Bringing a Formal Complaint

Note:  Parties to a proceeding before the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct must be familiar with the UWC’s Procedures, and the information below is not intended as a substitute for the Procedures.

How do I file a complaint?
You may submit your complaint in writing by emailing the Secretary of the University-Wide Committee of Sexual Misconduct (UWC).  

What should I include in the complaint?
Please include your name and University affiliation, the name and University affiliation of the responding party, and the date(s) and location(s) of the incident(s).  You must also describe the events and circumstances underlying the complaint in sufficient detail to allow the UWC to determine jurisdiction and to provide general notice of your allegations to the responding party. The complaint should be dated and signed; your name at the end of the email or letter is sufficient for a signature.

How long do I have to file a complaint?
We encourage you to come forward as soon as possible.  It is important to keep in mind that the responding party must be a Yale faculty member, trainee, student, or staff member at the time the complaint is filed.

What should I do if I feel unsafe?
You should contact the Yale Police Department (YPD) immediately, because your safety is paramount.  If you wish, you may then contact the SHARE Center, your residential college dean or head, and/or seek the support of family or friends.

May I bring a complaint to both the UWC and  YPD at the same time?
Yes, you may bring a disciplinary complaint and a criminal complaint simultaneously.  The UWC works closely with Sergeant Kristina Reech, the YPD Sensitive Crimes and Support Coordinator. She has extensive experience investigating reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence and workplace violence. Sergeant Reech can meet with you to talk about your experience and discuss your options. 

Should I have an adviser?
We encourage you to have an adviser for support. The adviser may offer personal and moral support and help you prepare for meetings related to the complaint.  The adviser may not submit documents on your behalf nor speak for you during an interview with a fact-finder or during a hearing.  When you choose an adviser, please make sure they are available to you during the time periods set forth in section 7.8 of the procedures.  If you should need assistance in choosing an adviser, please contact a UWC Secretary.  The UWC has trained advisers who are available to parties. You may consult with an attorney at any stage of the formal UWC process, and an attorney can act as your adviser, but the UWC is not able to recommend an attorney to you.  
 
Who else can I turn to for support?
In addition to your adviser, you may wish to contact your family, your Title IX Coordinator, the SHARE Center, Yale Mental Health and Counseling, your Residential College Dean, the University Chaplains, an attorney, or a close friend.
 
How long does the process usually take?
The review of a formal complaint can typically take 60 to 90 days.  The UWC chair may extend a time period for good cause such as illness, holidays, the absence of witnesses from campus, the complexity of the allegations, or competing demands on UWC members or decision makers.  The parties will be informed by the Secretary or UWC Chair if a time period is extended, and the UWC Chair’s decision regarding extensions will be final.  
 
Will the parties be instructed not to contact each other?
Yes.  A UWC no-contact order requires that there be no direct or indirect contact between the parties for the duration of the UWC process.  Once the complaint has been initiated, a Title IX Coordinator will contact both parties to review the requirements of the no-contact order and to address any specific concerns.  In some cases, a no-contact order may be continued even after the conclusion of a case.  A violation of the no-contact order may result in further disciplinary action, and retaliation against any person who participates in the UWC process is a violation of university policy.
 
If you have any questions about the nature and extent of a no-contact order in your case, you may contact the cognizant Title IX Coordinator at any time.  If the responding party should reach out to you after the complaint is brought forward, please do not respond and please notify the Title IX Coordinator and the UWC Secretary immediately.  
 
What penalties might be imposed?
If there is a finding of a violation of Yale’s sexual misconduct policy, penalties available to the decision maker include expulsion or termination of university employment, suspension, probation, reprimand and mandatory supplemental training.