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Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus: A National Assessment and Systematic Classification of the Scope and Challenges for Investigation and Adjudication

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2020
91 pages
This is the Final Summary Overview of the methodology and findings of a study with the objective of identifying the range and scope of policies and practices related to the investigation and adjudication of sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses.
The first step was a web-based search of a randomly selected sample of 4-year colleges and universities (Institutions of Higher Education, IHEs) to examine the policies and practices promulgated to the public and made available to students. This was followed by interviews with Title IX coordinators, which were intended to provide understanding of the challenges and successes of various procedures for responding to sexual assaults on campus. Based on data obtained from a national sample of 969 4-year IHEs, in conjunction with interviews of key informants from 47 IHEs, this project provides a context for understanding the variety of individual IHE approaches and programs for addressing the challenges associated with preventing and responding to sexual assaults on college campuses. The diversity of responses among IHEs may reflect the ever-changing provisions of Title IX, which are driven by changes in federal guidance and policies, state laws and policies, and the impact of civil suits and judicial guidance that has emerged from these cases. The findings also suggest the need for follow-up research that will examine the impact of various approaches, leading to recommendations for best practices. 29 tables and appended study instruments

Date Published: April 1, 2020