How the Sexual Misconduct reporting process works

Steps involved when a report of sexual misconduct are made.

If a report is received alleging that a student has engaged in sexual misconduct conduct including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, the information will be provided to the Office of Compliance.

Reporting process

This is a summary of the process. See a detailed account of the reporting & response options.

  1. A report is made ( aka disclosure)
  2. Support is offered to the student reporting the incident
    • Prior to the start of an investigation, the Dean of Students Office or University Housing Staff (if the student complainant lives in University Housing) will provide the student complainant (person reporting the incident) with written notification of existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available both on campus and in the community.
  3. An investigation is opened, an investigator is assigned
    • If the alleged misconduct includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, the Office of Compliance will assign an investigator that is specifically trained in conducting these types of investigations.
  4. Investigation and interviews
    • The student complainant does not have to agree to participate in the investigation to receive resources from the Dean of Students Office or University Housing. If the student complainant agrees to be interviewed, the student complainant may be accompanied by a person of their choosing and will meet with the assigned investigator. The investigator will also review written statements made by the student complainant, if any are available.
  5. The person accused of misconduct and witnesses are contacted and interviewed
    • Once the student complainant (person accused of misconduct) interview is complete, the investigator will send a letter to the student respondent that includes the allegations and an invitation to meet. The responding student may be accompanied by a person of their choosing at the meeting.
    • The investigator will also interview relevant witnesses and/or review relevant witness statements, if any, and review any documentary evidence provided by the student complainant or the student respondent.
  6. A report is made
    • Once the investigation is complete, the investigator will prepare a report outlining the information gathered in the investigation. The report will be submitted to an Assistant Dean of Students assigned to the matter.
  7. Review to determine violations
    • The Assistant Dean will review the information in the report to determine if the evidentiary standard, preponderance of the evidence, has been met and whether any violation of UWS Chapter 17 occurred. If the Assistant Dean determines a violation occurred, a letter will be sent to both the student complainant and the student respondent outlining the Assistant Dean’s findings and, where applicable, the recommended sanction.

At all steps of the process, regardless of whether there is a finding of responsibility against the student respondent, reasonable measures will be taken to ensure mitigation of any hostile environment.


The UW-Madison Office of Compliance has detailed guidance for students and employees on how to handle incidents involving sexual misconduct