RECOMMENDATION 8: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE AGAINST
Discussion of the problem: As long as women remain at unequal
risk for violence and intimidation at their places of study and work,
our campuses discriminate against women. While some progress has been
achieved in providing support services to survivors of rape, sexual
harassment, and dating and domestic assault, much more is required to
demonstrate that our universities are fully committed to change the
fundamental social and physical conditions that sustain violence against
women. Many women express dissatisfaction with existing methods of
prevention and redress. On some campuses, even basic services for
survivors (such as an easily accessible, effective, and visibly
confidential advocate) are lacking; whereas on other campuses, several
offices need better coordination to insure continued progress.
In too many cases, women remain silenced about violent or intimidating
behavior by superiors, peers, and partners. Some women are driven out of
the university by a spuriously even-handed approach, which rarely
results in real sanctions for the perpetrators or real justice for the
survivors. When accountability for women's safety is marginalized in
Equal Opportunity or other offices outside the regular reporting
structures, the result is often to forestall legal remedies that women
off campus can pursue if they are attacked in their homes, workplaces,
or in public spaces.
Vision for the Year 2000:
- A visible and confidential support system, clear consequences
for behavior, and vocal commitment to anti-violence policies from
president and vice presidents have made it possible for women on our
campuses to report assault and harassment and to seek redress. The
university truly exemplifies a zero tolerance of sexual harassment and
violence against women.
- The university withdraws recognition and support from groups shown
to be implicated at rates higher than the general campus population in
acts of sexual harassment or violence against women.
- The university ensures the safety of survivors during periods of
investigation. Individuals found responsible for violent acts are
disciplined, usually by termination of association with the university.
If circumstances do not warrant such termination, disciplinary measures
imposed include curfews, escorts, increased supervision, designation of
off-limit sites, and other restrictions on freedom of movement, as
appropriate to the protection of the survivor and of others similarly
- Criteria for evaluation of administrators and supervisors include
items to test women's satisfaction with the university's response to the
problem of sexual harassment and violence. Women students and employees
report satisfaction with university grievance, public safety, and
judicial mechanisms they have used.
- Administrators and supervisors about whom dissatisfaction is
reported are held responsible for providing themselves and staffs with
training and professional development on issues of violence against
women and sexual harassment. Failure to achieve acceptable levels of
satisfaction among supervisees within a reasonable period of time is
grounds for disciplinary action.
- The university has instituted a process in which all administrators,
faculty, graduate teaching assistants, staff, and students are trained
in issues of sexual harassment and violence, paying particular attention
to groups that are particularly vulnerable, such as graduate students
and support staff.