There are several departments within the College community that can be called upon to respond to incidents of behavior that could be subject to the Sexual Misconduct Policy and can serve as supports to individuals in many different ways. These resources are available to both Complaining Parties and Responding Parties.
- Confidential On Campus Medical, Counseling and Pastoral Resources
- Non-Confidential College Title IX Reporting Options and Resources for All Parties
- Criminal Reporting Resources
- Governmental Resources
- Additional Resources and Guidance
(A) Confidential On Campus Medical, Counseling and Pastoral Resources. Some College resources are individuals designated as “confidential resources.” These College employees serve in professional roles in which communications are provided confidential status under the law (e.g., licensed mental health care providers, licensed medical providers, pastoral counselors and clergy) and may not report identifying information about behavior that may implicate the Sexual Misconduct Policy without the consent of the individual who supplied the information in question or otherwise in compliance with law. (2) However, these confidential resources are instructed to inform individuals of their right to file a complaint under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or with the police and may assist in that process.
The following chart is designed to assist members of the College community in understanding the different reporting obligations held by different community members. Any questions as to the reporting status of an individual should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator.
None, unless they are being consulted outside the scope of their role within Health Services.(1)
None, unless they are being consulted outside the scope of their role within the Counseling Center. (1)
Employee Assistance Program (for employees only) 800-648-9557, firstname.lastname@example.org
None, except as required by law.
Confidential Resource for faculty members
Confidentiality is maintained as a matter of policy except as required by law or when there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm.
See note at right
None, unless they are being consulted outside the scope of their role within the Chaplain’s Office
An employee who is associated with a religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling is a confidential resource when functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor but may not be a confidential resource when functioning in another capacity. For example, a priest acting in the capacity as an administrator or professor is not a confidential resource. In contrast, a priest hearing confession is a confidential resource. A priest engaging in a pastoral conversation may be a confidential resource if that role is clearly separated from other official duties.
To report a violation, make a complaint, or seek information about the process under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (see contact information in Section IV above).
You may also make a report to, or discuss an allegation under this policy with, other College employees. The College recognizes that individuals may feel most comfortable discussing incidents, situations and allegations with College employees whom the individual knows well. However, it is important to note that College employees, other than the confidential resources described above, are obligated by law to disclose reports and information concerning unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital or parental status, sexual harassment (including, but not limited to, sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking and sexual misconduct), or retaliation toward any member of the College community that is shared with them to the Title IX Coordinator. These employees are known as "Responsible Employees". With the exception of the confidential resources listed above, all full-time and part-time faculty and employees and Residence Assistants are considered Responsible Employees.
Once a Responsible Employee learns about an incident, allegation or receives a report, the College is on notice and then may be required to investigate. Whenever possible, Responsible Employees will disclose their duty to report incidents before someone reveals information about an incident. The College encourages individuals to speak with a Responsible Employee so that an incident can be investigated and properly resolved.
(C) Criminal Reporting Options. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of a crime may file a criminal complaint with the Department of Public Safety (508-793-2222) and/or the local police department (911) where the incident occurred. An individual may make both a criminal complaint and a complaint to the College under its Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The College encourages individuals to report incidents to the police so the police can take appropriate measures to help individuals and prevent future crimes. However, individuals are never required to report an incident to the Department of Public Safety or the local police.
- Holy Cross Department of Public Safety, O’Kane 5 in O'Kane Basement, 508-793-2222. If you wish to file a report on campus, a trained sexual assault officer in the Department of Public Safety is available to meet with you to receive your report.
- Worcester Police Department, 9-11 Lincoln Square (Exit 17 off I-290, turn left), 508-799-8606
- West Boylston Police Department, 39 Worcester Street, 508-835-3233
- District Attorney’s Office, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit, 255 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 508-792-0214
If anyone would like assistance in filing a report with local law enforcement, the Department of Public Safety will help. If you wish to file a report with off-campus authorities, you may choose to go directly to the local police department. The College will provide transportation for you to go to the police department to file a report. You also may choose to have the police come to campus. The College can arrange for a discreet and private place to meet for this purpose.
By filing a report, you are not committed to seeking criminal prosecution of the assailant. However, the College will evaluate its obligation to conduct an internal investigation as described in Additional Considerations – Requests for Confidentiality or No Investigation.
(D) Governmental Reporting Options. If one wishes to file a complaint of unlawful sex discrimination, sexual harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking, or retaliation, outside of the College or in addition to a complaint filed under the College’s Investigation and Resolution Procedures, contact the government agencies set forth below.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-3200/(800) 669-4000
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
484 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608
One Ashburton Place
Sixth Floor, Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
436 Dwight Street
Second Floor, Room 220
Springfield, MA 01103
New Bedford Office
800 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
(E) Additional Resources and Guidance for Reporting and/or Complaining Parties.
Individuals who have experienced sexual violence, other inappropriate sexual contact, relationship violence, and stalking experience a wide range of normal feelings and have many questions and concerns. No one deserves to be abused, assaulted or stalked. We want you to know that you are not alone. There are many resources at the College and other local and national resources to assist individuals.
In an emergency, dial 911. Immediately get to a safe place and call someone you trust.
- Consider Steps to Preserve Evidence. Any person who has experienced sexual violence is encouraged to take steps to preserve evidence of the incident, as doing so may be necessary to the proof of the crime or to obtain a protective order. Your clothing and surroundings may contain valuable evidence. Try to refrain from going to the bathroom unless you save a urine specimen in a clean container. Try to refrain from drinking, showering, douching, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, changing your clothing, or straightening up anything. It is natural to want to do these things, yet it is important that a physician be able to examine you as you are from the incident. If you need to change your clothes, place each garment worn during the incident in a separate paper (not plastic) bag. If the incident involves any written or electronic communications (such as texts, pictures, videos, social media posts, phone calls), try to preserve copies and not delete the originals.
- Confidential Off-Campus Medical Attention after Sexual Assault or Other Violence. Medical attention is strongly encouraged to treat any possible injuries, including internal injuries or infections, even if there is no visible injury. Please note that there are some medical actions that are more effective if taken within a few days after an incident, such as sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy testing, evidence collection and toxicology testing if there are signs that drugs or alcohol facilitated the offense. Prompt medical attention may be especially helpful to prevent the transmission of certain sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, as long as medications are administered within the first 24-72 hours following an assault. Generally one may discuss the incident with licensed medical personnel on a confidential basis.
For these reasons, the College recommends that any person who has experienced sexual violence obtain medical assistance at a hospital immediately after or within 72 hours of a sexual assault. These providers offer physical exams and provide sexual and reproductive health services (e.g., sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy testing). Sexual assault nurse examiners are available to collect evidence in the event the individual seeks to pursue criminal charges or a protective order.
• St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Emergency Room, 508-363-6025
• University of Massachusetts-Memorial Hospital, Emergency Room, 508-334-6481
• University of Massachusetts-University Campus, Emergency Room, 508-421-1750
• University of Massachusetts-University Campus, Emergency Mental Health, 508-856-3562
Department of Public Safety officers will transport you to the hospital without the need to disclose the purpose of the visit. You may also secure a cab through Health Services or be transported by friends to the hospital.
A Sexual Assault Medical Examination is used to (a) collect evidence important in criminal prosecution or a civil case; and (b) treat possible injuries or illness sustained from the offense. Having the examination provides an opportunity to obtain any possible evidence necessary to support your case should you choose to handle the matter through the criminal justice or other legal process. This examination is a voluntary procedure and it does not commit you to any legal action. You are not required to make a police report. Any evidence collected during the examination is held up to six months in a confidential file which is identified only by a number, not a name. It is an individual’s right to ask for a sexual assault nurse examiner to perform the examination.
There is no charge for a sexual assault medical examination completed in a Massachusetts hospital within five days of a sexual assault occurring in the Commonwealth. The hospital where the examination occurred will work with the Massachusetts Victim Compensation & Assistance Division for the payment of any lab work, emergency room fees, physician fees during the hospital visit and/or medications prescribed. You may also be eligible for additional expenses associated with your aftercare deemed medically necessary as a result of the incident. This can include further medical treatment, medications, counseling, replacement bedding and clothing (taken during the administration of the kit), security measures, etc. To be eligible for these post-exam expenses, you will need to complete the MA Sexual Assault Forensic Kit Post Exam Application provided at the time of discharge.
If a victim-survivor did not obtain an examination, the MA Victim Compensation Fund may also cover the costs of the examination care as well as post-examination care (for example, for follow up care for sexually transmitted infection prevention, medication, and testing, counseling, security measures, lost wages, among others) but only if a standard Crime Victims Compensation application to the fund is completed and submitted from the victim-survivor. Additionally, a report must be filed with law enforcement. More information can be obtained at www.mass.gov/ago/vcomp.
The Director of Health Services is available to assist individuals in determining what resources are available. A confidential meeting can be scheduled by calling Health Services at 508-793-2276. The staff can provide immediate care in a safe environment and review available options with you. Transportation to a local hospital with a support person of your choice can be arranged.
Students can also go to Health Services, which is located in Loyola, as described below.
- (1) Medical Services at Health Services. Health Services is available to assist students with immediate needs and to review available medical options. Health Services can offer support, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and follow up appointments for further testing if medically indicated. If medical care is sought weeks, months or years after an incident, Health Services can provide support and perform testing for sexually transmitted infections and treatment for students, if necessary.
The College recommends that any person who has experienced sexual violence obtain medical assistance at a hospital immediately after or within 72 hours of a sexual assault as described above. The Director of Health Services at the College is available to assist survivors of sexual assault and other violence in determining what resources are available. A confidential meeting can be scheduled by calling Health Services at 508-793-2276. Transportation to a local hospital with a support person of your choice can be arranged.
- (2) Psychological Counseling at the Counseling Center. Your visits to the Counseling Center are confidential and no information will be released without your permission except as required by law. (2) You and your therapist will review confidentiality so you are able to make an informed decision about what information you choose to share.
All of the psychologists in the Counseling Center are experienced in counseling both Complaining and Responding Parties in sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence matters. Psychological counseling is intended to help you process your emotions and thoughts related to the allegations, the incident, and/or the investigation process. The course of treatment is determined by your needs, which may change over time. The goals of treatment may include establishing safety, regaining a sense of control, addressing depression and attending to any psychological symptoms that may result from this experience. The therapist can also make you aware of your options and support you in making important decisions.
The length of time a person is in counseling depends on many factors: circumstances of the incident; other significant events in your life; how you choose to proceed; and social supports available to you.
- (3) Pastoral Counseling. Your visits to the Chaplains' Office are confidential and no information will be released without your permission except as required by law. Holy Cross chaplains(3) provide pastoral counseling for both Complaining Parties and Responding Parties. They also work with those who have been sexually assaulted or subjected to dating or domestic violence, or accused of the same, previous to their attending the College. A chaplain can accompany individuals through their healing process by listening to their experience of what happened, affirming the dignity of the individual, and the belief that healing is possible. Questions commonly brought to pastoral counseling include: Why did God let this happen to me? Where is God now? How can I help my family and friends understand what is going on for me? Will I ever feel better again? Is it OK that I am angry with God and others? How can I restore my sense of self-esteem? Will I ever be able to forgive or do I have to forgive?
- (4) Faculty Ombudsperson. The Faculty Ombudsperson office is a resource for faculty members only. The Ombudsperson is available to assist any member of the faculty with any issues related to the College, including understanding available leave and other measures if they or their family members may be victim-survivors of domestic/dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault. The Ombudsperson maintains confidentiality as permitted by law. Please note that the Ombudsperson will report any imminent threat to the safety of the College community.
- (5) Employee Assistance Program. KGA, Inc. is staffed by seasoned, licensed professionals who are committed to service delivery with personal attention. They offer up to five sessions of confidential counseling for faculty and staff to support emotional well-being. The Employee Assistance Program maintains confidentiality as permitted by law. Please note that the Employee Assistance Program will report any imminent threat to the safety of the College community.
- G. Consider Reporting, Complaint, and Investitation Support Options.
- Complaint under this Policy. To make a complaint under this policy, contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator as described in Section B above.
- Criminal Report. To make a criminal complaint, dial 911 in an emergency or contact the Department of Public Safety or the Worcester Police Department as described in Section C above.
- Report to Governmental Agency. To make a complaint with a governmental agency, please see Section D above.
- Advisors in Connection with Allegations of Sexual Violence, Other Inappropriate Sexual Contact, Relationship Violence and Stalking. Each Party may have an advisor in connection with an allegation of Sexual Violence, Other Inappropriate Sexual Contact, Relationship Violence and/or Stalking being reviewed pursuant to the Process for Investigating and Resolving Complaints. Please see Section VII.B.3(b) for more information.
- H. Additional Off-Campus Support and Resources - Shelters, Hotlines, Advocacy, and Support. Many off-campus resources are available to support you. These service providers are not required to report any information to the College and will generally maintain an individual's confidentiality.
- Pathways for Change, 588 Main Street, Worcester, 800-870-5905 (24-hour hotline); Office 508-852-7600; TTY 888-887-7130. Medical advocacy, peer support, police and court advocacy
- YWCA Daybreak/SAFEPLAN, One Salem Square, Worcester, MA Assault and Domestic Violence 508-755-9030 (24-hour hotline). Court advocacy, counseling, emergency shelter, support groups.
- For additional rape crisis programs in Massachusetts, please see: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/com-health/violence/rape-crisis-center-list.pdf
- Llamanos, Statewide Spanish Helpline, Rape Crisis Center of Central MA , 799 West Boylston Street, Worcester MA, 800-223-5001.
- Violence Recovery Program (LGBT) at Fenway Health, 617-927-6250. Provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victim-survivors of bias crime, domestic violence, sexual assault and police misconduct.
- White House Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault on Campus https://www.notalone.gov/ (searchable listing of local resources and hotlines).
- National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) National Sexual Assault Hotline, 800-656-HOPE (4673) (24-hour hotline); www.rainn.org (online chat).
- National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233 (24-hour hotline); http://www.thehotline.org (online chat).
- The National Stalking Resource Center, http//www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource center. Victim Connect Helpline, 855-484-2846; Office, 202-467-8700.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 (24-hour hotline) Lifeline Crisis Chat, http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx.
- Resources for legal advice or representation or to obtain immigration of visa assistance:
- Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, 4th Floor, Worcester, MA, 800-649-3718; www.communitylegal.org. Free, civil legal assistance, including immigration and domestic violence, to low-income residents of central and western Massachusetts.
- Worcester County Bar Association Office, 508-752-1311; 800-622-9700. For lawyer referral service, including a reduced fee program, for all types of legal representation.
- Mass Legal Help, www.masslegalservices.org/FindLegalAid. Free legal aid for qualified individuals: immigration, domestic violence, shelter, etc.
- Public Defender Agency of Massachusetts, 340 Main Street, Worcester, MA. 508-368-1850 Criminal defense only. Free for those who qualify based on income.
- Sharing is required to address an imminent risk of harm to the safety of the community at large, the individual sharing the information, or another member of the community; or
- The individual alleged to have been harmed is a minor (under 18), in which case the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families must be notified.
- Elder or disabled individual abuse has been alleged.
Please note that such employees who receive reports when not functioning in their licensed or pastoral capacity (e.g., when acting as an administrator or teaching a course) are not prohibited from making a report.
Please note that such employees who receive reports when not functioning in their licensed or pastoral capacity (e.g., when acting as an administrator or teaching a course) are not prohibited from making a report.