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Washington State University Office for Equal Opportunity

If Sex or Gender Based Violence is Reported to You

If you are told about sex or gender based violence, please review the below sections to determine your reporting requirements or to learn about resources available to you.

Reporting Requirements

Regardless of your reporting requirements, WSU encourages reporting of all forms of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and takes these reports very seriously. Please view the below sections to determine your responsibilities:

WSU Employees

All WSU employees who have information regarding an incident or situation involving sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to promptly report the incident to the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) or to one of the designated Title IX Co-Coordinators or Title IX Liaisons.

There are limited exceptions to this requirement.  The exceptions are:

  • Employees who are statutorily barred from reporting (for example, health care providers and mental health care providers acting in their capacities as health care and mental health care providers)
  • Employees, interns, professional trainees, and other similar individuals who are not statutorily barred from reporting but who provide services to students in WSU’s Counseling and Testing Services or are otherwise designated by WSU to provide mental health services, or who provide services to students in WSU’s Health and Wellness Services;
  • Employees participating in a preventative education program for students regarding sex and gender-based violence or a related program, during which a student discloses having experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct; and
  • Employees who have no authority to take action to redress sexual harassment or sexual misconduct and who could not reasonably be viewed by students as having such authority (for example, certain nonsupervisory custodial or dining services staff); such employees are nonetheless strongly encouraged to report all instances of sexual harssment and sexual misconduct to OEO.

WSU employees with supervisory responsibility must take immediate action to end offending conduct and protect the well-being of the complainant. Supervisors must take such interim measures in consultation with OEO, HRS, and the WSU Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

WSU Students

WSU strongly encourages students and others to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and other forms of sex and gender based violence, to the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO).

Reporting to Police

Anyone who has experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or another crime may choose to report the incident to the police. WSU’s process is separate from the criminal process and can be pursued simultaneously. In most cases, OEO will defer to the complainant’s wishes regarding whether to contact police and/or file a complaint; however, there are situations in which the safety of the WSU community or other considerations may require OEO to report an incident to police. OEO will attempt to inform the complainant of its decision when this occurs.

Other Reporting

Under state law, all administrative, academic, and athletic department employees, including student employees are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to the Washington State Department of Social and health Services.  All other higher education employees are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to their supervisor within 48 hours and also should report these incidents to law enforcement.

Helping a Survivor

If sex or gender based violence was reported to you, you can help the reporter locate resources for reporting, advocacy, healing, and safety.

Secondary Trauma

If you learn of sex or gender based violence, you may experience something referred to as “secondary trauma.”   If you need to speak with somebody about your concerns, you can reach out to:

Federal Information

Finally, the federal government has compiled helpful information for students and universities, including information on what to do if you have been sexually assaulted, how to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted, and information about your rights if you share information about a sexual assault with your university: