Your Rights and Options

The university does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any phase of its educational or employment programs; the university is required by Title IX and other laws to not discriminate.

If the university knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual misconduct, a thorough, impartial and private investigation will be conducted as promptly as possible to determine if there has been a violation of the NIU Title IX Policy. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual violence (includes rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse), dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Victims are not required to file a complaint, but are encouraged to do so. Regardless if a victim chooses to file a complaint, reasonable accommodations or protective measures can be provided to the victim upon request.

Privacy Notice: NIU will not disclose the identity of the victim or alleged offender, except as necessary, to resolve the complaint or to implement interim protective measures or when provided by state or federal law.

Questions regarding the Title IX Policy, process, and/or complaint procedures may be referred to Sarah Garner, Title IX Coordinator, 815-753-5560, titleixcoordinator@niu.edu.

Get more information about Title IX services and resources.

Reporting Options for Sexual Misconduct

Individuals who believe they have been a victim of sexual misconduct have the right to file a complaint with the university at any time, even if the police conclude there is not sufficient evidence for a criminal charge.

To file a Title IX complaint against a student, employee or other person connected to NIU, submit an online complaint form or contact Sarah Garner,Title IX Coordinator, by calling 815-753-5560 or emailing titleixcoordinator@niu.edu.

A witness or victim may also file an anonymous/confidential complaint where disclosure of the sexual misconduct does not start an official investigation and allows the victim to receive assistance. Conversations with confidential resources are private communications and are not disclosed to others, including police or university officials.

If you wish, a NIU Confidential Advisor can provide assistance with accessing and navigating campus and local health and mental health services, counseling and advocacy services.

NIU can also assist with speaking to/notifying law enforcement and filing a Title IX complaint, when/if the victim chooses to do so. To speak with a Confidential Advisor, contact NIU Counseling and Consultation Services, at 815-753-1206.

Questions may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, by contacting OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

Any student, employee, third-party or bystander may file a police report by contacting the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety at 815-753-1212 or in person at 395 Wirtz Ave., or the DeKalb Police Department at 815-748-8400. The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety will forward the report to the Title IX coordinator or designee.

Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy Overview

NIU can provide interim protective measures such as:

  • A no-contact order between the victim/survivor and the alleged offender.
  • Transfer to a different residence hall.
  • Banishment from certain on-campus locations.
  • Changing an academic schedule.

For more information on the interim protective measures, please view the complete Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

If a formal Title IX complaint is filed, an initial review of the complaint will be conducted by the Title IX coordinator or designee to determine if there is enough information, evidence, or facts to warrant a Title IX investigation, further follow-up, inquiry or resolution. If necessary, the Title IX coordinator or designee will conduct a meeting with the claimant in a private setting and provide the claimant with information regarding all available options and services.

All investigations shall be conducted in a prompt, fair and impartial manner. Both the claimant and respondent to a Title IX complaint will be given a copy of the Title IX investigation procedures and will have the opportunity to respond to all allegations.

Any investigation will proceed independently of any criminal or other legal proceedings. Further, the university reserves the right to forward any Title IX complaint to the appropriate law enforcement agency for review if there is a concern for the safety of the claimant or campus community.

Generally, the university attempts to investigate a complaint within 60 days. However, circumstances such as the extent of evidence and availability of parties may require a longer timeframe.

If it is determined a violation of the policy has occurred, appropriate sanctions and/or discipline may be imposed.

For more information on the investigation process and procedures, please view the complete Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

The claimant and respondent may each have one support person present at any meeting to provide support. Support persons may act in an advisory capacity only and may not speak on behalf of the party in any proceeding; however the claimant or respondent may consult with the support person during the proceeding.

For more information on support persons, please view the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

What to Do if You are a Victim of Sexual Assault

Get to a Safe Place

Get away from the alleged offender as soon as possible. A safe place might be a friend’s house, a domestic violence shelter or a police station.

Talk to Someone You Trust

NIU Counseling and Consultation Services provides confidential, no-cost support and advocacy to all students regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This includes assistance navigating resources and legal options.

Preserve Physical Evidence

Physical evidence may be necessary to prosecute the offender and be helpful in obtaining an order of protection. If at all possible, do not bathe, wash your hands, use the restroom, drink, smoke, change clothing or brush your teeth following an assault.

Seek Medical Attention

Northwestern Medicine-Kishwaukee Hospital provides free emergency room medical services and evidence collection kits. Alternative medical services are also provided on campus by NIU Health Services. For severe injuries call 911 immediately.

Report the Incident

Victims are encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault to NIU Police and Public Safety or to the DeKalb Police Department. This is not a requirement. Students have additional reporting options that can be discussed with the NIU Advocacy Coordinator in Counseling and Consultation Services, Campus Life 200, 815-753-1206.

Retaliating against anyone who reports sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited. Reports of retaliatory behavior should be made to titleIXcoordinator@niu.edu and will be addressed immediately.

Resources

Campus

NIU Title IX Coordinator
Sarah Garner
Health Services Building 230
815-753-5560

NIU Police and Public Safety
395 Wirtz Drive
815-753-1212

NIU Student Conduct
Campus Life Building 280
815-753-1571

Confidential Campus

NIU Confidential Advisor
Counseling and Consultation Services
Campus Life Building 200
815-753-1206

NIU Employee Assistance Program
Holmes Student Center, 7th Floor
815-753-9191

Other Campus

NIU Health Services
375 Wirtz Drive
815-306-2777

NIU Ombudsperson
Holmes Student Center, 601
815-753-1414

Local Community

Safe Passage (confidential)
DeKalb County 24-hour Rape Crisis Center and Domestic Violence Shelter
815-756-5228

KishHealth Behavior Health Services (confidential)
12 Health Services Drive
815-756-4875

Northwestern Medicine-Kishwaukee Hospital
1 Kish Hospital Drive
815-756-1521

DeKalb Police Department
700 West Lincoln Highway
815-748-8400

In case of an emergency call 911