Third Party Reporting of Binghamton Title IX Violations, Student Misconduct, and Criminal Activity

SUNY Binghamton does not mandate that a victim of sexual or gender-based discrimination or harassment is the only person who can file a complaint or report wrongdoing. In fact, a person can make a Title IX discrimination report on behalf of a friend or other individual. Simply, surviving an act of interpersonal violence can affect a person in a million ways. Bringing such victimization to the attention of the University or law enforcement need not fall solely on the abused’s shoulders or a legal advocate. Sadly, it is not atypical for a victim to feel helpless, incredibly afraid, and as if their tormentor stripped their personal power away. All of these factors routinely impact a victim’s ability to seek justice on their own. If someone you know and care about has survived an act of relationship or personal violence, whether domestic or even stranger based, or such a person is a victim of gender or sex-based discrimination, you can come to their aid even if he or she is unable to help themselves.

Recognizing Victimization: Helping without Witnessing

Helping someone through a traumatic event is difficult for everyone involved. There are many careful considerations you must review and understand before proceeding. Victims of any type of violence can react to their respective experience in varying ways and can suffer from a handful of emotional, psychological and physical issues. Some victims may appear to be superficially fine, even unaffected at first, only to become extremely upset and distraught at a later time. Some reactions are fleeting while others can persist for months or even years following the traumatic harassment, discrimination or violence. Symptoms of these types of abuse can include nightmares or sleeplessness, inability to work or make decisions, compromised academic performance impaired relationships, guilt, depression, anxiety, anger and irritability, social withdrawal, substance abuse, eating disorders, and panic attacks. By no means a complete list of how any one person will specifically respond, the pain of victimization routinely manifests itself in a variety of ways and often those not discernable to the untrained eye.

While any online resource regarding Binghamton University’s Title IX policies and the rights of both the accused and accuser is no substitute for legal, mental health or other professional counsel, it is a fair statement that advice for anyone who finds themselves in this kind of situation should avoid escalation and be supportive. An intense loss of power occurs for people who experience interpersonal violence. It is essential to create safe space, an environment of safety and to let the student know it's safe to talk to you and that you will listen without judgment and that you believe him/her. The student has chosen to speak to you because he/she trusts you. Let them tell you what they want to tell you, don't press for details. You must also let the student decide what steps, if any, they want to take and reminding the student that what happened wasn't his/her fault.

Victims of dating and other kinds of violence don't appear distressed simply to get attention or relief from responsibility. That person will most likely display emotional responses such as those listed above. Referring a friend or acquaintance in this situation to appropriate resources for help is an important first step, including an experience Title IX and discrimination attorney.

Also keep in mind that, as the friend of a person going through a recent trauma of this kind, you are not a therapist or doctor. However sympathetic and understanding you may be, some students will need far more emotional support than you can possibly be expected to provide. Knowing this will not only help you but also benefit the victim and get them the kind of assistance that can make a difference and set them on a path to recovery. Do not try to convince the student to report the assault. Instead, it is generally best to inform that person of the variety of options that exist, including criminal and/or judicial action and/or no action at all. The University offers counseling support 24 hours a day. In addition, a legal advisor can assist students with obtaining needed information and assistance.

At the end of the day, Binghamton University does provide for third party complaints for Title IX discrimination allegations, but many of the confidentiality protections available to victims may not function in the same way, and the decision to potentially subject an unwilling person to participation in this arduous process comes with all kinds of complex and non-obvious considerations and issues.

Call our New York criminal defense attorneys, Title IX and disciplinary hearing lawyers at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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