Title IX and Restorative Justice as Informal Resolution for Sexual Misconduct

Elise C. Lopez, Mary P. Koss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In recent years, federal and institutional policymakers have begun to recognize victims’ desires for alternative responses to traditional investigation, adjudication, and sanctioning for sexual misconduct. Despite scientific literature showing that non-adversarial accountability responses to sexual violence, such as restorative justice, can be used safely and effectively, federal and institutional policies have been slow to expand options. This chapter describes conventional adversarial campus judicial response and sanctioning and the role of Title IX in shaping campus sexual misconduct processes and contrasts what guidelines refer to as formal and informal resolution under Title IX. Specifically, the chapter describes innovative approaches to resolution based on restorative justice principles and outlines how alternative choices would better map onto victim’s expressed justice goals. Innovation is justified because it could potentially encourage an increase in the dismal 5% of victims who formally report, a level that has remained constant for more than 30 years. This figure alone is a strong argument for expansion of options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan
Subtitle of host publicationA Project of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV)
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783319899992
ISBN (Print)9783319899985
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Adversarial justice
  • Case attrition
  • Conduct code
  • Formal resolution
  • Informal resolution
  • Mediation
  • Restorative justice
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Title IX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine


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