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Frequently Asked Questions

Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault

1. What does Sexual Misconduct mean?

2. What is Sexual harassment?

3. What is sexual violence?

4. What is sexual assault?

5. What should I do if I think I've been sexually harassed or victimized?

6. Are women the only victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence?

7. Is it possible to be sexually harassed/assaulted by someone of the same gender?

8. If I think I've been victimized and I don't feel safe, what can I do?

9. What is consent?

10. If an incident of sexual violence occurs off-campus, can the University investigate?

11. If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?

12. Someone has filed a complaint against me, what do I do?

Reporting

1. Does Title IX mandate victims/survivors to report their assault to the university and/or police?

2. Is there a time limit for making a report to the Title IX Office?

3. What is the difference between a confidential source and a responsible employee?

4. What is the role of a faculty member?

5. Can a victim/survivor remain confidential in reporting?

6. What if I want to remain anonymous?

7. Does Title IX cover complaints of Sexual Misconduct made by a student about a faculty or staff member?

8. I've already gone to the police, so why do i need to go to the Title IX Coordinator?

9. If I reported being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted to Title IX Coordinator, do I still need to go to the police?

10. I'm concerned that reporting might make matters worse. Should I still file a complaint?

11. My friend told me he or she was assaulted. What can I do to help?

12. Do I have to report to UTA? Is there someone outside UTA I can report to?

13. If someone has filed a sexual assault complaint against me, what should I do?

Title IX Coordinator

1. What is a Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator or Investigator?

2. Who is the Title IX Coordinator?

3. Isn’t Title IX just about Athletics?


Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault

1. What does Sexual Misconduct mean?

Sexual Misconduct, as defined in UTA's Sexual Misconduct Policy, includes a range of unwelcome conduct, including verbal and physical sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence, each of which is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Other criminal behavior such as family (domestic) violence, dating violence and stalking that is generally (though not exclusively) sex-based is also considered Sexual Misconduct under UTA's policy. Back to top

2. What is Sexual harassment?

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature whether verbal, nonverbal, or physical. Conduct is unwelcome if the individual toward whom it is directed did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive. A wide variety of sexual conduct may constitute sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Sexually suggestive or offensive joking, flirting, or comments
  • Unwelcome and unintentional touching
  • Sexual oriented verbal abuse
  • Sexually oriented comments about an individual's body
  • Displaying objects or pictures that are sexual in nature
  • Sending sexually explicit or offensive text messages or other communications
  • Repeated requests for dates
  • Persistent email or social network communications
  • Requiring sexual favors in exchange for a grade, a favor or some other benefit

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3. What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person who has not consented or who is incapable of giving consent. Examples of sexual violence include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual abuse. Back to top

4. What is sexual assault?

The Texas Penal Code - Section 22.011 defines sexual assault in several ways. Generally, sexual assault is any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact against any individual by another. Sexual assault can occur either forcibly (against a person's will) or when a person cannot give consent (under the age of consent, intoxicated, developmentally disabled, mentally/physically unable to consent, etc.). Back to top

5. What should I do if I think I’ve been sexually harassed or victimized?

Contact the Title IX Coordinator at 817-272-4585, by email at michelle.willbanks@uta.edu , or you may also fill out an online complaint form. 

If you believe you are a victim of sexual violence, please contact UT ARLINGTON P.D. If it is an emergency, please contact 817-272-3003. Otherwise contact 817-272-3381 (non-emergency number). Back to top

6. Are women the only victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence?

No, both females and males can be victims of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence. Back to top

7. Is it possible to be sexually harassed/assaulted by someone of the same gender?

Yes. If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment, your gender and the gender of the alleged perpetrator are irrelevant. Such conduct is prohibited by Title IX and UT ARLINGTON policy. Back to top

8. If I think I’ve been victimized and I don’t feel safe, what can I do?

Find a safe place away from the assailant and call the police.

The Title IX Coordinator also can coordinate other assistance including no contact orders, escort or transportation services, relocation of the individuals involved, and reassignment of schedules if the victim and the accused have similar schedules. Back to top

9. What is consent?

Consent is a voluntary agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity and is determined by all the relevant facts and circumstances. There are many ways to give consent. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated for any reason (because of the victim's age, disability, unconsciousness, or use of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, consent cannot be implied by silence, the absence of resistance, or past consent with the same person or another person. Even if a person has given his or her consent to engage in sexual activity, consent to engage in further sexual activity can be withdrawn at any time. Consent is invalid where it is given under coercion, force, or threats. Back to top

10. If an incident of sexual violence occurs off-campus, can the University investigate?

Yes, if the incident has sufficient ties to UT ARLINGTON (if it occurs at a UT ARLINGTON event, if it involves a UT ARLINGTON student, staff member or faculty member, etc.) then UT ARLINGTON can investigate and provide resolution. Back to top

11. If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?

UT ARLINGTON's priority is to prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence. While the specifics of the situation will be considered, UT ARLINGTON’s primary focus will be to address the sexual harassment or violence. UT ARLINGTON does not want the involvement of alcohol or drugs to prevent the reporting of such serious misconduct. Also, the use of alcohol or drugs will not excuse sexual violence or harassment. Back to top

12. Someone has filed a complaint against me, what do I do?

Do not contact the alleged victim through any means – in person, by phone, by mail, by social media or electronic communication or through someone else. Familiarize yourself with UT ARLINGTON’s policy 5-513 on investigating complaints of sexual harassment so that you know what to expect. If you have questions about the Complaint process, contact the Title IX Coordinator. If you need support, contact UT ARLINGTON's Student Counseling Services. Back to top

Reporting

1. Does Title IX mandate victims/survivors to report their assault to the university and/or police?

No. Title IX allows each victim/survivor to make their own decision about whether or not to report an assault to the school and/or police. When a school receives information about a possible sexual assault or incident of Sexual Misconduct, it must provide the victim/survivor the option to notify law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses, and to decline to notify such authorities. Back to top

2. Is there a time limit for making a report to the Title IX Office?

No. Students may report incidents of Sexual Misconduct at any time, regardless of where or when they occurred. Additionally, responsible employees must report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct they are made aware of, regardless of when the incident occurred.  While the ability to do an investigation or take action against a perpetrator may be limited if the event occurred in the past, the Title IX Office can still provide support and resources to those who have been affected by Sexual Misconduct. Back to top

3. What is the difference between a confidential source and a responsible employee?

Most school employees are "responsible employees" who have an obligation to notify the school’s designated Title IX Coordinator of any reports or incidents of sex-based discrimination, including sexual violence. Specifically, the concept of a "responsible employee" includes any employee who has the authority to take action to redress harassment; has the duty to report harassment or other types of misconduct to appropriate officials; or is someone a student could reasonably believe has this authority or responsibility.

By contrast, a "confidential employee" is a school employee who is not required to report identifying information to the Title IX Coordinator. This includes campus mental health counselors, psychologists, health center employees, faith based leaders, or any other person who holds a professional license requiring confidentiality and whose official responsibilities include functioning within the scope of the license when they receive the report. Back to top

4. What is the role of a faculty member?

UTA faculty members are considered "responsible employees" and must share reports of Sexual Misconduct incidents with the Title IX Coordinator. The report should include all details of the report, including names, dates, location of incident, reported behavior, and whether or not law enforcement is involved, if known. The role of "responsible employees" is to report to the Title IX Coordinator. Beyond that, faculty should protect the privacy of the parties involved and avoid interfering with the investigation by not asking questions or attempting to gather additional information. (Responsible Employee GuideBack to top

5. Can a victim/survivor remain confidential in reporting?

The Title IX Office will handle investigations as confidentially as possible. If a victim/survivor chooses to make a report but does not want an investigation, the Title IX Office will typically honor a victim/survivor’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation and thereby keep their identity confidential.

Sometimes a victim/survivor makes a report or discloses to a "responsible employee" of the school but then requests that the school not take any action. It is important to understand that while the Title IX Office will do its best to honor the victim's wishes, some rare situations may require the school to proceed with investigating the report. Some examples are when the report involves allegations of the use of a weapon, when there are multiple perpetrators or the perpetrator has been involved in other Title IX reports, when the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim/survivor or others, and circumstances suggesting there is an increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of violence or other violence. Remember that even when a school decides to proceed with an investigation, a victim/survivor is never obligated to participate.

If a victim/survivor wishes for the school to investigate an incident of sex or gender discrimination including Sexual Misconduct, the victim will not be able to remain confidential. In most cases, the respondent (accused individual) will have the right to be informed as to who has made the report. For this reason, a victim may wish to consult with a confidential source in order to make an informed choice about reporting. Back to top

6. What if I want to remain anonymous?

Your confidentiality will be protected to the maximum extent possible, but anonymity may hinder an investigation into your complaint. Back to top

7. Does Title IX cover complaints of Sexual Miscoinduct made by a student about a faculty or staff member?

Yes. Title IX and UTA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, family violence, dating violence, and stalking perpetrated for or against any university students, university employees, participants in university programs and activities, or visitors to campus. Back to top

8. I’ve already gone to the police, so why do I need to go to the Title IX Coordinator?

Sexual harassment and sexual violence are potential crimes but they also are violations of Title IX and UTA policy. Sometimes, specific conduct may not constitute a crime, but it still constitutes a violation of Title IX and UTA policy. UTA is committed to addressing and preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence, regardless of whether such activity constitutes a crime. Back to top

9. If I reported being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted to Title IX Coordinator, do I still need to go to the police?

If you believe you have been sexually assaulted or a victim of any other crime, then you should contact UTA P.D. Back to top

10. I'm concerned that reporting might make matters worse. Should I still file a complaint?

Yes. If you have concerns for your safety, UTA can provide escort services and take other steps to assist you. In addition, UTA has a strong retaliation policy that is aggressively enforced if a complainant or a witness is retaliated against for participating in an EOS investigation. Back to top

11. My friend told me he or she was assaulted. What can I do to help?

Be supportive – listen to what she or he has to say then encourage your friend to report the incident to the police or to the Title IX Coordinator. You should also consider reporting the incident yourself. You may also suggest that they contact UT ARLINGTON's Student Counseling ServicesBack to top

12. Do I have to report to UTA? IS there someone outside UTA I can report to?

You also can report to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. However, UTA is committed to addressing and preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence, and UTA is best able to do that when it is made aware of possible violations. Back to top

13. If someone has filed a sexual assault complaint agaisnt me, what should I do?

You may wish to review UTA's Sexual Misconduct Policy to learn about your rights in the school’s investigation process, consult with an advisor or attorney, or seek support from a confidential source such as a counselor.

It is important to follow any directives from the school that may require you to not have contact with the reporting party. The Title IX Coordinator and/or investigator will be able to provide you with detailed information about the school’s investigation and resolution process. Keep in mind that the Title IX Office may make findings and issue sanctions even without your participation in the investigation process, so it is important to not ignore any letters or notifications you receive. Back to top

Title IX Coordinator

1. What is a Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator or Investigator?

TITLE IX COORDINATOR

"The Title IX Coordinator is the designated agent of UTA with primary responsibility for coordinating University Title IX compliance efforts. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the prompt investigation of complaints alleging violations of UTA’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy (Policy 5-513); reviews proposed remedies (including interim measures) necessary to address the sexual harassment, eliminate any hostile environment, and prevent is reoccurrence; coordinates Title IX efforts including the development, implementation and monitoring of appropriate disclosures, policies, procedures and practices designed to comply with federal and state legislation; and oversees education and outreach to faculty, staff, and students on Title IX and related issues."

DEPUTY TITLE IX COORDINATORS

"UTA has identified 3 Deputy Title IX Coordinators who serve as important points of contact to advise students, faculty, employees, third parties or members of the broader community."

TITLE IX INVESTIGATORS

"Title IX Investigators are responsible for the prompt, effective and equitable intake, investigation, processing, issuing of findings of fact, and timely resolution of all instances of sex/gender discrimination reported or filed by students, faculty, employees, third parties, or by members of the broader community with a particular emphasis on investigating alleged cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment and relationship violence. When a complaint is filed, the assigned Title IX Investigator will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation which includes: identifying and interviewing witnesses, gathering and securing relevant documentation, and identifying other information that would be relevant.  The investigator acts as a neutral party in the investigation and provides a detailed, unbiased report to the Title IX Coordinator regarding the findings of the investigation." Back to top.

2. Who is the Title IX Coordinator?

Michelle Willbanks
710 S. Davis Ste. 103, Arlington, TX 76019
817 272 4585

3. Isn't Title IX just about Athletics?

In general, Title IX impacts the effective accommodation of interests and abilities in sports, the proportionality of financial assistance available to female and male student-athletes, and the treatment of student-athletes regarding the equivalency athletic benefits and opportunities. Although Title IX was not created as a means to effect equitable treatment in athletics, the law has had a profound effect on sports and is often thought of in the context of athletics. Back to top