Fall 2021 Reopening Plans
We will reopen our campuses for classes, activities, and residential living in Fall 2021. Find the latest information on our Fall 2021 Plan page.

Sexual Assault Prevention & Services

At Lesley University, we take sexual assault very seriously.

We take prompt and corrective steps to end sexual misconduct and assault and their injurious effects. We strive to prevent its occurrence in the first place through the education of our community. When investigating allegations of sexual misconduct, we follow through on our enforcement of Lesley University policies and procedures even if the allegation is the subject of a criminal investigation.

The University takes steps to provide interim safeguards and supportive measures, supports on campus, and referrals for off-campus resources.

Retaliation against anyone reporting sexual misconduct or against anyone who provides information about sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited.

Lesley follows the Complaint Resolution Procedure in resolving sexual misconduct matters.

Lesley’s definition of consent to have sexual contact

  • Consent means an affirmative, voluntary, and mutual agreement to have sexual contact.
  • Consent must be expressed by outward demonstration—verbally or non-verbally—in a way that is mutually understandable.
  • Consent means agreeing to participate in a particular sexual activity without any coercion, force, fear, or intimidation.
  • Silence is not consent.
  • Lack of resistance is not consent.
  • Consent can be revoked at any time. A person can change their mind about continuing with sexual contact at any step along the way.
  • Revocation of consent must be expressed by outward demonstration—verbally or non-verbally—in a way that is mutually understandable.
  • Consent can never be assumed, even in an established romantic relationship.

It is against the law and against Lesley University's Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence policy to have sexual contact with someone who does not give their consent.

Consent can never be given by someone who is:

  • Under the statutory age of consent (in Massachusetts, a minor is defined as a person younger than 16 years of age)
  • Asleep
  • Unconscious
  • Incapacitated due to drugs, alcohol, or any other cause

Video on consent

Watch this video for an animation of consent.

What to do if you are sexually assaulted

Get away from your attacker and go to a safe place as soon as possible. Call 911 or Lesley's Public Safety Office at 617.349.8888, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Seek medical attention and preserve evidence. See the, "What to do when seeking medical attention" section on this page for information.

Seek assistance from friends and family. Don't be afraid to ask for help and support. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal but are also feelings that may prevent people from seeking help. Call a trusted friend or family member or contact one of the Emergency & Support Resources for Sexual Assault.

Talk with the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator about your options for reporting an incident. The Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator:

  • Can review your options and inform you of, or connect you to, appropriate on- and off-campus support services.
  • Will explain your right to decide whether to notify law enforcement authorities and provide you information regarding how to file a complaint through the University or a criminal complaint through local law enforcement. You have the right to decide whether to notify law enforcement authorities.
  • Will discuss with you appropriate interim safeguards or supportive measures available to you. For more information, see the Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Talk to any of our Confidential Resource Providers on campus to decide if reporting is right for you.

For students

Alice Diamond
Associate Dean for Career and Community Service
617.349.8551
adiamond@lesley.edu

For employees/faculty

Samantha Carpinella
Director of Human Resources
617.349.8784
scarpine@lesley.edu

Max Meristil
Human Resources Benefits and Compensation Analyst
meristil@lesley.edu

Additional information regarding sexual assault: 

  • Emergency procedures checklist for sexual assault

    If you have been a victim of sexual assault

    • Please attend to your immediate physical and emotional wellbeing:
    • If you choose to go to the hospital, we recommend undergoing a rape kit examination at the hospital. Preserving evidence of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking may be important to future criminal, civil, or disciplinary proceedings.
       
    • Attend to any immediate safety or transportation concerns. At your request, we can contact our Public Safety Office here at Lesley, and/or local police, to help arrange immediate safety measures or transportation.
       
    • You may wish to speak with our Public Safety Office, but you are not required to. Public Safety can provide you with certain safeguards such as a campus escort. We can assist you in contacting Public Safety.
       
    • You may wish to speak with local police but you are not required to. You have the option of obtaining judicial safeguards, such as a restraining order, if you decide to speak with local police.
       
    • Our Public Safety Office can assist you in contacting the police.
       
    • We encourage you to notify parents, other relatives, friends for support.
       
    • You may contact any of the following people if you would like to implement interim measures or supportive measures pending the University’s investigation. Interim measures and supportive measures may include no-contact orders, job or class re-assignment, or other measures. In Title IX sexual harassment matters, you do not have to file a formal complaint, participate in a disciplinary process, or file a criminal complaint in order to ask the University to implement supportive measures.

    Confidential resource providers

    For students:

    Alice Diamond
    Associate Dean for Career and Community Service
    617.349.8551
    adiamond@lesley.edu

    For employees/faculty:

    Samantha Carpinella
    Director of Human Resources
    617.349.8784
    scarpine@lesley.edu

    Max Meristil
    Human Resources Benefits and Compensation Analyst
    meristil@lesley.edu

    What to expect

  • What to do when seeking medical attention

    Emergency room

    If you decide to seek medical attention, you may do so at any emergency room. If the assault occurred within the last 120 hours (5 days), forensic evidence can be collected. Collecting evidence will not obligate you to any course of action, but it can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges should you want them to do so now or in the future.

    Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)

    While evidence can be collected at any emergency room, some hospitals have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) who are specially trained in collecting forensic evidence and caring for sexual assault survivors. The SANE-designated emergency room that is closest to campus is Cambridge Hospital at 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. You can find a full list of SANE-designated hospitals and more information about the SANE program on the Emergency and Support Resources page.

    Your clothing

    If you have changed your clothes since the incident, take the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean paper bag or wrapped in a clean sheet. Plastic bags and containers can cause evidence to deteriorate. If you have not changed your clothes, wear them to the hospital and take a change of clothes with you. If you choose to have evidence collected, your clothing may be requested as part of the collection process.

    Taking a support person

    You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam if you want. If you would like someone from Lesley’s staff to accompany you to the hospital, contact Public Safety at 617.349.8888 and ask them to contact the Dean of Student Life and Academic Development.

    Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

    The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) offers free, confidential support services, including 24-hour phone support, to survivors of sexual violence regardless of when the violence occurred.
    Phone: 800.841.8371

What to do if you are sexually harassed or stalked

An individual can experience sexual harassment without the experience of sexual violence.

For example, someone might:

  • Make unwelcome sexual advances
  • Request sexual favors
  • Spread sexual rumors about you
  • Make lewd remarks about you or someone else
  • Display sexually explicit pictures
  • Stalk you


For more information, see the definitions of sexual harassment, Title IX sexual harassment, and stalking in the Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence policy.

If you have experienced non-violent sexual harassment, you may have questions regarding what actions and services are available to you. Please contact the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator with any questions or requests for information.

Additional information regarding sexual harassment and stalking: 

Active bystanders

An active bystander is a person who is aware that another person may be in danger and decides to get involved, intervenes, and stops the event from occurring.

Lesley University considers all University community members active bystanders if they observe or hear about possible sexual misconduct.

In addition, if someone reports possible sexual misconduct to you or you are otherwise aware of possible sexual misconduct, you may be required to report this to the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator.

Any employee who learns of possible sexual misconduct and is not bound by a statutory obligation of confidentiality must immediately inform the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator of possible sexual misconduct. If you are unclear about your reporting requirements, contact the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator to review your responsibilities.

Before you take action to address inappropriate behavior, determine whether it is safe for you and others to do so. Do not take any action if it puts your safety or the safety of others at risk. Call 911 first if you feel that your safety and/or the safety of others would be compromised by taking other actions.

  • Things an active bystander can say

    Statements you could make

    • "That’s not funny."
    • "What you said [or did] isn’t right."
    • “That type of language [or behavior] isn’t okay."

    Interrupt a risky situation

    If you are uncomfortable calling out bad behavior, try interrupting a risky situation by distracting and redirecting the people involved by saying:

    • "I think [insert any name] is looking for you."
    • Say something positive, such as "nice shoes!" to anyone involved. The goal is simply to change the subject.
  • Things an active bystander can ask

    Questions you could ask

    • "Is this person bothering you?"
    • "Is there anything I can do to help?"

    Interrupt a risky situation

    If you are uncomfortable calling out bad behavior, try interrupting a risky situation by distracting and redirecting the people involved by asking:

    • "Can you show me where the restroom is?"
    • An unrelated question about a class assignment, a TV show, the weather, or their plans for the weekend. The goal is simply to change the subject.
    • If they are ready to leave.
  • Actions active bystanders can take

    Actions to take

    • Stand next to someone so they know they are not alone.
    • Look disapprovingly at a person who is harassing someone else.
    • Don't join in or laugh.
    • Tell someone, either now or later, why you thought what he/she did or said wasn’t right.

    Interrupt a risky situation

    If you are uncomfortable calling out bad behavior, try interrupting a risky situation by taking these actions:

    • Get others involved (stand up and step in) to help interrupt and prevent an incident from happening.
    • Tell the Resident Director (RD), Community Advisor (CA), or another staff person right away.
    • Seek out appropriate campus resources.
    • In an emergency, call 911 for the police or x8888 for Public Safety (617.349.8888).


    Call 911 first if you feel that your safety and/or the safety of others would be compromised by taking other actions.

    Employees

    Any employee who witnesses possible sexual misconduct and is not under a statutory obligation of confidentiality must immediately inform the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator of possible sexual misconduct. If you are unclear about your reporting requirements, contact the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator to review your responsibilities.

  • Active bystander video

    This video demonstrates actions that an active bystander can take to prevent potential sexual assault.

    Trigger warning

    This video shows a fictional scenario leading up to a rape. It does not show the rape itself, but may be triggering to some people. Please take this into consideration before viewing the film.

    Watch the video

    Watch the “Who Are You” video.

    About the video

    The video is the creation and collaborative effort of several organizations in Wellington, New Zealand including Tū Pakari Ora – Sexual Assault Assessment and Treatment Service, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network, Wellington Sexual Health, Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation, Radio Network Wellington, Hutt Rape Counselling Network, Wellington Police, Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care, and Regional Public Health.

  • What to do when someone speaks to you about sexual misconduct

    Actions to take

    Acknowledge their feelings about the incident without overreacting to their experience. Do not judge the individual. Do not try to "fix" the situation. Do not try to reassure the person that everything is "okay" or tell them you know how they feel.

    Things you might say

    • "I'm sorry this happened to you."
    • "It wasn’t your fault."
    • "You survived; obviously you did the right thing."
    • "Thank you for telling me."
    • "I'm always here if you want to talk."
    • "I think it's a good idea for your to speak with Lesley's Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator."

    Do not say

    • "It was your fault."
    • "You could have avoided it if you had_______."
    • "You wanted it."
    • "It’s not a big deal. It happens all the time."
    • "It’s been so long. Get over it."
    • "I don’t believe you."


    Lesley University managers

    Any manager who learns of possible sexual misconduct and is not bound by a statutory obligation of confidentiality must inform the Title IX Coordinator of possible sexual misconduct. If you are unclear about your reporting requirements, contact the Title IX Coordinator to review your responsibilities.

Title IX

Title IX is a federal civil rights act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding.

Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, including sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. It also includes sexual harassment other than sexual violence. As an institute that receives federal funding, Lesley University must comply with Title IX.

Additional information regarding Title IX: 

  • The purpose of a Title IX investigation

    To determine whether the alleged conduct occurred so that the University can stop any sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

  • Individuals who are protected by Title IX

    Title IX protects any person—female, male, and gender non-conforming students, faculty, staff, and third parties—from any sexual harassment that occurs on or off campus that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational program and activities.

  • Lesley University’s general obligations under Title IX
    • Notify the University’s community members that Sana Amini is the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator with the following contact information:

      29 Mellen Street
      Cambridge, MA 02138
      617.349.8054
      equalopportunity@lesley.edu

     

    • Notify the University’s community members about its policy regarding sexual harassment, and the procedures to investigate complaints of sexual harassment.
    • Train community members regarding sexual harassment, the prohibition against sexual discrimination (including sexual violence), reporting responsibilities, the resources available for individuals having experienced sexual harassment and for those accused of sexual harassment, and the procedures in place for reporting and responding to allegations of sexual harassment.
    • Take steps reasonably calculated to ensure the safety of the members of its community.
    • Take steps reasonably calculated to ensure equal access to the university’s programs and activities, regardless of sex.
  • What to do if you want your experience to remain confidential

    Professional staff members at Lesley’s Counseling Center and Student Health Service will not, with limited exceptions, share your information without your permission.

    Other university staff members and faculty members will keep information as private as possible. That said, they must share information about any possible sexual misconduct with the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator.

    Sharing information with the Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator is important to take appropriate steps for the safety of the University community, provide assistance to the individual reporting the sexual misconduct, and allow the University to track trends.

    Lesley has Confidential & Private Reporting Resources who can assist you with supportive measures and accommodations, provide on-campus and off-campus medical or legal resources, and help you decide whether reporting is an option you want to pursue.

    For students:

    Alice Diamond
    Associate Dean for Career and Community Service
    617.349.8551
    adiamond@lesley.edu

    For employees/faculty:

    Samantha Carpinella
    Director of Human Resources
    617.349.8784
    scarpine@lesley.edu

    Max Meristil
    Human Resources Benefits and Compensation Analyst
    meristil@lesley.edu


    For more information, review the Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Contact Sexual Assault & Prevention Services