Study Abroad and Sexual Health
Stonehill College is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination and sexual misconduct, whether students are at the College or abroad, and to responding to these issues quickly, fairly and equitably. Study abroad participants are protected by and expected to follow Stonehill College policies as well those of their study abroad programs and host countries. Violations of these policies may result in sanctions both at the College and through your study abroad program.
Stonehill College’s Study Abroad faculty led programs and other institutionally sponsored programs are covered by and must operate in compliance with Federal laws, including Title IX. Programs managed by third-party providers (such as API, CIEE, TEAN, etc) are obligated to support federal laws and reporting requirements for Stonehill College participants. Our program providers also have protocols and procedures in place for supporting victims of sexual misconduct and upholding federal laws.
Considerations and Potential Risk Factors
- Unfamiliarity with local customs and culture
- Access to alcohol and cultural drinking
- Predators targeting student groups or vulnerable people
- Interaction with professors and other professional program staff which could be misinterpreted as inappropriate
Reporting Sexual Assault or Gender-based Incidents
- Remember: a sexual assault or gender-based incident is NEVER the victim’s fault.
- Report the incident to your local program staff to access local support resources such as confidential victim services, access to medical assistance, help with reporting to police, potential housing changes, academic accommodations, etc.
- Know that Stonehill on-campus support services are available to you from a distance regardless of where you are studying and regardless of who else (fellow student, stranger, etc.) is involved in the incident. The College has a number of confidential and non-confidential reporting options. Please click here for a list private vs. confidential resources.
- Remember that if you disclose a Title IX related incident to a non-confidential resource at or affiliated with the College, that person is required under federal law to report the incident to the appropriate authorities, who will then initiate an investigation. Please click here for the College's Gender-based Misconduct Response Protocol.
- If you are a responding student and an incident report is brought against you, you will be held to the standards and adjudication of your program and those of Stonehill College.
Considerations for Reporting:
- If you are concerned about confidentiality, ask your program staff if there is anyone you can speak with who can maintain confidentiality. Most program staff will be legally obligated to report incidents to Stonehill College or others. See above for reference to private versus confidential resources.
- Your off-campus program may or may not have a designated Title IX officer to report to. If they do not, you are encouraged to report the incident to the College using the Sexual Assault Incident Report form or report directly to one of the College's designated Title IX officials. (Please note that the Title IX administrator is required by law to act upon any incidents they learn about.)
- Attitudes and law related to sexual misconduct and/or assault, as well as local resources, will vary from country-to-country. If you believe you have been involved in an incident, you should seek guidance from the program staff or Title IX Coordinator of your study abroad program and/or with a College designated Title IX official.
A complete list of Sexual Assault and Title IX resources is available here.
Victim Support Resources
International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies: Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 90 languages.
International Resources for Sexual Assault and Harassment:A directory of international resources to assist victims/survivors of sexual assault and harassment compiled by the University of Minnesota. The introduction also includes important tips and considerations.
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): Toll-free 24/7 hotline for sexual assault counseling and referrals: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also offers a hotline that provides live, secure, anonymous crisis support for victims of sexual violence, their friends and families over RAINN’s website. The online hotline is free of charge and available 24/7.
Sexual Assault Help and Support for Americans Abroad (SAHSAA): Phone, email or live chat with staff in the Crisis Center: SASHAA provides sexual assault prevention and response regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or location worldwide.
It Happened to Alexa: Established in 2003, the Alexa Foundation helps support rape victims/survivors through the trauma of the criminal trial, in the hopes that more victims/survivors will go through with the prosecution in order to put these perpetrators behind bars. The foundation also assists rape victims/survivors’ families with travel expenses during the litigation process.
ServJustic: A D.C.-based national not-for-profit organization that increases the prospect of justice for all survivors through effective legal assistance that enforces victim rights and holds both perpetrators and enablers of sexual violence accountable in campus, U.S. criminal and U.S. civil systems.
U.S. Government Resources
The closest U.S. Embassy and Consulates. A list of resources and explanation of services from the U.S. Department of State for U.S. citizen victims of crime abroad. Non-U.S. citizens may find similar resources from their own Embassy or Consulate.
- Cosmopolitan magazine explains how to respond to a sexual assault abroad.
- Go Overseas outlines both safety tips and resources following sexual violence
- Sexual Assault Victimization Among Female Undergraduates During Study Abroad is an article investigating the prevalence of sexual assault victimization and related factors among undergraduates in the context of study abroad programs
- A Huffington Post Article illustrates that Reporting Rape is but one choice.