Sexual and Gender Violence

Photo courtesy of Stehling

"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it." ~Tori Amos


Sexual and Gender Violence Resources

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 Leonora Campbell who can be contacted at 203-396-8386 or

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 RSA 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 Family Justice 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 Family Justice Rape Crisis hotline for help (1-203-333-2233)

View the full SHU sexual assault policy & procedure (pages 96-112 of the student handbook)

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 Family Justice rape crisis hotline 1-203-333-223

On-Campus Resources

If you wish to report this offense,
contact Public Safety at 203-371-7995.



Wellness Center—Counseling
5151 Park Ave.
Fairfield, CT  06825

Local Resources

If you wish to report this crime, contact:

Fairfield Police
Detective Kerry Dalling

Center for Family Justice
753 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT  06604
Rape Crisis Hotline  203-333-2233
1-888-999-5545 (CONNSACS)

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) | RAINN
Reaching out for help is often the first step toward healing. RAINN provides support for sexual assault victims and their loved ones through two hotlines at 800.656.HOPE and Whether you are more comfortable on the telephone or online, RAINN has services that can guide you in your recovery.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center |
NSVRC believes that everyone should have access to information that will allow them to build programs and policies to end sexual violence and serve those who have been impacted. NSVRC acts as a communication hub connecting people with the information, resources, tools, and expertise needed to effectively address and prevent sexual violence in all communities. We are committed to ensuring access to quality resources for all children, teens, young adults, and people in later life. NSVRC uses traditional and emerging forms of communication to create communities of support for preventing sexual violence.  

National Domestic Violence Hotline |

Survivors of Incest Anonymous |
12-step recovery program

LoveisRespect |
At loveisrespect, they work to inspire and support young people to build healthy relationships. Dating violence affects millions of people every year, but people are still afraid to talk about it.

Not Alone |
Not Alone, the White House’s official website on campus safety, provides tons of information, from finding a crisis service, to explaining your rights, to learning how to file a complaint at your school.

Consent Video |
The University of Virginia developed the following video called “Can I Wear Your Hat” to illustrate the process of consent.