FAQ's for Complainants/Survivors
Questions Regarding Self-Care & Support
Is there counseling and health care support available and will I have to pay for services?
Confidential and free counseling support is available through each UH Community College. Basic medical follow-up care is available through Student Health Services, most services are free of charge. If you are accessing community or non‐institutional services, payment for these will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc.
What should I do if the respondent is in my class, knows where I live, or lives in my residence hall? If I am having difficulty in class and concentrating, how can I get help?
Talk with your Title IX Coordinator about available interim measures. Interim measures might include:
- A room change for you or the respondent;
- Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
- Assistance in requesting an incomplete in a class;
- Assistance with transferring class sections, if available;
- Assistance with alternative course completion options; or
- Other accommodations for safety as necessary.
What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened or whether what happened constitutes sexual violence or misconduct?
If you would like to speak with someone in strict confidence to explore the incident, you may want to first speak with a counselor at one of the UH Community Colleges, or a rape crisis hotline. If you believe that you have experienced sexual violence and/or sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of policy, you should contact your Title IX Coordinator
who can explain the policy and resolution options.
Questions regarding Reporting an Incident & Grievance Procedures
What are the complaint options I have available to me?
There are several complaint options available to you. You have the right to pursue criminal charges off campus and/or make a complaint through the college's grievance procedures. There are also confidential resources
available to you on campus.
What if, anything will my parents be told?
The college's primary relationship is to you, the student, and not to your parent/guardian. College officials will only speak with your parents/guardians at your request or when there is a significant threat to your health or safety.
Will the process remain confidential?
While victims of sexual assault may be ready to file a formal (or even public) complaint against an alleged offender right away, others may want time and privacy to sort through their next steps. For some, having a confidential place to go can mean the difference between getting help and staying silent.
If you want confidentiality, there are places for confidential advice and support. For a list of UH Confidential Campus Resources, please go to the UH Confidential Resources
Even if you first request confidentiality, you retain the right to decide to file a complaint with the University or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated. For a list of college reporting resources, please go to the Title IX Coordinator
All other college personnel and programs will uphold the privacy of all parties to the extent practicable, but once the college has noticed of alleged prohibited behavior, the Title IX Coordinator, the EEO/AA Office, and/or other appropriate college office is obligated to take appropriate action.
Please remember that different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a victim's confidentiality.
Before revealing any information, please make sure you understand the reporting obligations of the person you are speaking to.
Do I have to name the alleged perpetrator?
Yes, if you want to pursue the University's procedures for a formal investigation and decision, reporting parties should be aware that not identifying the alleged perpetrator may limit the college's ability to respond comprehensively.
Will the alleged perpetrator (respondent) know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint under the University's policy. Sexual violence and sexual misconduct are serious offenses and the respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim's person within 96 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to the emergency room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, a nurse who is specially trained to collect evidence in cases of alleged sexual assault, is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you decide to seek medical attention and wish to have evidence collected, contact the emergency room and request that they call a SANE nurse.
The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence.
You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. If you would like someone from the college staff to accompany you to the hospital, contact Campus Safety and ask them to contact the Vice Chancellor or Dean on call. The Vice Chancellor or Dean is available whenever the college offices are closed to assist students in emergency situations.
If you go to the hospital, local police will be called, but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to do so at a later date. Collecting evidence will not obligate you to any course of action.
Can I have someone with me through college grievance proceedings?
You may have a support person throughout the grievance process.
Will I be sanctioned when reporting sexual violence or sexual misconduct if I illegally used drugs or alcohol?
No. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the colleges do not want the circumstance of drug or alcohol use to inhibit your reporting of sexual misconduct.
Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the respondent's responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant's memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the respondent without further corroborating information such as sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence, and/or witnesses. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by a respondent.
What will happen if I am retaliated against for filing a complaint?
The University of Hawaii Community Colleges prohibit retaliation in any way against an individual or group because the individual or group has reported an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual violence or has participated in a grievance proceeding in response to such an allegation. The University of Hawaii Community Colleges recognize retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or group against an individual or group, and that a respondent can also be the subject of retaliation. The University of Hawaii Community Colleges will take prompt and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary or other action as appropriate.