Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response

Policies and Procedures

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Duke is proactive in its efforts to address and reduce instances of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence. Below students will find information about university policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct, and additional related information. 

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact any of these offices for more information:

If you feel you have been subjected to sexual misconduct or discrimination, you should seek assistance as soon as possible. Report an incident of sexual misconduct, or contact the Women's Center and/or Duke Police.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, genetic information, or age in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, employment, or any other university program or activity.

Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct

The Duke Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct applies to all persons who are enrolled at or employed by Duke University and Duke University Health System and is implemented by the Office for Institutional Equity.  It applies to sexual misconduct (and other types of harassment) committed by faculty, staff, and third parties. The policy also prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting sexual misconduct or participating in the investigation/adjudication of a report.

Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards: Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

The Student Sexual Misconduct Policy is implemented by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and applies to any instance in which any Duke student (undergraduate, graduate, professional, or any student enrolled in any Duke program) is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct against anyone (e.g., a student, employee, or third party such as a visiting athlete, guest speaker, or contractor), regardless of the complainant's or respondent'€™s sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. The university will respond to any complaint of sexual misconduct, including conduct alleged to have occurred during breaks, leaves of absence, or periods of dismissal, whether on or off campus. The disciplinary process is available as an option until a respondent completes the Duke degree toward which the respondent is progressing at the time of the alleged behavior.

A note on terminology used below:  A "complainant" is defined as a student who reports being the victim of sexual misconduct.  A "respondent" is defined as a student alleged to have committed sexual misconduct.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Duke has a comprehensive policy prohibiting sexual misconduct by students. The Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to all students.

Frequently asked questions and answers about the Sexual Misconduct Policy are available here.

The Office for Institutional Equity receives reports of sexual misconduct in which an alleged perpetrator is a non-student. 

Individuals do not need to determine whether or not an incident constitutes an act of sexual misconduct in order to report it.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct on Campus
Students are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Students should be aware that, with the exception of the confidential resources identified below (see "Confidentiality"), all employees who become aware of conduct that might fall under this policy are expected to notify the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards with the names of the parties involved and the details of the report. Students who serve in an ongoing peer-advising role (such as Resident Assistants) are also expected to file such reports with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct to Law Enforcement
Reporting an incident of sexual misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards does not preclude a complainant from proceeding with simultaneous action with law enforcement authorities. Students have the option of reporting or not reporting to the appropriate law enforcement agency any criminal conduct. (Duke Police has jurisdiction over incidents that occur on campus; Durham Police has jurisdiction for off-campus incidents that occur within the City of Durham. A student who is unsure of which law enforcement agency to report an incident to can always start with Duke Police at 919-684-2444.)

Resources for Students Who Experience Sexual Misconduct
The Women's CenterStudent Health, the Office for Institutional Equity, the Student Disability Access OfficeCounseling and Psychological Services, and disciplinary advisors with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards can provide access to many levels of assistance and resources, including:

  • Victim advocacy
  • Housing assistance
  • Counseling
  • Academic accommodations
  • Disability services
  • Health and mental health services
  • Guidance through the disciplinary process 

For additional resources and information, see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Resources for Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Students accused of sexual misconduct through the university's disciplinary process are presumed not responsible for any violation unless and until they are found responsible for a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy or other university policy.  Resources available to respondents include the Office for Institutional Equity, the Student Disability Access Office,  Counseling and Psychological Services, and disciplinary advisors with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Resources include:

  • Guidance through the disciplinary process
  • Housing assistance
  • Counseling
  • Academic accommodations
  • Disability services
  • Health and mental health services

Additional Information for International Students
International students, whether complainants or respondents, should contact Duke Visa Services for assistance in determining how their actions will affect their visa statuses in the U.S. This office will provide regulatory guidance for any complainant or respondent considering a reduced course load, leave of absence, or change to a nonimmigrant status. Respondents will also receive guidance on how any disciplinary actions by the institution could affect their visa status and/or referral to a qualified immigration attorney.

A student may discuss an alleged violation of this policy without the information being reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards with those who serve in a professional role in which communication is privileged under North Carolina law and to those whom the university has designated as a confidential resource consistent with Title IX. Those persons include:

  • Student Health staff
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) staff
  • Women’s Center staff
  • Clergy who are acting as such in their professional role at Duke
  • Ombudsperson

The university has a number of confidential resources available for victims of sexual misconduct.

A student who is the reported victim of sexual misconduct may request that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards not reveal the complainant's identity in responding to a report.

Investigation and Hearing Procedures