Establishment of Anonymous Sexual Assault Reporting

Review of Institutional Challenges and Successes

Topics: Student Health and Wellness, Student Affairs, Risk Management, Administration and Finance

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Summary

Anonymous sexual assault reporting tools provide campus administrators a more realistic assessment of sexual assault frequency on campus than formal complaints alone.

This report explores what motivates institutions to establish anonymous reporting policies, and how they introduce and maintain implementation structures. It also details how the increased volume of reports impacts sexual assault statistics.

  • Key observations from our research


    1. Anonymous reporting options increase volume of sexual assault incidents reported on campus.
    2. Anonymous sexual assault reporting tools provide campus administrators a more realistic assessment of sexual assault frequency on campus than formal complaints alone.
    3. No standard legal guidance exists on how to investigate an anonymous sexual assault report.
    4. While third-party vendors increase transparency, reduce administrative workload, and offer students an impartial third-party representative to contact, they may not adequately reflect the sensitivity required for victims of sexual assault.
    5. The percentage of false accusations for sexual assault-related crimes is reportedly not any higher than for other crimes.