Overview of Services
D. Stafford & Associates (DSA) offers various services for effectively responding to, managing, and investigating sexual misconduct for Canadian institutions of higher education. DSA can also provide a broad range of consulting services for law enforcement, security, student life, human resources, and compliance officers on campuses.
DSA is a leading expert in addressing sexual misconduct on college and university campuses in North America. We help campus administrators implement best-practice incident response by reviewing (and/or drafting) institutional policies and procedures that are trauma-informed and victim-centered as well as by providing complex administrative investigation support.
DSA also develops and facilitates customized training programs to teach non-criminal fact-finders how to conduct trauma-informed, victim-centered inquiries into complaints of sexual misconduct.
DSA provides comprehensive services to Canadian colleges and universities regarding response, management, and investigation of sexual misconduct cases, to include:
- Auditing existing sexual misconduct and discrimination policies and procedures;
- Developing best-practice administrative policies, procedures, and response protocols pertaining to the intake and resolution of sexual misconduct reports that take into account provincially-specific laws and procedural fairness;
- Conducting administrative investigations (non-criminal) and aiding the institution in appropriately adjudicating misconduct and discrimination complaints utilizing a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach; and
- Conducting on-site training for individual campuses to train students, faculty, and administrators on best practices for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct on campus.
Investigation of Sexual Misconduct for Canadian Institutions of Higher Education
Join colleges and universities from across Canada for a 3-day intensive seminar covering, in-depth, how administrators should approach sexual misconduct so institutions can resolve complaints effectively, mitigate risk, support the rights of all students and employees, and engage in data-driven education and prevention efforts. The program will also highlight how Canadian institutions can work with law enforcement and how a concurrent criminal investigation does not relieve the institution of its responsibility to receive and resolve complaints.
Some of the key topics that will be covered include:
- Understanding the prevalence of rape and sexual assault, especially non-stranger campus rapes in Canada.
- Recognizing how trauma impacts memory, reactions, and behavior and how interpretation of this behavior impacts sexual misconduct investigations and adjudications.
- Addressing special populations in investigations including male victims; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students; Aboriginals; visible minorities; and persons with visible and hidden disabilities.
- Managing the challenges to campus sexual misconduct, including delayed and reluctant reports; substance-facilitated assaults; and social-media as an ever-present tool for perpetration and retaliation.
- Working collaboratively with other responders and support resources to include hospital-based victim care.
- Discussing best practices for training and education programming for students, faculty, and staff.
- Discussing the legal framework in Canada including relevant federal law as well as provincial legislation and mandates.
This training program will feature expert faculty who have served as practitioners in campus public safety, human resource management, student conduct, and legal affairs for campuses across the United States and Canada.
Conducting Administrative Investigations into Reports of Dating Violence/Domestic Violence and Stalking for Canadian Institutions of Higher Education
Join colleges and universities from across Canada for a 2-day intensive seminar covering, in-depth, how administrators should approach incidents of gender-based violence in the postsecondary environment: specifically, incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
The goal of the seminar is to instruct administrators in best-practice trauma-informed ways to conduct administrative investigations into these offenses so institutions can resolve complaints effectively, mitigate risk, support the rights of all students and employees, and engage in data-driven education and prevention efforts. The program will also highlight how Canadian institutions can work with law enforcement and how a concurrent criminal investigation does not relieve the institution of its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment.
This two-day course will cover the following:
Day One (Morning): The Background
- Examination of provinces with legislation mandating response by postsecondary institutions to sexual misconduct and explanation of requirements that currently apply across Canada;
- Definitions of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in Canada (and best-practice definitions for student and employee conduct policies);
- Understanding the prevalence and trends of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in Canada and on college and university campuses;
- How dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking impacts student and employee survivors;
- The role of the Campus Sexual/Gendered Violence Prevention Coordinators/Administrators;
- Campus sexual misconduct policy and procedure considerations;
- The role of supports and accommodations;
- How to work cooperatively with survivors of intimate partner violence or stalking to effectively and efficiently investigate these forms of misconduct on campus;
- Review of basic domestic violence dynamics, including issues of power and control;
- Typology of stalkers and managing the intimate and non-intimate stalker on campus;
- Considerations for cultural competency: male victims/survivors, LGBTQ+ victims/survivors, indigenous/Aboriginal victims/survivors, and survivors with visible and hidden disabilities;
- How to assist victims in procuring protective orders/stay-away orders and best-practice advice on how such orders will be maintained within the college or university and shared within the institution;
- Assessing dangerousness/lethality and considerations for campus threat assessment/behavioral intervention teams.
Day One (Afternoon) through Day Two (Morning):The Investigation
- The difference between disclosures and reports;
- Conducting intake, providing rights and options, and providing notice to the parties of an administrative investigation;
- Assignment to administrative investigation;
- Making predominant aggressor determinations, including interfacing with and interviewing primary/predominant aggressors (batterers);
- Collection of evidence, including response to cyber-scenes;
- How to conduct behavioral-oriented interviewing of victims/survivors.
Day Two (Afternoon): Resolving the Complaint
- Report Writing;
- Making determinations of responsibility for violations of campus conduct policies;
- On-campus adjudication considerations;
- Informal Resolution best practices;
- Appeal procedures best practices;
- Notice of outcomes, permanent protective measures, and continuing supports;
- Managing retaliation and the hostile academic environment;
- Preventing recurrence.
This training program will feature expert faculty who have served as practitioners in campus police/public safety, human resource management, student conduct, and legal affairs for campuses across Canada and the United States.
This course will provide scenarios, group work, lecture, and sample language/documents to attendees.
Auditing existing sexual misconduct and discrimination policies and procedures
What campus policies and provincial laws govern the steps that should occur in a case of sexual misconduct?
D. Stafford & Associates blends thorough off-site document/policy review with stakeholder interviews to discover and assess what the institution has in place and identify how existing systems and processes can be enhanced to ensure that they meet industry best practices and provincial law. Following a comprehensive audit, DSA can help schools create a unified policy/process that covers all aspects of sexual misconduct response.
Developing best-practice administrative policies, procedures and response protocols pertaining to the intake and resolution of sexual misconduct reports that take into account common law principles of procedural fairness.
How well does your campus respond when a sexual assault occurs?
D. Stafford & Associates works with campuses to evaluate the quality of the response across the campus community, including teaching campus administrators how to use a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach to sexual misconduct response while ensuring fairness to the accused. DSA can train public safety and campus administrators together on conducting and overseeing sexual misconduct investigations and recommend strategies and implementation plans for campus-wide training.
Conducting Administrative investigations (non-criminal) and aiding the institution in appropriately adjudicating misconduct and discrimination utilizing a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach.
D. Stafford & Associates provides independent administrative investigation services for campus clients. Our trained investigators can serve as consultants to your investigators or can conduct full investigations when an independent investigator is preferred.
On-site training for individual campuses: Training students, faculty and administrators on best practices for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct on campus.
D. Stafford & Associates can create custom training on a variety of sexual misconduct topics and deliver them on-site or via webinar specifically for your institution.