Education and Prevention

January 30, 2017

To: Faculty, staff, students

From: Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks

Dear members of the campus community,

Preventing and effectively responding to sexual harassment and sexual violence is a top priority for campus leaders.  It is also an effort that requires the dedicated attention and commitment of all of us.

Prevention is possible. It requires each of us to take responsibility, to create a culture of respect, to intervene safely and appropriately when we see our community standards violated, and to take care of one another during difficult moments. Our campus leadership is working hard to strengthen our prevention efforts and to create a stronger culture of accountability.  We ask all members of our campus community to join us in this effort. 

As the spring semester gets underway, we encourage each of you to further your understanding of these matters and ensure that you are up to date regarding training requirements and your understanding of campus policies and processes. Review this information in its entirety and maintain the link for future reference.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is the federal law that, among other things, prohibits sexual violence (including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), sexual harassment and gender-based harassment. It applies to the entire campus community, including people of all gender identities or organizational role and status: women or men, gender non-conforming people, students, faculty, staff, applicants and visitors.

The UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy reflects the policy mandates of Title IX as well as other federal and state laws. The UC policy defines terms, such as consent, and outlines procedures for responding promptly and effectively to reports of prohibited conduct.

What is the required sexual violence and sexual harassment (SVSH) training?

Newly-hired faculty and staff: All new employees are required to complete prevention and response training within the first six weeks of their start date.

Faculty and supervisors: All must complete a 2-hour prevention and response training every other year. This includes training on their obligations under UC Policy to report sexual violence.

Non-supervisory staff: All must complete a 1-hour prevention and response training every other year.

Students: All incoming undergraduate and graduate students are expected to complete prevention education within the first six weeks of their entry semester.

Additional details regarding training and education is available here: http://survivorsupport.berkeley.edu/learn-more

As an employee, do I have a responsibility to notify the Title IX Officer in OPHD about an SVSH policy violation? And, what is a "responsible employee"?

Certain members of the campus community are considered “responsible employees,’ which means they must notify the Campus Title IX Officer in OPHD when someone discloses information about a sexual violence or sexual harassment incident.

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment nearly all faculty and staff are “responsible employees”  (with the exception of confidential resources for survivors as listed below) when the disclosed situation involves a student. These responsible employees includes all graduate student instructors and researchers, residence hall assistants, and other student employees when disclosures are made to them in their capacities as employees.

We recommend that all employees first connect the survivor with the campus PATH to Care Center to ensure the survivor’s immediate needs are met and subsequently, after the individual is safe, the responsible employee should notify the Title IX Officer in OPHD.

 A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the survivor’s consent and should connect the survivor with PATH to Care Center to explore law enforcement reporting options.

What is the responsibility of campus groups, such as managers and directors, to notify the Title IX Officer in OPHD?

When the survivor is a staff or faculty member, applicant or campus visitor, the “responsible employee” designation applies to these employee groups: faculty; managers and supervisors including deans, department chairs and directors of Organized Research Units; human resources administrators, academic personnel, Title IX professionals and campus police.

We recommend that all employees first connect the survivor with PATH to Care to ensure the survivor’s immediate needs are met and subsequently, after the individual is safe, the responsible employee notifies the Title IX Officer in OPHD

A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the survivor’s consent or unless the survivor has reported the incident to law enforcement.

As someone acting as a "responsible employee" what should I say to a survivor who shares information with me about a sexual assault or sexual harassment? 

Before an individual discloses information that he or she may wish to keep confidential, the responsible employee must make sure the individual understands that you are obligated to share the names of people involved in the prohibited act as well as the all the facts shared with you regarding the incident. In addition, the responsible employee should inform the survivor of the option to request that the university (e.g., the Title IX Officer in OPHD) consider maintaining his or her confidentiality; inform the survivor of confidential resources available on campus and that information shared with any confidential resource will not be forwarded to the university. The responsible employee should also inform the survivor that the university prohibits retaliation and that the university encourages individuals to report retaliatory conduct.

Do "confidential employees" have to notify the Title IX Officer in OPHD?

Confidential employees do not disclose information to OPHD, the campus, or other entities, as confidentiality is both respected and required by applicable laws or professional codes. Any limitations on confidentiality will be explained to survivors by the confidential provider. The “responsible employee” designation does not apply to individuals specifically identified and designated as confidential employees (see list of confidential resources on the survivor website).  

If you are not sure if your job responsibilities designate you as a confidential employee under UC Policy, please contact your supervisor or the Title IX Officer in OPHD. 

What are the confidential resources for survivors? 

Confidential resources for survivors

PATH to Care Center:   http://sa.berkeley.edu/dean/confidential-care-advocate/

Employee Assistance (formerly CARE Services for Faculty and Staff):  http://hr.berkeley.edu/hr-network/central-guide-managing-hr/managing-hr/wellness/health-safety/services/care

Counselors at University Health Services:  https://uhs.berkeley.edu/counseling

The Staff Ombuds Office:  http://staffombuds.berkeley.edu/

Ombuds for Students & Postdoctoral employees:  http://sa.berkeley.edu/ombuds

Off-campus, community-based resources:

Bay Area Women Against Rape: http://www.bawar.org/ 

Family Violence Law Center: http://fvlc.org/ 

As a survivor, what are my reporting options? 

Those who experience sexual harassment and violence have the right not to make a report to anyone. Confidential sources are available to provide counseling, assistance with academics, employment, health and safety, and other forms of support. However, there are options to report to the campus and to law enforcement, and individuals have the right to report to either or both entities.

There is no time limit for reporting to the campus via OPHD. Even if significant time has elapsed, the university will receive reports and explore all possible options. Prompt reporting will better enable the university to respond, investigate and provide an appropriate remedy, and impose discipline if appropriate.  A delay in reporting may weaken the evidence necessary to determine whether the accused individual is found responsible for engaging in prohibited conduct.

When an individual reports an incident to the Title IX Officer in OPHD, their privacy will be respected to the fullest extent possible. The report will be shared with only those members of the campus that have a role in addressing the matter. However, UC employees cannot guarantee complete confidentiality except when the discussions are privileged communication with those specifically designed as privileged, confidential employees. The university must take all reasonable steps to respond and investigate a report, taking into account that confidentiality may not be possible in every case given the university’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of its students, faculty and staff. Complainants and respondents will be apprised of the status and outcomes of complaint resolution process, including any resulting discipline or sanctions.

Reports to law enforcement may create records subject to the California Public Records Act. Individuals who report an incident of sexual assault and some other sex crimes to law enforcement may request that their identity remain anonymous and not  appear in certain police records. However, requests for confidentiality may limit the ability of the Title IX Officer in OPHD to respond to a report.

Can I ask law enforcement to keep my records confidential? 

Reports to law enforcement may create records subject to the California Public Records Act. Individuals who report an incident of sexual assault and some other sex crimes to law enforcement may request that their identity remain anonymous and not appear in certain police records. However, requests for confidentiality may limit the ability of the Title IX Officer in OPHD to respond to a report.

What are some additional online sources for SVSH information? 


If you are a staff or faculty member and have questions or concerns about the technical aspects of accessing this or other forms of mandatory training, you can contact the Campus Shared Services Helpdesk via one of these three methods:

Email: itcsshelp@berkeley.edu 

Telephone: (510) 664-9000, option 1

Create a service ticket: http://sharedservices.berkeley.edu/it/

If you have questions or concerns about the policies underlying this or other mandatory training requirements, here are some contacts:

For staff questions and feedback: hrpolicy@berkeley.edu

For faculty questions and feedback: appolicy@berkeley.edu 

For undergraduate student questions and feedback: deanofstudents@berkeley.edu

For graduate student questions and feedback: graddean@berkeley.edu

For more information regarding the campus education requirements, please visit: Sexual Violence Prevention & Response

To access a one page survivor support handout for students and staff, please click on the embedded link.