Fiscal Year 2020-2021
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
This report contains information that may be upsetting to some readers. Confidential resources identified in this report are available to provide support.
Duke University is committed to promoting a culture of equality, responsibility, and support in which all students have an opportunity to thrive. Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 (“Title IX”), a federal civil rights law, prohibits sex discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual violence in education programs and activities. The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) is another federal law that, among other things, requires colleges and universities to have procedures to address complaints of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, and to offer educational programs about such conduct. As a recipient of federal government funds, Duke upholds these federal laws.
Consistent with federal law, in May 2019, Duke developed the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination Harassment and Related Misconduct (“Policy”), which included sexual harassment and sexual violence. In response to the U.S. Department of Education’s amendments to its Title IX regulations, which were released in May 2020, the University revised the Policy. Among other things, the Title IX regulations as amended narrowed the definition of sexual harassment and required cross-examination and live hearings in a university’s adjudication process of Title IX sexual harassment.
To comply with the Title IX regulations, the University merged the former Student Sexual Misconduct Policy administered by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (“OSCCS”) into the University Policy to create an omnibus policy, which contains uniform definitions of prohibited conduct, reporting options, and resources. To address conduct that falls outside of the Title IX sexual harassment definition, the Policy includes a broader definition of sexual harassment. The Policy prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment (Title IX and non-Title IX); sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking (Title IX and non-Title IX); sexual exploitation, and retaliation. The Policy applies to conduct committed by students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), faculty, staff, and visitors.
The Office for Institutional Equity (“OIE”) administers the Policy and its three implementing procedures and oversees the investigation and resolution of all allegations of sexual misconduct. Within OIE, the Assistant Vice President for Harassment and Discrimination, Prevention and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator; a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students; an Intake and Assessment Case Manager; and five compliance investigators work to implement the Policy and procedures. For reports involving students, the OSCCS supports the work of OIE by conducting intake and implementing supportive measures. In addition, OSCCS coordinates response and adjudication of non-Title IX reports of sexual misconduct committed by students.
The publication of an annual report is part of Duke’s overall commitment to engage the community in eliminating sexual misconduct. This annual report serves to facilitate transparency about Duke’s efforts to respond to student sexual misconduct and provides information about reports of sexual misconduct involving students, and supportive measures provided.
The annual report covers the period of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, Duke University’s fiscal year.1 All information, including services and programs, are current as of June 30, 2021.
This report includes the following data:
- Number of reports of student sexual misconduct OSCCS and OIE received;
- Reporting trends;
- Affiliation of the parties;
- Sexual misconduct by type;
- Outcome of OIE investigations;
- Supportive Measures; and
- Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention confidential therapeutic services
To protect the privacy of those involved in reports, the report omits identifiable information.
1. Prior Student Sexual Misconduct Reviews, which were prepared by OSCCS, reported data by academic year as opposed to fiscal year. Prior reviews can be found on the: Duke Student Affairs Gender Violence Resources page.
- Complainant: an individual who is alleged to have experienced Prohibited Conduct.
- Respondent: the person or office, program, department, or group against whom the allegation or complaint is made, i.e., the individual(s), organizational unit(s), or group(s) who have been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Prohibited Conduct.
- Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct: unwelcome conduct based on sex or gender that creates a hostile environment or involves submission to rejection of such conduct as a condition of any aid, benefit, or service in employment, education, or participation in a University program or activity.
- Title IX Sexual Harassment:
- A University employee (including a faculty member) conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo).
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s program or activity.
- Sexual Assault any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault can occur between individuals of the same or different sexes and/or genders. This includes the following:
- Rape: the carnal knowledge of a Complainant, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- Sodomy: oral or anal sexual intercourse with another Complainant, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- Sexual Assault with an Object: to use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of a Complainant, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- Fondling: the touching of the private body parts of Complainant for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- Incest: sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; or
- Statutory Rape: sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
- Consent: an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity freely given by clear actions and/or words.
- Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the state of being unable to consent by making informed, deliberate decisions about whether or not to engage in sexual activity. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to: being mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, intermittently conscious or unaware that sexual activity is occurring.
- Sexual Exploitation: taking sexual advantage of another without consent for one’s benefit or the benefit of another party.
- Stalking: a course of conduct (including cyberstalking) directed at a specific person, based on that person’s protected status/characteristic, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her/their safety or the safety of another, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Title IX Stalking: a course of conduct on the basis of sex directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her/their safety or the safety of another, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Domestic Violence: a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
- Dating Violence: any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on a consideration of the length, type, and frequency of interactions between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Retaliation: an adverse action or other form of negative treatment, including but not limited to intimidation, threats, coercion, discrimination or harassment, carried out in response to: a good-faith reporting of or opposition to discrimination, harassment, or related misconduct; an individual’s or group’s participation, including testifying or assisting in Duke’s complaint process or response to a complaint; an individual’s or group’s refusal to participate in Duke’s complaint process or response to a complaint; or other form of good faith opposition to what an individual reasonably believes to be discrimination, harassment, or related misconduct under this Policy.
- Report: ;notification, either orally or in writing, that prohibited conduct is alleged to have occurred.
- Formal Complaint: a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging prohibited conduct against a Respondent and requesting that the University launch an investigation.
- Supportive Measures: non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services, accommodations, and other assistance that the University offers without fee or charge after receiving actual notice of possible prohibited conduct.
2. The definitions in this annual report reflect the language of the Policy in effect during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Up-to-date definitions can be found in the Duke Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct.
2020-2021 Reports of Sexual Misconduct
The Office for Institutional Equity (“OIE”) and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (“OSCCS”) respond to reports of sexual misconduct involving students. The offices receive reports through their online reporting systems and via email, phone calls, and in-person visits. Reports are made by student complainants, concerned parents, Duke community members, and friends. The offices also receive reports from Responsible Employees who are required by the Policy to promptly consult with OIE and share known details of sexual misconduct. When reports are received, the OSCCS provides outreach to students to discuss reporting options, confidential resources, and supportive measures, which OIE oversees.
During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, there were 15,551 students enrolled at Duke; 6,542 undergraduate students and 9,009 graduate and professional students. OIE and OSCCS received 143 reports of sexual misconduct where a student was either a complainant or a respondent.3 The diagram shows that of the 143 reports received, 129 did not become cases, but 14 proceeded to formal investigations.
The following list includes some reasons why a report might not become a case which can proceed to an investigation:
- Complainant requested not to proceed
- Report is provided for informational purposes only
- Complainant did not respond to outreach
- Complainant is anonymous
- Insufficient information to proceed
- Respondent’s identity is unknown
- Respondent is not affiliated with Duke
Of the 14 formal investigations, nine completed the process, while five are still ongoing as of the date of this report. Ongoing cases include cases where the investigation and/or hearing was not completed prior to June 30, 2021. The formal resolution process is completed when a complainant or OIE and OSCCS withdraw a complaint, the case is resolved through alternative or adaptable resolution, or where a hearing panel or hearing officer determine whether the respondent is responsible for violating the Policy.
3. This annual report does not contain information regarding reports of sexual misconduct where a faculty or staff member is a complainant or respondent.
In 2016, Duke began publishing sexual misconduct reviews, which contain data regarding the total reports received. The graph breaks down the number of reports received from 2015 through 2021. The university received the following reports during the academic years of 2015 through 2020: 124 reports during 2015-2016; 139 during 2016-2017; 189 during 2017-2018; 169 reports during 2018-2019; and 199 reports during 2019-2020. The university received 143 reports during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The lowest number of reports were during the 2015-2016 academic year and the highest number of reports were during the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 academic years.
Affiliation of the Parties
The pie charts show a breakdown of complainants and respondents. Complainants: 122 Duke affiliated; 13 not Duke affiliated; 8 no affiliation provided. Respondents: 77 Duke affiliated; 39 not Duke affiliated; 27 no affiliation provided.
Types of Reports Received
The bar graph breaks down the number of the different types of misconduct reported: 2 retaliation; 3 violation of supportive measures; 6 relationship violence; 7 sexual exploitation; 9 stalking; 16 insufficient details; 25 inappropriate behavior; 31 sexual assault; and 49 sexual harassment.
Outcome of OIE Investigations
Fourteen complaints were referred to OIE for investigation. Of the 14 cases, 9 were completed as of June 30, 2021. In 3 cases, complainants withdrew their formal complaints, and in one case a respondent withdrew an application for admission. In 2 cases, OIE and OSCCS withdrew the formal complaint due to a determination by both offices after the investigation that there was insufficient information upon which to conclude that a Policy violation might have occurred. One case did not proceed to hearing because the complainant declined participation. One case was resolved informally between the parties. One case went to hearing, and the respondent was found not responsible. Five cases were pending hearing as of June 30, 2021.
Sanctions for a finding of responsibility for student respondents include: withdrawal of privileges, restitution, mental health/medical assessment/treatment, fine, exclusion, educational projects/initiatives, community service, degree revocation, admonition, formal warning, disciplinary probation, suspension, expulsion, and/or other restrictions on access to Duke programs and activities. In determining sanction(s), the sanction decision-maker will consider whether the nature of the conduct at issue warrants removal from the University, either permanent (expulsion) or temporary (suspension). Other factors pertinent to the determination of what sanction applies include, but are not limited to, the nature of the conduct at issue, prior disciplinary history of the respondent (shared with the appropriate University official only upon a finding of responsibility for the allegation), previous University response to similar conduct, and University interests (e.g., in providing a safe environment for all). There were no sanctions issued during the fiscal year.
Supportive Measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services, accommodations, and other assistance that the University offers and may implement, without fee or charge, after receiving actual notice of possible Prohibited Conduct. Supportive Measures are designed to restore or preserve access to the University’s education programs and activities, protect the safety of all parties and the University’s educational environment, or deter Prohibited Conduct, while not being punitive in nature or unreasonably burdening any party. Complainants are not required to file a formal complaint to receive Supportive Measures. Respondents may request and receive Supportive Measures.
Examples of Supportive Measures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Academic accommodations;
- Academic schedule modifications;
- Changes in housing location;
- Mutual no-contact directives;
- Placing temporary limitations on an individual’s access to certain University facilities or activities; or
- Leaves of absences
The graphic reflects Supportive Measures that were provided to complainants during the 2020-2021 fiscal year: 77% no support requested; 12% academic accommodations; 7% no contact orders; 2% changes in housing location; 1% police escorts; and 1% other arrangements.
Supportive Measures were offered to all known complainants regardless of whether formal complaints were filed. Supportive Measures were not provided to complainants who were unidentified, reported anonymously, were not affiliated with Duke, or where complainants declined accommodations.
No contact directives and academic accommodations were the most frequently requested and granted accommodations.
Confidential Resources for Students4
Duke offers students resources that provide counseling, information, and support in a confidential setting. These confidential resources do not share information about a report of sexual misconduct without the student’s express written permission unless there is a continuing threat of serious harm or where there is a legal obligation to reveal such information.
These resources, as of June 30, 2021, include the following:
Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention (GVPI)
GVPI is an inclusive space that serves all genders by offering confidential therapeutic services to student survivors of gender violence free of charge. The office also provides education and training initiatives focused on preventing gender violence.
GVPI provided confidential therapeutic services to 145 student clients during the 2020-2021 academic year. Of the 145 students, 104 were undergraduates and 41 were graduate or professional students. GVPI provided services for concerns related to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating/domestic violence, sexual exploitation, as well as cases unrelated to sexual misconduct.
919-684-3897 | GVPI webpage as of June 30, 2021
Student Health Services
Student Health offers a wide range of healthcare services for all Duke students. Many of the services are covered by the student health fee.
919-681-9355 | 919-966-3820 (nurse line) | Student Health Services webpage as of June 30, 2021
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS offers short-term individual, group, and couples counseling.
919-660-1000 | CAPS webpage as of June 30, 2021
The student ombudsperson provides Duke students with a neutral, confidential, and safe environment to listen, discuss concerns, and help clarify important issues. The ombuds helps identify and refer students to appropriate resources, explains policies and processes, neutrally assists in conflict resolution, and offers coaching.
919-684-3465 | Duke Office of the Ombuds as of Fall 2022
School of Medicine Student Ombudsperson
The School of Medicine Ombudsperson offers confidential and anonymous support and advocacy specifically to medical students at Duke.
919-668-3326 | email@example.com
919-681-9488 | Duke Chapel Religious Life Groups
Off-Campus Confidential Resources
Duke University Hospital Emergency Room | 919-684-2413
Durham Crisis Response Center | 919-403-6562 (English) | 919-519-3735 (Spanish)
InterAct Family Safety and Empowerment Center of Wake County | 919-828-7740 (Domestic Violence) | 919-828-3005 (Sexual Assault) | 844-203-8896 (Spanish)
4. These resources reflect Duke’s configuration of services as of June 30, 2021. Up-to-date resources can be found at https://students.duke.edu/get-assistance/gender-violence.
5. The student ombudsperson and the School of Medicine student ombudsperson reflects services as of June 30, 2021. Up-to-date ombuds services can be found at https://ombuds.duke.edu/
Prevention and Education
Duke has a number of prevention and education initiatives offered and administered by Student Affairs.
Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs
Ain't it #MeToo: From Sojourner Truth to Tarana Burke, women of color, specifically, Black women, are often left out of the conversation on matters from gender equity to gender violence. They are seldomly acknowledged in the Black Lives Matter movement. This session will introduce to participants how gender violence affects women of color, how it has been a part of history, and how women of color are often at the forefront of movements, but rarely receive credit. The session will also examine ways to uplift women of color and explore allyship.
Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates (SAPU) and Sexual Assault Prevention for Graduate Students (SAPG): Duke uses EVERFI’s Sexual Assault Prevention (formerly called HAVEN or HAVEN PLUS) online courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates (SAPU) provides information to help students identify, react, respond to, and assist with preventing sexual assault and relationship violence. The program also helps students learn about healthy relationships, the importance of consent and being a good communicator, and the many ways students can help create a safe and positive campus environment. SAPU is required for all incoming first-year students. Sexual Assault Prevention for Graduate Students (SAPG) provides similar information and is tailored for graduate and professional students. SAPG is offered to all incoming graduate and professional students.
As of November 2020, 1,615 undergraduate students and 3,829 graduate/ professional students completed the online training.
P.A.C.T - Prevent. Act. Challenge. Teach: PACT is an interactive, student-facilitated training sponsored by the Women's Center that aims to engage everyone in preventing gender violence on Duke's campus. PACT training helps students identify situations of concern and provides knowledge and tools to encourage safe and successful interventions.
Adapted from a training developed at the University of New Hampshire, PACT's goal is to reduce the incidence of sexual and relationship violence on campus by training participants to intervene in safe and creative ways, rather than standing aside as passive bystanders. The five-hour, interactive training is comprised of two sessions. The sessions are led by peer facilitators, who present Duke-specific scenarios, lead discussions, and help participants develop strategies for identifying and minimizing risk, as well as responding compassionately to victim-survivors of all forms of gender violence.
- Types of gender violence (sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment)
- Meaning of consent (“Only an enthusiastic yes means yes!”)
- Healthy, positive sexual communication
- Consent and the use of alcohol and drugs
- Rape culture
- Common scenarios of concern
- Building empathy for victims
- Supporting victim-survivors after an incident of gender violence
- Common perpetrator characteristics
- Gender violence “red flags”
- Practical and safe intervention techniques
PACT had four training sessions with a total of 177 participants.
Let's Talk Consent!: Let's Talk Consent tackles some of the key points of sexual violence and gives an opportunity to discuss and practice consent. The training fosters meaningful discussion of sexual violence and consent through fun, engaging activities.
Five Key Norms Five Key Norms is a two-hour experience “train the trainer” series in which participants learn about the five key norms that perpetuate violence:
- Power Over Others: A Society of Haves and Have Nots
- Violence: It is acceptable and its everywhere
- Limited Notions of Masculinity: Boys will be boys
- Limited Notions on Femininity: Oppression and objectification of women
- Privacy and Silence: Violence against women in a private matter
Members of the community are challenged to reflect and adjust their individual behavior first, then impact others positively in their personal relationships and communities, and then the larger society through intrapersonal change. Once participants have been trained, they in turn share the information with their respective communities. Staff and students have become facilitators of the Five Key Norms and to date over 500 students have completed the experience.
Healthy Relationships: Focused on building and maintaining healthy relationships through interactive components, the goal of these educational sessions is to examine relationships on a continuum. Sessions can be tailored to fit a group dynamic for maximum benefit.
Not Your High School Sex Ed: Exploring Sexual Health through Art: This interactive workshop takes the awkward out of traditional sex ed sessions by introducing sexual health topics using famous artworks. This workshop provides an introduction to safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, communication, and online dating. Attendees will be able to engage with each artwork and topic using an anonymous response tool.
Men’s Engagement: The Men's Engagement curriculum is a 3-week group that engages men in meaningful conversation regarding healthy masculinity, vulnerability, and communication. The goal of this program is to create sustained, open dialogue that impacts the individual and the Duke community.
Sexual Health 101: This 60-minute workshop covers all the basics about sexual health, from communication to protection. Sexual Health 101 provides information to help students develop the skills and knowledge to lead sexual lives that are healthy, fulfilling, respectful, and fun.
Social Host Training: The Social Host training educates students on the following:
- The role of a Social Host
- How a Social Host can promote safe social behaviors
- How an organization can host a safe and successful event
- The risks associated with alcohol and other substance use
- Skills to address potentially dangerous and questionable behavior among guests
- Resources that can help support a group
It's Your Move!: It’s Your Move is Duke's bystander intervention training initiative that began Fall 2012. This training helps trainees reduce barriers that keep individuals from intervening with problem or concerning behaviors. With a focus on taking action, bystander intervention training helps participants understand what a bystander is, provides options for taking action, and teaches skills for effective interventions. The training addresses a range of potentially harmful situations from medical emergencies to the emotional injury of discrimination. Topic areas covered include: academics and unethical behaviors, disordered eating, depression and other mental illnesses, hazing, sexism/gender violence, homophobia, substance use, sexual health and safety, suicide, and racism.
Wellness at Duke Module: The training is a 2-part mandatory training for first-year students. The training provides students with information to assist them with the development of action plans to make decisions that align with their values and goals while keeping them safe. Students are taught how to make well-informed decisions regarding their own wellness practices, alcohol-related risks, and Duke social culture.
- On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced amendments to the Title IX regulations, which required all institutions that receive federal funds to comply by August 14, 2020.
- During the spring of 2020, Duke convened a Working Group and three subgroups comprised of students, staff, and faculty to review the Policy, the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, and corresponding procedures. The Working Group created an umbrella policy and three corresponding procedures. The revised Policy replaced the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Members of the Working Group conducted education and information sessions to various audiences of staff, faculty, and student stakeholders.
- The Policy and implementing procedures were posted for public comment.
- On August 14, 2020, the Policy and implementing procedures and the new Title IX regulations became effective.
- Frequently Asked Questions were developed and posted to foster understanding of policy developments.
- In January 2021, Duke Student Affairs hired two Balthrop-Cassidy Fellows who are responsible for empowering and creating programs and structures that directly impact the lives of Duke students by promoting caring and consensual relationships of all types.
- In April 2021, OIE launched the OIE Liaison Program designed to strengthen partnerships across Duke to better support members of the Duke community. The program aims to streamline internal reporting systems to address misconduct that could relate to discrimination and harassment while more effectively bridging reporting to OIE.
- Between 2020 and 2021, OIE increased staff by adding an intake and assessment manager and four compliance investigators.
- In June 2021, OSCCS added an Assistant Dean of Students position to conduct outreach to students who report student sexual misconduct.
Non-Confidential Reporting Options
Duke encourages all students to report sexual misconduct to the OSCCS or OIE. Making a report means that someone from either office will contact the complainant to offer support and provide information regarding resources and the complaint handling process. Complainants are not required to respond to outreach.
Students can make a report a number of ways:
Submit an Incident Report to the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE)
Email to OIE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Duke encourages individuals to report sexual misconduct that may involve criminal conduct to the Duke University Police Department or, for incidents taking place off-campus, to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. The Gender Violence Prevention & Intervention (GVPI) office can help facilitate reporting. Blind reporting—filing a report without one’s name attached to it—is an available option with both Duke Police and Durham Police.
Duke University Police Department: 919-684-2444 (non-emergencies)
6. The OSCCS reporting form link reflects how it appeared on the Duke Student Affairs website as of June 30, 2021. Updated reporting services can be found on the new Duke Student Affairs website, https://students.duke.edu/get-assistance/gender-violence.