Starting a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Complaint: A Quick Guide

Starting a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Complaint: A Quick Guide


Learn to file #TitleIX complaint by email to ensure #schools and #colleges take #sexual assault and #harassment seriously when #parents and #students report

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Sexual violence and harassment are sadly common occurrences on educational campuses.  These alarming issues frequently leave parents and students feeling uncertain about how to bring forward a complaint due to the lack of proper school guidance on how to formally file a Title IX complaint. Under the Obama administration, reporting sexual harassment or assault would prompt action by a school under Title IX. However, the Trump administration altered Title IX to create an unnecessary barrier of a  written and signed complaint before a school is obligated to respond. Therefore, it is crucial that you submit a written complaint to a school to trigger protection under Title IX.

Put more simply, without a formal written complaint, schools are no longer obligated by Title IX to investigate or take action for sexual harassment or assault complaints, so you have to put your complaint in writing – verbally making a report is not enough!

How to File a Formal Title IX Complaint: 

To start a formal complaint, you need to prepare a written request for an investigation, which can be submitted via email with your name as a signature. ‘s a step-by-step guid:

  1. Write Your Complaint. You don’t have to physically go to the school or meet anyone in person, nor do you have to use any special form – all you have to do is send an email. A short email to the Title IX coordinator will suffice.
  2. Request an Investigation: Clearly state your request for an investigation into the incident you are reporting, whether sexual assault or harassment that occurred. Be concise and straightforward in describing the details:
    • Mention the nature of the incident (sexual assault or harassment).
    • Specify the date and location of the occurrence.
    • Provide the names of any witnesses who were present.
    • Identify the offenders involved.
  3. Sign Your Complaint: Your formal complaint must include your name as a signature. This can be as simple as typing your full name at the bottom of the email. This serves as your official endorsement of the complaint.

To obligate schools to promptly address incidents of sexual violence or harassment on campus, you must file a formal complaint under Title IX. The Trump administration’s changes to Title IX regulations necessitate a written request for an investigation, submitted via email, and the Biden administration is not likely to fix this until October 2023. By sending an email that details the incident, requests an investigation, and has your typed name as a signature, you are ensuring Title IX protects you and obligates the school to act on your report.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual violence and are seeking legal services, contact us for a confidential consultation. 


Related Articles: 

Preparing for a Title IX Hearing

Changing the Narrative: Sexual Violence Language

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