The Lantern: Understanding the Title IX Process at Ohio State
Title IX is a law that passed in 1972 that prohibits sexual discrimination on the basis of sex by educational institutions that receive federal funding. This requires educational institutions, like The Ohio State University, to protect every student and staff member from sexual discrimination, which includes sexual violence such as rape, assault and harassment. This means if an incident is brought to the administration, the univeristy must act immediately on the issue.
One in six college women experience sexual violence on their college campuses. A recent look into Title IX reporting at Ohio State by student newspaper The Lantern pointed out that about 50 percent of these incidents take place within the first six weeks of the fall semester.
One resource surviors have on Ohio State's campus is provided by OhioHealth - the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO). SARNCO provides confidential support, information about options for filing a Title IX report, safety planning and connections to resources both on-campus and locally in central Ohio.
Emily Gemar is one of two SARNCO campus advocacy coordinators, with an office on campus.
Gemar told The Lantern reporters Maeve Walsh and Sarah Szilagy that SARNCO is not required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the university and is not required to be impartial when a victim contacts them - which means they are able to provide an empathetic and trauma-informed ear and resources to survivors.
“We can be more in that emotional support role, really processing through what has happened and talking somebody through that,” Gemar told The Lantern. “I always come from the place of whatever you are feeling right now is valid, and it’s real."
While SARNCO has had their team physically on-campus for a year, Gemar told The Lantern that it has helped survivors of sexual assault for many years prior, by assisting survivors when they are hospitalized following an assault, with advocates on-call 24/7 for 18 emergency rooms in central Ohio.
The Lantern is sharing the stories of survivors through a four part series called "(un)silenced: Journeys Through Ohio State's Title IX Process." Click on The Lantern logo below to read part one of the series.