As president of the University of Delaware, my foremost priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of the UD community. The University is committed to providing a learning, living and working environment that is based on mutual respect and free from all forms of violence, including sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a serious crime and is not tolerated at the University of Delaware. With consent of the victim, all reported instances of sexual assault will be investigated and adjudicated by the University and reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The University provides several support services and personnel dedicated to helping victims of sexual assault secure treatment and counseling, evaluate options for reporting the crime and access advocacy and follow-up services as needed.
I encourage all members of the UD community to read the University's policy on sexual assault. The policy and this website define the acts constituting sexual assault and describe the resources available to victims.
The University of Delaware will be vigilant in ensuring that students, faculty, staff and visitors are protected from sexual assault and harassment and that the elimination of all forms of violence within the University community remains our most critical imperative.
Patrick T. Harker
261 Perkins Student Center (above the bookstore)
101 Hullihen Hall
305 Hullihen Hall
218 Hullihen Hall
24/7 crisis assistance: 831-2226 (Student Health staff will take a first name & phone number. The Victim Advocate on duty will call you back within 10 minutes.)
232 Laurel Hall
302-831-2222, ask to speak to a Victim Services employee
Christiana Hospital Emergency Room, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
302-733-1000, ask for a forensic nurse
1-800-262-9800 for 24 hour crisis services in Delaware including suicide hotline, rape crisis hotline, and general crisis counseling.
Website provides locations; nearest to campus is 140 East Delaware Ave.
Newark Police Victim Services
302-366-7110, ext. 137
New Castle County Police Victim Services
302-395-8139 or 302-395-8135
Wilmington Police Victim Services
302-576-3622 or 302-576-3648
Attorney General's Victim/Witness Program
302-577-8500 or 1-800-870-1790
Delaware State Police - 1-800-VICTIM1
The following policy is taken directly from the Student Code of Conduct:
The University will not tolerate sexual assault. Sexual assault occurs when consent is not received, a person is physically forced, intimidated or coerced into a sexual act, or when a person is physically or mentally unable to give consent. Assault may be committed by an acquaintance or a stranger. Violations will be adjudicated by the University and may be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Sexual Assault Amnesty
The Office of Student Conduct grants Amnesty to students who may have violated the Code of Conduct’s Alcohol Policy at the same time of the incident when he or she became a victim of sexual assault. Therefore, no alcohol charges are applied to a student who reports that he or she was under the influence of alcohol at the time of a sexual assault.
Consent is an affirmative decision to willingly engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity given by clear words or actions. It is an informed decision made freely and actively by all involved parties. In order for a sexual encounter to be consenual, each participant must agree to engage in each act of sexual activity in the sexual encounter.
Relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to miscommunication about one’s intent. It is important not to make assumptions. Confusion or ambiguity may arise at any time during a sexual interaction. Therefore, it is essential that each participant clarifies his or her willingness to continue at each progression of the sexual interaction.
Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity or lack of active response alone. Furthermore, a current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent in every instance, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Being intoxicated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
Conduct will be considered “without consent” if no clear consent, verbal or non-verbal, is given. In some situations, an individual’s ability to freely consent is taken away by another person or circumstance. Examples include, but are not limited to, when an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs, scared, physically forced, intimidated, coerced, mentally or physically impaired, passed out, beaten, threatened, isolated or confined.
The use of alcohol or drugs can limit a person’s ability to freely and clearly give consent. Alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether or not consent has been freely and clearly given. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether one should have known how the use of alcohol or drugs impacted another’s ability to give consent. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs is never an excuse for sexual assault.
Specific violations of this standard include, but are not limited to:
Any uninvited, unwelcome advance, request for sexual favor, or touching or kissing of a sexual nature, where such conduct placed the victim in a position where he or she reasonably felt unable to avoid the uninvited conduct. Conduct includes, but is not limited to, rape, sodomy or oral copulation, sexual assault, or batter
Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, regardless of age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class/socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
Anyone can be accused of sexual assault.
Prohibited actions include, but are not limited to:
The University's explanation of "Consent" is provided in the Code of Conduct and restated above in the first question -- "What is UD's Policy for Sexual Assault?"
Listed below are some examples of situations in which a person may feel "unable to avoid the uninvited conduct". We cannot list every possible scenario, so if you have any questions please call Sexual Offense Support (SOS):
The following offices are available on campus for emotional support:
Sexual Offense Support (SOS) provides confidential & anonymous support services for survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence & stalking. These services are:
Center for Counseling & Student Development (CCSD) provides assessment and referral, short-term individual counseling, psychological crisis intervention, consultation and outreach. After hours if you are in crisis, you may call 831-2226 to connect with a Psychologist (except when the Student Health Service is closed.)
Please note: If you are calling for SOS or CCSD services, your name and identifying information will NOT be reported to any office or authority.
ContactLifeline provides confidential support services for survivors of sexual assault. These services are:
Delaware provides a 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (302) 762-6110. In order to utilize a safe shelter in Delaware, call the DV Hotline.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) offers a national phone hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) and an online hotline. RAINN provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about using their hotlines.
The S.O.S. Coordinator at Student Wellness & Health Promotion and the staff at the Center for Counseling & Student Development (CCSD), including the Referral Coordinator, can assist students with referrals to off-campus counseling resources. Make an appointment at either location to seek referral to therapists in the community.
For comprehensive medical care after a sexual assault, it is recommended that you go to the Emergency Room at Christiana Hospital. In fact, Christiana Hospital is the only facility in New Castle County where you can go for evidence collection to be utilized in a criminal case. If you go to Christiana Hospital Emergency Room, let them know that you need to see the Forensic Nurse Examiner. An SOS Victim Advocate can accompany you to the hospital to provide support and answer any questions you may have about what to expect. Forensic Nurse Examiners are specially trained nurses who provide:
You may utilize these services whether or not you wish to report to police. However, if you are considering reporting the crime, there are several things you need to know:
Other medical resources providing follow-up care, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing, and emergency contraception are:
The State of Delaware offers financial assistance through the Victim's Compensation Assistance Program. VCAP can help victims pay for expenses related to the crime, such as counseling, lost wages due to missed work, medical expenses incurred, and other crime-related costs. A professional counselor or victim advocate is required to sign the application form. The SOS Coordinator at Student Wellness & Health Promotion can sign the form as well as assist you in applying for VCAP funds.
It is recommended that you contact the UD faculty or staff coordinating your trip for assistance with navigating the local resources (crisis intervention/victim advocacy, medical care, police assistance, etc.), or call the Study Abroad office at UD. You may also call SOS on campus for support while you are abroad or utilize follow up care at Student Wellness & Health Promotion once you return to campus. The laws in other countries, as well as how the criminal justice system operates, can be vastly different from what you may expect in the U.S. For links to international resources, see: http://www.udel.edu/wellspring/sos/general.html
You can contact Sexual Offense Support and speak with a Victim Advocate for more detailed information about your options. You can also speak with staff at the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of the Dean of Students for more information about your options, even before you decide whether or not you wish to report to police or utilize the student conduct process.
To be clear, while reporting to UD police can intiate both a criminal investigation and a University investigation, they are separate investigations and processes.
No. If you have been sexually assaulted while underage and intoxicated, neither you nor a friend assisting you will be charged with underage drinking by the University of Delaware. Read more about Sexual Assault Amnesty in the Code of Conduct or see the first Question on this list.
Call 911 to reach police. It is recommended that you only share that you wish to report a sexual assault and tell them where the assault occurred so that they may send the appropriate agency. The police will want to take your report as soon as possible after the assault; however, treatment of your injuries and evidence collection also need to happen as soon as possible after the crime. Since your wellbeing, evidence collection, and reporting are all critical, it doesn't matter in which order these occur, and your medical needs may take precedence over reporting. The police can meet you at Christiana Hospital to take your report when the exam is complete, or you can contact them after you leave the hospital.
Yes. Most police agencies have Victim Services employees to assist victims who report crimes. Check the resource list at right for contact information.
Yes, it does matter when you report a sexual assault.
All crime victims have the right to report a crime to police at any time, regardless of when it occurred. However, it may be helpful for you to know that the sooner you file a report after the crime, the better the chances that helpful evidence can be collected to support a criminal case, that you will be able to convey a clear account of what happened, and that police will be able to identify and speak with witnesses.
At UD, you have 90 days from when the assault occured to initiate a case in the Student Conduct process.
If you wish to report, it is strongly recommended that you do so as soon as possible after the assault.
Yes. The crime needs to be reported to the police department that is in charge of the area where the crime occurred (jurisdiction). Call 911, tell them you wish to report a sexual assault, and explain the location of the crime as best you can. You do not need to provide details about the incident. The dispatcher will send an officer from the appropriate agency to take your report, based on location of the crime.
Sexual assault is considered a type of sexual harassment, so if the person(s) who sexually assaulted you is a University of Delaware employee (faculty or staff member), you may report it by following the Sexual Harassment Policy. Employees and students who believe that they have been sexually harassed can contact the Office of Equity & Inclusion for confidential support, information, and options for resolution.