Filing a Formal Complaint or Making a Police Report: What Can You Expect?
Will my information be confidential?
Can I request a forensic medical exam?
Will there be an investigation?
Will there be disciplinary action for the accused?
|Filing a formal complaint with the University||Your privacy will be protected to the greatest legal extent possible. Some personnel involved in your case will have access to your information, and your name may be shared with the accused if there is an investigation.||Yes. It is up to you. In some cases, physical evidence may assist an investigation.||
There are two situations in which the University may initiate its grievance procedures: (i) where a formal complaint has been filed by a complainant, or (ii) where the Title IX Coordinator has determined that an investigation is objectively warranted.
Generally, the complainant can decide whether he or she would like the University to conduct an investigation.
|The respondent to a Title IX or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct case may receive disciplinary sanctions if he or she is found responsible at the conclusion of the grievance process.|
|Police report||Your name will not be disclosed if you request that it remains confidential. However, be aware that if the case advances to a court trial, your name would be included in court records, which are public documents.||Yes. It is up to you. In some cases, physical evidence may assist an investigation.||Yes||Possibly, depending on the facts of your situation.|
What happens if I tell a professor, work colleague, supervisor or friend?
Depending on their relationship to the University, they may be obligated to report to the Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance (EORC)/Title IX Coordinator, Honey Ussery. The Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator will reach out to you to offer you supportive measures and accommodations and talk to you about potentially starting an investigation. You have the right not to speak with the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator, although there may be circumstances in which the EORC Investigators will investigate allegations without your participation.
What happens if I choose not to report?
If you decide not to file a formal complaint, all campus resources remain available to support you, and supportive measures are available to parties with or without the filing of a formal complaint. Please contact the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator for assistance with supportive measures. Or, alternatively, for victim-survivors, as well as individuals who are alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, please contact Violence Intervention and Prevention Services. For individuals who have been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, please contact UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy.
What are my reporting options?
Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance/Title IX Office
The EORC/Title IX Office is responsible for addressing and responding to allegations of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, and other sexual misconduct. Accordingly, the EORC Office conducts investigations into formal complaints alleging a violation of the University’s Title IX or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policies, and provides supportive measures and accommodations to parties, with or without the filing of a formal complaint.
Honey Ussery, the Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance (EORC) and Title IX Coordinator, is the appropriate University official to contact to make a report or formal complaint of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or other sexual misconduct.
Individuals who are alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment under the University’s Title IX Policy or its Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy should contact the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator to file a formal complaint using the contact information below.
Assistant Director of EORC and Title IX Coordinator
Office of Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance
University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848
120 Lester Hall
University, MS 38677-1848
P: (662) 915-7045
What is the difference between making a report with the University or filing a formal complaint with the University?
A report is a communication to the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator notifying her of an allegation of sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, or sexual misconduct.
A formal complaint is a signed document from a complainant to the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, or sexual misconduct against a respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation.
- Community members who believe they have, or believe someone they know has, experienced a potential policy violation may submit a report in writing, in person, by mail, by telephone, by electronic mail, or by any other means that results in the Assistant Director of EORC receiving the report.
- Individuals who believe they have experienced a Title IX or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy violation may file a formal complaint with the EORC Office requesting an investigation into an alleged policy violation
- Individuals can file a formal complaint without meeting with the Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator in person, so long as the complaint: (i) contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint, (ii) alleges sexual harassment against the respondent, and (iii) requests that the University investigate the allegations.
The University Police Department (UPD)
To file a criminal complaint or request a protective order, contact UPD.
File an anonymous Clery report
Under the Jeanne Clery Act, the University has to report annual statistics including the number of sexual assaults that happen on campus. If you would like to report an incident so it will be included in the annual report, you can report the incident to the Violence Prevention Office, the Title IX Coordinator, or UPD.
University Counseling Center
The University Counseling Center assists students, including both complainants and respondents, with emotional support and therapeutic services through one-on-one sessions and groups.
Violence Intervention and Prevention Services
Violence Intervention and Prevention Services assists complainants with any support and referrals they need, from supportive measures and accommodations to consultation about all of the different campus and community options.
UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy
UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy assists respondents with any support and referrals they need, from supportive measures accommodations to consultation about all of the different campus and community options.
How will the University respond to a report or formal complaint alleging a Title IX or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy violation?
Receipt of a Report or Formal Complaint
If the EORC Office receives a report or formal complaint alleging sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, a staff member from that office will reach out to the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, and inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint. A staff member from the EORC Office will also explain the process for filing a formal complaint, which is discussed above.
Filing a Formal Complaint
If an individual decides to file a formal complaint with the University’s EORC Office, upon receipt of a formal complaint, the EORC Office will provide written notice to the parties of the allegations contained in the complaint, along with notice of the University’s grievance procedures. An EORC Investigator will then promptly begin an investigation into the allegations contained in the formal complaint.
The Investigator will attempt to interview the complainant and the respondent of the alleged incident. Additionally, the Investigator will request from both parties any information and evidence that is directly related to the allegations under investigation, including the names of potential witnesses to interview. Both parties will also have the ability to discuss the allegations under investigation with the Investigator and to gather and present relevant evidence.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will make an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. The report will not contain findings of fact as to whether a University policy violation did or did not occur but will instead contain a summary of the investigation and all relevant documents submitted by the parties and potential witnesses.
Resolution of a Formal Complaint
The parties to a Title IX or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct case may be able to reach a resolution through an informal resolution process, called mediation. If the parties are unable reach an agreement through mediation, the matter will be resolved by the University’s designated Independent Decision-Maker through a live hearing. After the live hearing, the Independent Decision-Maker will create a written determination regarding the respondent’s responsibility.
Depending upon the facts and circumstances of a particular Title IX Policy or Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy violation, sanctions resulting from a finding of responsibility may range from a verbal reprimand to expulsion from the University. Sanctions are enforced immediately upon determination of the violation.
More information about how the University will respond after receiving a report or formal complaint can be found in the Title IX Policy or the Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Call the organizations below for additional information about shelters, legal issues, medical care and other concerns related to your safety:
Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi
Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi assists complainants with advocacy and resources in the local community, and will not report to anyone on campus.
Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Statewide Hotline: 800-898-3234
The Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence connects complainants affected by relationship violence to the appropriate in-state resources.
Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault
The Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault connects complainants affected by sexual assault to the appropriate in-state resources.
This state agency connects complainants to in-state resources and crime victims compensation but requires complainants to report the incident to access some resources.
(Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) – 24-hour hotline