Dating/Domestic Violence Policy Review Committee

Committee charge: 
To strengthen response readiness to dating/domestic violence reports through review of UI policies, procedures, and response protocols and provide recommendations to the President.

Committee members:

  • Monique DiCarlo, Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, Committee Chair
  • Thomas Baker, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Josephine Bathke, University Employee and Labor Relations
  • Jennifer Carlson, Rape Victim Advocacy Program
  • Diane Finnerty, Office of the Provost
  • Kristie Fortmann-Doser, Domestic Violence Intervention Program
  • David Grady, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Karen Heimer, School of Sociology
  • Jennifer Modestou, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office
  • Carroll Reasoner, Office of the General Counsel
  • Scott Stevens, Iowa City Police Department
  • David Visin, Department of Public Safety
  • Rachel Zimmerman, Johnson County Attorney's Office

Project background: 
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any federal financial assistance (hereinafter “schools”, “recipients”, or “recipient institutions”) must comply with Title IX. The Department of Education Office on Civil Rights recognizes dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as forms of sex discrimination.

The reauthorization of the VAWA 2013 amendments to the Clery Act require institutions to have disciplinary measures in place for dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Project history: 
In October 2014, a review team was assembled to insure campus readiness to reports of dating and domestic violence.  The team reviewed dating and domestic violence training literature, state and federal dating and domestic violence statutes, and policy language from other universities and private sector institutions. A consultant from Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa met with the project team. The team chose to ensure dating and domestic violence was prohibited behavior within existing policies rather than recommend a new policy. Shared Governance leadership advised and was consulted on the project. Given the mandatory nature of the required changes and the determination that the changes did not alter the intent of the policy in significant ways, it was determined that votes of the full governance bodies would not be needed. 

Impacted policies:

  • Sexual Misconduct Policy Involving Students (OM IV-2)
  • Code of Student Life
  • Sexual Harassment Policy (OM II-4)
  • Policy on Violence (OM II-10)
  • Anti-harassment Policy (OM II-14)

Project status:
Complete

Policy recommendations: 
The recommendations ensure that both dating violence and domestic violence are prohibited. All policies under review include or reference the draft language below, which is in compliance with the federal legislation. 

Domestic/dating violence is coercive, abusive, and/or threatening behavior toward a current or former intimate or romantic partner. These behaviors may include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, or injure the victim/survivor.  

Additionally, the following non-substantive changes have been made within each policy:

  1. Sexual Misconduct Involving Students, Including Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
    • The team recommends changing the name of this policy to “Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking Involving Students”.
    • Information about law enforcement’s mandatory arrest obligations in incidents involving dating and domestic violence has been added. (Section 2.2, and Section 2.6.e)
  2. Code of Student Life
    • The definition of dating/domestic violence will not be included in the Code of Student Life. The definition of stalking has been removed from the Code of Student Life.
    • The Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking Involving Students policy has been referenced in the Code of Student Life. (Rule 13)
  3. Sexual Harassment Policy
    • Language has been added giving the Senior Human Resources Representative the ability to appoint a designee approved by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for facilitating informal resolutions of allegations of unwelcomed sexual behavior or sexual harassment by an employee. (Section 4.5.c.1.a)
    • As is already the case in possible incidents of sexual assault and stalking, if an Academic/Administrative Officer (A/AO) should become aware of a possible incident of dating or domestic violence involving a member of the campus community, the A/AO has an obligation to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) or the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSRMC) within two business days.
  4. Policy on Violence
    • Language has been added giving the Senior Human Resources Representative the ability to appoint a designee approved by University Human Resources for conducting formal investigations of complaints in which the respondent is a staff member. (Section 10.8.a.2.b)
    • Language clarifying the roles of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) and the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC) in responding to reports has been added. Allegations of violence based on a protected classification will be reported to EOD. Allegations of dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking of a romantic or sexual nature will be reported to OSMRC or EOD. (Section 10.7)
  5. Anti-Harassment Policy
    • Language has been added giving the Senior Human Resources Representative the ability to appoint a designee approved by University Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for conducting formal investigations of complaints in which the respondent is a staff member. (Section 14.4.a.3)