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 following brief summary is not intended as a substitute for the Procedures.

How do I file a complaint?
A person wishing to make a formal complaint of sexual misconduct must submit to a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Secretary a written complaint that is signed, sent electronically from the complainant’s account, or otherwise authenticated.

What should I include in the complaint?
Please include in the complaint the names of the parties involved in the incident, if known; a description of the alleged sexual misconduct; and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.  You must 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.

How long do I have to file a complaint?
Although there is no time limit, 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. Sergeant Reech has extensive experience investigating reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence and workplace violence. Sergeant Cotto can meet with you to talk about your experience and discuss your options. 

Should I have an advisor?
We encourage you to have an advisor for support and you will need an advisor to question the other party and any witnesses during the hearing. The advisor may offer personal and moral support and help you prepare for meetings related to the complaint.  The advisor may not submit documents on your behalf nor speak for you during an interview with an investigator or during a hearing.  When you choose an advisor, please make sure they are available to you during the time periods set forth in section UWC procedures.  If you should need assistance in choosing an advisor, please contact a UWC Secretary.   You may consult with an attorney at any stage of the formal UWC process, and an attorney can act as your advisor, but the UWC is not able to recommend an attorney to you.  
Who else can I turn to for support?
In addition to your advisor, you may wish to contact your family, your Deputy 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 is expected to take about 100 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 Deputy 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 Deputy 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 hearing panel include expulsion or termination of university employment, suspension, probation, reprimand and mandatory supplemental training.