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Sexual Assault: Options, Resources and Support

If you think you may have been sexually assaulted, you have a few options for next steps and many resources both on and off campus to support you.


If you are on campus and not safe, call Gordon Police at 978.867.3333.

They will respond immediately, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


If you are off-campus, call 911.

For complete information on the policy and process, please see Gordon's policy on Sexual Misconduct:

Gordon College policy on Sexual Misconduct

Navigating your Options

Resources and Support

On Campus

Office of Student Life

978 867 4263

Center for Student Counseling and Wellness

978 867 4301

Health Center

978 867 4300

Gordon Police



978 867 3333


978 867 4444

Title IX Coordinator

978 867 4736


[email protected]



Off Campus

Beverly Hospital Emergency Room


978 922 3000 x 3700

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1 800 656 4673



North Shore Rape Crisis Hotline

800 922 8772

Wenham Police

911 or 978 468 4000

Gordon College is deeply concerned about the effect sexual assault has on our community. We are committed to providing victims with comprehensive care and resources, and to promoting an environment where sexual misconduct of any form is not tolerated.


For up-to-date definitions related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct, please see the Gordon College Policy on Sexual Misconduct.


1. Get to a safe place.

2. Get support. Seek out someone you trust in whom you can confide.

3. Preserve evidence. If you think you want evidence collected do not bathe, shower, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom. This is important for preserving evidence. Do not change your clothes (if you already have, put your clothes in a clean paper bag such as a grocery store bag and bring them with you to the emergency room).

4. Seek medical attention. Go to the Gordon Health Center or the emergency room at Beverly Hospital 978.922.3000 x 3700. If you would like someone to go with you to the hospital call your R.A., a friend, or the Gordon Police (978.867.3333).

  • The emergency room will page the on-call nurse examiner. The nurse examiner will complete a rape evidence collection kit and treat any injuries that you may have sustained.
  • The rape evidence collection kit will be held anonymously at the state crime lab (regardless of whether you choose to make a police report) for 15 years. If you make a report within 15 years, the kit is analyzed when it is needed for the investigation. Both the prosecution and defense will have access to the results.

5. Report. You have the option to report an assault to local police, to make a campus complaint, to do both, or to do neither. However, it is important to preserve any evidence of the incident.

Reporting to the Police. You are not required to file a criminal complaint. If you choose to do so, Gordon Police can provide you with support throughout the process.

If you think you want to make a police report, the sooner you report the better. Legally, you have 15 years to pursue a criminal charge for rape and 7 years for indecent assault and battery; however, it can be more challenging to investigate these crimes the longer you wait. To file a police report call Gordon Police at 978.867.3333 or the Wenham Police Department at 978.468.4000.

  • Reporting an assault does not in any way obligate a student to pursue legal or disciplinary action. However, on rare occasions when the community is at risk, the college may need to take steps to address those concerns. In such cases your privacy will be protected to the greatest extent possible.

  • If you make a police report or file for a restraining order within five days, you can file for victim compensation to cover medical costs. A victim compensation claim must be filed within three years of the assault. Once a victim compensation claim is open you can request expenses be reimbursed at any time in the future. (Note: it is a good idea to open this claim even though you may not feel you need it now. By having the claim, you can be assured that unforeseen expenses will be reimbursable.)

Reporting to the College. By reporting this incident to a trusted Gordon employee, the College will be able to provide you with assistance and explain the services and options that are available to you.

In all cases, every effort will be made to protect the privacy of all individuals.


There are many different responses a survivor may have to sexual assault. Some common reactions include:

  • shock or disbelief
  • shame and embarrassment
  • sense of responsibility for the assault
  • fear of being blamed by others
  • loss of control

If you are experiencing any of these reactions, please seek support and resources. You can talk to your resident director or contact the counseling center at 978.867.4301.


Sexual assault affects not only the survivor, but also the people closest to the survivor. If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, the resources listed in this brochure are available to you as well. Here are some helpful ways to support a survivor of sexual assault:

  • Listen without judging.
  • Be patient.
  • Believe what you hear.
  • Reassure your friend that he or she was not to blame for the assault.
  • Avoid questioning the survivor; do not ask “why” questions.
  • Inform your friend about the resources available. If you are the first person your friend has told, strongly encourage your friend to tell an authority in the Gordon community. Help your friend do so.
  • Encourage your friend to seek support, including follow-up medical and mental health care. Offer to accompany your friend to seek this care, and to later appointments.
  • Let your friend make her or his own decisions about how to proceed.
  • Find a safe place to get support for yourself so you are able to talk about what has happened and how you feel about it.


Q: I was drinking alcohol, using drugs, or violating visitation hours before being assaulted and I am afraid to come forward because I am concerned about facing disciplinary charges.
A: If you have been sexually assaulted, there will be no disciplinary consequences related to any concurrent substance use or minor policy violations.

Q: The perpetrator was drunk at the time of the assault. Will he/she still be held responsible for his/her actions?
A: Yes. Being intoxicated does not remove any responsibility for his/her actions.

Q: I was asleep when the assault took place. Is this still considered sexual assault?
A: Yes. If you did not give consent, it would be considered sexual assault.

Q: I had consented to some sexual activity but not to what occurred. Do I still have the right to file a complaint?
A: Yes. Consent must occur for every sexual act between two people.

Q: I've engaged in consensual sexual activity with this person in the past, but this time I did not consent. Is this a problem?
A. Consent must be willingly given for each act. Even if you consented to the same activity in the past, if you do not consent or are forced THIS time, a crime has occurred.

Q: What should I do if I am worried about encountering my assailant on campus?
A: Alleged assailants can be required to refrain from contacting you or being near you. The Title IX Coordinator () or Gordon Police (978.867.4444, 24 hours) can talk with you about this and other options.

Q: If I file a complaint, I’m afraid that the perpetrator and his/her friends will harass
me on campus. Is there any way I can be protected from this before the investigation and after the investigation if he/she is allowed to stay on campus?

A: Yes. Your continued safety and well-being will be a priority. Harassment is illegal, and retaliation of any kind is a violation of school policy, and will not be tolerated. (See “Harassment Policy” in the Student Handbook, and the section on retaliation in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.)

Q: Can I bring someone with me to any of these meetings?
A: You can bring a friend or support person with you to any meeting and/or interview.

Q: What are the possible outcomes of an investigation?
A: Outcomes for an assailant can range from a behavioral contract to suspension or expulsion.

Q: My sexual assault occurred off-campus. Do I follow the same procedure?
A: If the assailant is a current Gordon student, faculty or staff member, you can file a complaint with the Title IX Team or the Gordon Police, and the College will investigate. If the assailant is not a current Gordon student, seeking support on campus is still an option or you can file a report at the police station in the city/town where the assault occurred. Regardless of who assaulted you or where the assault occurred, either the Title IX Coordinator () or the Gordon Police will offer you assistance in gaining the information you need.

Q: What happens if I request a campus investigation?
A: A trained member of the Title IX Team will meet with you and make you aware of the options available to you in terms of both support and investigation. In the case of an investigation, you will be asked to provide any evidence or documentation you have regarding the incident. The accused party will also be interviewed, as well as any witnesses who are brought forward. The investigators/ adjudicators will use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard to determine whether or not College policy has been violated.

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