The University received 78 complaints of sexual misconduct — an all-time high since Yale began publishing records of its complaints in 2011 — between July 1 and Dec. 31 of last year, according to Yale’s latest semi-annual report.
University Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler released the report in a University-wide email Monday evening. The number is an increase from the 56 complaints in the first half of 2015, as detailed in the last semi-annual report. It is also eight more than the 70 complaints recorded during the second half of 2013, the next highest number of reports on record. In addition, 63 of the 78 complaints were made to Title IX coordinators, an unprecedented high for this specific branch of the University. Of the five categories of sexual misconduct complaints — sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, stalking and other — sexual harassment was the most common complaint, with 38 reports.
In her introduction to the report, Spangler highlighted the importance of Yale’s participation in the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey, the results of which were released this past semester. The AAU results are a clear call to action, Spangler noted, since the survey results indicated the high prevalence of sexual misconduct on Yale’s campus and the fact that not every case is reported.
“The current semi-annual report is the first to be published following the 2015 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct,” Spangler wrote in her email. “The AAU Survey results made it quite clear that the prevalence of sexual misconduct on Yale’s campus is high and that many experiences go unreported…[These] findings compel us to fortify and expand our prevention efforts and take additional actions to make sure that individuals are aware of and comfortable with ways to report incidents of sexual misconduct.”
The newest semi-annual report also provides readers with a clarification of the function of Title IX coordinators, who have been notified of more complaints during the second half of 2015 than ever before. In general, there are several venues that can receive complaints of sexual misconduct: the University’s Title IX coordinators, the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the Yale Police Department. The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center can also hear complaints, but it keeps all of its information confidential and does not have an obligation to report to the other University entities; as a result, the report does not include complaints filed with SHARE.
Still, the Title IX venue, which is usually viewed as more of an informal resolution process than the disciplinary responsibilities of UWC, often generates confusion within the Yale community. Spangler said she hopes that the online description will help clarify the capacity of this specific venue, and also underscored the confidentiality of all of the available complaint procedures.
Yale is the only University that releases semi-annual reports of sexual misconduct complaints with thorough analyses of each case in addition to the basic statistics.