Myth: Unwelcome behavior only counts as sexual harassment if it comes from your boss.

Fact: Any verbal, visual, or physical behavior may be considered sexual harassment if it creates a quid pro quo or an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment. If you’ve witnessed or experiences such behavior, contact OSMRC or a confidential resource to consult about options.

 

Myth: Sexual assault is the same thing as rape.

Fact: Under university policy, sexual assault includes nonconsensual sexual touching and nonconsensual sexual penetration. The term “rape” is used in some criminal jurisdictions and is not used in university policy.

 

Myth: Dating violence has to include physical abuse to be worth reporting.

Fact: The university prohibits coercive, abusive, and threatening behavior toward intimate partners. This includes actions that are sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological as well as physical actions. The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) has a 24-hour hotline at 800-373-1043 where you can seek confidential help for yourself or a friend.

 

Myth: Most people who report to a UI official move forward with a complaint.

Fact: The reporting party has a say in what happens with their report, and not all reports result in a complaint; in fact, most do not. We work hard to balance the needs of the person harmed with the need for campus safety, and to maintain transparency with reporting parties and campus partners.

 

Myth: Stalking means following someone around.

Fact: Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. While stalking may involve following someone around, many other behaviors may also be considered stalking if they create fear, including nonconsensual repeated communication, monitoring someone’s online activity, threatening to harm someone’s friends or pets, or posing as someone else.

 

Myth: I can only get help if I make a complaint.

Fact: It is not necessary to make a complaint to ask for help. OSMRC facilitates accommodations, provides linkage to confidential resources, and discusses administrative and criminal complaint options, regardless of whether you decide to make a complaint or not.

 

Myth: Reporting anonymously on social media will hold someone accountable for their actions.

Fact: Social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness, but the university is limited in the actions we can take based on anonymous reports. Contact OSMRC or a confidential resource for information about administrative and criminal complaint options.

 

We are here to help. If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, contact OSMRC. Reports can be made: