Sexual Misconduct: Frequently Asked Questions
These questions may come up in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but addresses some of the questions commonly asked by Haverford students.
- My friend just told me they were assaulted at Haverford, what should I do?Open or Close
First and foremost, listen to what your friend has to say. Let her/him know that they are not alone, and will be supported through whatever course of action they eventually choose to take, whether s/he decides to file a formal complaint with the College, press charges with the police, or simply wants to talk to a counselor at CAPS. Don't ask questions that could be construed as judgmental, like how much s/he had to drink or about the clothes that were worn. Encourage your friend to look at the sexual misconduct website, which describes the resources available to survivors. Finally, make sure you take care of yourself while respecting your friend's confidentiality. As a support person, you too, may access any of the available on-campus or off-campus resources.
- What happens if I tell the College who assaulted me?Open or Close
The College is required under Title IX to investigate any incident of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault) when there is enough information to conduct an investigation. However, you can choose whether or not to pursue criminal charges. Regardless of any charges or investigations, you are still eligible to receive support and treatment from all resources available.
- What happens if I do not tell the College who assaulted me?Open or Close
Even if you do not provide the College with the identity of the perpetrator, you are entitled to the services offered by all of the On-Campus Resources. While College policy and Title IX require that Haverford do everything it can to investigate any report of sexual misconduct, the absence of a name could significantly affect the extent to which the College is able to address the incident.
- What kinds of remedies are available to me?Open or Close
The College has a duty to protect and support any member of the community who has experienced sexual misconduct. Any student who comes forward to make a complaint of sexual misconduct will be informed of options for assistance in securing appropriate and reasonably available remedies to enhance a feeling of safety and comfort on campus. Such remedies may include, but are not limited to, "no contact" orders, and changes in housing assignment and/or academic schedule. Other options may be considered as appropriate and feasible. Any remedies approved will be reviewed and modified as conditions warrant.
- I think I was assaulted by a woman, can I get help?Open or Close
Women can assault men and women, and Haverford takes allegations of woman-perpetrated sexual assault seriously. Haverford provides the same support and resources to survivors regardless of the sex or gender identity of the survivor or the assailant.
- The College is currently closed, whom can I contact?Open or Close
If it is an emergency, please call 911. Campus Safety is always open, even when the college is closed for holidays and breaks. A dispatcher can be reached 24/7 at 610-896-1111 to refer you to the right person.
- I was assaulted while studying abroad, what are my options?Open or Close
Donna Mancini, Dean of International Academic Programs, can advise you about your options. She may be reached at 610-896-1230, by email at email@example.com, or in Chase 217.
- I was assaulted a few years ago, what are my options now?Open or Close
Normally, Haverford requires that complaints of sexual misconduct be made within one year of the incident in question. The Dean of the College, however, may extend this time limitation at her sole discretion. Regardless of whether a complaint has been made within one year, all of the support systems and resources at Haverford for students who have experienced sexual misconduct will be made available.
- Who can put me in touch with the police?Open or Close
Nora Nelle, the Associate Director of Safety and Security, has expertise in the area of rape and sexual assault. She can help refer you to the correct police department - either the Haverford Township Police or Lower Merion Police. Nora can also tell you what to expect from a police investigation and advise you throughout the process.
- I don't want to press charges now, can I do so at a later point?Open or Close
A sexual assault evidence collection kit may be administered at a hospital by a licensed Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) or forensic examiner. A “rape kit” involves a process of collecting DNA evidence that may have been left by the perpetrator. If you do choose to undergo a rape kit, you are not required to cooperate with law enforcement or pursue criminal charges. However, only DNA evidence collected by a rape kit is admissible in court.
If you want to keep your legal options open, Haverford suggests that you receive a rape kit at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Representatives from the Women’s Center and/or local organizations like Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) are available to accompany you to the hospital and support you during the process.
Catherine Sharbaugh, the Director of Health Services, can provide you with more information about your options; she may be reached at 610-896-1089 or after-hours through Campus Safety.
- I don't want a rape kit, can I ask that one not be done?Open or Close
You have every right to refuse a rape kit. You still have the right to receive medical treatment, emergency contraception, STI testing and treatment, and pregnancy testing. Haverford College Health Services can provide you with this medical care and/or refer you to a clinic that provides free or low-cost primary care and testing.
- I'm worried about STIs, what should I do?Open or Close
If you are worried about pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, you should seek immediate medical care. Health Services can provide you with emergency contraception, which can prevent pregnancy up to five days (120 hours) after intercourse. Health Services also offers pregnancy testing and counseling, as well as STI testing and treatment. Contact Catherine Sharbaugh, Director of Health Services, at 610-896-1089 for more information.