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Answering the question “What counts as evidence?”

Provide students with information about what can serve as evidence of sexual assault for the purposes of a university investigation. This information should appear in the policy itself and in educational materials about the policy.

In considering the possibility of filing a report under their university SV/SA policy, students wondered what evidence might be sufficient to prove to the investigator that a sexual assault has occurred. This is a reasonable question. Information in this area might be very helpful to victims/survivors trying decide what action they would like to take following an incident of sexual violence. In an effort to fill this gap, we have tried to find a university sexual assault investigator who would discuss their work as part of the video series included on this website, but have been unsuccessful in this attempt. Because our video series is an effective method of communicating answers to commonly asked questions about SV/SA policies to students, we hope that we will be able to include a conversation with a university sexual assault investigator in the future. Of course, other mediums can and should also be used to provide students with information about forms and standards of evidence used in university investigations of SV/SA.