It’s Complicated: How to identify and report sexual assault

Logo design by Kevin Baggarly

Dear Reagan,

If I or a friend experience sexual harassment or sexual assault on campus, or aren’t sure that we have, where can we turn?

Dear reader,

According to a Campus Climate Survey done in 2017, almost 1 in 3 female students and 1 in 7 male students have experienced some form of sexual misconduct while at UVU. Here’s what you need to know if anything should happen to you or someone you know:

What constitutes sexual harassment/assault?

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical contact of a sexual nature, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion;

A violation of a person’s physical & emotional well-being;;

An act of power and control;

Sexual assault is not an expression of love, passion, or sexual desire.

Sexual harassment is always serious enough to report.

The Campus Climate Survey found that verbal harassment was the most common form of sexual misconduct. The most common reason given for a failure to report was that the incident didn’t seem serious enough. Unwanted advances, lewd comments, or requests for nude photos or sexual favors are all forms of sexual harassment and can be reported to the Title IX office. Additionally, sexual assault and sexual harassment are prosecutable under Utah law.

According to The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 8 in 10 perpetrators are someone known to the victim.

Rarely is the assaulter a stranger hiding in the bushes. The most common forms of assault are intimate partner violence or acquaintance rape.

Force isn’t always physical.

Abusers may use emotional manipulation or psychological force to coerce someone into non-consensual activities. They might also threaten the victim or their loved ones if they don’t comply. Just because it isn’t violent, doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse. 

When should you contact Title IX?

If you:

Have encountered sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault;

Wish to understand your options if you think you may have encountered (either yourself or witnessed) sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual violence or assault;

Learn of a situation that you believe may warrant investigation;

Seek guidance on possible informal remedies or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation;

Need help on how to handle a situation by which you are indirectly affected;

Have questions about Utah Valley University’s policies and procedures.

Contact Info.

Laura Carlson, Director, Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator

Browning Admin, Room 203

TEL: 801-863-5704

FAX: 801-863-5587

Email: [email protected]

More tips, hotlines and information can be found on UVU’s Title IX webpage.

Have a safe school year, 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.