The following FAQs are for informational purposes. Please visit Policies & Laws for the official statement of the university’s policies and procedures.
Please click here to read specific FAQs about August 14, 2020 policy changes resulting from the new Title IX regulations.
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and sex. More general information about Title IX can be found here.
2. Who is Johns Hopkins University's Title IX Coordinator?
Joy Gaslevic, JD is the University’s Assistant Vice Provost & Title IX Coordinator.
Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
The University is committed to maintaining an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct. The University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures (SMPP) sets forth prohibited conduct (including the definitions of Title IX Sexual Harassment, Other Sexual Misconduct, and related Retaliation), as well as procedures for handling reports. Definitions of all of the above prohibited conduct are contained in the Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
4. How does the University define retaliation?
Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, taking adverse employment or educational action against, otherwise discriminating against an individual in any way, and/or interfering with any right or privileged secured by Title IX or its implementing regulations because the individual:
- made a report or complaint under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (SMPP);
- participated in any way in the investigation or resolution of such a report or complaint;
- opposed conduct that they reasonably believed to be prohibited under the SMPP, or applicable law regarding discrimination or harassment; or
- exercised any right or responsibility under this Policy or these Procedures.
Retaliation includes conduct that is reasonably likely to deter an individual from making a complaint or report under the SMPP or from participating in the investigation or resolution of a complaint or report; or from opposing conduct that they reasonably believe to be prohibited under the SMPP, or applicable law regarding discrimination or harassment.
Retaliation can occur through online communications and activities such as social media.
5. How does the University respond to reports of sexual misconduct and retaliation?
JHU encourages and has systems in place for all community members to safely come forward and report sexual misconduct and related retaliation. OIE is responsible for assessing and investigating sexual misconduct and related retaliation reports. OIE follows up on every report received, as appropriate. OIE also works with campus partners like Student Affairs, Human Resources, and departmental or divisional leadership, to put measures in place that help ensure a safe and supportive environment for individuals involved in a sexual misconduct or retaliation matter. OIE and the campus partners with which it works are committed to handling reports of sexual misconduct and related retaliation with discretion, and minimizing the number of individuals who need to be involved in responding to a report. In addition, OIE considers to the greatest extent possible Complainants’ wishes for confidentiality and preferences for next steps after any report.
See FAQ #19 for more information about speaking to OIE without making a report.
6. What happens when a report of sexual misconduct is made to OIE?
Please click here to view a flowchart of what happens when a report of sexual misconduct is made to OIE regarding conduct that occurred after August 14, 2020. This flowchart also shows how Title IX Sexual Harassment matters will proceed under the August 14, 2020 SMPP.
Please click here to view a flowchart of what happens when a report of sexual misconduct relates to conduct that occurred before August 14, 2020. This flowchart also shows how Other Sexual Misconduct will proceed under the August 14, 2020 SMPP.
7. If the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures changes between the time that an alleged event occurs and the time conduct is reported, what policy and procedures apply at the time the sexual misconduct is reported?
Matters reported to OIE on or after August 14, 2020 will be handled under the SMPP in effect as of August 14, 2020 where the allegations of sexual misconduct allegedly occurred on or after August 14, 2020. For any matters reported to OIE prior to August 14, 2020, or that concern allegations of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred prior to August 14, 2020, OIE will apply the policy and procedures that were in effect until August 14, 2020.
No, there is no time limit for submitting reports to OIE. However, we encourage Complainants to report an incident as soon as possible to maximize our ability to respond promptly and effectively. If the Respondent (the person accused of sexual misconduct) is no longer a member of the University community, OIE may not be able to take action against the Respondent; however, OIE will still look into available and appropriate steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Please also note that the ability to proceed with a Formal Complaint alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment may be impacted if a Complainant or Respondent is not participating or trying to participate in a University program or activity when the Formal Complaint is filed.
9. What is a confidential resource and how can I find University designated confidential resources?
A “Confidential Resource” is a formal University designation given to certain University employees/departments who are exempt from any Responsible Employee obligations under this Policy. (See FAQ #15 for more about Responsible Employees.) Confidential Resources do not have to report sexual misconduct to the University. Confidential Resources include mental health providers and staff, healthcare providers and staff, pastoral counselors and staff, and any other persons who have a legal obligation to protect confidentiality when acting in a professional capacity unless there is an imminent threat to health or safety, or other basis for disclosure pursuant to law.
Confidential Resources designated by the University include the Sexual Assault Helpline, providers and staff at the Johns Hopkins Counseling Center, the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, University Mental Health Services, student health centers operated by the University, the University Gender Violence Prevention and Education Specialist, as well as chaplains and staff at the Bunting Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Center. Confidential Resources serve in that role at all times regardless of setting or specific activity.
For a list of Confidential Resources, see Confidential Resources are not . All resources not specifically designated as Confidential Resources are considered non-confidential. If you have any question about whether you or someone else is a Confidential Resource, please contact the or for clarification.
10. Is OIE a confidential resource?
No. OIE is not a confidential resource, however OIE is discreet and only shares information necessary to respond to reports, carry out its assessments and investigations, and comply with applicable law.
11. How can I file an anonymous report?
There are several ways that you can file an anonymous report. You can file an anonymous report on OIE’s website. You can e-mail, call or make appointments with OIE without sharing your name or identifying information. There is also a general compliance hotline referred to as SPEAK2US that you can call 1-844-SPEAK2US (1-844-773-2528) and a website with more information about the hotline.
If you want to remain anonymous, you should not share your name or any information that would reveal who you are (such as using your JHU email address or another email address that contains your name). You can always decide to identify yourself later on if you would like.
Please note that Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment cannot be filed anonymously.
12. How does OIE respond to anonymous reports?
The University is committed to providing a safe environment for all. Therefore, OIE will follow up to the greatest extent possible on all incidents of sexual misconduct raised, including anonymous reports. However, it may be difficult to do so— and particularly to conduct an investigation— without knowing the name(s) of the affected individual(s) or, if known, without the participation of the affected individual(s). If OIE does know the name of the individual(s) who may have been subject to sexual misconduct, OIE will attempt to contact that individual before deciding how to proceed.
13. How does OIE determine whether or not to grant a Complainant's request for confidentiality and/or request for no further action on a report?
With the exception of any matter filed as a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a number of factors in deciding whether a Complainant’s request can be honored, including, but not limited to:
- Whether there are concerns of a pattern of misconduct;
- The severity of the alleged misconduct; and
- Whether the complaint raises safety or security concerns.
14. What happens if OIE cannot grant a Complainant's request for confidentiality and/or request for no further action?
With the exception of any matter filed as a Formal Complaint, OIE generally will seek to honor the request of a Complainant not to proceed with an investigation or further OIE action. If OIE is unable to grant a Complainant’s request for confidentiality and/or no further action, OIE will first attempt to speak with the Complainant to explain the rationale behind this decision. OIE will also attempt to notify a Complainant before investigation notifications are issued that contain the Complainant’s name and/or identifying information.
University employees designated as “responsible employees” have an obligation to report any information about possible discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct to OIE. They must promptly report all known relevant information, including but not limited to: (1) the name of the Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses; (2) the date, time, and location of the misconduct; and (3) any other pertinent facts. OIE will then determine next steps.
Please note that no employee is authorized to investigate or resolve reports or complaints of this nature without express direction from OIE.
16. Who is considered a responsible employee?
“Responsible Employee” is a designation given to certain University employees who have a duty to report sexual misconduct that they learn of to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. “Responsible Employees” are designated based on the University’s determination that they have the authority to redress sexual misconduct, have the duty to report sexual misconduct to the , or are employees whom a student reasonably believes have such authority or duty. are not Responsible Employees. Responsible Employees designated by the University include academic administrators, academic advisors, non-confidential employees serving in a supervisory role, department heads and chairs, directors, deans, student affairs staff, Office of Institutional Equity staff, faculty, Human Resources personnel, campus security officers, resident advisors, and athletic coaches.
Responsible Employees must promptly report all known relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator, including the name of the Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the misconduct. If you have any question about whether you are a Responsible Employee or questions regarding your Responsible Employee duties, please promptly contact the or the for clarification.
Faculty who are also licensed medical providers do not have a Responsible Employee obligation when providing patient care where the patient information that constitutes a report of potential sexual misconduct is protected by applicable patient privacy laws.
If you have any question about whether you are a Responsible Employee or questions regarding your Responsible Employee duties, please promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Office of Institutional Equity for clarification.
17. If I report to a responsible employee (for example, Campus Safety and Security, Student Affairs, Human Resources, divisional leadership, or OIE) that I have been sexually assaulted or have experienced some other form of sexual misconduct, will my report be confidential?
The University is aware that many students, staff and faculty are concerned about confidentiality and do not wish to have their identity disclosed. The University appreciates these confidentiality concerns and will seriously consider these requests. However, the University also has an obligation to keep the community safe and to address incidents of alleged sexual misconduct that it knows about. As stated above, designated responsible employees must convey any report they learn of to OIE.
However (and with the exception of a Formal Complaint), once OIE receives a report – either from a Responsible Employee or Complainant – its first step is to contact the impacted individual. We want to talk about rights and options. We also want to understand preferences for moving forward, as well as support that may be helpful. While certain situations and information may require us to take action without first speaking with the impacted individual, we would generally like to speak with that individual before we take any action.
The Johns Hopkins University Office of Institutional Equity
Wyman Park Building, Suite 515 3400 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218
Telephone: (410) 516-8075
TTY: Dial 711
Reports can also be made online by using the general Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Website Complaint Form.
Reports v. Formal Complaints: The University will respond to all reports of sexual misconduct. A Formal Complaint is a specific type of report that may result in the use of the Procedures for Title IX Sexual Harassment. If you want to file a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment, submit your written report describing the allegations and specifically requesting an investigation, and sign this written report. Please know that you can submit a report and then later decide to file a Formal Complaint. Formal Complaints can be submitted electronically (e-mail) or in hard copy. A Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment can also be filed using the form here.
Anonymous Reports: Reports may be made anonymously using any of the reporting options above, with the exception of the Formal Complaint form. To make an anonymous report by email, phone, mail or the general Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Website Complaint Form, do not provide any personally identifiable information (such as name, JHU email address, email address that includes your full name, phone numbers) when making the report.
Reporting to Law Enforcement: In an emergency, contact 911 to reach law enforcement. A listing of campus security and local law enforcement contact information is available in Appendix A to the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. Campus security or the Title IX Coordinator can also provide assistance with contacting local law enforcement.
Speaking with Confidential Resources: If a Complainant does not wish to make a report or complaint to the University, the Complainant may contact a Confidential Resource, which includes the JHU Sexual Assault Helpline (students may talk with an on-call counselor 24/7, Telephone: (410) 516-7333 ). See Appendix B to the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures for a list of other Confidential Resources.
Yes. Students, staff and faculty who have experienced or know of sexual misconduct are encouraged to reach out to OIE even if it is to just ask questions and learn more about different OIE processes and options for support before deciding whether to make a report. You can do so anonymously by phone, email or through OIE’s online form, as set forth above in FAQ #18. You can also share your name and contact information. Either way, and during any OIE conversation, you can ask questions but decline to share any specifics about your report.
For what happens when a Formal Complaint is made, click here.
A person who makes a report (that is not a Formal Complaint) to the Title IX Coordinator or OIE can expect that:
- Someone from OIE will reach out to that person and anyone else who may have been impacted by the reported conduct;
- OIE will share with that person (typically via e-mail) information about their options and various resources, including information about how to file a Formal Complaint;
- While it is up to that individual whether they want to respond to OIE’s e-mail, OIE will also simultaneously asses what risk the reported complaint may pose to the individual and/or the JHU community, and thus if any immediate action is needed;
- OIE will send at least one additional follow-up e-mail if the individual does not respond to its initial outreach; and
- The individual who made the report can connect with on-campus confidential resources and non-confidential regardless of whether or not they engage with OIE.
21. Will the University inform my parents of a sexual misconduct report? What if I am under 18 years old?
In general, parents are not notified in connection with an OIE matter. However, exceptions to this general practice may apply when there are concerns about health or safety, or sometimes when an individual is a minor (under the age of 18 years old).
22. What are the rights of the parties during OIE meetings, including an investigation and/or hearing?
Complainants and respondents (“parties”) are provided equal procedural rights during an investigation and any hearing that may follow, including the equal opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. For more information, please refer to the section in this website.
For more information about possible sanctions, please review Section VII.d.iii of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
For more information about the student appeal process, please review the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
25. Does the University have names of individuals who may be available to serve as my Supporter throughout an OIE process?
Please contact Senior Advisor to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, for information about individuals who are trained to serve as Supporters for students during any meeting or proceeding with the Office of Institutional Equity (“OIE”). OIE may also be able to help other community members connect with a Supporter, if needed.
A multitude of University and non-University confidential and non-confidential support resources is available to all individuals involved in a sexual misconduct matter. Appendices B and C of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures provide more information about confidential and non-confidential resources both on and off-campus.
27. Can the University still help me if I was sexually assaulted or experienced sexual misconduct while off campus and/or abroad?
Yes. JHU will assist students, staff and faculty who have experienced sexual misconduct on or off campus, as well as abroad. JHU student, staff or faculty members who are reported to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (“SMPP”), either off campus or abroad, are still subject to the SMPP, as well as other applicable University policies. Even if a case involves a report about someone who is not affiliated with JHU, JHU will still assist the reporting party to make sure they are connected with safety, security and support resources.
JHU encourages students to report all incidents of sexual misconduct that occur in any JHU program or activity, including but not limited to a study abroad program. In addition to helping the student who has been harmed, a report of sexual misconduct abroad could result in JHU making changes to that program or activity to prevent future misconduct.
No. People can be intoxicated and still be able to make and express their decisions. A person is incapacitated when they are “unable to make a rational decision because the person lacks the ability to understand” their decisions.
When a person is drunk or under the influence of drugs to the point of being incapacitated, they cannot consent to a sexual act. In a sexual assault case involving an allegation of lack of consent based on incapacitation, OIE will evaluate:
1. Whether the Complainant was incapacitated; and, if so
2. Whether the Respondent knew or should have known of such incapacitation.
Because the impact of alcohol and/or drugs varies from person to person, someone will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot appreciate the: who, what, when, where, why, or how of a sexual interaction. In terms of assessing a Complainant’s ability to consent to sexual acts due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the following factors may be considered:
- What and how much was consumed ?
- Did the Complainant blackout or partially blackout?
- Was the Complainant able to make reasonable decisions?
- Did the Complainant know where they were?
- Did the Complainant know who they were with?
To assess whether the accused knew or should have known that the Complainant was incapacitated, the following factors may be considered:
- Did the Complainant appear lucid to the Respondent and/or others?
- Was the Complainant slurring their speech?
- Was the Complainant vomiting?
- Was the Complainant stumbling or having difficulty maintaining balance?
- Was the Complainant able to support her/his/them self?
30. I was drunk when I was sexually assaulted. If I file a complaint, I am afraid that I won't be believed.
Simply because a person was drunk does not mean they will not be believed. In a sexual assault case involving a Complainant who has been drinking, one of the issues to be determined is the Complainant’s ability to consent and whether the Respondent knew or should have known that the Complainant was incapacitated. For more information about how OIE evaluates incapacitation in sexual assault cases, please see FAQ #29 above.
31. When I was sexually assaulted, I was under 21 and consuming alcohol. Will I be charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code, or otherwise get in trouble, if I report the sexual misconduct? What if I smoked marijuana or otherwise consumed an illegal drug?
Please review Section IV.5 for more information about the amnesty provision included in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
Reporting incidents of sexual misconduct is vital to maintaining a campus climate free of harassment and sexual violence. Therefore, students who report potential violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures will generally not be charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code. The same applies to the personal use of drugs. This also applies to witnesses who participate in the resolution of a complaint. However, students may be charged with a policy violation(s) if the use of alcohol or drugs endangered another individual or placed the other individual’s health or safety at risk.
32. What safety measures and other interim measures are available to those involved in an OIE matter?
Please contact Campus Safety and Security and/or 911 if you have immediate safety concerns.
OIE will work with all affected individuals to ensure their safety and promote their well-being. When OIE receives a sexual misconduct report, it will consider interim measures that help ensure a safe and secure environment. If an external decision maker supports OIE’s recommendation that the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures was violated, more permanent accommodations and safety measures may be implemented as sanctions.
Interim measures and safety accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
· Moving residences on-campus;
· Adjusting work schedules;
· Changing academic schedules;
· Changing advisors;
· Parking and/or transportation accommodations;
· Rescheduling examinations;
· Allowing withdrawal from or re-taking classes without penalty;
· Providing access to tutoring or other academic support;
· Prohibiting attendance at group or organizational informal or formal functions overseen by the University;
· Ban from campus;
· Administrative leave for non-student employees;
· Emergency removal as permitted by applicable law;
· Issuing mutual “no contact” orders;
· Assisting to obtain access to medical and/or mental health services;
· Change in dining location;
· Access to safety escort services;
· Developing an anti-retaliation plan to address retaliation concerns; and/or
· Assistance connecting with a supporter.
Both complainants and respondents have equal access to appropriate and reasonably available and feasible supportive measures.
Yes. JHU stands ready to assist students, staff and faculty who wish to file a police report with local law enforcement. Campus Safety and Security can provide more information about this process. They can also provide more information about how to request a protective or peace order. Filing a police report does not prevent someone from also filing a report with OIE, if they wish.
A law enforcement agency (e.g., Baltimore Police Department) is responsible for investigating criminal activity; OIE is charged with investigating reports of violations of university policy. Where reports are made to both police and OIE, there may be concurrent investigations, even if the police report results in a criminal prosecution. The university will comply with applicable state/local law in recognizing protection orders.
Generally, no. JHU typically would only contact the police/local law enforcement to assist the Complainant to connect with police/law enforcement, and only if the Complainant so desires. In very rare circumstances, JHU may decide that contacting the police or local law enforcement is necessary, for example to obtain immediate assistance in protecting the health and safety interests of JHU community members. JHU staff and faculty are also mandated by law to contact the police/law enforcement or local Child Protective Services agency when they learn of allegations of sexual assault or abuse of a minor.
36. I think I was sexually assaulted and/or the victim of relationship violence and I want to find medical help. Where should I go?
In Baltimore City, individuals who are raped or sexually assaulted can seek medical assistance, support, and testing at Mercy Hospital, 345 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202. Mercy Hospital is the only hospital in Baltimore City equipped with a sexual assault forensic examination program, where specially trained nurses can assist victims of rape, sexual assault, and relationship violence with physical examination, evidence collection, and assistance with pursuing a complaint with the Baltimore City Police, if the victim so desires.
For additional medical centers equipped with forensic services in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metro areas, please . For medical assistance outside the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas, please contact your closest local hospital and inquire about the nearest hospital equipped with medical forensic services. For more information about local hospitals, including in Bologna, Italy and Nanjing, China, please see Appendix F of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
The University’s Health Center and University Health Services Center are not able to perform forensic examinations (that is, they cannot collect evidence). They can, however, perform a physical exam as well as test for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
While the first 120 hours (5 days) following a rape are most likely to result in evidence collection, some victims may not wish to have a forensic exam done. Please know that there are other health assessments that medical professionals can perform to ensure a victim’s physical well-being and provision of medical care, if needed.
OIE’s 2017 and 2018 Annual Reports can be found at oie.jhu.edu. These document provide background and specific data on the university’s response to reports of sexual misconduct and other forms of discrimination and harassment.
In addition, you can find a summary of the results from recent JHU climate surveys on sexual misconduct in the following documents:
- 2018 Campus Climate and Sexual Violence Survey: Principal Findings (Spring 2018)
- 2019 Johns Hopkins and American Association of Universities (AAU) Campus Climate Survey