Rape and Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking

Victims of rape and sexual assault are likely to feel a broad range of emotions. These violent acts are not their fault. It is important for victims to seek support to help them through this traumatic event. Friends, family, counselors and the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours), can provide such support and help victims to seek out the attention and help that they need.


If you have been sexually assaulted, go to a safe place. Do not wash. Seek medical attention within 72 hours. See additional information below.

Victim Services

To report an offense, if you or someone you know has had an unwanted sexual experience, please call the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours). Please note: Only female advocates can be reached at this number. If you wish to speak to a male advocate, you may call this number and ask the female advocate to put you in touch with a male.

For counseling, contact the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours); additional resources include the Counseling Center (610 861-1510), the 24-hour hotline of Crime Victims Council (610 437-6611), or the Chaplain's Office (610 861-1583). Counseling services are free.

For medical help, contact the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours); additional resources include the Health Center (610 861-1567), St. Luke's Hospital (610 954-1102), or Lehigh Valley Hospital/Muhlenberg (484 884-2522). Ask for a SAFE or SANE nurse, who is specially trained to work with victims of rape and sexual assault. Transportation can be requested by contacting the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours).

For legal help, contact the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours); additional resources include the Crime Victims Council (610 437-6611), the Attorney Referral and Information Service (610 258-6333), the 24-hour hotline of the Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape (888 772-7227), or the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) (800 233-2339).

For police help, contact Campus Safety and Police at 610 861-1241 (24 hours).

Remember . . .

  • You have the right to request a female police officer and counselor.
  • You do not have to speak with the police. While they will be called by the hospital, you can decline to speak with them. Let your nurse and/or advocate know this.
  • If you are seen by a SAFE nurse and speak with a police officer, the PCCD will cover the ER charges. If you are 18 years of age or older, neither your insurance nor your parents will be notified without your permission.

For more information, see the Take Care! Take Action! website.


College Policies and Procedures

Moravian College considers rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking to be serious offenses, unacceptable within the College or any community. Offenders may be prosecuted under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and also under the College's Judicial Code.

All persons are encouraged to report any instance of a sexual offense to the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours), or to a primary support provider such as a representative of the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the Chaplain's Office, Campus Safety and Police, or the Office of Student Affairs. Offenses to be reported include those perpetrated by other students, faculty, staff, other members of the College community, or non-members. Both men and women may be complainants of sexual offenses.

Definitions

Consent
Consent shall have been deemed to have been given if the other person assents, through an affirmative statement or action, to the sexual gesture or activity. Assent shall not constitute consent if it is given by a person who is unable to make a reasonable judgment concerning the nature or harmfulness of the activity because of his/her intoxication, unconsciousness, mental deficiency or incapacity, or if the assent is the product of threat or coercion.

Sexual Assault
Rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) that is perpetrated against the will of the victim. The assailant may be a stranger or someone known to the victim. The type of force may include physical violence, coercion, or threat of harm. Charges of rape also may be considered if the sexual offense involves penetration by a foreign object.

The legal definition of rape, according to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Section 3121, is as follows: "A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant: (1) by forcible compulsion; (2) by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution; (3) who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring; (4) where the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; (5) who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent."

The crime is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment or fine of $25,000 or both. In addition to the penalty provided for, a person may be sentenced to an additional term not to exceed ten years’ confinement and an additional amount not to exceed $100,000 where the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant and has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, any substance for the purpose of preventing resistance through the inducement of euphoria, memory loss and any other effect of this substance.

For the purpose of this policy, the alleged victim need not resist the actor in prosecutions under this chapter nor can the victim consent where the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants, or other means of preventing resistance.

Under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, there are a variety of types of sexual assault other than rape, including:

  • Indecent assault (causing indecent contact with the victim without consent or by force, etc.).
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (forcible oral or anal sex).
  • Sexual assault (engaging in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse without the victim's consent).
  • Statutory sexual assault (sexual intercourse with a person of less than 16 years of age and the victim is four or more years of age younger than the assailant and they are not married to each other).
  • Aggravated indecent assault (penetration of the genitals or anus of a victim by a part of the assailant's body and the victim either does not consent, the assailant uses force or threat of force, the victim is unconscious, the assailant impairs the victim's power to appraise or control his conduct by administering drugs or intoxicants or by other means, the victim suffers from a mental disability which makes the victim incapable of consenting, the victim is less than 13 years of age, or the victim is less than 16 years of age and four or more years younger than the assailant and the two are not married).

Each of these crimes has a different penalty, and some have multiple penalties depending upon the circumstances.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence means crimes of violence, including causing or attempting to cause physical or sexual assault or abuse, placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, restraining another’s liberty or freedom of movement, where such conduct is committed by: (1) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child; (3) a person who is cohabitating or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (4) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim; or (5) any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under Pennsylvania’s domestic or family violence laws.

Dating Violence
Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Stalking
Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer emotional distress. Stalking may include repeatedly following, harassing, threatening, or intimidating another by telephone, mail, electronic communication, or any other action, device, or method.

Reporting Offenses

Those who believe they are victims or that their friends may be victims of a sexual offense are urged to report such incidents to and seek support from the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours), or the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the Chaplain's Office, Campus Safety and Police, the Office of Student Affairs, or any combination of these.

The director of counseling, the counselor(s), counseling interns, all chaplains, and Health Center personnel will respect confidentiality and anonymity as dictated by their professions and, accordingly, will seek to maintain confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.

The ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Campus Safety and Police, and the Office of Student Affairs, while not bound by the same professional obligation of confidentiality, will honor requests made of them to the extent permitted by law. If victims agree to have their names released or if they opt to press charges, information about the incident and the names of the accusers and the accused will be shared with the Bethlehem Police Department and the Northampton County District Attorney's Office. While some victims may not wish to have their names released and or to press charges, the College cannot guarantee confidentiality if the release of such information is mandated by the legal process. The incident also will be counted for statistical reporting purposes, as required by law.

Except as set forth above and as necessary to assure adequate care for the student involved, all campus offices will seek to maintain confidentiality to the extent permitted by federal and state law.

Victims are strongly encouraged to share information with their families so that they may provide comfort, love, and support at such a traumatic time. In order to create a more supportive climate for reporting offenses of this nature, College policy stops short of requiring parental notification when students are 18 years of age or older and able to make this decision for themselves. But if victims are so seriously injured that they are physically unable to make this decision, an administrator will contact the parent or guardian.

Victims of rape or sexual assault should seek medical assistance as soon as possible at St. Luke's Hospital or Lehigh Valley Hospital, both of which have rape-exam kits available. Early medical care is important because measures taken to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy need to begin as soon as possible to be effective. Also, the preservation of physical evidence is critical in the event that the victim ultimately chooses to press charges. Showering, douching, changing clothes, brushing teeth and other such measures destroy physical evidence of rape and sexual assault.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires institutions to report "specified on-campus crimes that were reported to local police agencies or to any official of the institution with significant responsibility for student and campus activities." Colleges self-designate those who fall into this category. The Moravian College list includes the following:

  • The president
  • All members of president's staff
  • All Student Affairs administrators
  • All Campus Safety and Police officers
  • All coaches
  • The athletics director
  • All faculty/administration advisors to student organizations
  • All student members of the residence-hall staff

When an incident is reported to any of these, they are required to notify the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours), who will complete a form describing the incident. Completed forms are maintained in a secure location by the advocate response coordinator and used for legally mandated compilation of annual crime statistics.

The director of counseling, the counselor(s) and counseling intern(s), all chaplains, and Health Center personnel, though acknowledged to have a special charge to respect confidentiality as required by their professions to the extent permitted by law, are required to contact the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours), who will complete the form, maintaining the confidentiality of the victim. Without the consent of the victim, the information will not be shared with anyone else.

A Northampton County memorandum of understanding requires that institutions notify the District Attorney's Office of any felonies alleged to have occurred in the county.

Process and Penalties

Sexual offenses are major violations of standards of conduct for Moravian College students. Anyone charged with such an offense may be subject to College judicial proceedings and possible disciplinary sanctions. Information about evidence standards can be found here: http://www.moravian.edu/studentLife/handbook/disciplinary/disciplinary2.html.

If the complainant does not wish to pursue a College judicial process and/or requests that his or her complaint remain confidential, Title IX nevertheless requires the College to investigate and take reasonable action in response to the complainant's information.  The vice president for student affairs/dean of students will inform the complainant, however, that the College's ability to respond may be limited. The vice president for student affairs/dean of students will also inform the complainant if the College cannot ensure confidentiality.

If the complainant does wish to pursue a College judicial process, that should be directed to the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee.

When offenses are adjudicated, complainant and alleged perpetrator are entitled to the same opportunities: to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding, to be informed of the outcome, and to appeal the findings in accordance with College judicial guidelines.

No action of the College shall be construed to limit a complainant's right to initiate civil or criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrator in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of a sexual offense or against any person cooperating in the investigation of any allegation of sexual offense. For these purposes retaliation includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against any such complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the vice president for student affairs/dean of students and may result in disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the allegation of a sexual offense.

In keeping with the gravity of sexual offenses, sanctions considered in those cases brought before the College may bypass lesser punishments and start at the level of suspension and expulsion. When assigning sanctions, judicial proceedings will consider previous campus disciplinary referrals for sexual offenses, as well as alcohol, drug, and weapons violations.

For more information about process, see the Take Care! Take Action! website.

Rights of the Complainant

Because of the physical and emotional trauma experienced by victims of sexual offenses and because Moravian College considers rape and sexual assault to be intolerable acts, the following rights are afforded to all complainants:

  • To report the rape or sexual assault to the ADVOCATES for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 484 764-9242 (24 hours) or to a primary provider of support.
  • To have every effort made to provide confidentiality except as set forth above and as necessary to assure adequate care for victims.
  • To contact support agencies such as the Crime Victims Council.
  • To have every effort made to provide freedom from intimidation or further harassment by the alleged perpetrator or others.
  • To obtain a change of academic or living situation, transportation or working situations, while proceedings take place. This will be arranged through the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee.
  • To obtain a "no contact" order with the other individual(s) involved while proceedings take place.
  • To remain present during any judicial proceedings.
  • To have at the hearing a member of the faculty, administration, or student body who may provide support but not participate in the hearing. Individuals other than those listed above, including but not limited to family members and attorneys, will not be admitted.
  • To be protected against evidence of past sexual history not involving claims of assault during the process except to the extent permitted by College regulations or by law.
  • To be informed of the outcome of the hearing.
  • To make up any academic work missed as a consequence of the trauma and the judicial proceedings.

Rights of the Alleged Perpetrator

Similarly, the following rights will be afforded to all alleged perpetrators in all College hearing procedures:

  • To have every effort made to provide confidentiality, except in areas of the Higher Education Act of 1998 or any other state or federal regulation that requires disclosure; to take into account concerns about confidentiality in light of College, state, or federal regulations that would allow or require disclosure.
  • To have every effort made to provide freedom from intimidation or harassment.
  • To request a change of academic or living situation, transportation or working situations, while proceedings take place. This will be arranged through the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee. An interim suspension from classes or residential facilities may be invoked to protect alleged perpetrators.
  • To obtain a "no contact" order with the other individual(s) involved while proceedings take place.
  • To remain present during any judicial proceedings.
  • To have at the hearing a member of the faculty, administration, or student body who may provide support but not participate in the hearing. Individuals other than those listed above, including but not limited to family members and attorneys, will not be admitted.
  • To protect themselves against evidence of past sexual history not involving claims of assault during the process, except to the extent permitted in the College judicial process or by law.
  • To be informed of the outcome of the hearing.
  • To make up any academic work missed as a consequence of the trauma and the judicial proceedings if it is determined that an alleged perpetrator was wrongfully accused.