Annual sexual assault and harassment reports decrease by 18.2%, six employees terminated

Content warning: This article contains references to sexual violence.

Sexual assault and harassment reports decreased by 18.2% over the past academic year and six employees were terminated, according to the 2022-23 Title IX/Sexual Harassment Annual Report published last Thursday.

The report, which is usually released each December, was delayed following the adoption of a new case management system, wrote Title IX Coordinator and SHARE (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education) Director Stephen Chen in an email to The Daily.

According to Chen, the new system “aligns our office with systems that other university units utilize, in particular those units that are the source of most of our reports of sexual misconduct, such as ResEd and the Dean of Students office.”

Under the change, the SHARE office “will have quicker notice of reports generated within the system by campus partners and better coordination with those campus partners in responding to incidents of misconduct,” he wrote.

Reported incidents overall decreased from 214 to 175 during the 2022-23 academic year, an 18.2% drop. The share of reports specifically filed as “sexual harassment in student setting,” though, increased from 29% to 32%.

Across reported cases, 21% were categorized as “sexual harassment in workplace/academic setting.” 

“Among the outcomes of cases during this reporting period were six employee terminations,” according to the Stanford Report. Around 45% of cases did not have enough information to result in a resolution.

The report also described SHARE Title IX’s prevention education efforts, such as the Beyond Sex Ed program during New Student Orientation and Flip the Script. For the 2023-24 academic year, the office also plans to “bring back live sexual harassment prevention training for staff, faculty, and supervisors,” according to the report.

Sexual violence prevention activists have previously condemned the University and, particularly, the Title IX SHARE office for a lack of transparency in the reporting process.

According to the 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, 33% of undergraduate women reported experiencing non-consensual sexual contact since entering Stanford. And, in 2015, less than 3% of students experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact reported the most recent incident to the University or police, according to previous Daily reporting.

The SHARE Title IX Office added two investigative staff over the last year and intends to add a third, Dunkley and Chen wrote in the Report. They also anticipate changes to federal Title IX regulations, which will require changes in Stanford’s procedures.

Stanford’s current Title IX policies and procedures will also undergo a holistic review to “evaluate and improve our efforts to ensure a respectful environment for all that is free from sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Dunkley wrote.

Any member of the Stanford community can file a report with the SHARE Title IX office regarding incidents of sexual harassment through the online form on their website. Filing a report notifies the University that someone may require additional support, but does not automatically initiate a formal investigation.