Sexual Assault

This appendix summarizes Brandeis University's relevant policies and services available to victims of sexual assault, and illustrates the university's compliance with the requirements of the 1992 Higher Education Reauthorization Act, section 485 (f).

Additional resources available to the Brandeis community includes:

Report All Sexual Assaults and Dating Violence

Students should immediately report all incidents of sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment or stalking to the Department of Public Safety at 781-736-3333 or 781-736-5000. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. The Department of Public Safety has full police powers and a staff of state-certified sexual-assault investigators available to assist you in this time of crisis.

A student may also report to any or all of the following resources: Dean of Students Office, Department of Student Rights and Community Standards, Title IX Coordinator, the Waltham police or the local police department in the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. A student also has the right to not report to any law enforcement or campus authority.

When you report a rape or sexual assault to the police, you are assured of immediate physical protection and transportation to a medical facility. You are not making a commitment to file charges or to testify in court. The police investigation and legal proceedings may be discontinued at any point.

These sexual-assault investigators working in a team will ensure that you are properly cared for, evidence preserved and your personal safety ensured. Filing a report will:

  • Ensure that a victim/survivor of a sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatments and tests

  • Provide the opportunity for evidence collection, the victim/survivor should not wash, douche, use the bathroom or change clothing prior to the medical exam if at all possible.

  • Assure that the victim/survivor has access to confidential counseling from counselors trained in the area of sexual assault.

Officers will outline for you the legal alternatives available to you against any identified assailant(s) including:

  1. The issuance of criminal complaints in state court, and/or

  2. The issuance of complaints under the university conduct system, i.e., campus disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against a student through the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards  (cite section 3), and/or

  3. The issuance of complaints via other state agencies or university departments relative to the alleged assailant status with the state or university.

Officers assigned to your case will assist you through any conduct and or criminal proceedings you choose to pursue. There are various counseling options available both on campus; Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC), Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC), student hotlines, Chaplains office, and employee assistance program and outside the university, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

Brandeis Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights

The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 enumerated the following rights to victims of sexual assault. Brandeis extends these rights to victims of all sexual violence and gender-based offenses as described in Rights and Responsibilities. The University publication A Resource Guide for Sexual Assault Survivors addresses the following rights and much more.

  • Survivors shall be notified of their options to notify law enforcement.

  • Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present.

  • Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.

  • Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.

  • Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic or living situations.

University Conduct System (Special Examiner's Process SEP)

In cases where the University: (a) receives a report from a willing complainant who is a current or former Brandeis community member (student, staff, or faculty) and (b) determines that one or more possible violations of section 3 or gender-based behaviors from any other section exist, the case will be adjudicated by the Special Examiner’s Process (SEP). When a student is accused of multiple violations in connection with a single incident or cluster of related incidents, some of which are gender-based and others of which are not, the SEP will be used to adjudicate all allegations simultaneously or in multiple SEPs as deemed appropriate by the University.

The SEP process will use the preponderance of the evidence standard in evaluating the responsibility of the respondent. Under this standard, the respondent is presumed not to have engaged in the alleged conduct unless a “preponderance of the evidence” supports a finding that the conduct occurred. A preponderance means a greater weight of evidence, such that it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred.

All parties to a Brandeis University SEP adjudication are entitled to the same rights, including:

  • The complainant and the respondent may each select an Advisor of their choice to provide emotional support and to help navigate the process, which Brandeis recognizes as complicated and stressful for both parties.

  • The right to present evidence and witnesses

  • The right to be silent in response to questions

  • The right to simultaneous notification, in writing, of the SEP’s outcome

  • The right to appeal based on the bases enumerated in Rights and Responsibilities

Sanctions for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation may include: Education and Training, University Restrictions, Disciplinary Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Suspension or Dismissal. See section 20 for definitions of specific sanctions.

Sanctions for Non-Consensual Physical Contact may include: Education and Training, University Restrictions, Disciplinary Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Suspension or Dismissal. See section 20 for definitions of specific sanctions.

Sanctions for Non-Consensual Intercourse That Does Not Include the Use of Force will usually be Suspension or Dismissal. See section 20 for definitions of specific sanctions.

Sanctions for Non-Consensual Intercourse That Involves the Use of Physical Force, Threat of Force, or Purposeful Incapacitation will result in Dismissal from Brandeis University.

In addition to the nature or severity of behaviors for which a respondent is found responsible, sanctions will also be affected by the frequency of these behaviors and the previous conduct history of the responsible student.

Educational Programs on Sexual Assault

Educational programs on sexual assault are offered regularly by the Office of Prevention Services, the Dean of Students Office, the Department of Public Safety, peer counseling groups and the Office of Human Resources.

The Orientation program sponsored “Speak About It” for all incoming students in January and August of 2014. This program incorporates improvisation, humor, education and audience interaction to provide a provocative look at dating, sex and the core issue of consent.

Community Living training included Compassionate Compliance Title IX training, Taking Leadership in your residence hall for preventing sexual misconduct & supporting students affected by sexual violence and bystander intervention. There were also presentations about the University conduct system on documentation of incidents and reporting; and presentations from the department of Public Safety and Human resources. All CAs posted information on their bulletin boards about resources.

The Office of Human Resources conducts new employee orientation for all staff and faculty employees which covers Brandeis' Non-Discrimination and Harassment policies/Title IX/Campus SaVE and Preventing Sexual Harassment (PSH) awareness training. In addition, Human Resources host a workshop that will provide managers and faculty with the information and tools to recognize, prevent and respond to sexual assault and harassment.

The Brandeis Resource Guide for Sexual Assault Survivors (PDF) lists many support services on campus and off campus.

Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

The Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law-enforcement agency information provided by a state concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a state to provide notice, as required under state law, of each institution of higher education in that state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation or is a student.

Members of the Brandeis community may access law-enforcement agency sex offender information maintained by the city of Waltham Police Department.