To find out if you are an Academic or Administrative Officer (AAO), go to the Mandated Reporter Defined page. The Interim Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct provides additional information about AAOs and their responsibilities. 

Additionally, under state law and university policy, all university employees who in the course of employment receive information related to physical or sexual abuse of children must immediately report such information to the University of Iowa Police

Responding to Disclosures as an AAO

As a university employee, you may learn of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. How you respond is very important, both for the person disclosing and for university policy. OSMRC is here to help - contact us to consult or request training for your department. Download a PDF version of this guide for responding to disclosures as an A/AO.

1. Clarify:

As soon as you think you might be hearing about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, let them know about your responsibilities and the limits of your confidentiality.

Suggested language:

"I want to make sure you know that there are limits to my confidentiality. I am obligated to share information related to [sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking] so that someone can get in touch with you to make sure you know where to turn for help."

"This conversation may feel uncomfortable. I want to acknowledge that, but I will do my best to help you feel safe during this time."

2. Listen:

Start by believing. Remember what barriers they may have had to overcome to share this information. This isn't the time to press for details.

Suggested language:

"Thank you for sharing this information with me and trusting me with it."

"You've been through a lot."

"I'm sorry you had that experience."

"It's not your fault."

3. Check:

Ask if they have immediate safety concerns. If necessary, contact the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) (319-335-6000), Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) (800-373-1043), or Threat Assessment Program (319-384-2955) for help with safety planning.

Suggested language:

"Do you have any immediate safety concerns?"

"Do you feel safe at work? At home?"

4. Refer:

Refer them to RVAP or DVIP. Give them a copy of the Resource and Referral Guide.

Suggested language:

"Here is the contact information for people who can help you."

"An advocate can support you and help you with any hurdles that may come up in this process."

5. Report:

Inform them of options available under the policy (i.e., supportive measures, formal grievance process, or adaptable resolution).

Provide notice of the allegations to OSMRC within two business days.

In cases involving an employee Respondent, provide notice of the allegations to the senior human resources leadership representative of the unit in which the alleged behavior occurred or, when incidents do not occur within a unit, notify the senior human resources leadership representative of the Respondent.

Inform them that you will be contacting OSMRC and that OSMRC may be reaching out to them.

After reporting:

It is common to be uncertain about how much and what type of assistance it is appropriate to provide. For example, you may want "to get to the bottom of it" or confront the Respondent, especially if they are someone with whom you are acquainted or if you feel a personal connection with the person who disclosed. Resist this inclination.

University policy prohibits unauthorized investigations or other attempts to informally resolve reports of sexual misconduct. Even with good intentions, you may exacerbate a situation or compromise a future investigation. 

An individual is presumed not responsible for reported misconduct unless and until there's a determination of responsibility by a preponderance of evidence.

Supportive Measures

You may be able to provide essential and immediate assistance by providing an accommodation or other supportive measure. If someone needs more than you are able to provide or feel comfortable providing, don't hesitate to contact OSMRC. We often work with employees who are trying to assess what constitutes a reasonable request for flexibility.