Campus Sexual Misconduct: Restorative Justice Approaches to Enhance Compliance With Title IX Guidance

Mary P. Koss, Jay K. Wilgus, Kaaren M. Williamsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Campus response to sexual violence is increasingly governed by federal law and administrative guidance such as the 1972 Title IX, the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Educational institutions are directed to expand disciplinary responses and establish coordinated action to eliminate sexual violence and remedy its effects. Compliance fosters a quasi-criminal justice approach not suited to all sexual misconduct and inconsistent with developing practice in student conduct management. This article envisions restorative justice (RJ) enhancements to traditional student conduct processes that maintain compliance, expand options, empower victim choice, and increase responsiveness to DCL aims. The article (1) defines sexual violence and sexual harassment within the DCL scope, (2) elaborates the DCL position on permissible alternative resolutions and differentiates mediation from RJ, (3) sequences action steps from case report to finalization, including both restorative and traditional justice pathways; and (4) discusses building support for innovation beginning with existing campus response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-257
Number of pages16
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • criminology
  • higher education
  • restorative justice
  • sexual assault
  • sexual offenders
  • student affairs
  • student misconduct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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