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Sexual Assault

Bentley University is firmly committed to establishing an environment free of discrimination and sexual misconduct. These acts of misconduct affect individuals and the greater Bentley community and include: sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual violence (i.e., sexual assault and non-consensual sexual touching, forcible or not), relationship abuse (including domestic violence and dating violence), voyeurism, and stalking.

Resource information on sexual assault was compiled by the Coalition on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence (formerly the Sexual Assault Task Force), chaired by Gerri Taylor (Center for Health and Wellness), Stephanie Kendall (Counseling Center) and Jessica Roche (University Police).

Sexual Assault and Title IX

Title IX first came into existence in 1972 when Congress passed the Higher Education Amendments, and the language specifically states: “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…”  Since 1972, several other federal and Massachusetts state laws have been adopted to offer further protection to those in higher education (i.e., students, staff, faculty, and third parties) from discrimination and harassment based on a person’s sex or gender.

Sexual assault is a form of sexual misconduct that is a violation of University policy as well as federal and state statutes. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines sexual assault as “any sexual activity that is forced, coerced, or unwanted” and refers to the crimes of rape and indecent assault and battery. Bentley University adheres to the following definitions or rape and indecent assault and battery:

  • Rape includes penetration (oral, anal, or vaginal) of any orifice with any object without effective consent.
  • Indecent Assault and Battery includes non-consensual sexual contact without penetration. 

The severity of the crime is the same whether the responding party is a stranger or known to the reporting party. All students, faculty, and staff should be aware that the University is prepared to respond to any incidents of sexual assault. Individuals who commit sexual assaults will be subject to disciplinary action that can include suspension or expulsion from Bentley as well as civil and criminal penalties.

 If you have been sexually assaulted, please keep the following in mind:

  • This is NOT your fault.
  • You are NOT alone. There are people here to help
  • If you do not currently feel safe, call University Police immediately at 781.891.3131.

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