Frequently Asked Questions
When was EROC founded?
EROC was founded by a group of students, survivors, and professors in the summer of 2013. The decision to form EROC resulted from the national need to formalize and centralize work around campus sexual assault. Sofie Karasek, Andrea Pino, and Annie Clark were three of EROC’s original co-founders. Since then, survivors across the country have connected through social media, spoken out about deliberate indifference and betrayal, and held institutions accountable to federal laws. Now, the problem of campus sexual violence is commanding national attention, from individual campuses to the White House.
At this time, EROC has five full-time staff who work with survivors and their families across the United States. We are proud to continue this important work to ensure equal access to education regardless of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic status, or ability. We intentionally work to partner with other national and local organizations in order to best support survivors of violence.
Is EROC a non-profit?
I think I saw three of EROC’s co-founders in The Hunting Ground!
The Hunting Ground was produced by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick and featured Annie Clark, Andrea Pino, and Sofie Karasek, as well as many, many, other important and accomplished survivor activists. We are separate entities, and The Hunting Ground does wonderful advocacy on behalf of survivors. Our organization is grateful to The Hunting Ground for shedding light on the epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses.
Because our co-founders were featured in the film, are often invited to participate in discussions after the screening of the film. For more information on bringing Annie, Andrea, or Sofie to a Hunting Ground screening, please click here.
Are EROC’s direct support services limited to filing federal complaints?
No. We believe that campus sexual violence must be addressed through a combination of survivor support, direct education, and policy reform. To that end, we provide free, direct assistance to all survivors of gender-based and sexual violence, including, but not limited to:
- connecting survivors, parents and friends with support networks
- filing federal complaints
- mentoring student activists
- connecting survivors with mental health professionals
- connecting survivors with legal counsel
EROC staff are also committed to preventing sexual assault through education, and engaging in policy reform. Please see our “what we do” section for more information!
Are EROC staff mental health counselors and/or lawyers?
No. We are not lawyers and we are not licensed mental health professionals (although some of our staff are certified rape crisis counselors). The advice we provide is informed by the experiences of survivors and allies within our network. Additionally, EROC has partnerships with several law firms and is happy to refer individuals to pro-bono or contingency-based representation. We are also able to refer individuals to pro-bono and sliding-scale mental health professionals within our network available upon request.
How do you file a federal complaint without being a lawyer?
You do not need to be a legal professional to file a federal complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. Filing a complaint means that you are requesting that the federal government investigate your school for potential law violations, which is different from filing a lawsuit in court. In fact, according to the Department of Education, complaints filed by students and activists are often more nuanced and comprehensive than those filed by legal professionals. If you are in need of counsel, EROC has partnerships with several law firms and is happy to refer individuals to pro-bono or contingency-based representation.
Will EROC maintain my privacy?
EROC will not disclose information outside of the EROC team without the explicit consent of the individual who provided the information. We will also not disclose the name of any individual or complainant without the explicit permission of that person.