Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are
crucial aspects of the University’s response to campus safety issues.
Every new student, faculty and staff member receives a mandatory online
training (Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence: Title IX, VAWA
and Clery Act) as part of their orientation. Ongoing educational
opportunities are provided through workshops and sessions offered at
each Residential Conference.
If you are a victim of rape, domestic violence, sexual assault or
stalking you should follow these procedures and risk reduction tips:
Get to a Safe Place: Get to a safe space as soon as you
can. If you believe you or anyone else is in immediate
danger, you should alert law enforcement as soon as
possible. Once you are safe, contact someone you trust to
be with you for support. This could be a friend, family
member, or even a specially trained sexual assault
Get Medical Attention: Medical attention should be sought
as soon as possible. This is necessary to mitigate the risk
of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy and to
determine the existence or extent of, and to treat, any
physical injury. Additionally, forensic evidence can be
collected if criminal action is or may be desired in the
Preserve Evidence of the Incident: It is important to
preserve evidence as it may be necessary in providing proof
of criminal activity or in obtaining an order of
protection. Evidence is best collected as soon as possible
or at least within 96 hours of the assault. Assistance with
evidence preservation can be provided by medical and/or law
Consider Reporting the Incident: There are several
reporting options including reporting to local law
enforcement and/or reporting to the Title IX Coordinator.
University authorities will assist in notifying law
enforcement if requested. Reporting sexual assault,
domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the
police does not commit the victim to further legal action.
While victims are not required to report to local law
enforcement in order to receive assistance or pursue
options within Saybrook, the earlier an incident is
reported, the easier it will be for the police to
investigate, if the victim decides to proceed with criminal
charges. If a reported incident did not occur on campus,
Saybrook can assist the survivor in notifying the local
police department with jurisdiction over the crime.
Counseling and other Supports: Saybrook University
encourages victims of sexual misconduct to talk to someone
about what has happened, which may include counseling.
Whether services are sought on campus or in the community,
remember that self-care is an important part in coping with
Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and
relationship violence. Bystanders are “individuals who observe
violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They
are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak
up, or do something about it.” We want to promote a culture of
community accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in
the prevention of violence without causing further harm. We may not
always know what to do even if we want to help. Below is a list of
some ways to be an active bystander. If you or someone else is in
immediate danger, dial 9-1-1. This could be when a person is
yelling at or being physically abusive towards another and it is
not safe for you to interrupt.
Watch out for your friends and fellow students/employees.
If you see someone who looks like they could be in trouble
or need help, ask if they are okay.
Confront people who seclude, hit on, or try to make out
with, or have sex with people who are incapacitated.
Speak up when someone discusses plans to take sexual
advantage of another person.
Believe someone who discloses sexual assault, abusive
behavior, or experience with stalking.
Refer people to on or off campus resources listed in this
document for support in health counseling, or with legal
The following are some suggested strategies to help reduce one’s
risk of sexual assault or harassment:
Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and
who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of
a bad situation.
Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get
help in no one is around.
Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are
going, act like you do.
Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels
unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place
Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this
can make you appear more vulnerable.
Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that
you have cab money.
Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t
trust or someone you don’t know.
Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can
be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are
When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of
friends. Arrive together, check in with each other
throughout the evening, and leave together. Know where you
are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of
a bad situation.
Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation,
go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact
law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be
reached by calling 9-1-1 in most areas of the U.S.).
Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing,
using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left
your drink alone, get a new one.
Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. If
you choose to accept a drink, go with the person to the bar
to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself.
At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other
large, common open containers.
Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. If a friend
seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of
alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get him
or her to a safe place immediately.
If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact
law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be
reached by calling 9-1-1 in most areas of the U.S.). Be
explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct
tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).
If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary
situation, here are some things that you can try:
Remember that being in this situation is not your fault.
You did not do anything wrong, it is the person who is
making you uncomfortable that is to blame.
Be true to yourself. Don’t feel obligated to do anything
you don’t want to do. “I don’t want to” is always a good
enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are
Have a code word with your friends or family so that if you
don’t feel comfortable, you can call them and communicate
your discomfort without the person you are with knowing.
Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up
an excuse for you to leave.
Lie. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings, it is
better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay
and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Some excuses you
could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family
member, not feeling well, having somewhere else that you
need to be, etc.
Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get
out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there
people around who might be able to help you? Is there an
emergency phone nearby?
If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that
you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before
doing anything you may regret later.