- HUPD Response to a Reported Incident of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking
- Options for Further Action
- Interim Measures
- Protective Orders
- Criminal Prosecution
- Complaints Pursuant to Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Subsequent Proceedings
- Resources for Advice and Counseling
- Harvard Resources
- External Resources
- Additional Resources for Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Victims
- Prevention and Awareness Programs and Campaigns
- Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program
- Definitions of Crimes for Clery Act Criminal Statistics
- Certain Definitions Under Massachusetts Law
If You Believe an Incident of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking Has Occurred
If you are in immediate danger and need help or want to speak to a specially trained officer about your situation, call the HUPD at 617-495-1212. When you report an incident to HUPD, you will be provided with immediate physical protection and transportation to a medical facility if necessary. You are not making a commitment to file charges or to testify in court. If you are uncertain whether a situation constitutes an offense, you should consult with either the HUPD, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR), University Health Services (UHS), a staff member at your School, Department or Unit, or another helping resource to get support and information.
You are strongly encouraged to report instances of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to HUPD, though you have the right to choose not to make a report. Upon request, other University officials will assist you in notifying HUPD and/or local police. If you report that you have been the victim of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, whether on or off campus, you will be provided with a written explanation of your rights and options as well as resources and services available both at Harvard and in the community. If you believe an incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking has occurred, the HUPD strongly recommends that you:
- Call the HUPD at 617-495-1212 (Cambridge Campus) or 617-432-1212 (Longwood Campus) to report the incident. (You may also, if you prefer, report the offense to a local police department, such as Cambridge or Boston, even if the incident occurred on campus.) HUPD can arrange for an officer to transport you to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), whether or not you decide to file a police report. You may call and request transportation to HUHS without divulging that you have been the victim of such an offense. Simply request a medical transport to UHS and an officer will respond.
- Call the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR) at 617-495-9100. OSAPR provides 24-hour-a-day, confidential support and information to student survivors of sexual violence over the phone or in person. The OSAPR staff is trained to provide options, listen supportively, and provide referrals to services on and off campus.
- Preserve any physical evidence that may be necessary to prove that an incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking occurred or to obtain a protective order. Both the HUPD and HUHS can advise and assist you in the preservation of such evidence. It is important that you not bathe, douche, smoke, change your clothes or clean the area where you were assaulted if the assault took place within the past 72 hours. Try to write down everything you can remember about the alleged perpetrator, including a physical description, the use of force or threats, and any information you remember concerning the person’s identity. You should also save copies of email, text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, pictures, logs or any other documents that could be helpful in an investigation of the incident.
- Seek medical and/or counseling assistance at HUHS. Even if you do not choose to obtain forensic evidence collection, health care providers can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Report the incident to Harvard’s Title IX Officer, or to your School or Unit’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Officer and the Title IX Coordinators are responsible for coordinating Harvard’s compliance with Title IX. The University Title IX Officer can be reached at 617-495-4134 and is located in the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 935.
- Where appropriate, report the incident to your local human resource official.
HUPD Response to a Reported Incident of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking
You can expect the following to occur when you report an incident to the HUPD:
- The HUPD’s Sensitive Crime Unit, which includes detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division and selected patrol officers, will be assigned to the case. All members of the Unit have been trained in the investigation of sexual offenses and other sensitive crimes and the impact of the crime on the victim.
- A uniformed or non-uniformed officer, by request, will respond to your location to assist you in obtaining medical treatment, assure your safety, and obtain a description of the alleged perpetrator.
- You will be interviewed (you may specifically request a female officer). A friend or counselor may be with you during the interview. All statements you make may be used during any subsequent legal proceedings. The officer will ask you for the location and time of the incident, a description of the alleged perpetrator, and a description of any injuries.
- The police may request a medical examination (at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Rape Crisis Intervention Program, if appropriate) to ensure that you have suffered no physical injury and to complete a medical report that can be used in a court proceeding if charges are pressed.
- If an HUPD officer responds to your location and has reason to believe that you or another family or household member has been abused or is in danger of being abused, the officer must:
- Remain on the scene a reasonable time to prevent further abuse.
- Assist the abused person in obtaining medical treatment by providing or obtaining transportation.
- Assist the person in locating and getting to a safe place.
- Give the abused person a written explanation of his/her rights and options, reading it in English and, whenever possible, in the victim's native language.
- Assist the person in applying for a restraining order (including activating the emergency judicial response system when the court is closed for business). Inform the person that the abuser, if arrested, is eligible for bail and may be promptly released.
- Your identity will be maintained in confidence. Although a Timely Warning (“Community Advisory”) about the incident may be circulated in cases that present a serious or continuing threat to the Harvard community, HUPD withholds victims’ names as confidential. Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and to respect the legitimate privacy concerns of all involved individuals.
Interim measures designed to support and protect a person who reports having experienced having sexual or gender-based harassment (including without limitation sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking) may be implemented upon request and as appropriate by the relevant School or unit, working with the Title IX Officer or local Title IX coordinator. Consistent with School or unit policy, interim measures might include, among others, restrictions on contact; course-schedule or work-schedule alteration; changes in housing; leaves of absence; or increased monitoring of certain areas of the campus. The availability of such interim measures is the same regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the incident to campus police or local law enforcement. The confidentiality of any interim measures provided will be maintained so long as maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the School or unit’s ability to provide the interim measures.
The University complies with Massachusetts law in recognizing Abuse Prevention Orders (obtained pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 209A) and other valid orders of protection from Massachusetts or any other state. Any Harvard person who obtains an order of protection from domestic or dating abuse, harassment, stalking or sexual assault from any state in the country should provide a copy to the HUPD and to their Title IX Coordinator. The HUPD will: (1) attempt service of protective orders on defendants; and (2) arrest persons who are in violation of protective orders if there is a violation on campus. Additionally, HUPD will accept copies of active protective orders previously served so that information regarding the victim and the defendant are made part of HUPD’s record management system and can be shared with all HUPD officers. Any person holding a protective order may meet with an HUPD officer to develop a safety action plan, the goal of which is to reduce risk of harm to the person while on campus or coming and going from campus. Each case is assessed independently. In coordination with other University offices, HUPD will help to put in place safety measures that may include, but are not limited to the use of a temporary escort, special parking arrangements, changing classroom location, supervisor, work location, and/or allowing a student to complete assignments from home, depending on the course. The University cannot apply on behalf of someone else for an abuse prevention order, no contact order or restraining order but can assist a person in obtaining such an order.
If you have experienced an incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking you may want your assailant identified, apprehended, and prosecuted in court. If you choose to proceed in this manner, notify the HUPD immediately for assistance and guidance.
For an understanding of the rights of a crime victim in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please refer to the Victim Bill of Rights (M.G.L. Chapter 258B) or visit http://www.mass.gov/mova/docs/victim-bill-of-rights/victim-bill-of-right... to download a summary. The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance at http://www.mass.gov/mova/victim-rights-resources/ also has created a guide for crime victims; the guide can be accessed directly at: http://www.mass.gov/mova/docs/aftermath-of-crime.pdf
Complaints Pursuant to Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Subsequent Proceedings
Regardless of whether you choose to pursue criminal prosecution, you may decide to initiate a formal complaint under Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy, set forth above (http://diversity.harvard.edu/files/diversity/files/harvard_sexual_harass...), which ultimately can give rise to internal disciplinary action against an alleged offender who is a Harvard student, faculty or staff member.
If you are considering this option, you are encouraged to consult your School or unit Title IX Coordinator or the University’s Title IX Officer, but you may, if you choose, contact another School or University officer, who will refer the matter as appropriate. The procedures for handling complaints involving students can be found at http://diversity.harvard.edu/files/diversity/files/harvard_sexual_harass.... When allegations are asserted against a staff member, faculty member, other appointee, or third party, the School or unit Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with other Harvard officers, will determine whether some or all of the allegations will be handled at the School or unit level, or whether Harvard’s Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution will conduct all or part of any investigation.
All proceedings conducted pursuant to the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy shall be prompt, fair, and impartial. Those investigating a complaint will receive annual trainings on issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Both parties have equal opportunities to have others present during the proceeding, including an advisor of their choice.
At the conclusion of an investigation under Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy, findings of fact will be issued and a determination will be made as to whether there was a violation of the policy, using a preponderance of the evidence standard. Following this determination, the relevant School or unit will consider the imposition of discipline through its own processes and notify the parties as appropriate. Complaints will be resolved promptly, though time frames may be extended for good cause with notice to the parties of the delay and the reasons for the delay. Interim measures, as described above, may be considered or implemented at any time before, during or after the proceedings.
Disciplinary sanctions for actions that are found to have violated Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy (including without limitation sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking) will vary depending on the nature and severity of the offense. For students, possible sanctions may vary from School to School but generally include warning or admonishment, probation, suspension or requirement to withdraw, dismissal or expulsion. For employees, the possible sanctions generally include warning, probation, suspension or termination. Both the accuser and the accused will receive simultaneous notification, in writing, of: the result of any institutional proceeding regarding a violation of Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy; any available appeal procedures; any change to the results prior to their becoming final; and the final results.
In addition, Harvard University will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the report on the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by Harvard against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim for the purposes of this paragraph.
Further, Harvard may, in its discretion, disclose the final results of an internal disciplinary proceeding involving a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense, if it has been determined as a result of that proceeding that the student committed a violation of Harvard’s rules or policies with respect to that conduct. The disclosure may include the student’s name, the violation committed, and the sanction imposed.
Such disclosures do not constitute a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).
The University protects the confidentiality of persons who report having been victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. As a general matter, HUPD does not publish the name of crime victims nor does it include identifiable information regarding victims in the HUPD crime log, in campus Timely Warnings, or online.
In addition, in accord with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, Section 97D and Chapter 265, Section 24C, HUPD will not publish, disseminate or otherwise disclose the name of any alleged victim of rape or assault with intent to rape, and will maintain all reports of rape and sexual assault (or attempts to commit those offenses) or abuse perpetrated by family or household members in a manner that will ensure their confidentiality. When applicable, however, reported incidents will be included in the Clery Act annual crime statistics, though without any identifying information.
Under M.G.L., Chapter 112, Section 12A1/2, when a victim of rape or sexual assault is seen at University Health Services, UHS is required to forward a confidential report to the Police Chief or Commissioner in the jurisdiction in which the alleged assault occurred. This report will not include the victim’s name, address, or other identifying information, but will describe the general area where the attack occurred. When applicable, these reported incidents also will be included in the Clery Act annual crime statistics.
Students may opt out of public disclosure of directory information (as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or “FERPA”) by requesting what is known as a "FERPA Block." Students who wish to put in place a "FERPA Block" must inform an appropriate School official, usually the School's Registrar, in writing, of that decision. Employees who would like assistance in keeping their identifiable information confidential should contact Human Resources.
The University and various social service providers in Cambridge and Boston offer a range of counseling and support services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking . If you choose not to take advantage of these resources immediately, you should find a friend, counselor, or other support person to comfort you and to help you deal with the experience. That person should be with you throughout the crisis situation and follow up, and should help you regain a sense of control over events.
HUPD, OSAPR, and UHS are well trained to aid students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. In addition, officers in each School and unit are available to help. Students can identify these individuals through their Dean’s offices or offices for student affairs. The University-wide Title IX Officer and the School and unit Title IX coordinators can speak with you about your options, support services, and how to file a formal complaint under the University Sexual and Gender-based Harassment Policy. Each School has Title IX coordinators designated to serve students, faculty, and staff. To identify a Title IX Coordinator for your School or unit, please visit: http://odr.harvard.edu/title-ix-coordinators. Harvard faculty and staff can find assistance and support at their Dean’s offices, the offices of human resources at each school or department, or the Central Administration’s Office of Human Resources.
Harvard University Police Department (HUPD)
Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)
Office for Sexual and Gender–Based Dispute Resolution
SHARE (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Education) - Harvard’s web resource for community members who have experienced sexual assault
Harvard University Health Services Medical Service
Harvard University Behavioral Health Services
Bureau of Study Counsel
RESPONSE (peer counseling for Harvard College students)
Harvard Employee Assistance Program
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)
24 Hour Hotline: 617-492-7273
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cambridge Health Alliance Victims of Violence Program (VOV)
Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
Adult Sexual Assault Unit
If you are a victim of abuse and need treatment or referral, call SafeLink, a Massachusetts statewide multilingual, 24-hour service hotline at 877-785-2020. For more resources on domestic violence, please visit www.hupd.harvard.edu/domestic_violence.php, the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance at www.state.ma.us/mova, Jane Doe Inc. at www.janedoe.org, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.ndvh.org.
The University provides primary prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and new employees as well as ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for current student and employees. Among other things, they describe Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy (which is applicable to conduct that includes sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking), explain the meaning of the terms used in the policy, and provide information on the actions that can be taken, both within and outside the University, if an incident occurs. These programs and campaigns are led by individual Harvard Schools, by the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) and by the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (“OSAPR”), which offers a variety of written materials, workshops, and other activities to heighten awareness and promote risk reduction, including safe and positive options for bystander intervention. For example, all incoming undergraduate students attend mandatory sexual assault workshops. HUPD officers attend these workshops, which are led by peer educators trained and supervised by OSAPR, to personalize the Department and encourage reporting. The workshops are all-gender inclusive, but students also have the option to attend a supplemental LGBTQ-focused workshop. In the workshops, students participate in a discussion of relevant topics including Harvard policies, bystander intervention, risk reduction, experiences of survivors, and resources for survivors, including reporting options.
The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program, taught by HUPD officers, empowers female students, faculty, and staff to combat various types of assaults by providing them with realistic self-defense tactics and techniques. This empowerment is taught through four basic principles: education, dependency on self, making one’s own decisions, and realization of one’s own power. The objective of RAD is to develop and enhance self-defense options for women. The course, which consists of four, 4-hour classes, begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and risk avoidance, and then progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. The classes provide women with the knowledge to make educated decisions about resistance. In order to successfully complete the course, students are required to attend all four classes.
The following definitions are given in the proposed rule on the Violence Against Women Act, drafted by the Department of Education and published in Vol. 79, No. 119 of the Federal Register on June 20, 2014.
Dating Violence - Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
(1) The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
(2) For the purpose of this definition –
(i) Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
(ii) Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
(3) For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and section 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Domestic Violence -
(1) A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed
(i) By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
(ii) By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
(iii) By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
(iv) By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or
(v) By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
(2) For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and section 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Fondling – The touching of the private parts of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
Incest - Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
Intimidation - To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
Rape - The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
Robbery - The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Sex Offenses - Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim if incapable of giving consent.
Sexual Assault - An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program and included in Appendix A [of the proposed regulations].
(1) Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-
(i) Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
(ii) Suffer substantial emotional distress.
(2) For the purpose of this definition-
(i) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
(ii) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
(iii) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
(3) For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and section 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.
Statutory Rape - Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Dating Violence and Domestic Violence –
There are no crimes called “dating violence” or “domestic violence” in Massachusetts; however, there is a related crime of “abuse” that is defined in G.L. c. 209A § 1 as: “the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:
- (a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
- (b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
- (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.
“Family or household members” is defined as: “persons who:
- (a) are or were married to one another;
- (b) are or were residing together in the same household;
- (c) are or were related by blood or marriage;
- (d) having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or
- (e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts consideration of the following factors:
- (1) the length of time of the relationship;
- (2) the type of relationship;
- (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and
- (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.”
Sexual Assault –
There is no crime called “sexual assault” in Massachusetts; however, there are related crimes of “indecent assault and battery,” “rape,” and “assault with intent to commit rape.”
Indecent Assault and Battery is a crime under G.L. c. 265:
§ 13B (Indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen);
§ 13B1/2 (Commission of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen during commission of certain other offenses or by mandated reporters);
§ 13B3/4 Commission of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen by certain previously convicted offenders);
§ 13F (Indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability); and 13 H (Indecent assault and battery on a person fourteen or older).
The term “indecent assault and battery” is not defined by statute.
Rape is a crime under G.L. c. 265:
§ 22 (Rape, generally: “Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person and compels such person to submit by force and against his will, or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury…”);
§ 22A (Rape of a child: “Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury…”);
§ 22B (Rape of a child during commission of certain offenses or by use of force: “Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury and…”);
§ 22C (Rape of a child through use of force by certain previously convicted offenders: “Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury, and has been previously convicted of or adjudicated delinquent or as a youthful offender for…”);
§ 23 (Rape and abuse of child: “Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under 16 years of age…”);
§ 23A (Rape and abuse of child aggravated by age difference between defendant and victim or when committed by mandated reporters: “Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under 16 years of age and…”); and
§ 23B (Rape and abuse of a child by certain previously convicted offenders: “Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under 16 years of age and has been previously convicted of or adjudicated delinquent or as a youthful offender for...”).
Assault with intent to commit rape is a crime under G.L. c. 265, § 24. “Assault with intent to commit rape” is not defined by statute.
Stalking is a crime under G.L. c. 265, § 43 (a), where it is described as follows:
“Whoever (1) willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury, shall be guilty of the crime of stalking . . . The conduct, acts or threats described in this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, conduct, acts or threats conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device or electronic communication device including, but not limited to, any device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.”
“Consent,” in reference to sexual activity, is not defined by statute in Massachusetts. However, lack of consent is an element of the crimes of rape and indecent assault and battery.