UMass Amherst’s response to reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and other forms of sexual misconduct are informed by ensuring that the university provides survivor-centered, trauma informed support. Coordinating a survivor-centered response includes:
- Prioritizing the emotional and physical safety of the survivor
- Providing access to confidential resources
- Providing accurate information about resource and reporting options
Student survivor-centered responses provided by the university include; providing a case manager to assist in managing related issues such as financial aid or scholarships impacted by the assault; assisting in requests for academic related extensions; finding off campus housing; and negotiating with on campus employers.
Employee responses include referrals to appropriate university resource offices, such as the Faculty Staff Assistance Program and the Accessible Workplace office. Additional supports can include enlisting the support of Human Resources, and providing other appropriate and reasonable accommodations that are handled on a case by case basis.
The university balances the mandate to investigate reported assaults with a response that empowers survivors to take back control of their lives. A trauma informed response recognizes the acute and long-term impact of trauma. Accordingly, the campus response includes immediate intervention and support, such as offering a change in housing and class schedule, employment accommodations, along with longer term support and follow up. In support of a trauma informed response, the campus has examined its policies and protocols to reduce the potential of re-traumatizing the survivor, such as, offering remedies whether or not the survivor chooses to make a formal report or formal complaint, recognizing why a report may be delayed, and recognizing that immediately after an assault a survivor may not be ready to make decisions about filing a formal complaint.
The university will undertake careful consideration of an appropriate interim measure(s) that may be applicable to an individual named in a report. These are undertaken on a case by case basis, are non-punitive, and consider safety considerations for the campus and individuals. The imposition of an interim restriction requires the university treat the accused fairly and follow established guidelines to determine appropriate measures.