UMass Law Professor Justine A. Dunlap’s most recent article, Harmful Reporting, 51 New Mexico Law Review 1 (2021), proves to be particularly timely as it discusses the Title IX regulations adopted by the Trump administration which are presently under review by the current Department of Education. The article describes how a widespread mandatory reporting requirement can deter survivors from reporting sexual abuse and may violate Title IX.
The article addresses the harms inflicted when campus sexual assault is officially reported against the wishes of the person disclosing it. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities have designated nearly all faculty and staff as mandatory reporters who must report any disclosure made to them to their school’s Title IX officials. This is not required by Title IX law or regulations. Further, by removing control from the person disclosing the assault, this policy discourages disclosure and, ultimately, reporting. It delays healing and support for the individual disclosing and detracts from rather than supports the goals of Title IX.