Reporting Sexual Misconduct & Getting Support
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Guide
This page serves as a reference for students and employees who may have witnessed, experienced or been involved in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. It contains the same information as listed in the University's 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 CareMedical ServicesReporting an IncidentSexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct – What are they?Interim Measures for ProtectionSupport Services and ResourcesYour Rights Under University PolicyRisk Reduction FactorsWhat 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. While any of the local hospitals can perform a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE), only GCMC has SANEs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) on staff.
If an individual visits the hospital for an exam, both the police and Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County (WRC) may 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, they 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.
University policy provides that every employee (except those specifically identified as a “confidential” resource) who receives information of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct involving a student as a complainant, respondent or witness, is required to share all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) 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 section VII(A).
1. Sexual or Gender Based Harassment
Sexual Harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b) below are present.
Gender-based Harassment is defined as harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b), below, are present.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic success, or participation in any University programs and/or activities or is used as the basis for University decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment. A “hostile environment” exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities. Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. In evaluating whether a hostile environment exists, the University will consider the totality of known circumstances, including, but not limited to:
- It can occur between equals (e.g., student-to-student, staff-to-staff, faculty member to faculty member, visitor/contractor to staff) or between persons of unequal power status (e.g., supervisor to subordinate, faculty member to student, coach to student-athlete).
- It can be committed by or against an individual, an organization or group.
- It can be committed by an acquaintance, a stranger, or someone with whom the Complainant has an intimate or sexual relationship.
- It can occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
- It can include physical conduct, verbal conduct, visual conduct, written conduct and electronic conduct.
2. Sexual Assault is defined as any non-consensual attempted or completed sexual intercourse (oral, anal, or vaginal) with a body part and/or object.
3. Sexual Exploitation is defined as conduct that exploits another person in a sexual and non-consensual way, including, but not limited to
- non-consensual touching, fondling, or kissing,
- causing the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to sexual activity,
- non-consensual voyeurism (e.g., watching private sexual activity without the knowledge of all of the participants, from a hidden location or through electronic means),allowing others to view sexual activities without the consent of all of the participants,
- non-consensual recording or photographing of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (audio or visual),
- non-consensual dissemination or posting of images or recordings of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts,
- exposure of one’s body in an indecent or lewd manner,
- sexual activity in public or semi-public places,
- prostituting another person, or
- knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge
4. Intimate Partner Violence* (Domestic and Dating violence) is defined as any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Intimate Partner Violence includes threatening or causing physical harm or engaging in other conduct that endangers the health or safety of an intimate partner. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Intimate Partner Violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to threats, assault, property damage, violence or threat of violence to one’s partner or to the family members or friends of the partner.
5. Stalking is defined as a course of conduct (more than once) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples of stalking include following the person without proper authority or repeatedly communicating with another person, under circumstances that place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or cause substantial emotional distress to such other person. Stalking includes the concept of cyber – stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media is used to pursue, harass, or to make repeated unwanted contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion. Stalking may involve persons who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve persons not known to one another.
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.
*Intimate Partner Violence includes “dating violence” and “domestic violence,” as defined by the national Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Consistent with VAWA, the University will evaluate the existence of an intimate relationship based upon the Complainant’s statement and taking into consideration the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
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:
- Instituting an Administrative Directive for No-Contact between involved parties
- Limiting an individual’s access to certain facilities or activities pending resolution
- 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
- Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
- Providing academic support services, such as tutoring
- Altering work arrangements for employees
- Providing campus escorts
- Providing transportation assistance to the hospital
- Issuing interim suspensions pending an investigation and determination
- Any other measure which can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of the University's 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: An individual 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 individual disclosing the confidential resources later chooses to engage those resources.
- The University of Scranton Counseling Center (570) 941-7620, located on the 6th floor O’Hara Hall, at the corner of Linden St. and Jefferson Ave., provides confidential counseling services to University students from Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm during the academic year. Upon request, the Counseling Center will provide counseling as well as referrals to agencies off-campus.
- Student Health Services (570) 941-7667, located at the corner of North Webster Avenue and Mulberry Street in the Roche Wellness Center. provides confidential medical support and assistance to University students. Normal Business Hours: Mon - Thurs 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Intercession Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Last appointment 4 p.m.) Summer Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Walk in appointments only). During normal business hours Nurse practitioner and physician office visits are available by appointment. Appointments can be made on line by accessing the Student Health Portal.
- 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) NexGenEAP, 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 https://www.scranton.edu/hr/benefits/employee-assistance-program.shtml
Additional Resources and Support Services for Students – Private but Not Confidential
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.
- Campus Ministries (570) 941-7419, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 200, 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, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 205 offers a safe and comfortable gathering place and 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, Elizabeth Garcia, (570) 941-6645 is in the Office of Equity and Diversity located in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, Suite 100. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator is available to discuss any questions regarding the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, to assist an individual 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, located on level 2 of the Parking Pavilion, corner of Mulberry St. and Monroe Ave., are available to coordinate with various resources to provide for the safety and well-being of an individual 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, located in the DeNaples Student Center, Suite 201, 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 individuals have the right to notify law enforcement of incidents and to receive assistance from campus personnel.
- Reporting individuals may decline to report to law enforcement if they so wish.*
- Reporting individuals 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. See the Required Reporter Statement.
- Complainants and Respondents have the right 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., with certain exceptions.
- Complainant refers to the individual(s) who may have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, regardless of whether that individual makes a report or seeks formal disciplinary action.
- Respondent refers to the individual(s) who has been accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
- All parties are entitled to written notice of the outcome of a formal investigation.
- 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.
- Individuals have a right to be notified of the availability of counseling and health services.
- Individuals 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.
- Parties have the right to seek orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by criminal or civil courts, and may seek the help of the Title IX Coordinators or University of Scranton Police to request and enforce same.
- The Office of Equity and Diversity 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 individuals can take to minimize the possibility of sexual misconduct and increase safety and a sense of empowerment for themselves or others. There is no guaranteed way to avoid sexual misconduct. These risk reduction factors and safety ideas are a choice, not a responsibility. Whether someone chooses to use these ideas, sexual misconduct is not the fault of the person who experiences it. 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 perpetrates 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 the individual you are concerned about if they are ok.
- Provide support and information available at scranton.edu/care .
- Distract or redirect individuals in unsafe situations.
- Ask the individual if they want 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