Next fall, the University of Oregon will enact a new reporting policy in cases of sexual assault and gender-based discrimination. The policy puts victims in charge.
The U of O in the past had a policy that required almost all employees who are informed of a sexual assault to report it to the University’s Title IX coordinator or some other official. Mandatory reporting, according to UO Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd, can have a chilling effect for assault victims.
Freyd says sexual violence takes control away from people, so institutions around them shouldn’t add insult to injury.
Freyd: “Not take control away but be very respectful and let people dictate, as much as we can. Let them dictate the timing and how things go forward so they regain control and it’s their story and they get to see it play out in a way that’s best for them.”
U of O president Michael Schill signed the new policy this week. It goes into effect in September 2017.