Remedies and Notice of Outcome in Title IX Investigations
When a sexual violence incident happens on campus, Title IX requires that colleges promptly respond and take steps to remedy the hostile educational environment that has been created. If a school violates Title IX by not implementing effective remedies, it could risk losing federal funding.
Title IX remedies are informal and differ from case to case. They could include providing counseling services for the perpetrator or complainant, making changes to school policy, or implementing sexual violence prevention programs on campus.
Simply disciplining the perpetrator is usually not enough to be in compliance with Title IX because it may not serve to eliminate the hostile environment entirely.Potential Remedies for the Complainant
Unlike a formal lawsuit, the purpose of a Title IX investigation is not to provide the complainant with financial compensation. Instead, colleges and universities must provide certain remedies to ensure that the student is receiving equal access to educational opportunities.
If a complainant misses a scheduled exam due to the aftermath of a sexual violence incident, the complainant should not be academically penalized. The school must allow the student to reschedule the exam and take it at a later date. Other potential remedies for the complainant include:
- Providing access to medical, mental health, victim advocacy, and academic support services
- Implementing a no contact order on the perpetrator
- Making adjustments to class schedules and living arrangements so that the perpetrator and complainant do not share classes, a residence hall, or extracurricular activities
- Allowing the complainant to withdraw from a class, rearrange their exam schedule, switch classes, or retake a course without academic or financial consequences
- Offering a security escort to accompany the complainant when walking between classes, activities, and to and from their residence hall
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Informing the complainant of their right to file a report with the police
Since the purpose of Title IX is to prevent sex-based discrimination and eliminate hostile environments in federally funded educational programs or activities, campus-wide remedial actions should also be adopted after a college makes a finding of prohibited misconduct. These remedial actions may include:
- Increased security in the area where the incident occurred
- Implementing new training procedures for University employees
- Developing sexual violence awareness fliers, brochures, and other materials and widely distributing them to students
- Offering sexual violence assistance services to students on campus
- Creating sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention programs for the campus community
- Implementing new security procedures on campus, such as emergency buttons and nighttime shuttle services
- Conducting campus climate surveys to assess the effectiveness of sexual violence prevention measures and using the data to implement new changes
- Making revisions to the school’s policies on sexual discrimination
Under Title IX, schools are required to formally notify both the complainant and the perpetrator in writing about the outcome of the investigation. This notification must include whether or not the school found that the sexual violence incident took place, the types of remedies that are being offered, and any sanctions that are being imposed on the perpetrator.
It must also include any other steps the school is taking to eliminate the hostile environment and prevent it from occurring again. The perpetrator, however, should not be informed of the specific remedies being offered to the complainant.