Rights and Options for Survivors of Sexual Harassment

Survivors of sexual harassment have the right to:

  1. Notify appropriate law enforcement authorities including local police.
  2. Receive assistance from school personnel in reporting a crime to law enforcement authorities if such assistance is requested.
  3. Decline to notify such authorities and/or decline to report to The Chicago School.
  4. Request supportive measures such as a change in their academic or working situations, or assistance with transportation, living, or dining situations, if those changes are reasonably available, regardless of whether or not the survivor chooses to file a police report. Additional information on supportive measures is provided below.
  5. Request assistance from campus authorities in obtaining and enforcing a restraining order or "no contact" directive and, if such measures are reasonably available, an order of protection or no contact order in state court.
  6. A clear description of the school's complaint resolution procedures, including the disciplinary process and range of possible sanctions.
  7. Information and assistance about existing counseling, health and mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both within the institution and in the community.
  8. Seek confidential advocacy and support from a professional counselor, pastoral counselor, or confidential advisor.

Reporting Methods

Chicago School Community Members may make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, a Responsible Employee, local law enforcement, or a medical professional. Chicago School Community Members may also contact a professional counselor, domestic violence counselor or confidential advisor. The Chicago School encourages those impacted by sexual harassment to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups. 

While Chicago School Community Members are encouraged to use their own judgment in terms of whom they chose to discuss reports of sexual misconduct with, Chicago School Community Members must also understand that The Chicago School can only investigate and respond to incidents of sexual misconduct that it becomes aware of. A Complainant who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with The Chicago School or report the incident to local law enforcement and thus have the incident fully investigated. In order to investigate claims under Title IX, an official signed complaint must be filed with The Chicago School

It is important to preserve evidence as it may be necessary in providing proof of criminal activity or in obtaining a protection order. Evidence is best collected as soon as possible or at least within 72 hours of the assault. Assistance with evidence preservation can be provided by medical and/or law enforcement personnel.

​1.  Off campus options:

Professional counselors, domestic violence counselors and pastoral counselors who are not employed by The Chicago School are not required to report information about an incident to The Chicago School's Title IX Coordinator without a Complainant's permission. Counselors who provide services to  Chicago School Community Members through Student Solutions (information here) or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (information here​)​​​​ are not required to disclose reports of sexual harassment to The Chicago School's Title IX Coordinator. While professional and non-professional counselors and advocates may maintain a Complainant's confidentiality vis-à-vis The Chicago School, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law. A Complainant should ask the counselor to explain their ability to protect the Complainant's privacy and to maintain confidential communications. 

In Illinois, a  Chicago School Community Member may contact a confidential advisor at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago via its hotline. The YWCA offers free, confidential services that are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. To speak to a confidential advisor, please call the hotline at 888.293.2080, identify yourself as a member of The Chicago School Community, and ask for a confidential advisor.

All communications between a confidential advisor and a Complainant pertaining to an incident of sexual harassment, including all records kept by the confidential advisor in the course of providing the Complainant with services related to the incident of sexual harassment, shall remain confidential unless (1) the Complainant provides written consent for the disclosure of the communications; (2) failure to disclose would result in a clear, imminent risk of serious physical injury to or death of the Complainant or another person; or (3) failure to disclose would violate state or federal law. 

2.  On campus options:

Chicago School Community Members may report to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any Responsible Employee.

A Responsible Employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual harassment shared by the Complainant and that The Chicago School will need in order to determine what happened including the name(s) of the Complainant and alleged Respondent, any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, and specific location of the alleged incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to a Responsible Employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling The Chicago School's response to the report. A Responsible Employee should not share information with law enforcement without the Complainant's consent or unless the Complainant has also reported the incident to law enforcement.

If the Complainant wants to tell the Responsible Employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the Complainant that The Chicago School will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that it will be honored. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the Responsible Employee will also inform the Coordinator of the Complainant's request for confidentiality.

A formal complaint must be submitted and signed by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator in order to be investigated under the Title IX policy.

Formal complaints submitted under Title IX are subject to inclusion in publicly available recordkeeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures, without the inclusion of personally identifying information about the Complainant.

3.  Reporting to Law Enforcement:

 Chicago School Community Members may report to law enforcement officials and may pursue the filing of a criminal complaint. An individual considering making a criminal complaint who has questions or concerns about confidentiality is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency to obtain additional information about the agency's reporting obligations to other entities, its ability to protect an individual's privacy, and its ability to have confidential communications during the criminal complaint process. Contact information for law enforcement agencies serving The Chicago Schoolcampuses can be found here.

4.  Reporting to Medical Professionals:

Chicago School Community Members may make a report to medical professionals. Medical professionals may be covered by federal and/or state privacy laws, such as HIPAA. In addition, under state law, medical professionals may be required to alert police when it reasonably appears that the individual requesting treatment has received an injury sustained as a victim of a criminal offense, including sexual violence. However, it is the individual's choice as to whether they want to speak to the police.

Supportive Measures 

Supportive measures for both the Complainant and the Respondent may be put in place. Supportive measures may be provided even if a formal complaint is not filed and regardless of whether a report is made to law enforcement. If requested by a Complainant or Respondent and reasonably available, supportive measures may include changes to academic and/or work situations.

In addition, The Chicago School will provide assistance, if requested, with obtaining and enforcing campus no contact orders, obtaining assistance with living, dining, and transportation, and will honor an order of protection or no contact order entered by a state civil or criminal court. 

The Title IX Coordinator shall review all requested supportive measures, shall determine what is available and appropriate and shall notify the party requesting the supportive measures of the determination. Supportive measures  may be kept in place until the conclusion of the Title IX investigation, sanctioning, and appeal processes, where applicable.

The Chicago School will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair The Chicago School's ability to provide the supportive measures. The Chicago School will act to ensure as minimal an academic impact on the parties as possible. The Chicago School will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden any party.

Complaint Resolution Procedures

The Chicago School's complaint resolution procedures are explained in detail in Section C.VII of the Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Title IX Policy.  Sexual misconduct which does not fall under Title IX will be addressed via the general discrimination process in Section B of the Policy.

In summary, the Title IX procedures require the following response upon the receipt of a formal complaint of sexual harassment: 

1. Notice will be sent to the Complainant and the Respondent of the individual who will be conducting the investigation so that both parties may request a substitution if the ​participation of the designed person poses a conflict of interest;

2.The Title IX Coordinator will review any requested supportive measures and accommodations and determine whether any are appropriate; 

3. An investigation will be conducted by trained personnel who will interview the Complainant and Respondent, identify and locate any witnesses, and contact and cooperate with law enforcement, if applicable. Informal resolution may be used in some circumstances. The investigator will take steps to protect the privacy of the Complainant and the Respondent throughout the investigation. Both parties have the right to provide information and witnesses to the investigator;

4. During any meetings or proceedings, the Complainant and the Respondent are entitled to have a Title IX Advisor present;

5. The Complainant and the Respondent will receive updates on the status of the investigation upon request;

6. After the investigation, the case is moved to a formal hearing managed by an external Decision Maker unless the responding party admits responsibility for the violation and waives a hearing. In that case, an external Decision-Maker determines appropriate sanctions.

The hearing process includes the following:

  • The Decision Maker notifies schedules a mandatory hearing at which the parties must be present (or arrange for remote presence with the Decision Maker). At the hearing, the investigator will testify and provide their report, the Complainant and Respondent may provide relevant information, and the Hearing Officer and Title IX Advisors for the parties may ask relevant questions of the opposing party.
  • The Decision Maker makes the final determination on whether the Respondent has violated the Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Title IX Policy using the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard. If there is a finding of violation, the parties will be invited to submit a statement to the Decision Maker for consideration in determining appropriate sanctions.
  • The Decision Maker determines the appropriate sanctions and writes a report for the Title IX Coordinator within two days of their decision.
  • The Title IX Coordinator communicates the sanctions to the parties.
  • A student has the right to submit an appeal in certain circumstances, and the appeal is decided by a three-member panel consisting of a member of the Title IX team not involved in the matter, a current or previous Student Affairs Committee member and a faculty member, as designated by the Title IX Coordinator.

Contact Information for Title IX Coordinator 

Title IX Coordinator 

Jennifer Stripe Portillo
E-mail:  [email protected]
Phone: (213) 615-7264

Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Daniel Esquivel
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (213) 283-4267​

For resources, please see our Resources for Survivors of Sexual Misconduct page.