Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted sexual activity forced by one person on another, including, but not limited to: stranger rape, forced sodomy, acquaintance rape, date rape, marital rape, gang rape, child sexual abuse, and incest.

Sexual misconduct is a wider list of offenses which include the following: non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation,
surreptitious visual observation or recordation, stalking, relationship violence, and sexual harassment.

Any behavior that constitutes sexual misconduct listed above will subject the offender to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, whether or not criminal charges are filed and without regard to whether the conduct occurred on or off campus.

Pursuant to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and 34 C.F.R. Part 106, Sacred Heart University’s Title IX Coordinator is the designated agent of the University with primary responsibility for coordinating University Title IX compliance efforts. In broad terms, the Title IX Coordinator oversees monitoring of University policy in relation to Title IX law developments; implementation of grievance procedures, including notification, investigation and disposition of complaints; provision of educational materials and training for the campus community; conducting and/or coordinating investigations of complaints received pursuant to Title IX; ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties; and monitoring all other aspects of the University’s Title IX compliance.  The Title IX Coordinator is Julia Nofri who can be contacted at  203-365-4837 or nofrij@sacredheart.edu.

What to do if you are raped or sexually assaulted

If the assault occurred in the last 72 hours:

  • Go to a safe place
  • Call someone you trust to be with you and give you support
  • Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth
  • Save all the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault in a paper bag
  • If the assault took place in your room, do not rearrange and/or clean up anything
  • If you live in the residence halls, contact your RA or RHD
  • If you want to report the assault to school officials or to the police, the residence hall director-on-duty will help you with that process
  • If you wish to have a rape kit done as well as be seen medically, go to an area hospital.  Request to have a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE Nurse) conduct the rape kit process.  You can have a rape kit completed without reporting the incident to law enforcement.
  • You can contact the Center for Women & Families Rape Crisis hotline (1-203-333-2233). They will have staff readily available who can guide you and support you through this process

If the assault occurred previous to the last 72 hours:

  • Talk to your RA or RHD about what happened
  • Make an appointment at the Counseling Center to get support and talk about options
  • You can contact the Center for Women & Families Rape Crisis hotline for help (1-203-333-2233)

View the full SHU sexual assault policy & procedure

How to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted

  • Listen to her/his story
  • Provide comfort
  • Let your friend know that you don’t think she/he was at fault
  • Let your friend know that you want to make sure he/she is safe
  • Help your friend to organize her/his thoughts but do not make decisions for them
  • If you are struggling with anger, talk to someone else about it
  • Suggest that your friend contacts professionals, like the Counseling Center or Center for Women & Families rape crisis hotline 1-203-333-2233

For Faculty/Staff

If a person reports to you that they have been sexually assaulted, what do you do?

  • Offer your non-judgmental support.
  • Ask them questions like “What can I do for you that would help?”
  • Stress the importance of contacting professionals for help, i.e. law enforcement/public safety, the Counseling Center or Center for Women & Families—rape crisis hotline 1-203-333-2233.
  • DO NOT tell them that you promise you will keep this information confidential. Depending on the circumstances of the assault, you may need to contact Public Safety or the Wellness Center about what happened. Explain this up front to the student. If they desire a confidential conversation, take them to the Wellness Center.

Support services available:

Wellness Center-Counseling
Park Ave. House
5151 Park Ave.
Fairfield, CT 06825
203-371-7955

Center for Women & Families
753 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
203-334-6154 (Main Number)
203-333-2233 (Rape Crisis locally)
www.cwfefc.org

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
National Sexual Assault Hotline
1.800.656.HOPE

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
www.nsvrc.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.800.799.SAFE
www.thehotline.org

Survivors of Incest Anonymous
12-step recovery program
www.siawso.org