- If You Believe an Incident of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking Has Occurred
- 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
- Information on Pursuing an Informal Resolution or Formal Complaint with the University Pursuant to Harvard University’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Subsequent Proceedings
- Privacy Concerns
- 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
- 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 a criminal offense and/or a violation of the University’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy (which covers sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), you should consult with either the HUPD, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), a Title IX Coordinator, the University Title IX Office, Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR), and/or University Health Services (UHS). You may also reach out to 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, Boston, or Somerville even if the incident occurred on campus. The Cambridge Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit may be reached directly by calling 617-349-3381. The Boston Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit may be reached directly by calling 617-343-4400. The Somerville Police Department’s Family Services Unit may be reached directly by calling 617-625-1600 ext. 7237.) 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.
Seek information and access resources by contacting your School or Unit’s Title IX Coordinator or the University Title IX Office. The University Title IX Office is responsible for coordinating Harvard’s compliance with Title IX and can inform you about the University’s Policy against sexual and gender-based harassment (which includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), the procedures to file a formal complaint, and resources and options available both within the Harvard University community and beyond. Title IX Coordinators within your School or Unit are available to explain and implement interim measures (individualized supports that help individuals access their work or studies). The University Title IX Office can be reached at 617-496-0200 and is located at 44R Brattle Street 2nd Floor, Cambridge. To find your local School or Unit Title IX Coordinator, please visit: titleix.harvard.edu/coordinators.
File a formal complaint with the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR is a neutral body that impartially investigates and resolves sexual and gender-based harassment complaints against students, staff, and, with most Schools, faculty. ODR investigations are handled by professional investigators working with the involved Schools and Units. Any member of the Harvard community may visit ODR to request information or advice, including assistance in seeking an informal resolution or in filing a formal complaint. ODR can be reached at (617) 495-3786 and is located at 44R Brattle Street 2nd Floor, Cambridge.
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.
You 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. The examination will be conducted by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE.) Having a forensic medical examination does not mean you must pursue criminal charges.
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.
You will be given information about both internal and external resources, including how to bring a formal complaint within the University.
Interim measures designed to support and protect a person who reports having experienced 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 Coordinator or local Title IX coordinator. Consistent with School or unit policy, interim measures might include modifications to academic, living, transportation, and working situations, including implementation of protective measures, for example, 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, pursue a formal complaint with the University, do both, or do neither.
Requests for interim measures should be made to the University Title IX Officer or the Title IX Coordinator for the relevant School or unit which can be found at http://titleix.harvard.edu/coordinators.
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.
The University also may issue an institutional no contact order if deemed appropriate. Violators of an institutional no contact order are subject to discipline.
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-rights-brochure-english.pdf to download a summary. The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance at http://www.mass.gov/mova/advocacy-assistance/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.
Information on Pursuing an Informal Resolution or Formal Complaint with the University Pursuant to Harvard University’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 (which includes, without limitation, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), set forth above http://titleix.harvard.edu/files/title-ix/files/harvard_student_sexual_harassment_procedures.pdf.
If you are considering this option, you are encouraged to consult your School or unit Title IX Coordinator, the University’s Title IX Officer, or the Office For Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR). Individuals may come to ODR for information or advice, including whether certain conduct may violate the policy, to seek informal resolution, or to file a formal complaint. You may, if you choose, contact another School or University officer, who will refer the matter as appropriate. Individuals can access the Policy as well as procedures for formal complaints at: https://odr.harvard.edu/resources.
Procedures for Handling Complaints
- The procedures for handling complaints involving students can be found at https://titleix.harvard.edu/procedures under the “Students” tab.
- The procedures for handling complaints involving Harvard employees (other than faculty) can be found at https://titleix.harvard.edu/procedures under the “Staff” tab.
- The procedures for handling complaints involving Harvard faculty can be found at https://titleix.harvard.edu/procedures under the “Faculty” tab.
- When allegations are asserted against other Harvard appointees or third parties, 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.
Below is a short summary of the procedures for informal resolutions and the formal complaint process for complaints involving students, staff, and in some cases, faculty.
Some incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment may be resolved through an informal process without a full investigation. Upon determining that informal resolution is appropriate, the Title IX Officer or designee, the School or unit Title IX Coordinator, or an ODR Investigator will attempt to aid the parties in finding a mutually acceptable resolution.
Filing a Complaint and Initial Review:
- The Formal Complaint process begins by filing a written complaint with ODR that describes allegation(s) of sexual and gender-based harassment. The Complainant is the person bringing the Complaint and the Respondent is the person against whom the Complaint is brought.
- An Investigative Team reviews the allegations to determine whether they fall within the scope of the Policy. Based on the information gathered, the Investigative Team will determine whether the information, if true, would constitute a violation of the Policy such that an investigation is warranted or whether the information warrants an administrative closure. The Investigative Team consists of an ODR Investigator and, at the option of the Respondent’s School or unit, a Designee who is a representative of the School or unit and trained to assist in investigations.
Opening the Complaint for Investigation: Following the decision to begin an investigation, the Investigative Team will notify the Respondent in writing of the allegations and will provide a copy of the Policy and these procedures. The Respondent will have one week in which to submit a written statement in response to the allegations.
The Investigation: The Investigative Team reviews the evidence and conducts individual interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent, and other witnesses identified by the respective parties. Both parties will have timely notice for all interviews. The Complainant and the Respondent will have an opportunity to respond to all information used by the Investigative Team in reaching a conclusion.
Personal Advisors: Both parties may have an advisor of their choice . Personal advisors may view a redacted version of the complaint or other documents provided to the parties, offer feedback on their advisee’s written statements, and provide general advice. During interviews, personal advisors may not speak for their advisees, although they may ask to suspend the interviews briefly if they feel their advisees would benefit from a short break. An attorney may serve as a personal advisor.
Final Report: At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigative Team will make findings of fact, applying a preponderance of the evidence standard, and determine based on those findings of fact whether there was a violation of the Policy. The Investigative Team will provide the Complainant and the Respondent with a written draft of the findings of fact and analysis and will give both parties one week to submit a written response to the draft. The Investigative Team will consider any written responses before finalizing these sections of the report and the final section of the report, which will outline any recommended measures to be taken by the School to eliminate any harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The investigation will be completed and the final report provided to the Complainant, the Respondent, the School Title IX Coordinator, and the appropriate officer in the School or unit, ordinarily within six weeks of receipt of the complaint.
Grounds for Appeal - The Complainant and the Respondent may appeal the decision of the Investigative Team based on the following grounds: 1. A procedural error occurred, which may change the outcome of the decision; or 2. The appellant has substantive and relevant new information that was not available at the time of investigation and that may change the outcome of the decision.
- Appellate Panel - The appeal will be considered by an impartial panel selected from a committee of faculty and senior administrators who have received appropriate training. Unless the Investigative Team’s findings or conclusions are changed through an appeal, the Investigative Team’s findings of fact and its decision as to whether a Policy violation occurred are final.
All proceedings conducted pursuant to the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy shall be prompt, fair, and impartial from the initial investigation to the final result. 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. Individuals at local School and unit disciplinary boards also will receive training consistent with requirements under Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act. In all instances, the process will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the institution’s policy and that is transparent to the accuser and the accused. The institutional disciplinary procedures will not be conducted by officials who have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the accuser or the accused.
As outlined above, 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 are: admonition, probation, requirement to withdraw, dismissal or expulsion (these sanctions are consistent across Harvard’s Schools, though the precise terminology may vary slightly; the sanctions listed here use the terminology of Harvard College). 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. Harvard shares personally identifiable information only with those who have a specific need to know and maintains as confidential information relating to any interim measures to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair Harvard’s ability to provide the interim measures.
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 and 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, University Title IX Office, Title IX Coordinators, and HUHS 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 Coordinators 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://titleix.harvard.edu/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. The Harvard International Office is available to help students, faculty and staff with visa and immigration concerns.
Harvard University Police Department (HUPD)
Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)
Title IX Office
Office for Sexual and Gender–Based Dispute Resolution
Harvard University Health Services (HUHS)
Behavioral Health Services, HUHS
Counseling & Mental Health Services, HUHS
RESPONSE (peer counseling for Harvard College students)
Harvard Employee Assistance Program (for Harvard University staff and faculty)
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:
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 prohibits 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 prevention and awareness programs and campaigns are led by individual Harvard Schools, by the Title IX Office, 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. These programs and campaigns are intended to be culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, responsive to community needs, and informed by research. Among other things, they take into account environmental risk and protective factors on multiple levels.
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 help students make a personal connection to 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.
Graduate and Professional Students
The Title IX Office provides the Deans of Students and Title IX Coordinators at each of the graduate and professional schools with a common curriculum on prevention and awareness for use in their incoming student orientation programs. During these programs, students receive include information on: reporting options after experiencing sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking; support resources on campus; confidentiality; and the University Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Procedures. OSAPR also has a full-time educator who provides research-based programming on prevention, risk reduction, and bystander intervention.
The following resources have been developed to provide ongoing education for the University community:
- Title IX Office https://titleix.harvard.edu/
- Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response https://osapr.harvard.edu/
New staff hired by the University are enrolled in an online training module that covers sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Topics include: applicable federal and local laws about sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating, violence, and stalking; the University Policy and Procedures; reporting options; the confidentiality of campus resources; expectations of supervisors and other responsible employees; information about consent; risk reduction strategies; and bystander intervention strategies.
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.
(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.
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.