Reporting Guidelines

Overview

Under POL-U1600.04, Western employees must promptly report known or suspected sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other discrimination based on sex to the Title IX Coordinator, even if the misconduct occurred off campus. This reporting requirement applies to all faculty and staff who are designated Responsible Employees, otherwise known as Mandatory Reporters.

Under Western policy, confidential resource providers are not obligated to report harassment or discrimination of which they become aware. This allows for a provision of services and support without concern of reporting. Confidential resources at Western include: confidential counselors, professional survivor advocates, and health care providers.

In order to be considered a confidential resource, individuals must be:

  • acting in the capacity for which they are employed,

  • acting within the scope of their license, and

  • receive the disclosure during the scope of that employment.

Why should I report?

Reporting ensures that Western can provide a complainant with school-wide assistance through a single individual (the Title IX Coordinator). The IX Coordinator has the authority to, upon notice, coordinate access to the full range of support services and resources that are available. Additionally, reporting known or suspected discrimination is key to tracking patterns and understanding campus climate.

How do I make a report?

Reports can be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, either by phone or by email. Individuals can also report by using the online Reporting Form. Third party reporters are strongly encouraged to leave contact information. Anonymous submissions may limit Western's ability to provide assistance and/or investigate the incident.

What To Say as a Mandatory Reporter

If an individual shares information about sex/gender discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence, the Mandatory Reporter should:

  • Respond with care and concern. Thank the individual for trusting you with this information.

  • Disclose your obligation to report the information to the Title IX Coordinator.

  • Offer information about the confidential resources that are available, including counseling and other support services.

  • Assess the safety of the individual. Understand that the safety of the affected individual is essential in providing a supportive response.

  • Inform the affected individual of their right to file a Title IX-based complaint.

  • Inform the affected individual of their right to report a possible criminal act to school/campus or local law enforcement.

  • Do not investigate or make judgments. Avoid victim blaming.

What to Report as a Mandatory Reporter

After assessing the affected individual's safety, the Mandatory Reporter may, as appropriate, provide relevant details about the sex or gender discrimination or misconduct that was voluntarily disclosed, including:

  • The name of the respondent.

  • The name of the targeted individual (complainant).

  • Any other individuals involved in the situation (e.g., witnesses).

  • Relevant facts, including the date, time and location of the incident.

For Supervisors

Supervisors have special responsibilities in preventing and responding to harassment. For the purposes of sexual harassment prevention and response, you are a supervisor if you:

  • Have authority to direct another employee's work activities or recommend employment decisions about an employee, including a student employee; and/or; 

  • You are a faculty member and have an evaluative role over students, even if not in the classroom.

Supervisors should lead by example and they should know, follow and enforce University policies about harassment. If a supervisor knew or should have known about harassment, they must promptly inform the EO Office/Title IX Coordinator so that coordinated action can be taken to address the behavior.

Do not ignore indications that harassment is occurring. Take concerns about harassment seriously. Avoid prejudging and letting implicit biases inform the ways that you respond to harassment allegations or concerns. 

What happens after making a report?

After receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the affected person. It is that person’s decision whether they choose to speak with the Equal Opportunity Office about what happened.

In compliance with Title IX, Title VII and Western's policies, the Equal Opportunity Office/Title IX Coordinator must be informed of an incident so that Western can:

  • Connect survivors with resources and support they may desire;

  • Help survivors understand their reporting options, and;

  • Take appropriate action to keep the community safe and prevent similar incidents.

Abuse or Suspected Abuse of Minors

Under RCW 26.44.030, employees of state and private higher education institutions, including student employeesadministrative, academic and athletic departments, are required to report abuse or suspected abuse of minors. Read the Guide for Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect to learn more. 

For Washington State, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) within local communities are responsible for receiving and investigating reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Reports are received by Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services (CPS) located in each community office and assessed to determine whether the report meets the legal definition of abuse or neglect and how dangerous the situation is.

Children's Administration offers several ways to report abuse:

Daytime - Find your local office number to report abuse or neglect in your area.

Nights & Weekends - call 1-800-562-5624 to report abuse during the evening or on weekends.

Hotline - call 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276), Washington State's toll-free, 24 hour, 7 day-a-week hotline that will connect you directly to the appropriate local office to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

TTY Callers - call 1-800-624-6186 to place a direct TTY call. 

Questions that will be asked when you call

    1. The name, address and age of the child.

    2. The name and address of the child's parent, guardian or other persons having custody of the child.

    3. The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect.

    4. Any evidence of previous incidences.

    5. Any other information which may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child's abuse or neglect and the identity of the perpetrator.

You do not need to have all of the above information when you call to make a report, but the more accurate information you can provide, the better equipped the offices will be to assess the child's safety.