SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ON CAMPUS: RESPONDING TO STUDENTS A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR FACULTY AND STAFF
As a Boston College faculty or staff member, you may be in a unique position to assiststudents who have experienced sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, or other forms of sexual harassment. Studentstypically confide in individuals they trust. If a student discloses information to you relating to some form of sexual misconduct, please use the following information as a guide in responding to this disclosure.
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WHAT IS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?
Sexual Misconduct is defined in the Student Guide as a broad range of behaviors including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of misconduct of a sexual nature such as relationship violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. Sexual misconduct can occur between individuals who know each other, have an established relationship, have previously engaged in consensual sexual activity, and between individuals who do not know each other. Sexual misconduct can be committed by persons of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.
For the definition of consent and other terms related to sexual misconduct, please see the complete Sexual Misconduct Policy in the student guide.
WHAT IS TITLE IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities operated by institutions that receive federal funding. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination that schools must respond to in accordance with their obligations under Title IX.
If a student discloses a sexual assault to you:
Step 1: Care for the student
Ensure they are safe
Listen and avoid judgmental questions—don’t ask any question that starts with “why”
Tell the student that you believe them
Inform them of your duty to report
Step 2: Connect the student with resources
Rachel DiBella, Assistant Director, Women’s Center
SANet | Sexual Assault Network
Formal reporting options, counseling, and support
Step 3: Contact the Title IX Coordinator for students
Melinda Stoops, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
WHAT DO I SAY?
Sexual misconduct can be a difficult topic to discuss, particularly given your reporting responsibilities. Below is a suggestion for how you might respond to a student’s disclosure:
“I appreciate what you have been able to share with me. Before you tell me more, I want to let you know that I will need to contact Carole Hughes, the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator. She is the one person on campus whose responsibility it is to know about incidents of sexual assault and she helps support students and coordinate possible next steps.”
SEXUAL ASSAULT NETWORK (SANet)
BOSTON COLLEGE SEXUAL ASSAULT NETWORK (SANET): (617)552-2211
- 24/7 private hotline for anyone affected by sexual violence (even if the caller is not a survivor)
- Staffed by trusted and trained advocates
- Callers have the option to remain anonymous
Advocates assist callers with:
- Understanding all options available to survivors or friends of survivors, including accompaniment through this often difficult journey
- Seeking professional support (on and off campus)
- Pursuing medical evaluation and treatment (on and off campus)
- Evidence collection
- Reporting internally or through the police department
Please note that any relevant information disclosed during calls on the SANet hotline is shared with the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator.
*Please note that SANet utilizes cell phones and advocates may at times be in areas without service. Callers are encouraged to leave a message or to call back.
STUDENT REPORTING OPTIONS
Office of the Dean of Students
Richard DeCapua, Associate Dean: (617) 552–3470
- Offers information to students about options through the internal conduct system as well as guidance and support regarding academic and housing concerns.
- Provides students with details for stay-away orders and other immediate concerns.
Title IX Coordinator for Students
Melinda Stoops, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs: 617-552-3482
- Oversees the University’s response to sexual misconduct reports.
- Ensures that appropriate measures are taken to mitigate possible hostile environment.
Boston College Police
(617) 552–4444 (emergency); (617) 552–4440 (non-emergency)
- Provides assistance in pursuing legal action both on and off campus.
- Puts students in touch with the On-Call Administrator (outside normal business hours at BC).
- Offers transportation to local hospitals for related medical services.
- Will take a report and a specially trained officer will conduct an investigation which may involve questions about the context, the assailant, the scene of the crime, and any witnesses.
Rachel DiBella: (617) 552–2735
- Advocates for survivors.
- Provides all available options/next steps to survivors or friends of survivors.
- Accompanies survivors on their healing journeys.
University Counseling Services (Confidential)
(617) 552–3310 (days); (617) 552–3227 (nights and weekends)
- Provides professional and confidential counseling; psychologist on-call 24 hours a day.
- Counseling available for survivors and other affected members of the community.
Mission and Ministry
Maura Colleary: (617) 552–8443 or
Rick Rossi: (617) 552–6592
- Offers pastoral counseling and spiritual direction to survivors and other affected members of the community.
For more information on the Boston College sexual assault policy and for additional resources go to: