Session 4 B

Strategies for Addressing Title IX and Sexual Harassment Concerns with Visitors

Time: Tuesday 1:00 PM – 2:10 PM

Presenter(s): Christina Sabee, Student Ombuds/Clinical Psychologist, San Francisco State University – Learn more about this presenter by visiting the presenter page.

Level: Emerging


The #MeToo movement has had a substantial impact on the number of individuals who have started to come forward after experiencing sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or gender harassment. However, the institutional responses to the increase in reports of this nature have been widely varied and often ineffective in helping folks to address their needs. While some institutions might take an immediate action in response to a report (e.g. termination of an employee), other institutions engage in long and drawn-out investigation processes, hearings, or other negotiations to promote resolution of concerns. The ombuds office is a safe and open space for visitors to learn about their options and talk through their experiences. Ombuds may see visitors who have experienced sexual misconduct or sexual/gender harassment, or they may see visitors who have been accused of such behavior. In this presentation, we’ll discuss how to effectively discern your institution’s processes for dealing with reports and how to engage with compliance offices to advocate for a fair process. Although all institutions are different, some guiding questions can be helpful for ombuds to have a clear understanding of what those processes are so that they can help visitors understand their options better. We’ll also discuss alternative options for visitors that may be available in your communities if visitors choose not to work through a formal process. Visitors who have experienced sexual misconduct or harassment benefit from ombuds being trauma-informed in their approach, and we’ll discuss some strategies for working with visitors who have experienced trauma. We’ll further discuss strategies to both support folks who have reported experiencing sexual misconduct or sexual/gender harassment and those who have been accused of participating in sexual misconduct or sexual/gender harassment.

Learning Objectives

  1. 1. Identify and comprehend institutional processes for addressing sexual misconduct and sexual/gender harassment.
  2. 2. Learn to apply trauma-informed practices with visitors who have experienced sexual misconduct and/or sexual/gender harassment and with those who have been accused.
  3. 3. Identify alternative (informal) options for visitors with sexual misconduct/harassment concerns available in your communities.
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