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Sexual assault reporting

11/5/2012: The ODE reports on UO’s new draft policy for reporting sexual assaults. Story by Josephine Woolington, first in a series.

The tradeoff? If you guarantee victim anonymity you will get more complete reporting, but also more false positives, and cases will be more difficult to prosecute. Ultimately, it would be interesting to see whether this would have an impact on reports of sexual assault in the area and whether these changes would lead to an increase in false allegations.

Put simply, a false allegation of sexual assault can be devastating. Allegations of sexual abuse are a nightmare scenario for anyone and are something for which no one can prepare. Unfortunately, there are many situations and circumstances that can lead to these types of falsified claims. For example, there can be incidences of consensual contact that are mischaracterized after the fact as sexual assault; misidentification by an alleged victim; or even malicious intent on the part of the alleged victim.

It is for these reasons that anyone accused of sexual assault should start protecting their livelihood and planning for a defense case as soon as they suspect they are being investigated. Moreover, retaining an experienced criminal lawyer that can help the accused through the defense process at all stages of the proceedings is strongly recommended. You can find more information about the advantages of working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer that specializes in sex crimes on the website for this team of bucks county criminal attorneys.

That is not all though. Woolington reports that the new policy requires mandatory reporting and all but removes anonymity. UO has never published a coherent policy on sexual assaults, despite the Title IX requirement. Our General Counsel’s office has been too busy doing pro bono work for the Athletic Department on their NCAA recruiting violations, I guess.

Last year the US Department of Education issued a controversial policy letter on how colleges should handle sexual assaults, weakening evidentiary standards and extending reporting deadlines. Presumably the new UO policy will include these changes. The Chronicle has an analysis here. One scathing letter on the practical consequences of the policy changes, from an administrator who deals with these issues daily, is here. has a rundown on some other opinions, pro and con, including a letter from the AAUP, here. Has the UO administration consulted with the Senate on these policy changes? No sign of it on the UO Policy Statements page.


  1. Cheyney Ryan 11/05/2012

    I think the U of O senate should appoint a special committee to review all the Title IX issues. This was done in the 1990’s, with very positive results. It is time to do it again. This should begin by exploring the issue, raised in the Emerald article, of how much people (starting with administrators) are informed on these issues.

    A major problem with how all these issues are handled at the U of O is that none of the administrators in charge of them has a legal background, necessary to interpret the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter and other documents. What does it say about our university that the NCAA compliance officer is one of our most distinguished law professors, while our Title IX compliance officer does not have a law degree?

    • Anonymous 11/05/2012

      Who is this distinguished professor you speak of?

    • Cheyney Ryan 11/06/2012

      The law professor that oversees NCAA compliance is Jim O’Fallon. Before that it was Chapin Clark, also law. The argument for having someone with legal training oversee Title IX is even greater. These policies are constantly being clarified, partly through resolutions reached by the dept of education and individual institutions. The most important recent one–that bears on the problems at the U of O–is the Yale resolution. (See This was the product of a lengthy and well publicized dispute over the adequacy of Yale’s procedures. Russ Tomlin, when he was vice provost (in charge of these issues), was unaware of it when I asked him about it. Why doesn’t someone ask Doug Blandy his opinion of it?

  2. Anonymous 11/06/2012

    I’m not a law student, but wouldn’t cutting down the mandatory reporting, as the students in the article seem to want, be in itself in violation of Title IX?

    • Anonymous 11/06/2012

      We want to remove the part where students are involuntarily reported to Dean of Students whether they want to be or not.

      Without the new involuntary reporting aspect of the policy, the required form of mandatory reporting allows faculty/staff to report that they had spoken with someone who had been assaulted, but they don’t have to disclose the name if the student prefers not to report their case. That is, the Feds require a numerical count but don’t require names of people to be reported.

  3. Anonymous 11/06/2012

    I do believe it is the Office of AAEO that reports on the Title IX business showing our compliance.

    Welllllll…now, we all know how that office works, they wouldn’t know compliance is it was glued to their asses and all they had to do was bend over and grab their ankles to read it.

    …and its a bachelors degree for that “in charge” important POS administration person.

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