Faculty and Staff - Training and Reporting

The information and resources here are for employees who have information about an incident of sexual violence (or harassment) involving a student or someone else. We encourage you to explore the content below to learn about the reporting obligations of "responsible employees" and for information and guidance if approached by a student. If you, an employee, have yourself experienced sexual violence, please visit "get help now" or "reporting options".  

Duties of "Responsible Employees"

At William & Mary, all faculty and staff are "responsible employees" for purposes of state and federal legal reporting obligations relating to sexual violence and other forms of sexual harassment.  Information about the responsible employee reporting obligations is provided in the Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy and the Sexual Harassment and Assault Guidance for Employees.  As explained in more detail in the Policy and Guidance, and in the Haven training for faculty and staff:

  • All faculty and staff -- except for a very few "confidential resources" -- are required to report specific incidents of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, affecting students.  This means that if an employee becomes aware that a student has been sexually assaulted (for example) or otherwise harassed, that employee must bring the incident to the attention of appropriate administrators so that help can be provided to the student.  This report must be made to the Title IX Coordinator.  Faculty and staff should report using the online form.  
  • All faculty and staff, except for "confidential resources" are required to report specific incidents of sexual violence occurring on W&M's Clery Act geography - regardless of who was the reported or suspected victim or perpetrator of the violence.  Alcohol or drug use may render a person incapable of giving consent.  This report must be made to the Title IX Coordinator.  This reporting obligation arises under Virginia law effective July 1, 2015.

Sexual violence, for purposes of this reporting obligation, is physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Non-consensual sexual intercourse – what you might think of as rape, although that is a criminal term that we do not use in our policies – is a form of sexual violence.

For incidents involving students, the reporting obligation under state law arises when you, the employee, obtain "information that an act of sexual violence may have been committed against a student attending the institution." For incidents that occurred prior to the person becoming a student, this reporting obligation would not apply, but there may be a reporting obligation under state law mandating reporting sexual (and other abuse) of a minor.  

The reporting obligation arises when you -- the employee -- become aware of the information "in the course of [your] employment."  

State law provides civil immunity to responsible employees who make a report as required by state law, or who testify in a proceeding as a result of such a report.

Information and Guidance on Helping a Student

As a William & Mary faculty or staff member, you share the responsibility in keeping our campus and students safe and in responding to violence and harassment. There are many ways you may become aware of sexual misconduct or harassment:

  • A student confides in you that she is an abusive relationship.  
  • A student tells you that his best friend was assaulted in a dorm last weekend.  
  • You see someone waiting outside the classroom door regularly for a student in your class, and one day see him forcibly grab her cell phone from her while seeming to berate her about something. She is crying and holding her wrist as if in pain.  
  • While in one of the residence halls doing a maintenance check, you hear a couple students talking about a party the night before and a girl who "passed out cold" and "got worked over" by two other students.  

In order to help a student, and identify a problematic situation, please review the key terms, so that you understand what W&M defines as sexual misconduct, and follow the following steps:

What do you do? SUPPORT and REPORT.

If a student comes to you directly, it is important that you support him or her. Please review the guidance (pdf) and resources (pdf) to make sure you give the student the required information, and avoid responding in a way that blames or re-victimizes him or her.  

Victims of assault have experienced trauma, and trauma affects how people remember the experience and how they talk about the experience. This means that the student may not act the way you expect them to.  He or she often cannot tell you what happened to them a in logical, organized way.  Please recognize this and do not assume that the student is lying or judge the student for their behavior.  It is not your job to decide whether an assault occurred.  

After you have addressed the student's immediate needs, you need to report the incident (the information you have about the incident) to the Title IX Coordinator.  The best way to report is to complete the online form.  

If you have concerns or questions about reporting, the Title IX Guidance may be helpful, or you may contact a member of the Title IX staff. 

This site last updated June 2017.