU may be required to notify law enforcement under Virginia law.
Upon request, VIU will provide assistance to an individual that wishes to make a report to local law enforcement. Individuals will be informed of this option and the resources available to them.
3. Anonymous reporting is accessible here: Suggestion Form.
Title IX operates under the theory of “notice.” A school is on notice when a Responsible Employee knew, or should have known, that an incident of Prohibited Conduct has occurred. If VIU is aware of, or reasonably should be aware of, any conduct that could create a hostile environment (such as an incident of Prohibited Conduct) then VIU will investigate the conduct and take any steps necessary to eliminate its effects and remedy the harm caused. VIU is obligated to investigate any conduct that may create a hostile environment, regardless of whether a report has been made to VIU.
To meet this obligation, VIU may consider and engage in broader remedial action. Broader remedial action includes, but is not limited to, increased monitoring of campus, enhanced security at locations where Prohibited Conduct is reported to have occurred, increasing education and training efforts, or revising policies and practices. Any report of Prohibited Conduct may trigger a broader examination of past reports, including anonymous reports, in an effort to identify serial perpetrators.
All reports and known incidents of Prohibited Conduct will be reviewed by VIU on a case-by-case basis, in the totality of the circumstances.
Making a report to VIU does not require participation in any subsequent VIU proceedings, nor is a report required in order for an individual to receive support or remedial measures. When information regarding an alleged Prohibited Conduct is disclosed to a Responsible Employee, the Responsible Employee must report that information to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as is practical after taking care of the needs of the person reporting.
A person may disclose an incident to a Responsible Employee but may:
- Request to remain anonymous;
- Request that no investigation into the incident be conducted or refuse to cooperate with an investigation;
- Request that the Respondent not be notified;
- Request that no disciplinary action be taken against the Respondent; or
VIU takes these requests very seriously and will make every effort to honor them. However, any such request may hinder VIU’s ability to conduct an investigation into the incident, pursue disciplinary action against the Respondent, provide remedial measures, or remedy the effects of the incident. Therefore, VIU must weigh any requests against the ongoing obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment to the VIU community. The Responsible Employee or Title IX Coordinator will inform the individual making any of the above requests of VIU’s limitations when honoring such requests.
The Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator has the authority to evaluate any request and may seek input from any person(s) deemed appropriate to render a decision. There may be times when VIU is unable to honor these requests. If VIU is unable to honor any request that is made the Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator will inform the individual who made the request. Regardless of what an individual chooses to do, information about on-campus and community resources will still be made available.
Any request will be weighed against the following factors:
- The seriousness of the alleged Prohibited Conduct;
- The pervasiveness of the alleged Prohibited Conduct;
- The victim’s age;
- The Respondent’s age;
- Whether there have been other complaints of Prohibited Conduct against the Respondent; and
- The applicability of any laws surrounding the incident.
VIU will take prompt action to limit the effects of the alleged Prohibited Conduct and to prevent its recurrence in cases when VIU is unable to take disciplinary action against the Respondent due to a refusal to file a complaint or participate in an investigation.
Regardless of any request made, VIU will always be mindful of an individual’s wellbeing and safety. Therefore, VIU will take the following steps, as needed:
- Assist the individual in accessing available victim advocacy; academic support; counseling; disability, health, or mental health services; and other assistance, both on- and off-campus;
- Inform the individual of the right to file a complaint with VIU or report a crime to local law enforcement, and provide the individual with assistance if they wish to file a report;
- Inform the individual of their rights and provide them with a written copy of these rights; and
- Take prompt action to limit the effects of the alleged Prohibited Conduct and prevent its recurrence.
The report and other information regarding the alleged Prohibited Conduct may be used in the anonymous data collection required under the Clery Act regardless of whether a request is honored.
Virginia International University does not impose a time limit for reporting or filing a complaint. However, VIU encourages reports to be made as soon as reasonably possible following an incident so as to enable VIU to gather adequate information. The earlier an incident is reported, the easier it is to collect valuable evidence and investigate the incident. VIU’s ability to adequately gather information may be limited if a significant period of time has elapsed. Promptly reporting or filing a complaint, when possible, can assist in preserving evidence for potential legal proceedings and investigations.
VIU’s ability to complete an investigation and come to a resolution may be limited if Respondent(s) are no longer enrolled or employed at VIU. If the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed at VIU, then VIU will provide all reasonable remedial measures, assist the victim in identifying external reporting options, and take steps to prevent the recurrence of such conduct and remedy the effects.
All information provided to VIU will be taken seriously and investigated fully. Any individual who knowingly submits a complaint that is not in good faith or provides false or misleading information in any report, complaint, investigation, or resolution of a complaint will be subject to disciplinary action. Submitting false information can have serious consequences and as such VIU takes the submission of false information very seriously.
Victims under the age of 18 that file a report with campus police will be deemed a “child in need” and the appropriate authorities will make a decision of whether to pursue charges. Refer to Virginia Code § 16.1- 278.4 for further information4.
4. Virginia Code § 16.1- 278.4. Accessible here: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title16.1/chapter11/section16.1-278.5/.
Any public awareness event, such as candlelight vigils, protests, or other gatherings where members of the VIU community might disclose incidents of Prohibited Conduct, are not considered notice for the purpose of triggering VIU’s obligation to investigate an incident of Prohibited Conduct.
However, these events and the disclosures made at these events will be used to inform VIU about the campus atmosphere and the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts. VIU will also distribute information about Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Sexual Misconduct Policy at this events.