Victims of crimes of sexual violence (including sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence) have the option to notify—or decline to notify—the proper law enforcement authorities, including NSU Public Safety and local police. Victims also have the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if they so choose. NSU encourages the reporting of all crimes to the local police (9-1-1) where the crime occurred and to the NSU Public Safety Department (extension 28999 on-campus and (954) 262-8999 off campus). NSU Public Safety can also assist victims in determining or contacting the appropriate municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the location were the reported crime occurred.
If a victim does not want to pursue criminal charges for the incident, he or she can still provide the police with information about the assault. This information may help the police arrest the assailant and prevent another assault. Information may be provided directly or through a friend or victims’ advocate.
Additional information is available from the state attorney general’s office for victims with questions about the criminal prosecution process. In addition, a victim may contact the confidential RAINN hotline at 800-656-4673 to learn more about local supportive services across the United States.
Possible violations of the university Sexual Misconduct Policy should be reported to the Title IX coordinator for review and resolution. Any member of the university community, as well as those who are not members of the university community (such as visitors, alumni, parents of students, and others) may file a complaint/incident report related to allegations of sexual misconduct (including crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as well as sexual harassment and other noncriminal acts). The following information (when known) is helpful to include in the report:
The NSU Office of Public Safety and the Office of Residential Life and Housing also generate reports of incidents reported to them, and while these reports may initiate an investigation, it is always preferred to get a report from the victim or someone close to the victim. If a victim experiences trauma from writing a summary of the incident, an appropriate university official may prepare a draft of a written statement based on a verbal account by the victim, which the victim can then review for accuracy.
All reports of sexual misconduct will be investigated by specially trained and designated NSU officials, with oversight as appropriate from the university Title IX coordinator. Victims should not be deterred from reporting an incident of sexual violence out of a concern of being disciplined for related violations of drug, alcohol, or other university policies. Except in extreme circumstances, such as where they have created a threat to health or safety, university students or employees who are victims of sexual violence will not be subject to discipline.
NSU has designated most of its employees as “responsible employees,” which means that these employees either have the authority to redress reports of sexual violence, or have the duty to report incidents to those who do. When a victim tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the victim has the right to expect the university to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.
A responsible employee must report to the Title IX coordinator all relevant details about the reported sexual violence shared by the victim and convey to the victim that the university will need to determine what happened. This will include the names of the victim and individual(s) reported to have engaged in the misconduct; any witnesses; and any other relevant facts, such as the date, time, and specific location of the reported incident. The university recommends that victims of any form of sexual misconduct report directly to the Title IX coordinator, when possible, to avoid having to share information multiple times. An online reporting option will be implemented in the 2016–2017 academic year to serve all of the NSU campuses, as well as online students.
To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with those few people responsible for handling the university’s response to the report. Unless there is a serious and immediate threat, a responsible employee should not share information reported by the victim with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement.
The following employees (or categories of employees) are the university’s responsible employees:
Before a victim reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the victim understands the employee’s reporting obligations—and, if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the victim to confidential resources. If the victim wants to tell the responsible employee what happened, but also wants to maintain confidentiality or not pursue any action or investigation by the university, the employee should tell the victim that the university will consider the victim’s request, but cannot guarantee that the university will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the coordinator of the victim’s request for confidentiality. Responsible employees will not pressure a victim to report or not report.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the governmental branch within the Department of Education with oversight for enforcement of Title IX. Individuals may learn more about OCR at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html or through the appropriate regional office. The regional office which serves Florida is the Atlanta Office located at:U.S. Department of Education