Frequently Asked Questions
What does Complainant mean?
Complainant refers to an individual who alleges that they experienced sexual misconduct or discrimination that could violate the Liberty University Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity Policy
What does Respondent mean?
Who is a Third-Party?
Third-Party refers to a person who is not a university student or employee (e.g., vendors, contractors, alumni, visitors, volunteers, College for a Weekend (CFAW) attendees, etc.). A Third Party may be a reporting party, a Complainant, a Respondent, or a Witness.
Who is a Witness?
Witness refers to a person who may have information relevant to a Report or Formal Complaint of conduct that could violate the Liberty University Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity Policy. This includes a person who may have observed the acts in question, who may be able to provide contextual information, or who may have other related information. A Witness may be a student, an employee, or a Third-Party.
What is a Report?
A Report is an account of Prohibited Conduct that allegedly occurred that has been provided to the university by the Complainant, a Witness, or an anonymous source.
Can I make an Anonymous Report?
The university will accept anonymous Reports of Prohibited Conduct. The individual making the report is encouraged to provide as much detailed information as possible to allow the university to investigate the report and respond as appropriate. The university will likely be limited in its ability to investigate an anonymous report or respond appropriately unless sufficient information is furnished to enable the university to conduct a meaningful investigation.
What is a Formal Complaint?
A Formal Complaint is a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a violation of the Liberty University Sexual Misconduct Policy and requesting that the university investigate the allegation of the policy violation. A Formal Complaint begins the complaint resolution process as set forth in section 10 General Provisions for Complaint Resolution Process below. For more information on the OEC processes, please view our flow chart.
What is Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual Misconduct, as used in the Liberty University Sexual Misconduct Policy, means the following forms of sex discrimination and other misconduct: Title IX Sexual Harassment, Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Sexual Exploitation.
The university strictly prohibits the following offenses: Title IX Sexual Harassment, Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Sexual Exploitation, as well as discrimination and harassment based on a legally protected status.
What to Expect After a Report is Filed?
The report will be submitted to the OEC and a staff member will reach out to the Complainant (Victim) to offer support, resources, and an invitation to meet. To learn more about next steps, visit our website here.
What is Amnesty?
Amnesty is the policy that states you will NOT be disciplined for Liberty Way violations that took place in circumstances where you experienced, witnessed, or committed sexual misconduct.
What is Consent?
Consent is the voluntary and freely-given agreement, through words and/or actions, to participate in a mutually agreed-upon sexual act. Consensual sexual activity happens when each person willingly affirms that they choose to participate. To learn more about consent, visit our website here.
Liberty is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a Report or Formal Complaint of Prohibited Conduct. The university will protect a Complainant’s confidentiality to the extent possible, regardless of whether the Complainant specifically requests confidentiality, and will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or filed a Formal Complaint alleging a violation of this Policy, as well as any Complainant, Respondent, and Witness, except as permitted by law or to carry out the complaint resolution process pursuant to this Policy.
Coercion is conduct or intimidation that would compel an individual to do something against their will by: (1) the use of physical force, (2) threats of severely-damaging consequences, or (3) pressure that would reasonably place an individual in fear of severely-damaging consequences.
Incapacitation means the physical and/or mental inability to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation. Incapacitation may result from mental or physical disability, sleep, unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, or from the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse, such as physical harm, bodily injury, or criminal assault, or the threat of such abuse.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:
- A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim.
- A person with whom the victim shares a child in common.
- A person who is a current or former cohabitant of the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
- A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under Virginia’s domestic or family violence law.
- Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under applicable domestic or family violence laws of Virginia (or, if the crime occurred outside of Virginia, the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred).
What is Stalking?
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct (Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through others (by any action, method, device, or means), follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his or other people’s safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes cyber or electronic stalking.