Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources
Harvard Extension School is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity.
Gender-based and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, are forms of sex discrimination in that they deny or limit an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities.
To protect the access of all members of our community to the full range of opportunities and resources provided at Harvard, we, in accordance with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, adhere to the policy and procedures found at FAS Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Resources.
Using the Anonymous Disclosure Form
This anonymous disclosure form is only available to current students, staff, and faculty at Harvard. In order to verify that you are affiliated with Harvard, you will be asked to log in via HarvardKey. Then, you will be redirected to the disclosure form which is hosted by an independent, third-party vendor who provides secure, anonymous reporting services. The vendor is contractually committed to preserve your anonymity and not to pursue your identity.
If you do not have a HarvardKey or are unable to use the anonymous reporting form for any reason, you may still anonymously submit a disclosure to the Title IX Office. To do so by phone, you may call the Harvard Title IX Office at (617) 496-0200 from a blocked number and withhold your name when you speak with one of our staff. Or, you may email the Title IX Office at email@example.com from an email address that does not contain personally identifying information. You may share as much or as little information as you feel comfortable.
For a list of all options available to you, including confidential resources, visit Your Options.
What is sexual harassment?
Harvard University has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment:
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing or is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluations, grades, or advancement and
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities.
Sexual harassment can take many different forms. It can range from sexually explicit jokes that create a hostile learning environment, to rape and sexual assault. Sexual harassment occurs when an instructor makes sexual favors a condition of success in a course and also can occur when he or she repeatedly makes unwelcome sexual remarks or engages in physical contact. Sexual harassment can include repeated, unwanted sex-based text messages or emails or obscene calls or messages. It also can include being continually followed, contacted, or watched in a manner that is unwelcome and based on sex.
Harvard seeks to maintain a learning environment free from sexual harassment, and is committed to creating a community free from discrimination. Sexual harassment is a barrier to the educational, scholarly, and research purposes of the University. Whether the harasser is a faculty member or other University employee, a peer, or a third party involved in University programs, such behavior is not tolerated. Harvard has both formal and informal procedures and resources in place to assist students who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, are types of sexual harassment. These sexually violent acts may violate federal law, including Title IX; state criminal law; and Harvard policy. As a result, if you believe you have experienced sexual violence, you may file a complaint with the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR).
You may also file a criminal complaint with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). Different standards are used to assess a complaint under Harvard policy and a criminal complaint. To discuss your options, speak with one of the resources listed below.
Why does sexual harassment continue to occur?
Those who engage in acts of sexual harassment are unlikely to stop unless they are challenged. It is, therefore, imperative that those who experience sexual harassment be supported and encouraged to come forward. Unfortunately, many people who experience sexual harassment do not come forward because they are afraid that no one will believe them. Others blame themselves. Sometimes those who have experienced sexual harassment fear they are making too much of the experience, and sadly, sometimes, they are told as much by those in whom they confide. They should not stop there. They should speak to someone else.
If you have experienced sexual harassment (or if you are not sure), you may find it difficult to come forward when you feel vulnerable or threatened. There are, however, a wide variety of resources available to you.
Where can I get help?
The Extension School is committed to helping anyone who has experienced sexual harassment, including sexual violence, to access the wide variety of resources available at Harvard and elsewhere. Some of the resources listed below will be able to keep your information private, but they may have to share your information with those responsible for stopping or preventing sexual harassment on campus. Before speaking with someone, make sure that you understand whether they can assure you confidentiality, or how they will keep your information private.
Private resources: These people will keep your information as private as possible, meaning that they will only share it with those who have a need to know. For example, they may need to disclose what you tell them to the appropriate Title IX coordinator, that is, the person responsible for addressing sexual harassment within the Harvard community. The Title IX coordinator also will handle your information carefully, maintaining as much privacy as possible.
Confidential resources: These people are able to adhere to strict standards of confidentiality and can help you think through your situation and options, without sharing what you have told them other than in limited circumstances. There are a few exceptions to their ability to maintain confidentiality and you can ask about those exceptions before you speak to them.
Deans, advisors, faculty members, campus administrators, coaches, and residential life staff will keep the information that you provide as private as possible, meaning that they will only share it with those who have a need to know. For example, they may need to disclose what you tell them to the appropriate Title IX coordinator.
Title IX officer and Title IX coordinators: The University-wide Title IX Officer and the Extension School Title IX coordinators can speak with you about your options, support services, and how to file a complaint. They, too, will handle your information carefully, maintaining as much privacy as possible, but may need to share it with those who have a need to know in order to respond to a possibly hostile environment on campus.
Medical professionals, social workers, rape-crisis counselors, and clergy: Medical professionals at Harvard include licensed clinicians at Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) and the University Mental Health Services. These professionals have certain standards of confidentiality. Similarly, rape crisis counselors, including counselors at the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR), have certain confidentiality standards. Rape crisis counselors also are available at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). BARCC also coordinates counseling and legal assistance resources. Harvard clergy also have certain standards of confidentiality.
In all instances, it is always best to first have a conversation about keeping information private or confidential, and what both of those mean in regards to your conversation with the professional.
Your Title IX coordinator or the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response can let you know if other resources are available when you meet.
Working with the Police
If you have experienced sexual violence or other sexual harassment that you believe may rise to the level of a violation of criminal law, you may make a report to HUPD. All HUPD officers, male and female, are qualified to handle crimes of a sensitive nature. In addition, HUPD offers the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) system, which is a free program dedicated to teaching hands-on defense training. More information is available on the HUPD website.
It is never too late to tell someone. You may contact any of the above resources at any time. If you have been sexually harassed, you deserve and will receive support.
If you or a friend have been raped or sexually assaulted:
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Ask a friend or someone else you trust to be with you.
- Call one of these organizations for help and support:
- Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (24 hours) | 617-495-9100
- Harvard University Police Department | 617-495-1212 (provides transportation to the Beth Israel Hospital or a hospital of your choice)
- Harvard University Health Services | 617-495-5711
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Rape Crisis Intervention Center | (617) 667-8141
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center | 617-492-8306 or 1-800-841-8371
- Cambridge Police Department | 617-349-3300
What happens next?
If you are experiencing harassment and would like assistance in deciding a course of action, you can talk to the resources listed in this brochure. Designated Title IX coordinators can talk to you about the University’s responsibility to respond and protect its students from sexual harassment, including sexual violence; can explain and, as appropriate, offer interim measures; answer questions about the complaint process; address concerns about potential retaliation; and when appropriate, offer an informal resolution. You may also contact the Office for Sexual Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR). When you contact ODR, you may: request information or advice, including whether certain conduct may violate the Policy; seek informal resolution; or file a formal complaint. The procedures for making a complaint is available online.
In addition, in cases of sexual violence or potential criminal violations, the University strongly encourages students to consider reporting the assault to the police and filing charges with the Office of the District Attorney of Middlesex County. Advice on the legal options and process is available from the Victim/Witness Bureau listed in this brochure; OSAPR staff, the Title IX coordinator or HUPD can assist you in contacting them.
Extension School Title IX Coordinators for Complaints Against Students
Title IX Coordinator for Students
Associate Dean of Students
51 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Dean of Students and Accessibility Services
51 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Title IX Coordinator for Complaints Against Faculty and Researchers
Associate Dean for Academic Administration
51 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Title IX Coordinator for Harvard Summer School Faculty and Teaching Assistants
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard Summer School
FAS Title IX Coordinator for Complaints against Staff
Senior Human Resources Consultant for FAS
FAS Human Resources
5th Floor, 1414 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Title IX Coordinator for Staff (FAS, DCE) and Faculty and Research (FAS, SEAS)
University Hall 414B
Cambridge, MA 02138
Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution
Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response
Counseling and Mental Health Services
Harvard University Health Services
Harvard University Police Department
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Rape Crisis Intervention Center
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
(617) 492-8306 or 1-800-841-8371
Cambridge Police Department Sexual Assault Unit
Cambridge Hospital Victims of Violence Program
Middlesex District Attorney Victim/Witness Bureau
Victim Rights Law Center