Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

December 4, 2014

I am writing in response to the anonymous reports of sexual assault [reported by the Voice on Nov. 13]. As Georgetown’s Title IX Coordinator, I am responsible for making sure that reported cases of sexual assault and misconduct are investigated and responded to promptly. We take this work extremely seriously and are committed to evaluating each case sensitively and fairly. We have designed systems and processes to support survivors, impartially investigate cases, and punish those found in violation of our policies.

We have an extensive system to respond to reports of sexual assault. We focus fi rst on supporting the survivors and getting them the assistance they need. We also thoroughly investigate reports when a case is reported to us, directly from an individual who has survived a sexual assault, or through another person reporting a case of assault, so that the university can take appropriate action.

Incidents reported anonymously are often challenging because the university may have limited information to follow up on and investigate. When I read the reports in the Voice, I reached out directly to all 88 university-employed RAs to ensure they understood that they could talk to me without fear of retaliation, under any circumstances, for reporting or sharing what may have
happened to them or others.

No RA’s job is or will ever be in jeopardy as a result of reporting a case of sexual assault. Our process asks RAs to report cases of sexual assault to the Director of Residential Living. This reporting was designed to remove pressure on RAs about the best way to handle a report of sexual assault and to ensure that reports are responded to expeditiously. RAs may themselves be victims of sexual assault; no one is immune. Anyone, including RAs, can always report directly to me or to the Deputy Title IX Coordinators assigned on each campus. That is what we are here for.

Finally, I want to make one point as clearly as possible: we want students to report sexual assaults to us if they feel comfortable so that the university can take action to respond. We also want survivors to know that we have resources in place to support them, whether or not they choose to report. However, we can’t investigate what we don’t know. If there is a threat to our community, we want to know so we can take appropriate action.

– Rosemary E. Kilkenny, Esq.
Georgetown University Title IX Coordinator and Vice President, Institutional Diversity & Equity

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