Hartford Seminary

Title IX: Sexual Assault & Sexual Violence Resources

Hartford Seminary observes the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E.E.O.C.) Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Guidelines and strives to create a fair, humane and respectful environment. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sexual harassment, discrimination and violence based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

If a sexual assault occurs on campus, dial 911 immediately.

Definition of Key Terms

The following terms and definitions are offered as an addendum to the Clery Act Safety and Security Report as required by Federal reporting regulations. They reflect the updates in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System and terms from the Federal Register and local jurisdiction.   The goal is to provide a clear understanding of terms related to sexual activities, harassment, assault and violent acts.

Consent: An understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent must be informed, freely, and actively given. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. The lack of a negative response is not consent. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or other drugs both voluntarily and involuntarily consumed may not give consent. Past consent of sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.

Rape: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without consent of the victim.

Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual Assault with an Object: To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with a victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of a victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Bystander Intervention: Safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or to intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Bystander Intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.

Risk Reduction: Options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

Proceedings: Refers to the activities related to an institutional disciplinary complaint, including but not limited to fact finding investigations, formal or informal meetings, hearings and appeals.

Results: Any initial, interim and final decision by any Seminary official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. Students who are found responsible for sexual assault, dating violence or domestic violence will be suspended or expelled. Students found in violation of sexual harassment or stalking will be either placed on disciplinary probation, suspended or expelled. Students that are placed on disciplinary probation or suspended may be sanctioned with intervention services, restrictions from accessing college or community buildings, and educational programs.

Campus Safety Report

Official Policies and Reporting Guidelines

Sexual Harassment/Violence Policy

Hartford Seminary observes the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E.E.O.C.) Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Guidelines and strives to create a fair, humane and respectful environment. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sexual harassment, discrimination and violence based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Our Title IX Coordinator monitors compliance with this law and chairs the Sexual Harassment Task Force. He will ensure that complaints of this nature are appropriately addressed. Questions, concerns, and reports of violations can be brought to:

Michael Sandner
Chief Business Officer
Title IX Coordinator

msandner@hartsem.edu   

(860) 509-9525

Definition

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature or relating to sexual orientation when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s instruction, employment, or participation in other Seminary activity;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

(In compliance with the US Department of Education Clery Act regulations and for clarification purposes, definitions of additional related sexual harassment/violence occurrences and terminology are attached as an addendum to this document.)

Procedures for Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Violence

A Sexual Harassment/Violence Task Force is appointed by the President of Hartford Seminary within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each academic year to address any complaints of sexual harassment or violence, including stalking and dating/domestic violence that may arise. A list of the members of the task force will be distributed to all members of the Hartford Seminary community within the first three weeks of the new academic year. Fair, impartial disciplinary proceedings will occur as prescribed by Clery Act regulations.

Students or employees who report being victims of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence will receive a written explanation of their rights and options with written notification of counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, academic, living, student financial aid and protective measures and related services and changes available to them whether or not the victim reports to law enforcement.

A. The Sexual Harassment/Violence Task Force shall be comprised of three appropriate parties.

1. Informal actions: Several options are available to an individual as a victim or witness to informally address an incident of alleged sexual harassment or violence on a voluntary, confidential basis:

A. The individual may attempt to resolve the matter directly with the alleged harasser. Should the individual not be comfortable initiating a discussion on her or his own, she or he may discuss the issue confidentially with any member of the Sexual Harassment/Violence Task Force and receive guidance and support for attempting to resolve the matter directly with the alleged harasser.

B. The individual may report the incident of alleged harassment to the supervisor (in the case of students, to the Dean of the Seminary) in an effort to resolve the matter.

C. In the event that these informal efforts to resolve the complaint by the individual may not be wise, appropriate, or successful, the individual may request that the Sexual Harassment/Violence Task Force attempt to resolve the issue informally. A record of the complaint and its resolution will be maintained in the minutes of the Task Force, which minutes shall be kept confidential to the Task Force.

2. Formal Proceedings: In the event that an informal resolution does not seem possible or is not successful, and if the matter is not settled within ten (10) working days, the complainant and the Sexual Harassment/Offense Task Force will institute formal proceedings immediately to include the following steps:

A. Gather oral and written statements from the parties involved in the alleged harassment, and from others who may have pertinent information, such as witnesses, qualified professional consultants, etc. The respondent may appear before the Task Force and present witnesses in his or her behalf.

B. Determine actions appropriate to resolve the matter; these may include (but not be limited to):

  1. the finding that sexual harassment/violence has occurred, and that the appropriate body or officer of the Seminary is called upon to take action accordingly; such action may include one or more of the following:

a. a formal reprimand, with defined expectations for changed behavior;

b. recommending or requiring remedial action such as but not limited to psychological or psychiatric assessment, counseling or treatment, education and so forth;

c. probationary standing, with the terms of the probation clearly defined;

d. suspension or dismissal from the Seminary

2. the finding that no sexual harassment occurred

In the course of investigating the allegations of the complainant, the supervisor (if involved) and members of the Task Force shall contact only those persons whose participation is reasonably necessary to the investigation of the complaint, and shall otherwise keep the facts of the investigation as confidential as is legally possible.

A written summary of the Task Force proceedings will be maintained in the minutes of the Task Force, which minutes shall be kept confidential to the Task Force.

  1. Appeal Process:

A. If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the disposition of the matter by the     Task Force, he or she has the right to appeal in writing, within 30 days, to the President of the Seminary who may review and affirm or alter the disposition.

B. The complainant or respondent may appeal the decision of the President by addressing an appeal in writing, within 30 days, to the chair of the Board of Trustees. The chair shall refer the matter to the Executive Committee of the Board within 30 days and said committee will resolve the matter, with discretion to take any further evidence that it may deem necessary before making its final determination.

Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding (including an advisor of their choice) and both will be informed simultaneously of the final determination/results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that is brought alleging a sexual offense.

The Seminary may remove reports of crimes that have been “unfounded” by law enforcement officials only under the limited circumstances as prescribed by law. The number removed will be listed in the annual ASR report as “unfounded.”

Retaliation: Retaliation against a person for filing a complaint, or against witnesses for providing statements during an investigation, is a violation and is strictly prohibited.

Hartford Seminary will change a victim’s academic and living situations after an alleged sex offense at the request of the victim if the Seminary determines those options to be reasonably available to the Seminary. An example may be to break a housing contract with the Seminary so that the student may seek off-campus housing. However, the Seminary would not be obligated to pay for the private off-campus apartment.

Victims are encouraged to report sexual offenses and acts of violence to the Hartford Police Department using the “911” phone number for immediate notification, or the (860) 757-4000 direct phone line to the department. It is important to preserve any evidence for the proof of a criminal offense.

Privacy Versus Confidentiality

To the extent possible, under federal law, if a student makes a report about an act of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or designees, the Seminary has an obligation to investigate the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator or designees will protect the privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct but cannot promise confidentiality.   By law, few employees of the Seminary are permitted to promise confidentiality.

Note: Compliance with these provisions does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA.)

The Seminary community can obtain information about registered sex offenders in the State of Connecticut via the website: www.communitynotification.com.

Educational Materials to Promote Awareness and Prevention of Sexual Offenses and Dating/Domestic Violence

The Student Services Coordinator maintains educational materials in her office to promote awareness and prevention of sexual offenses and Dating/Domestic Violence. Staff and students may request copies of these materials at any time. Pertinent materials are available on our website as well. However, it is recommended that those interested contact the following qualified agencies for professional information and services that include crisis counseling, a 24-hour hotline, referrals, support groups and education. All services are free and confidential. Contact information is:

Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence (formerly CONNSACS)

96 Pitkin Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
860-282-9881
info@endsexualviolencect.org
Hotline (English) 1-888-999-5545 (24/7)
Hotline (Espanol) 1-888-568-8332 (24/7)

YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Services
175 Main Street, Hartford, CT
Hotline: 860-547-1022

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
(Support for victim/survivors of domestic or dating violence and stalking)
Statewide Hotline: 1-888-774-2900 (24/7)
Interval House Safe house info can be obtained via the number above.

Getting Help

Getting Help, on Campus

The Hartford Seminary Title IX Coordinator oversees the review, investigation, and resolution of reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence. The Coordinator also oversees overall compliance with Title IX and is supported by Area Coordinators. You can contact any of the following people 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, or are helping a victim, please read the Resources for Victims  section of this page.

Title IX Coordinator
Michael Sandner, Esq.
Chief Business Officer

3rd Floor, 77 Sherman
msandner@hartsem.edu
860.509.9525

Area Coordinators
Heather Holda
Executive Assistant to the President & Human Resource Generalist
3rd Floor, 77 Sherman
hholda@hartsem.edu
860.509.9502

Roseann Lezak
Director of Administration & Facilities
2nd Floor, 77 Sherman
rlezak@hartsem.edu
860.509.9501

Getting Help, off Campus

YWCA of New Britain Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline, 24 hours per day:
New Britain: 860-223-1787
Hartford: 860-547-1022

Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence (formerly CONNSACS): 860.282.9881; info@endsexualviolencect.org
Hotline (English) 1-888-999-5545 (24/7)
Hotline (Espanol) 1-888-568-8332 (24/7)

Interval House:  24 Hour domestic violence hotline 860.527.0550 or 1.888.774.2900

Hartford Police Department: 860.757.4000, or 911

NotAlone.gov

Resources for Victims

If you have been sexually assaulted, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the assault.

  • To treat physical injuries
  • To ascertain the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy and intervene accordingly
  • To gather evidence that could aid prosecution. Evidence should be collected immediately. After the first 24 hours, the quality of evidence usually decreases, but can be collected up to 72 hours after the assault. The evidence collection can be performed at any of the area hospital emergency rooms, usually takes about four hours, and you may have a support person present during the exam. You are encouraged not to bathe, brush your teeth, use the toilet, douche, or change clothing.

St. Francis Hospital
860.714.4001
Hartford Hospital
860.524.2525

Connecticut General Statute 19a-112a (e): No costs incurred by a healthy care facility shall be charged directly or indirectly to such victim for the examination of a victim of sexual assault, when such examination is performed for the purpose of gathering evidence as prescribed in the protocol, including the costs of testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and costs of prophylactic treatment as provided in the protocol. Any such costs shall be charged to the Office of Victim Services within the Judicial Department.

If you seek treatment at a local hospital and police are contacted, this does not mean you have to proceed with criminal charges.

The agencies listed below assist victims of sexual assault and violence:

Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence: 860.282.9881; info@endsexualviolencect.org
Hotline (English) 1-888-999-5545 (24/7)
Hotline (Espanol) 1-888-568-8332 (24/7)

Interval House:  24 Hour domestic violence hotline 860.527.0550 or 1.888.774.2900

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