Sexual Assault and Title IX Resources
At Stonehill College, we believe that every individual has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and we support the creation and maintenance of a safe and positive living and learning environment. This website serves as a resource for any member of the Stonehill Community, both students and employees.
What to Do If You Experience a Sexual Assault
Get to a safe place and contact on or off campus resource.
S.H.A.R.E Advisors are a group of specially trained staff members who are available 24 hours a day to provide support and help you understand your options regarding medical attention, legal implications and college disciplinary action. Contact a S.H.A.R.E. Advisor directly during regular office hours or through the Switchboard, 508-565-1000, after hours. Please be reminded that S.H.A.R.E. Advisors are a private not confidential resource.
Brockton Hospital is experienced and prepared to help sexual assault survivors. It is extremely important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible - preferably within 72 hours - because you could be injured internally as well as externally by the attack. A prompt medical examination will test for pregnancy, STD's, HIV, and venereal disease. A medical examination can secure valuable evidence that can be used later should you wish to have the assailant prosecuted. Do not drink, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, change clothing or comb your hair. It's only natural to want to do these things, but you may be destroying evidence you will need if you decide to prosecute at a later date. Put all clothing, bedding and other evidence in a paper (not plastic) bag. In the course of your medical examination this evidence will be collected by the hospital staff.
Counseling is a very important step in helping someone who has been sexually assaulted regain control over her or his life and start the healing process. Professional counseling services in the area, both on and off campus can be of assistance. During business hours (8:30am-4:30pm) you can reach a counselor by calling Counseling Services at 508-565-1331. When making an appointment please note that the administrative staff are NOT a confidential resource. If you would like to make a confidential disclosure, please wait until you are speaking with your clinician. When making your appointment, simply indicate the matter is of a personal or confidential nature, and no further information will be required. After hours, call the Switchboard at 508-565-1000, and press "0" to request to speak with the Counselor-on-Call.
Consistent with the requirements of federal regulations, Sexual Harassment actionable under Title IX means the following:
1. A College employee conditioning an educational benefit or service upon a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (often called quid pro quo harassment); or 2. Unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity; or 3. Sexual Assault as that crime is defined in the Clery Act regulations (34 CFR 668.46).
Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression; intimidation; or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping constitute gender-based harassment. Gender-based harassment can occur if individuals are harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic of their sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of gender expression. In order to constitute harassment, the conduct must be such that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive living or learning environment. Sexual assault constitutes an extreme form of gender-based harassment. Based on the specific allegations, Gender-Based Harassment may also constitute Sexual Harassment. The College may determine that an allegation of Gender-Based harassment, while not actionable under Title IX, may still be actionable under other conduct and grievance policies and procedures maintained by the College.
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be based on the complainant’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. For the purposes of this definition dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Examples may include, but are not limited to: slapping, pulling hair, punching, damaging one’s property, driving recklessly to scare someone, harassment directed toward a current or former partner, threats of abuse such as threatening to hit, harm, or use a weapon on another (whether victim or acquaintance, friend, or family member of the victim), or other forms of verbal threats.
A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; 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 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.
Engaging in a course of conduct 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. For the purposes of this definition: “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts 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; “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim; and “substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Stalking behaviors and activities may include, but are not limited to, the following: non-consensual communication including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, and other forms of electronic communication, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear use of online, electronic, or digital technologies including: posting of pictures or information to social media, sending unwanted/unsolicited emails, voicemails, or chat requests o posting private or public messages on internet sites, social networking sites, and/or bulletin boards that are implicitly or explicitly directed to an individual, installing spy-ware on an individual’s computer or other electronic device or using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or other technology to monitor an individual, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by an individual, surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means trespassing on the property owned or being utilized by the complainant vandalizing the personal property of the complainant or an individual close to the complainant, non-consensual touching, direct physical and/or verbal threats against an individual or their loved ones gathering information about an individual from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates manipulative and controlling behaviors, such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the individual defamation (lying to others about the individual, etc.)
Stonehill College strictly prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms. Sexual misconduct includes the following: Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse, which is 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. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, which includes but is not limited to, the touching of the private parts of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity. Sexual Exploitation, which occurs when a student takes advantage of another without their consent for their own advantage or benefit, to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, or behavior that does not otherwise constitute one of the other offenses specifically noted in this Policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: Sexual exhibitionism, Prostitution or the solicitation of a prostitute, escort or the solicitation of an escort, Non-consensual video, photographing, or audio-recording of sexual activity and/or distribution of these materials without the consent of all parties via mediums such as the internet or cellular technologies, Going beyond the boundaries of consent (e.g., allowing people to watch consensual sex without knowledge of the participants), Peeping or other voyeurism, which is the act of observing a person involved in sexual contact/activity, sexual intercourse, or in a state of undress without their knowledge or consent, Knowingly transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) to another individual, The use of drugs or alcohol to render another person physically or psychologically incapacitated as a precursor to or part of sexual activity. Sexual Harassment, which includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome: Sexual advances, whether or not they involve physical touching, Requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job or academic benefits, such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits or academic advantages (also known as quid pro quo harassment), Lewd or sexually suggestive comments, including jokes, innuendos, or gestures, Stripping and/or the solicitation of stripping, Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, magazines, or cartoons, Commenting about or inappropriately touching an individual’s body, Inquiries or discussion about an individual’s sexual experiences or activities and other written or oral references to sexual conduct
For more information regarding sexual harassment, please see Policy E03.35 Opposition to Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination. For more information regarding consensual employe estudent relations, see Policy E03.47 Employee-Student Consensual Relations. College policy generally prohibits employees from engaging in romantic or sexual relations with students who are enrolled at the College, even if the relationship is consensual.
A person who wishes to engage in sexual activity must ensure that they have the consent of their partner. Consent means informed, freely, and voluntarily given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have demonstrated agreement between them to participate in the sexual activity. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, neither party should assume that it is permissible to engage in sexual activity.
Consent to some form(s) of sexual activity does not necessarily mean consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time at which point all sexual activity for which consent has been withdrawn must cease. Acquiescence to sexual activity based on the use of fraud or force (actual or implied), whether that force be physical force, threats, coercion, is never consent.
Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual contact.
Coercion is verbal and/or physical conduct, including manipulation, intimidation, unwanted contact, and express or implied threats of physical, emotional, or other harm, that would reasonably place an individual in fear of immediate or future harm and that is employed to compel someone to engage in sexual contact.
Consent will not be assumed by silence, incapacitation due to alcohol or drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, physical impairment, or lack of active resistance. Consent may never be given by minors (for example, in Massachusetts, those not yet 16 years of age), mentally disabled persons, those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless, or those who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary).
Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of drinking or drugs. Incapacitation is a state in which an individual is unable to give consent because they lack the ability for self-care, i.e., the person lacks the capacity to understand the "who, what, when, where, why, or how" of the sexual interaction. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person.
Individuals who initiate sexual activity must look for the common and obvious warning signs of incapacitation in their partner. Although every person may manifest signs of incapacitation differently, typical signs include slurred or incomprehensible speech, unsteady gait, combativeness, emotional volatility, vomiting, or incontinence. A person who is incapacitated may not be able to understand some or all of the following questions: “Do you know where you are?” “Do you know how you got here?” “Do you know what is happening?” “Do you know whom you are with?”
A person who knows or should have reasonably known that another person is incapacitated may not engage in sexual activity with that person. In evaluating consent in cases of alleged incapacitation, the College asks two questions: (1) Did the person initiating sexual activity know that the other party was incapacitated? and (2) Should a sober, reasonable person in the same situation have known that the other party was incapacitated? If the answer to either of these questions is “YES,” consent was absent, and the conduct is likely a violation of this Policy.
Additional clarification regarding sexual misconduct While a person’s non-verbal actions can constitute consent, verbal communication between two people is the best way to ensure that each person knows the intentions of the other person.
Previous sexual relations or a current or past intimate/romantic relationship between two people is not the equivalent of consent to future sexual activity.
Use of alcohol or other drugs does not excuse a violation of this Policy.
Attempts to commit sexual misconduct and/or aiding the commission of sexual misconduct as an accomplice are also prohibited under this Policy.
Examples of a lack of consent Examples of behavior that demonstrate a lack of consent and may constitute sexual assault include the following: engaging in sexual activity with an unconscious or semi-conscious person; engaging in sexual activity with someone who is asleep or passed out; engaging in sexual activity with someone who has said “no” or has indicated lack of consent through non-verbal communication; engaging in sexual activity with someone who is vomiting, unable to stand without assistance, or has to be carried to bed; allowing another person to engage in sexual activity with your partner without their consent; requiring any person to perform any sexual activity as a condition of acceptance into an organization; telling someone you will “out” them if they don’t engage in sexual activity (e.g., threatening to disclose the person’s sexual orientation without their consent); or purchasing or providing alcohol or drugs for the specific purpose of facilitating or assisting in a sexual assault.
Complicity is any act taken with the purpose of aiding, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of any act listed above by another person or group of persons (such as a student organization).
Gender Based Misconduct Response Protocol
The following flow chart is an example of the procedures used when reporting a sexual assault as well as when a person is accused of a sexual assault. The College uses an investigator model to investigate all reports of gender based conduct. Our goal is to enforce college policies, which protect the rights of all of our community members while caring for the survivor and his or her wishes.
- Opposition to Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy
- Opposition to Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Procedures
- Resource Guide for Survivors
- Resource Guide for Responding Parties
Filing a Gender-Based Misconduct Report
A person who believes he/she was the victim of another’s gender-based misconduct (Policy S1.14) is encouraged to report the incident. Several options for reporting are available:
File a Report with the College: Students can report gender-based misconduct to a College official, such as officials within Student Affairs or Campus Police, Resident Assistants, Residence Directors, or a Title IX Coordinator/Deputy. The College recognizes the following individuals as the Title IX Coordinator/Deputies:
Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
Merkert Tracy 145
Director of Community Standards
Senior Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Sports Complex 219M
For more information about the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, please contact
The Office of Community Standards seeks to provide students with a living and learning environment that reflects the values of the Stonehill community and supports the College's commitment to developing the moral, spiritual, intellectual and social competencies of our students.