If You Are a Respondent
Being accused of sexual misconduct in any form can be a confusing and stressful experience. There are campus resources available to answer your questions and offer you support through the process.
You’ll notice that if you are accused of sexual misconduct, you are referred to in the grievance process as the “Respondent”. Under the UIC Sexual Misconduct Policy, both the Complainant and Respondent have the right to a fair and equitable adjudication process and have the same procedural rights and protections throughout the grievance process.
Any member of the UIC community who is reported to have committed act(s) of sexual misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal charges. Disciplinary action may occur whether or not criminal charges are filed.
My Friend is a Respondent
If a friend or someone you know is reported to have committed act(s) of sexual misconduct, it is likely that you have questions and may be struggling to understand what has happened. You may be experiencing a range of emotions such as helplessness, anger, confusion or betrayal. If your friend has told you that they have been reported to have committed act(s) of sexual violence, they may be turning to you for help and support. You may be unsure how to respond to your friend or the situation.
- Direct your friend to resources. The Office for Access & Equity can and will help a Respondent understand their rights, resources and what may happen next. Helping your friend access these resources is a step you can take to provide support in what may be a confusing and emotional time for both of you.
- Recommend that your friend seek counseling services to deal with their emotions. It may also be helpful for you to seek counseling to help you process any emotions and trauma you may be experiencing as a result of the situation.
- Get educated on the issue of sexual misconduct. The information on this website can answer some of the questions you may have. If you are seeking additional information on sexual violence, please contact the Campus Advocacy Network.
- Be available to listen in a non-judgmental manner. They may not feel comfortable talking about the matter, but let your friend know you will listen.
- Familiarize yourself with the UIC Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Approving of your friend’s actions and/or choices. You can help your friend without making a judgment as to whether or not an act of sexual misconduct occurred. Determining if a crime or policy violation took place is the responsibility of the legal system and/or campus administrators.
- Telling your friend what to do.
- Blaming the student who has brought the complaint.
- Telling others about what might have happened and violating their confidentiality and trust.
- Taking action. Violence or retaliation is not the answer to helping your friend. Remember, harassing and threatening behaviors are not helpful and could undermine any court or university proceeding taking place. It could also jeopardize your own standing at the University.