The Catholic University of America

Title IX, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Violence

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities (such as housing, athletics, and employment) at universities that receive federal financial assistance. Sex discrimination (further defined below) includes sexual harassment and sexual assault or violence. The Catholic University of America will not tolerate such discrimination.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex against students or applicants for admission, or employees or applicants for employment or in the administration of its policies or in any aspect of its operations. The University will respond to reported violations of Title IX by protecting the victim and our community, conducting prompt and thorough investigations and providing support.

The Catholic University of America has a Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for for ensuring the University's compliance with Title IX and investigating complaints of harassment, discrimination, and other sex-based complaints from students, staff and faculty. The Deputy Coordinator is responsible for investigating complaints of sexual assault or violence. The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for training the University community on Title IX.

What is sex discrimination?

Sex discrimination is any action that adversely affects the employment or educational opportunities of a person due to his or her sex. This includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, in sports, in scholarship programs and in decisions or actions at all operational levels on campus. Sex discrimination also encompasses harassment of an individual on the basis of sex.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to: unnecessary touching or brushing against someone in a sexual manner; demanding sexual favors concerning employment; unwelcome messages or communications of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may be based upon a power differential, i.e. when submission to or rejection of conduct of a sexual nature by an individual is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement or is used as the basis for employment or academic descisions.

What is a hostile environment?

When sexual harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs, activities or employment, a hostile environment has been created.

What is the University's obligation with respect to sexual harassment?

The University is legally required to take immediate steps to address both harassment and hostile environment discrimination and take steps to eliminate them.

Sexual harassment and the existence of a hostile environment are to be determined from both an objective and subjective viewpoint. The University encourages all community members to report sexual harassment at the earliest opportunity.

What is sexual assault?

Any sexual intercourse by any person upon another with force or without consent. It includes oral, anal and vaginal penetration, to any degree, with any object. Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another, without consent. Sexual touching is contact of a sexual nature, however slight.

What is Consent?

Informed, freely given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Effective consent may never be obtained when there is a threat of force or violence, or any other form of coercion or intimidation, whether physical or psychological. Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated whether due to drugs, alcohol or some other condition, or from a minor. Silence or lack of active resistance does not imply consent. Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent. A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically or cognitively impaired, is incapable of giving consent.


Prevention Efforts

Through collaborative efforts among various departments, the University works to prevent all forms of sexual discrimination, harassment and assault through education, awareness and skill building. Employees are required to take bi-annual harassment and compliance training on-line and policies provide guidance for everyone. The Dean of Students office provides training and workshops on sexual misconduct awareness such as Bystander InterventionTraining workshops and Sexual Assault Awareness Month every April. The Title IX Coordinator offers training on sexual harassment and discrimination intended to raise awareness of these important issues. The Department of Public Safety provides training in Rape Aggression Defense Systems for faculty, staff and students.

Contact Information

Frank Vinik

Title IX Coordinator
Leahy 170, Human Resources
tel. 202-319-4177 

Kim Gregory

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Leahy 271, Department of Public Safety
tel. 202-319-6062

How do I file a complaint?

If you have been sexually assaulted, you should call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately at tel. 202-319-5111. DPS can be reached 24 hours a day, can help you obtain medical attention and can help you file a criminal complaint with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, if that is what you want to do.

You can  contact Frank Vinik, Title IX Coordinator, 170 Leahy Hall, tel. 202-319-4177, email at for complaints of non-violent sex discrimination, such as sexual harassment or other gender-based issues. The Dean of Students Office will be notified anytime a complaint of sexual assault or violence is received so that all support services available can be coordinated for students. The Dean of Students Office can be reached at tel. 202-319-5619 during normal business hours.

Questions about sex discrimination or complaints can also be filed with the Office of Civil Rights, (OCR), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202. Tel. 202-453-6020, Fax: 202-453-6021 TDD:800-877-8339 or .

Other Important Contact Information:

CUA Counseling Center: tel. 202-319-5765

Dean of Students: tel. 202-319-5619

Student Health Services: tel. 202-319-5744

DC Rape Crisis 24-HR Hotline: tel. 202-333-7273

DC Metropolitan Police: tel. 202-727-3700

Washington Hospital Center ER: tel. 202-877-7632