Reporting Sexual Misconduct & Getting Support
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Guide
A reference for students and employees who may have witnessed, experienced or been involved in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Click here for a printable version of this guide - CARE Brochure.
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Reporting Information, Support and Resources
As a Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning, The University of Scranton is committed to providing care and support for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct while remaining mindful of the safety and well-being of the larger University community. Sexual misconduct includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence and stalking. Federal laws (i.e., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) require the University to take immediate and appropriate steps upon becoming aware of reports of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. The University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy in light of this responsibility.Emergency Services and Immediate Care Medical Services Reporting an Incident Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct – What are they? Interim Measures for Protection Support Services and Resources Your Rights Under University Policy Risk Reduction Factors What Can I Do to Stop Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct?
Emergency Services and Immediate Care
The first priority for any individual is personal safety and well-being. In an emergency situation, the University encourages all individuals to seek immediate assistance from University Police (570-941-7777), the City of Scranton Police Department at 911, and/or a medical facility. This is the best way to address immediate safety concerns while allowing for the preservation of evidence and an immediate investigative response. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual assault:
- Preserve all evidence of the sexual assault or other form of sexual misconduct.
- Do not bathe, change or dispose of clothing, use the restroom, wash hands, brush teeth, eat or smoke.
- If you are still at the location of the incident, do not clean anything.
- Write down all the details you can recall about the incident and the perpetrator including any information related to previous concerning behavior or history.
- In cases of sexual assault, seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (women may also be at risk for pregnancy).
- Refer to contact information for local hospitals in this brochure.
- Ask the health care professional to conduct a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE).
- If you suspect you were drugged, request collection of a urine or blood sample.
Medical Services in cases of sexual assault or other misconduct are best handled by a hospital when the student seeks assistance as soon as possible and within 72 hours of the incident. Medical treatment and the ability to preserve evidence is available within blocks of the University campus. You do NOT need to provide health insurance information to the hospital for a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam.
If an individual visits the hospital for an exam, both the police and Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County (WRC) should be notified by the hospital. The individual may choose whether or not to speak to the police and/or the WRC at the hospital. If the individual chooses to speak to the police, he or she still has the option of whether or not to file criminal charges. The WRC advocate is confidential and will be able to provide support and information throughout the process.
The University also provides support and assistance to students through Student Health Services (570) 941-7667 from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the academic year. Student Health Services is located at the corner of North Webster Avenue and Mulberry Street in the Roche Wellness Center.
Reporting an Incident
If you have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, you have several reporting options. It is your decision to participate in a criminal process, the University process, both or neither.
Sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct are not only University policy violations but may also be crimes. You are encouraged, but not required, to report these crimes to the police. If you choose, University officials will assist you in contacting the police.
Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are prohibited by The University of Scranton and are violations of University policy. In an effort to support individuals as well as the campus community, the reporting options below will initiate a response process by the University. If you wish to speak with someone for confidential support, please see the confidential resources listed in this guide.
*Required Reporter Statement
University policy provides that every employee (except those specifically identified as a “confidential” resource) who receives a report of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is required to share the report with the Title IX Coordinator. Resident Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Student Officers are also required reporters. While students are encouraged to directly report information to the designated reporting options listed above, the University recognizes that a student may choose to share information regarding sexual harassment and sexual misconduct with other employees of the University (e.g. a Resident Assistant, faculty member, or coach). The University is committed to ensuring that all reports are shared with the Title IX Coordinator for consistent application of the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy to all individuals and to allow the University to respond promptly and equitably to eliminate the prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct – What are they?
Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct include a wide range of non-consensual behavior, none of which are tolerated in our University community. Many of these behaviors also constitute crimes. Please refer to the full definitions in the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual or gender based behavior that creates an environment that would reasonably be perceived and is perceived by the complainant as hostile or abusive. Sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual harassment. Examples include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual misconduct including, but not limited to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, and stalking is prohibited, as defined fully in the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Sexual assault is any non-consensual attempted or completed sexual intercourse (oral, anal, or vaginal penetration, however slight) with a body part and/or object.
Sexual exploitation is an act or acts attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples include but are not limited to non-consensual touching, fondling, or kissing, non-consensual voyeurism, non-consensual recording of sexual activity and or a person’s intimate parts, non-consensual dissemination of such recordings, allowing others to view sexual activities without the consent of all of the participants, exposure of one’s body in an indecent or lewd manner, sexual activity in public or semi-public places or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge.
Intimate Partner Violence (including Domestic and Dating Violence) is defined as any act of violence or threatened violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, domestic, dating, or other intimate relationship.
Stalking is defined as a course (more than once) of conduct directed toward another person that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm, harass, or cause fear of harm or injury to that person, or to a third party, such as a roommate or friend. Examples of stalking include following someone or making repeated, unwanted communications (including over social media).
Physical force is not necessary for an act to be sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, it is the absence of consent that makes these acts violations of our Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Interim Measures for Protection
Upon receipt of a report of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the University will take reasonable and appropriate interim measures to protect the individuals involved and reduce any further risk for members of our campus community. Examples of such measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Imposition of an Administrative Directive for No-Contact between involved parties.
- Referring to counseling and health services.
- Referring to the Employee Assistance Program.
- Providing education and advisories to the community.
- Altering the housing situation of the reporting or responding party.
- Altering work arrangements for employees.
- Providing campus escorts.
- Providing transportation assistance for medical services.
- Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
- Issuing interim suspensions pending an investigation and determination.
- Any other measure which can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of our policy
*These measures and other support and resources are available regardless of whether a reporting party seeks formal resolution and/or makes a crime report.
Support Services and Resources
Various resources within the University and local community are available for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct of any kind. Regardless of which resource(s) an individual chooses to access, the situation will be handled with sensitivity and care to protect the privacy of the individual/s involved.
Confidential Resources: A person who desires confidentiality should make contact with one of the confidential resources/support services listed below. Information shared with a confidential resource does not have be reported to the University, Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement for investigation unless the person disclosing the confidential resources later chooses to engage those resources.
The University of Scranton Counseling Center (570) 941-7620 provides confidential counseling services to University students from Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm during the academic year. The Counseling Center is located on the 6th floor O’Hara Hall, at the corner of Linden and Jefferson. Upon request, the Counseling Center will provide counseling as well as referrals to agencies off-campus.
Student Health Services (570) 941-7667 provides confidential medical support and assistance to University students from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the academic year. Student Health Services is located at the corner of North Webster Avenue and Mulberry Street in the Roche Wellness Center.
Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County (570) 346-4671 is a confidential, community-based agency serving those who have experienced sexual assault or other sexual misconduct. A counselor/advocate can be reached 24 hours a day.
National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) is a free, confidential national resource available 24 hours a day by calling or online.rainn.org
Employee Assistance Program: (1-800-327-2255) The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), BalanceWorks, offers professional counselor services, including confidential counseling in-person or over the phone for a variety of stressful issues including sexual harassment and misconduct. Member and group numbers may be found by visiting www.scranton.edu/hr, click on Benefits > Additional Benefits > Employee Assistance Program.
Additional Resources and Support Services for Students – Private but Not Confidential
Regardless of which resource(s) a student chooses to access, the situation will be handled with sensitivity and care to protect the privacy of the student/s involved.
Campus Ministries (570) 941-7419 is located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 200 and offers pastoral support. Students may stop by the office and ask to speak to a priest or campus minister or schedule an appointment. Although Campus Ministries staff are not confidential employees, ordained priests acting in their pastoral capacity are confidential and will not report to the Title IX Coordinator.
The Jane Kopas Women’s Center (570) 941-6194 is located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 205. The Center is a safe and comfortable gathering place that also provides educational programming, leadership development, resources and referrals.
www.scranton.edu/CARE is a website maintained by the University which provides information and resources for those in our campus community who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
The Title IX Coordinator, Jennifer LaPorta, (570) 941-6645 is located in the Office of Equity and Diversity. This office located in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, Suite 100, provides programs, resources, and support. The Title IX Coordinator is available to discuss any questions regarding the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, to assist a student in accessing resources and support services and to facilitate the investigation and resolution of reports of conduct that may violate the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
University Police (570) 941-7777 are available to coordinate with various resources to provide for the safety and well-being of the person who experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct. This may include transporting a student to a hospital for medical care, assisting in obtaining a Protection from Abuse Order from the local court, and/or coordinating with appropriate legal authorities including the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and the Victim/Witness Unit.
The Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Rivera, (570) 941-7680 is located in the DeNaples Student Center, Suite 201. The Dean of Students (or designee) meets with students to offer support and resource information, safeguard the larger University community, discuss formal reporting options, and review the Title IX investigation process. The information, resources and support provided by the Dean of Students is outlined in detail in the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy.
The University of Scranton strives to provide members of the campus community with fair and equitable resolution processes that include both formal and informal options.
- Reporting parties have the right to notify law enforcement of incidents and to receive assistance from campus personnel in doing so.
- Reporting parties may decline to report to law enforcement if they so wish*.
- Reporting parties have the right to have their report investigated and resolved internally by the University
- All members of the campus community have the right to have reported incidents addressed according to the published University policy and procedures.
- All parties have equal opportunities to have a support person of their choosing present throughout all resolution proceedings (including interviews, meetings, etc.). A support person can be a campus community member, family member, friend, attorney, etc.
- All parties have the right to written notice of the outcome of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct formal resolution proceedings.
- Reporting parties and witnesses will receive amnesty for minor infractions (e.g., drug and alcohol violations that don’t affect the safety of the greater campus community) that are secondary to incidents of sexual misconduct.
- All members of the campus community have the right to be free from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment or misconduct or participating in an investigation or resolution.
- Students have a right to be notified of their ability to counseling and health services.
- Students and employees have a right to be notified of resources available both on and off campus.
- All parties involved in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct allegations will receive the information and assistance needed to effectively participate in all proceedings.
- Reporting parties have the right to seek orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issues by criminal or civil courts, and may seek the help of the Title IX Coordinators or University of Scranton Police in requesting and enforcing.
- The Dean of Students will coordinate residential, academic and other appropriate accommodations to assist students who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
*In limited circumstances the University Police Department is notified where there may be an ongoing threat to the community (i.e., Clery Reportable matters including those that may require activation of the Emergency Notification System)
Risk Reduction Factors and Bystander Engagement
Risk reduction factors are steps people can take to minimize the possibility of sexual misconduct and increase their safety and their sense of empowerment. There is no guaranteed way to avoid sexual misconduct except for persons to stop assaulting others. These risk reduction factors and safety ideas are a choice, not a responsibility. Whether or not someone chooses to use these ideas, sexual misconduct is never the fault of the person who experiences it. We have a right to be in the world without having people hurt us. Remember that sexual activity is a choice, and all people, at any time, are free to choose whether or not to be sexually active.
- Trust your gut and intuition. If you feel threatened, yell or leave the situation if you can do so safely.
- Avoid people who don’t listen to you, ignore personal space boundaries, etc.
- Only attend gatherings with friends you trust.
- Know your sexual intentions and limits and communicate those limits firmly and directly.
- Avoid mixing sexual decisions with drugs and alcohol.
- Be aware of predatory drugs.
Sexual misconduct can occur despite all precautions. If you experience any sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, it is NOT your fault. The only person responsible for sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is the person who committed it.
Be an active bystander:
- Notice the situation and be aware of your surroundings.
- Interpret it as a problem. Ask yourself, “Do I believe someone needs help?”
- Feel responsible to act. Educate yourself on what to do.
- Intervene safely. Keeping yourself safe while taking action is key.
If a situation presents, intervene safely:
- Bring in others to help when the situation may be potentially dangerous.
- Ask a person you are concerned about if the person is okay. Provide options and support.
- Distract or redirect individuals in unsafe situations.
- Ask the person if he or she wants to leave.
- Call University Police (570) 941-7777 or Scranton Police (911).
Encourage safety for yourself and others
- Have a plan. Talk to your friends about your plans and intentions before you socialize.
- Watch out for others. If you are concerned about someone, offer your support.
- Diffuse situations. If you see a friend coming on too strong to someone who may be too drunk to make a consensual decision, interrupt, distract, or redirect the situation. If you do not feel comfortable doing so, get someone else to step in.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation does not feel right to you, trust your instinct. If possible, remove yourself and others from the situation.
Information is based on Bystander Intervention research being completed at the University of New Hampshire (Bringing in the Bystander®).
The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX. Information regarding OCR may be found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html