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Title IX, Sexual Misconduct

Overview

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Thomas Jefferson University is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex, including, but not limited to, sex-based disparate treatment, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.  Instances of Sexual Misconduct include, but are not necessarily limited to, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual acts which are committed by coercion, force, intimidation, manipulation or otherwise without consent.  For further definitions of sexual misconduct please see the full Student Sexual Misconduct Policy below.

Sexual Assault Response

A student who is a victim of sexual assault should call 811 (Campus Security) or 911 (Philadelphia Police Department). When a report of a sexual assault is made to University personnel on an emergency basis, Campus Security or other University personnel will escort the victim to a place of safety.

If a sexual assault has occurred it is important for the victim to seek medical attention as soon as possible to check for internal injuries, receive preventative treatment, and gather forensic evidence. Immediate medical and/or psychological assistance is available, including treatment for emergent injuries, at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) Emergency Department.  Forensic medical  examinations are not administered at TJUH.  However, TJUH  will arrange transport to the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (PSARC) , where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner will conduct an exam.   If not an emergent situation requiring the close proximity of the TJUH Emergency Room, victims have the option of going directly to PSARC at 300 E. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124, 215-425-1625. PSARC provides forensic medical evaluation, injury documentation, forensic photography, pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infection prevention, HIV prevention, follow-up care, and court testimony.   Victim advocacy and counseling is available through Woman Organized Against Rape (WOAR).  WOAR has a 24-hour hotline (215-985-3333) and will arrange for a counselor to meet with you before, during, or after any forensic medical examination.

 

Reporting a Violation

The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct to report what occurred so victims can get the support they need and the university can respond appropriately.  Students have the option of reporting to any employee listed below.  Please note that different employees on campus have different levels of responsibility to maintain a victim’s confidentiality.

Non-Confidential Reporting - Some employees are non-confidential and are required to report all of the details of an incident to Campus Security and the Title IX Coordinator. Reporting an incident to the following people does not guarantee confidentiality and could trigger an investigation:

  • Campus Security (811 or 215-955-8888)
  • Title IX Coordinators
    • Medical College: Dean Charles Pohl (157 Jefferson Alumni Hall, 215-203-6988, charles.pohl@jefferson.edu)
    • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: Dean Gerald Grunwald (M63 Jefferson Alumni Hall, 215-503-4191, gerald.grunwald@jefferson.edu)
    • Students in the Jefferson Schools (Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Population Health):  Jennifer Fogerty (1123 Edison, 215-503-6335, jennifer.fogerty@jefferson.edu)
    • School Deans or Associate Deans
    • Housing and Residence Life staff (including RA’s)
    • Full-time faculty
    • University Administrators with significant responsibility to student and campus activities
    • Human Resources (if involving a faculty or staff member).

Confidential Reporting – Some employees may talk to a victim in confidence, and only report that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information.  If a victim wants to maintain confidentiality the University will be unable to conduct an investigation or pursue disciplinary action.  Reporting to the following people will not trigger an investigation without the victim’s consent:

  • Student Personal Counseling Center (215-503-2817)
  • Pastoral Care Program (215-955-6336). 

Anonymous Reporting – Victims also have the option of anonymous reporting.  If an anonymous report is made the identity of the victim will not be known, but the university’s ability to respond will be limited.

  • Campus Security  24-hour recorded phone line (215-955-5678)
  • Human Resources ComplyLine (888) 5-COMPLY.

 

Requests for Confidentiality

The University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information it receives in connection with a report of Sexual Misconduct.  The information reported will be shared only with individuals who assist or are otherwise involved in the investigation and/or resolution of the complaint, or who otherwise have a need to know about the complaint and/or its resolution.   

Victims should know, however, that the University may have an obligation to investigate allegations of Sexual Misconduct. If a victim discloses an incident to a Non-confidential employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation or disciplinary action occur, the Title IX Coordinator must weigh that request against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment.  The Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including:

  • The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual misconduct, such as
    • Whether there have been other complaints against the same person
    • Whether the alleged perpetrator has a known history of arrests or violence from a previous school
    • Whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual misconduct
    • Whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators
    • Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon
    • Whether the victim is a minor
    • Whether the University possesses means to obtain relevant evidence (for example security cameras or physical evidence)
    • Whether the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that it can respect a victim’s request for confidentiality, the University will consider non-specific remedial action, such as increasing monitoring, security and/or education and prevention efforts.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that it cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the victim will be informed prior to the start of an investigation.  The Title IX coordinator will provide security and support during the investigation, as described in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy below.

Help & Support

Campus/community services are available for immediate and ongoing support. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • The Student Personal Counseling Center (SPCC) offers a variety of counseling and support services to help students in times of need (215-503-2817).  Students can also call 215-955-HELP for counseling, health services, and support group information at Jefferson. 
  • Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) is Philadelphia’s only rape crisis center and can be reached  through a 24 hour hotline at 215-985-3333.  WOAR provides free counseling and offers support during forensic rape examinations and any future court proceedings.
  • Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (215-800-1589) is a private, not-for-profit center whose mission is to provide expertise in the assessment and evaluation of sexual assault victims in Philadelphia. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by on-call, specially trained and experienced Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners who provide forensic rape examinations. PSARC cares for victims regardless of their cooperation with law enforcement.  PSARC is located at 300 E. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124.  In an emergency, call 215-425-1625 to reach the on-call sexual assault nurse examiner.
  • The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network  (RAINN) operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and offers online support, such as online counseling and assistance finding a local counseling center,  at www.rainn.org.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) has highly trained expert advocates available 24 hours a day to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy