Timelines and updates
Within the policy and educational materials, provide information about possible timeframes for the completion of an investigation into a report of sexual assault. Deliver regular, scheduled updates on investigations to complainants and respondents. Such updates should be integrated into the policy.
The question of whether a university-based SV/SA investigation might drag on, with likely negative implications for course work as well as emotional wellbeing, came up on many occassions during focus groups. Providing students with a sense of how long investigations can take may provide reassurance, or at least help to manage expectations. Although scheduled updates would not eliminate the possibility of an investigation dragging on, it would provide a greater sense of control during the process. In addition to worrying about the timeframe of an investigation, some participants were aware of students who had filed complaints, only to realize after significant time had passed that nothing was being done. Regularly scheduled updates would help to prevent this kind of situation.