Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment

Where can I get help?

At HDS and Harvard

Tim Whelsky

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator for Students

Annmarie Allen

Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator for Staff or Faculty

Kerry Maloney

HDS Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

The Office of Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR)


Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)


Community Resources

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Rape Crisis Intervention Center


Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

617.492.8306 or 1.800.841.8371

Cambridge Police Department Sexual Assault Unit


The Cambridge Health Alliance Victims of Violence Program


Middlesex District Attorney Victim Witness Services


Victim Rights Law Center


What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when:

Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual's employment or academic standing or is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement (quid pro quo harassment); or such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's education or work programs or activities (hostile environment harassment). Conduct is unwelcome if a person did not request or invite it and regarded the unrequested or uninvited conduct as undesirable or offensive.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, are types of sexual harassment. These sexually violent acts may violate federal law, including Title IX; state criminal law; and Harvard policy. As a result, if you believe you have experienced sexual violence, you may file a complaint with the Harvard Title IX Coordinator or the HDS Title IX Coordinators and/or you may file a criminal complaint with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). Different standards are used to assess a complaint under Harvard policy and a criminal complaint.

Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy

For complete policies related to sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment, please refer to the HDS Handbook for Students.

Harvard University and the Divinity School are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. Gender-based and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, are forms of sex discrimination in that they deny or limit an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities.

This Policy is designed to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory educational and work environment and to meet legal requirements, including: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the University's programs or activities; relevant sections of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment; and Massachusetts laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It does not preclude application or enforcement of other University or School policies.

It is the policy of the University and HDS to provide educational, preventative, and training programs regarding sexual or gender-based harassment; to encourage reporting of incidents; to prevent incidents of sexual and gender-based harassment from denying or limiting an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's programs; to make available timely services for those who have been affected by discrimination; and to provide prompt and equitable methods of investigation and resolution to stop discrimination, remedy any harm, and prevent its recurrence. Violations of this Policy may result in the imposition of sanctions up to, and including, termination, dismissal, or expulsion, as determined by the appropriate officials at the School or unit.

Retaliation against an individual for raising an allegation of sexual or gender-based harassment, for cooperating in an investigation of such a complaint, or for opposing discriminatory practices is prohibited. Submitting a complaint that is not in good faith or providing false or misleading information in any investigation of complaints is also prohibited.

Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to abridge academic freedom and inquiry, principles of free speech, or the University's educational mission.

Any student who believes that she or he has suffered rape or sexual assault is strongly encouraged to pursue medical assistance, counseling and support, and legal remedies. Students may also choose to file a complaint with an HDS Title IX Coordinator or the Harvard University Office of Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution. Disciplinary action may be pursued whether or not a student chooses to invoke legal action. Consultation regarding emotional, legal, and administrative concerns is available to those students who wish to pursue a formal complaint with the University or legal processes, or both, through the assistant dean for student affairs or the associate dean for enrollment and student services.