Reporting Options

There are many options when it comes to reporting incidents of assault, violence, and harassment. Advocates from The Aurora Center can help you before and throughout the reporting process. You can report to law enforcement, the University Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action office, leaders of an academic department or student organization, etc.


Title IX / University / EOAA

Students, staff, faculty, parents, and community members may also report incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, and stalking (all are Title IX violations) to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action in person or online.

EOAA follows up on all (non-anonymous) reports they receive by emailing the impacted party (Complainant) with resources and reporting information. They can investigate incidents if desired by the Complainant under their Formal Grievance Process. They will not investigate a report if not requested by the Complainant, except in situations where the accused (Respondent) is reported to have committed the misconduct in their role as a UMN employee, or if there is a larger campus safety threat (multiple victims, weapons involved, etc.).

If a Complainant pursues a formal grievance process, EOAA will schedule interviews with them, the Respondent, and any witnesses. Complainants and Respondents have a right to an advisor and a support person during these processes. An Aurora advocate can serve a support person and likely provide Complainants with an advisor. We always recommend having an advisor who is familiar with the University's sexual misconduct policy present during interviews. EOAA investigations often take a few to several months to complete. During this time, parties will have the opportunity to review evidence before EOAA makes their finding.

After EOAA completes an investigation and makes their finding of responsibility, the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Coordinator (SMHC) sends it to the appropriate University Authority. (For cases with student respondents, this is the Office for Community Standards (OCS); for employees/faculty, this could be their departmental HR, their supervisor, or a Dean/department chair.) The University Authority then determines sanctions/outcomes that correspond with the finding. These outcomes could include no sanctions (if the Respondent was not found responsible for the policy violation by EOAA), or probation, education, coaching, suspension, expulsion, dismissal, etc. (if the Respondent was found responsible). The SMHC then sends the EOAA finding and recommended outcomes to both the Complainant and Respondent. This is called the "Informal Resolution."

Upon receiving the Informal Resolution, either party may accept, request to modify, or decline the Information Resolution. Any requested modifications will be considered as appropriate, though they may result (as will a declination) in the case proceeding to a live hearing. A live hearing will be scheduled for at least a month in advance so that parties and their advisors have ample time to prepare any new evidence, gather witnesses, and review all previous evidence. The UMN sexual misconduct policy and procedures below outlines the order of hearing proceedings and additional important information to prepare for a hearing. The hearing takes place via Zoom in front of a panel of volunteer student, staff, and faculty who have been trained on these issues. Following the hearing, they make their decision and send a Written Determination with their finding and outcomes about 10 days afterward. The decision does not have to be unanimous. After the hearing, there is a final appeal option available under certain circumstances that can be found in the policy.

These processes are complex and often long. Aurora strongly encourages you to work with an advocate for support and guidance.

EOAA and Aurora offer other informal options to help address sexual misconduct besides formal investigations. Contact us to discuss these options and how they might align with your goals.

To learn more about University policies on sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment, and/or how to report or respond to these incidents, visit:

Law Enforcement

If you'd like to file a police report with the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD), the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD), or another law enforcement agency, we recommend contacting The Aurora Center. Advocates can help you prepare to make the report and inform you of the potential outcomes. Additionally, we can meet you at the police station or arrange an officer to meet you at our comfortable offices to file a report.

It is important to note that law enforcement are not a confidential resource. After filing a police report in Minnesota, the responding officer should provide the victim with a "blue card" which should include the corresponding case number for the report, the officer's name and badge number, and their contact information. The officer may also include contact information for the investigator or lieutenant of the department who will receive the report. Either an investigator or an advocate from that police department unit should follow up with the victim to provide an update following the report. For smaller police departments like UMPD, this follow-up may happen within a couple days. For larger police departments like MPD, it may take longer to receive follow up. Victims always have the right to contact the officer or investigator listed on the blue card to ask for an update about their case, and their Aurora advocate can help them do so.

Upon receiving a report, law enforcement will consider the evidence and may do any of the following: attempt to collect more evidence, speak to the suspect(s) and any witnesses, schedule an interview with the victim, and more. There may be some circumstances where law enforcement decides that they are unable to investigate. This is usually due to a lack of available evidence or resources. Victims can always seek help from advocates to communicate with law enforcement about this decision and try to supplement their case with any additional evidence that may challenge this decision.

Upon completing the investigation, the investigator will submit the case to the city or county prosecutor for consideration of criminal charges. The prosecutor reviews the evidence to see if it will meet the required burden of proof of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt that juries are instructed to base their decision off of during criminal trials. While law enforcement and prosecutors believe that victim/survivors are telling the truth in the vast majority of cases that they receive, if they decline to charge a case, it is likely because there is not enough evidence available to support a outcome of a conviction. Cases that are charged typically take a couple of years to resolve. Due to the anxiety often caused by this long timeline and the confusing nature of legal cases, we recommend continuing to work with an advocate for support throughout the entire process.

Learn more about UMPD's role in investigating sexual assault reports here.

Restraining Orders

For individuals experiencing safety concerns related to physical/sexual violence, harassment, or stalking, a restraining order may be an option. This is a civil (not criminal) process and does NOT require the victim to report to law enforcement. The process involves filing a petition with relevant evidence at a county government center/courthouse and may later result in hearing in front of a judicial officer.

There are two types of orders in Minnesota: 

  • Order for Protection (OFP) - for concerns related to domestic/relationship violence
  • Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) - for concerns related to harassment, stalking, and non-intimate partner sexual assault

You can read more about these orders, access forms, and file petitions online at the MN Courts website. We recommend scheduling an appointment with an advocate to learn more about the process. Our advocates can help you write the order, file it for you, and provide support and guidance throughout the entire process.