Policy Makes UVA Staff Responsible for Reporting Sexual Assault

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A new policy from the University of Virginia's president is putting the responsibility on nearly every employee to report suspected sexual misconduct.

It's part of a campaign to prevent sexual violence, which comes as UVA faces a federal investigation for allegedly mishandling a sexual misconduct case. UVA President Teresa Sullivan sent a letter to the university community making every faculty and staff member a "responsible" employee, meaning they're required to report sexual misconduct disclosed to them by a student to the Title IX coordinator. Sullivan says "defining faculty and staff roles will help students decide whom to approach.” 

The university also launched a "Report It" website.

The new policy for UVA employees is part of a new campaign called "Not on our Grounds - a University Initiative to End Sexual Violence.”

The initiative also involves students. Will Cadigan co-chairs the UVA Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, which is bringing together all the different student groups working to stop sexual violence at UVA.

“I think it's important, especially, that the message is correlated across students and faculty and knowing that the faculty feel like they have a responsibility to students and students have a responsibility to each other and everyone is working together to try to prevent this,” Cadigan said.

Part of that is a new initiative called "Hoos Got your Back.” It trained first-year students to be effective bystanders so they can recognize sexual misconduct and report it. That campaign is also getting businesses on the UVA Corner involved.

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