Assault and Sexual Offenses
Boston University does not tolerate assault in any form. All sexual assaults are crimes, and rapes are felonies under Massachusetts law. Acts of violence, harassment, and any conduct that threatens to endanger the health or safety of any person on University property are also prohibited by the Boston University Code of Student Responsibilities and the personnel policies of the University. Those who violate the law and the University’s rules are subject to stringent penalties.
Boston University is committed to the prevention of assault, sexual assault, and domestic and workplace violence through an ongoing program of activities such as distribution of educational material, new student and staff orientations, law enforcement services, crisis intervention and counseling services, and strict disciplinary procedures.
Counseling and Assistance Services
Student victims of any crime, including sexual assault or domestic violence, are encouraged to avail themselves of the many crisis intervention, counseling, and student services available to them, both on campus and in the community. A crisis intervention counselor is available through Student Health Services 24 hours a day and 7 days per week during the academic year (617-353-3569). Students may also call the Boston University Police Department (617-353-2121) or the Dean of Students (617-353-4126) for assistance. Students are also encouraged to contact the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) (617-353-7277; firstname.lastname@example.org). Employees seeking assistance may contact Faculty & Staff Assistance (617-353-5381; email@example.com) or the Boston University Police Department (617-353-2121) for referral.
Counselors and clergy should report crimes to the Boston University Police Department—unless, in the counselor’s or clergy’s judgement, it would be inconsistent with the best interests of the student—and may do so confidentially without disclosing the identity of the victim. Counselors and clergy may do so using the form available here or by contacting BUPD at 617-353-2110.
There are a number of resources in the greater Boston area, including:
- The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is equipped to help individuals who have been sexually assaulted. Call 911 for transport if you are off campus, or call BUPD for help at 617-353-2121.
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center has a 24-hour hotline at 617-492-RAPE or 1-800-841-8371.
- The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project can be reached by calling 1-800-832-1901. This organization is a resource for gay men who are survivors of intimate partner violence.
The University engages in a variety of educational programs designed to promote awareness and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence.
- Safety awareness programs are provided for all entering students.
- The Boston University Police Department conducts Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training several times during the year, and can hold additional sessions on request.
- The University’s Student Health Services and the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center provide a variety of services, including bystander training, health services, mental health counseling, violence prevention workshops during the academic year and upon request, and other resources.
- Special brochures are published and distributed concerning these topics.
Incident Reporting Procedures
Boston University recommends the procedures below be followed if an assault or any incident of violence occurs:
- Get immediate medical attention, if needed.
- Notify police.
- Preserve any evidence of the assault for proof of a criminal offense.
- Seek professional counseling.
Victims of crime are encouraged to report the incident to the police. The Boston University Police Department has officers who are specially trained and certified to investigate sexual assault cases, and who will investigate all crimes that occur on the Boston University campus. Local police investigate crimes anywhere within their respective cities and towns.
Under Massachusetts law, police may not disclose the name of an alleged victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault to anyone, including University officials and an alleged victim’s family. The Boston University Police Department is available to assist in contacting local police departments and specialized units.
If you request assistance, staff at Residence Life (617-353-4380), Human Resources (617-353-2380), or the Dean of Students (617-353-4126) will assist you in contacting the appropriate police department or the BUPD if the assault occurred on campus.
Reporting a crime does not obligate a victim to participate in a criminal prosecution. However, a police investigation should be conducted promptly even if the victim is unsure if he or she wants to participate in the prosecution of an offender. Timely information may prevent another person from becoming a victim.
If the offender is a student, the University judicial system may impose disciplinary sanctions. Persons seeking to file a complaint under the Boston University Code of Student Responsibilities should contact Judicial Affairs (617-358-0700). Student disciplinary procedures are outlined in the Code of Student Responsibilities. In sexual assault cases, several additional provisions apply, including:
- The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a University disciplinary proceeding.
- Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any University disciplinary proceeding alleging a sexual assault.
The procedures used in sexual misconduct cases are outlined in the policy section of the Dean of Students website.
The University sanctions that may be imposed following the final determination of a University disciplinary hearing include suspension and expulsion from the residence system and/or the University for students, and up to and including termination for employees.
Academic or Housing Changes
Boston University will assist student victims who need to make changes in their academic schedules or living arrangements, provided these changes are reasonable. Students may make such requests or obtain further information from the Dean of Students office (617-353-4126; firstname.lastname@example.org).