News and Announcements

Announcements to the Rutgers Community

Related News

Topics: Supporting Survivors and Reporting and Response Process

Inconsistency is the Consistency: The Title IX Reporting Process for Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Within Maryland Public Universities (Psychology of Women Quarterly): This paper (a) examines how Title IX functions in a state public education system with a robust Title IX policy; (b) describes commonalities and differences in experiences; and (c) uses theories of institutional betrayal and support to understand aspects of the process most helpful or harmful for survivors, especially minoritized survivors. Results identify the need to reduce inconsistencies in Title IX reporting and response processes to ameliorate process harms.

“Terrifying and Exhausting”: Secondary Victimization in Title IX Proceedings at U.S. Higher Education Institutions (Feminist Criminology; first published online July 1, 2022): this article focuses on "the emotional fallout of Title IX processes and student perceptions of process bias." This study dives into "72 responses to a 2021 survey of Title IX process complainants and respondents at higher education institutions," and talks about a "comparative secondary victimization" where complainants could potentially feel marginalized.

Topics: Medical Environments and Reporting and Response Process

Self-reported Sexual Harassment and Subsequent Reporting Among Internal Medicine Residency Trainees in the US (JAMA Internal Medicine, Jan. 17, 2023--research letter): "This study aimed to measure the types of sexual harassment experienced by internal medicine residents, knowledge of reporting mechanisms, reporting intentions and actions, and satisfaction with reporting outcomes."

Topics: Training and Medical Environments

Addressing Sexual Harassment and Gender Bias: Mandatory Modules Are Not Enough (Family Medicine article published online 2/13/23): The authors sought to address the "hierarchical structure of medical training" and persistent sexual harassment/gender bias in academic medicine, despite years of new policy guidelines and mandatory training modules. "We demonstrated that voluntary, interactive training sessions using the recommendations of the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Report on the Sexual Harassment of Women improve participants’ reported confidence in recognizing, responding to, and reporting SH and GB in one academic FM department. This training intervention is practical and can be disseminated and implemented in many settings."

Topics: Transparency; Confidentiality Agreements; and Addressing Pass-the-Harasser

National Labor Relations Board Rules that Employers May Not Offer Severance Agreements Requiring Employees to Broadly Waive Labor Law Rights (NLRB Release, February 21, 2023): Representatives in the Action Collaborative shared this news that a recent NLRB ruling holds that standard non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions contained in a severance agreement were invalid. This relates to the National Academies finding that “Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements isolate sexual harassment targets by limiting their ability to speak with others about their experiences and can serve to shield perpetrators who have harassed people repeatedly,” and also to the recommendation that “State legislatures and Congress should consider new and additional legislation [on]… prohibiting confidentiality in settlement agreements that currently enable harassers to move to another institution and conceal past adjudications.”

Bill Would Require Employers to Disclose Sexual Harassment Complaints as Part of Job References (LexBlog legal blog, Mar. 19, 2023): the Connecticut State Senate recently discussed Senate Bill 3, a bill mostly on data privacy that also includes "provisions that would require employers that provide references for employees to prospective employers to make certain notifications that claims of sexual harassment have been made."

Topic: Prevalence and Experiences of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Violence against Women in STEM: A Test of Backlash Theory Among Undergraduate Women (Journal of Interpersonal Violence journal article; first published online Feb. 20, 2023): this article speaks to the "backlash effect," "wherein gains in gender equality are associated with heighted sexual violence (SV) against women." "In this study, we compare SV against undergraduate women majoring in STEM disciplines to those majoring in non-STEM disciplines…. Compared to their non-STEM peers and fellow students in STEM fields that are male dominated, women in gender-balanced STEM experienced significantly more rape, attempted rape, sexual coercion, and attempted sexual coercion. These associations held even after controlling for victimization prior to college, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, college binge drinking, and hard drug use during college." One of the paper authors, Leah Daigle, said in the Inside Higher Ed article coverage: "If you see an equal number of women and men in your classes, you might think that, by definition, the women are being treated fairly. But that’s not what our study shows. It should be a wake-up call for people to realize that even when people are not in the minority in a group, they can still be at risk for discrimination and harm.”

Topics: Sanctioning and Accountability of Faculty

Stop Hugging Your Postdocs—and Learn to Start Conversations That Prevent Harassment (Issues in Science and Engineering, Winter 2023): In this op-ed Action Collaborative Representative from Rutgers University, Karen Stubaus, discusses efforts to improve sanctioning, accountability, and early interventions with faculty members who sexually harass. She discusses the Action Collaborative’s 2022 Working Group publication on the topic, shares about Rutgers efforts to enable promotion and tenure committees to officially consider conduct in their decision making, and shares how this culture and policy change is progressing now that the policy change has been implemented to allow committees to consider conduct.

Topics: Culture and Climate Change; Collective Bargaining; and Reporting and Response Process

To End Sexual Harassment, Make It Everyone’s Problem (Issues in Science and Engineering, Winter 2023): In this op-ed, Vassiki Chauhan (a speaker at the 2019 Public Summit) discusses how to provide an active role for survivors in pursuing and making changes to how harassment is redressed. She discusses how the current system fails students, the role of power imbalances in the reporting process, and proposes making use of collective bargaining and unions for giving survivors a more active role in advancing culture and climate change.

General Information: 

  • New Publication on Exploring Sanctions and Early Interventions for Faculty Sexual Harassment in Higher Education  Sexual harassment by faculty is a widespread problem in higher education, and research demonstrates that appropriate and effective institutional responses to the faculty members responsible and transparency in those responses are critical for building an organizational climate that is demonstrably intolerant of sexual harassment, works to prevent that behavior, and seeks to reduce experiences of institutional betrayal. In a new paper by members of the Response Working Group of the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, the authors lay out the challenges and current landscape for how higher education deals with harassment by faculty members. They also draw attention to the need for research on available sanctions for faculty found responsible for sexual harassment or other early interventions for faculty accused of sexual harassment. The paper encourages institutions to continue the research agenda on the current challenges in higher education for responding to sexual harassment, with a focus on coordination, transparency, consistency, and correcting behavior through accountability. (October 2022)

  • Public Comment on Department of Education's Proposed Title IX Rules. In a letter to the Department of Education, members of the Leadership and Advisory Group for the Action Collaborative shared relevant information from the National Academies consensus report on Sexual Harassment of Women and from the activities of the Action Collaborative to inform revisions to the proposed Title IX rules. (August 2022)
  • Article: U.S. Proposes New Rules on Sexual Assault and DiscriminationThe proposed regulations will advance Title IX's goal of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, or sexual violence in education.  The proposed rule also expands protections for LGBTQ students.  Additional information on the proposed rule, including a summary with background information and a fact sheet, is available here (June 2022)
  • Article: Evaluating Efforts to Address Campus Sexual Violence (CSV): Developing a Data Ecosystem. Many institutions depend on climate survey data for information about the status of CSV on their campus, but some scholars argue that connecting multiple data sources across campus can provide a more accurate, rich, and meaningful assessment of the issue. In this article, previous Summit speakers Drs. Sarah McMahon, Julia Cusano, and colleagues describe one multi-campus university’s experience with designing and implementing a “data ecosystem” and share lessons learned. (March 2022)
  • Article: From DARVO to Distress: College Women’s Contact with their Perpetrators after Sexual Assault. When college women experience sexual violence and report it, their perpetrator is infrequently expulsed and usually continues to attend school along with those harmed. In this study, Advisory Group member Dr. Jennifer Freyd and colleague find that college women who are victims of sexual violence have harmful experiences that extend beyond the discrete incident of assault; the authors encourage universities to consider the ongoing effects on mental, physical, and academic health. (March 2022)