Frequently asked questions
Find answers to your pressing Title IX or sexual misconduct questions. If your question is not listed below, please email the Office of Title IX Compliance & Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct.
What are considered Title IX concerns and how do I know when I should report them? Accordion Closed
The following are typically Title IX concerns:
- Sexual harassment
- Sex or gender-based harassment or discrimination
- Sexual violence
- Gender-based stalking
- Relationship violence
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Sexual orientation harassment or discrimination
- Gender identity harassment or discrimination
Sometimes individuals are reluctant to report a concern because they aren’t sure if what they experienced is “bad enough” or is really a violation of law or policy. Individuals are encouraged to report any concerns they have. If a concern doesn’t rise to the level of disciplinary action or an investigation the university still may offer support, assistance, resources, and options. Reporting concerns assists the university’s ability to take appropriate action both for the well-being of individual students and for the university community.
What should I do if I believe I have been sexually assaulted? Accordion Closed
Your safety is the priority. If you are a victim of sexual assault, these steps may help ensure your safety:
- Find a safe environment — anywhere away from the perpetrator. If you are at immediate risk, we recommend contacting the police or calling 911. You can give the police as much or as little information as you wish, or request that they contact Victim Witness Services, who will help you understand the process and provide support. If not at immediate risk, call the Northern Arizona University Police Department at 911 or the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414.
- If there is serious physical injury, it is recommended you go immediately to a hospital emergency room to be examined.
- You may also call Victim Witness Services at 928-856-7676 if you would like advice and support and to clarify your options.
- If there is no serious physical injury, you may want to go to a medical center as soon as possible to be examined for sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. Campus Health Services is available for all university students.
- Contact Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault 928-527-1900 to schedule a forensic exam.
What is consent? Accordion Closed
“Consent” in the context of sexual activity means informed and freely given words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.
Consent may not be inferred from:
- Silence, passivity, or lack of resistance
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship
- Acceptance or provision of gifts, meals, drinks, or other items
- Previous consent to sexual activity
- Consent may be withdrawn at any time
- Consent may not be obtained using force, threats, or coercion.
- Consent may never be given by a person who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol
- Consent may not be given by someone who is unconscious or asleep
- Consent may not be given by someone who cannot mentally make informed judgments
The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent and does not excuse conduct that violates the Student Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.
What are steps I should take to preserve any evidence? Accordion Closed
In order for evidence collection to be most effective, sexual assault should be reported within 72 hours, but can be collected up to 120 hours (approximately 5 days) after an assault. Arizona has a statute that provides the victim the ability to seek medical treatment for the collection of sexual assault evidence without charge to the victim. The victim does not need to file a police report in order to seek medical treatment for the collection of sexual assault evidence. It is the victim who will decide if they wish to pursue criminal charges.
It is recommended:
- It is okay to eat or drink before your exam.
- It is recommended not to shower, bathe, or wash any body parts until the exam.
- It is okay to go to the bathroom but minimize wiping with toilet paper.
- If you are wearing the clothes you had on during or immediately after the assault, it is recommended not to change your clothes.
- Law enforcement may collect your clothes into evidence prior to your exam.
- If not, please wear the clothes to your exam. The nurse will collect your clothes into evidence and provide you with a new set of clothes. You may want to bring a change of clothes with you.
- If you already have changed clothes or feel you need to change clothes before the exam, please bring the clothes worn during the assault to your exam even if they have been washed.
If you already have done any of these actions prior to the exam, it is okay and you may still obtain an exam.
What are my rights if I am alleged to have committed sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual misconduct? Accordion Closed
The rights of students and employees who are alleged to have committed sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual misconduct are protected as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and associated policies and procedures. For additional information and assistance, individuals with specific questions about the process or related concerns may contact the Equity and Access Office, Office of the Dean of Students, or the Office of Title IX Compliance & Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct.
Can the university help even if I don’t report? Accordion Closed
Yes, students and employees may contact the Office of Title IX Compliance & Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct to discuss supportive measures. One may find more information regarding this service at Institutional Supportive Measures and Remedies
Are only women protected under Title IX? Accordion Closed
All gender identities and expressions are protected under Title IX, the Arizona Board of Regents’ Non-Discrimination Policy, the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and the Standards of Residence. LGBTQIA specific resources are located in the Inclusion and Multicultural Services Office, 928-523-8511, LGBTQA@nau edu.
Will I be protected against retaliation? Accordion Closed
Retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint or who participates in any complaint-related process is not tolerated and is a violation of Title IX, the Arizona Board of Regents’ Non-Discrimination Policy, the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and the Standards of Residence.
Where can I get a Protective Order or “Restraining Order” Accordion Closed
Protective Orders can be obtained through Flagstaff Courts. For the paperwork, help with filing, and more information please contact Victim Witness Services Coconino County, 928-856-7676.
What is the difference between confidential and private information? Accordion Closed
Confidentiality is a legally mandated protection given to counselors, clergy, attorneys, victims’ advocates, and doctors working within their field. When something is confidential it may not be shared without explicit permission. Private information only is shared with individuals who need to know in order to provide resources, conduct university risk assessments, or track patterns.
What is a victim’s advocate? Accordion Closed
A victims’ advocate provides free, confidential support and guidance to all victims or witnesses of crime, and those experiencing a crisis. They will not share any disclosed information without permission or as otherwise required by law. They can assist with understanding options and provide support through those options, making sure the victim’s wants and needs are being heard and addressed.
What is a Title IX investigator? Accordion Closed
Title IX investigators or other designated employees investigate allegations of sex discrimination, including all forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The investigators utilize the Sexual Misconduct Policy or Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy to investigate allegations consistently with the requirements of federal law. Additionally, the investigators may consult with the Title IX Coordinator to initiate institutional supportive measures or remedies and help parties understand complaint options, university procedures, and available resources. The investigator often refers individuals to Victim Witness Services so the impacted party has a support person to fully explain available university and community resources and campus procedures related to academic and other support.
Can I have an advisor present when I meet with the investigator? Accordion Closed
The purpose of the meeting with an investigator is for the investigator to hear the individual’s perspective. Although, individuals involved in the sexual misconduct process have a right to bring an advisor to meetings, including hearings, the advisor’s role is to provide support and counsel. The advisor may not speak for the involved party. Examples of advisors who may attend include a parent, an attorney, a staff member, a faculty member, a friend, or a victim/witness advocate. The involved parties may select an advisor of your choice.
What if Alcohol or Drugs were involved and I am underage? Accordion Closed
The health and safety of every student at the university is of utmost importance. The University recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that prohibited conduct under these procedures occurs may be hesitant to report incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The University strongly encourages students to report such prohibited conduct. A student bystander or complainant acting in good faith who discloses any incident of prohibited conduct under the Sexual Harassment Policy to a university official or to law enforcement shall not be subject to action under the university’s Student Code of Conduct or other applicable policy for violation of alcohol and/or drug use occurring at or near the time of the commission of the prohibited conduct. While no disciplinary action will be taken, the university reserves the right to take steps necessary to address health and safety concerns for the individual and the community, as well as the right to report truthfully to licensing bodies.
Where can I find the NAU Annual Campus Safety Report? Accordion Closed
The NAU Police Department publishes the annual Campus Safety and Security Report to provide information including crime statistics and policies and procedures concerning alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, and general safety on the Northern Arizona University campus. The report can be accessed from the NAUPD website by selecting the “Campus Safety & Security Report” button. Anyone, including prospective students and employees, may obtain a paper copy of the report by contacting NAUPD at 928-523-6311.
Where can I find information about the use of alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, and other forms of gender violence? Accordion Closed
Health Promotion has a variety of information available online.
How can I help stop sex/gender-based violence from occurring? Accordion Closed
Health Promotion provides a listing on their website of the many opportunities to get involved with this issue including:
Five Ways You Can Be an Active Bystander
- Intervene if someone is getting ready to initiate sexual activity with a partner who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Intervene when you see “red flags” that might indicate a sexual assault is about to happen. If someone says, “Now they can’t say no”, about having sex with someone, distract the person, get the victim out of the situation, and call the police if needed.
- Speak up when you hear others joke about rape. Comments such as “That test raped me” are inappropriate and can trivialize rape.
- Confront rapists and report incidences to the police. Many perpetrators are unaware that what they have done is a crime. Let them know that what they did was not right and it was against the law.
- Attend a “Take a Stand!” bystander training to learn the skills needed to prevent sexual assault on our campus.