Formal Complaints

The University takes all incidents of sexual misconduct very seriously. There are two options for students to make a formal complaint of sexual misconduct. You may pursue either or both of these options.

  • make a formal complaint to the University administration;
  • make a formal complaint to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, which would be UI Public Safety (319-335-5022) in the case of sexual misconduct that occurs on campus. Since not all sexual misconduct is criminal behavior, law enforcement authorities can assist you in determining whether the conduct experienced was criminal in nature and warrants a criminal complaint.

Note that you may seek and receive support services from the UI Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator and from UI Public Safety without making a formal complaint to the University. Except in cases where there is a threat of harm to other members of the campus community, neither the University nor UI Public Safety will pursue charges against an accused student without the authorization of the student making the complaint.

Making a Formal Complaint to University Administration

Students may make a complaint about sexual misconduct by another student, a faculty member, or a staff member by contacting the UI Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (319-335-6200). If you would like support when talking with law enforcement or University administrators, you are entitled to be assisted by a certified victim advocate at every stage of the process.

There is no time limit on making a complaint to University administration. However, students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible after the incident occurred.

Making a Report or a Formal Complaint to Law Enforcement

In an emergency, call 911 from wherever you are and a law enforcement officer will respond to assist you. In non-emergency situations, criminal sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, should be reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the location where the assault or abuse occurred.

Even if an assault took place on non-University property or was reported to another law enforcement agency, students are encouraged to contact UI Public Safety for assistance with safety issues while on campus (e.g., protection from particular individuals). The department is committed to ensuring that students who report sexual misconduct receive comprehensive care, regardless of whether or not they wish to file a formal criminal complaint.

If you are not sure whether criminal conduct is involved, an officer can determine whether a crime has been committed. If the sexual misconduct occurred off campus, an officer can help you contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.

When you contact UI Public Safety, an officer will

  • call a certified victim advocate to assist you in every step of the process;
  • accompany you to the hospital if you wish;
  • contact the university’s Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator if you want to make a complaint under University processes or utilize the resources of that office, including making a request for accommodations or other support;
  • speak with you privately and treat you with respect, sensitivity, and dignity.

Victim advocates have special training in working with law enforcement. The advocates at RVAP can help you make an appointment with a law enforcement officer to discuss options, and you can request that a victim advocate accompany you at the meeting. At your request, the UI Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator will also help you report or file a complaint with law enforcement.

The complete Sexual Misconduct Policy is printed in Policies and Regulations Affecting Students and appears online at www.sexualharassment.uiowa.edu/policy.php.