The following FAQs are for informational purposes. Please visit Policies & Laws for the official statement of the university’s policies and procedures.
1. What exactly is the University's policy on sexual assault?
The university’s policy as it relates to sexual assault is contained in Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) Sexual Misconduct Policy.
2. How does the university respond to sexual assault reports?
JHU has systems in place for students to safely come forward and report sexual assault on each of its campuses. JHU’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), student affairs and security work together to provide a safe and supportive environment for assisting students who report sexual assault. Students are encouraged to report sexual assault to security, student affairs and/or OIE. These three offices work in partnership to conduct investigations of sexual violence complaints filed by students, staff and faculty. All three of these offices are committed to handling reports of sexual assault with discretion, minimizing the individuals who need to be involved in responding to a report and to the greatest extent possible providing consideration of the wishes of the complaining party with respect to confidentiality and how they wish to have a complaint handled.
Standing together (Fall 2015) provides overview of Johns Hopkins University’s commitment to preventing and responding to sexual assault.
“It’s On Us Hopkins” Sexual Violence Climate Survey: Principal Findings (Fall 2015)
4. Confidentiality – If I report to security, student affairs or OIE, that I have been sexually assaulted, will my report be confidential?
OIE, Student Life and Security are aware that many students are concerned about confidentiality and do not wish to have their identity disclosed. In order, however to effectively respond to a report of sexual violence, OIE, student affairs and security may not be able to keep a reporter’s identity or other information about the alleged assault confidential.
Separately, JHU’s Counseling Center, the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP), and JHU’s Chaplain, provide a confidential setting for students to discuss sexual violence. Conversations with licensed counselors at the Counseling Center and JHSAP in a therapeutic or patient setting; as well as with the Chaplain, are confidential (so long as there is no indication that the students are a threat to themselves or others). Students should be aware that information shared with these offices does not constitute a report or complaint of sexual violence filed with JHU. In other words, in these instances, JHU will not conduct an investigation based on a confidential report to one of those offices, unless the victim authorizes disclosing the assault outside of those settings.
Students can also talk with an on-call counselor from the Counseling Center 24/7 by contacting the Sexual Assault Helpline at: 410-516-7333.
5. What are the rights of the parties during an investigation and hearing?
The parties are provided equal procedural rights during the investigation and any hearing that may follow, including the equal opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. For more information, please refer to the Policies & Laws section in this website.
6. How will a sexual offender be punished?
If an individual is found to have violated JHU’s sexual misconduct policy, sanctions will be determined based on the circumstances, including the nature and severity of the alleged act(s). Decisions about sanctions for a student offender are decided in accordance with the university's sexual misconduct policy and procedures. If a matter involving a student respondent is not resolved by informal resolution or a respondent's acceptance of responsibility, the Title IX Coordinator or a designee will convene a resolution panel at the conclusion of an investigation to determine whether the respondent is or is not responsible for violation(s) of hte Policy. Each resolution panel will ahve three members draw from a trained pool of University faculty and administrators and retired judges or other qualified legal professional selected by the Title IX Coordinator or a designee. Each resolution panel will include two (2) University personnel (faculty and/or administrators) and a retired judge or other qualified legal professional. Upon review of the investigative report, the resolution panel may (i) determine that the case can be decided without hearing from witnesses or receiving further evidence, (ii) remand the case for further investigation or clarification of the investigative report, or (iii) convene a hearing. If the resolution panel determines that a case can be decided without hearing from witnesses or receiving further evidence, both parties will nonetheless have the opportunity to make a statement to the resolution panel if they so choose.
The resolution panel will use the preponderance of evidence standard to determine respondent's responsibility for the alleged policy violations. A “preponderance of the evidence” means that the respondent more likely than not engaged in the conduct at issue in light of the evidentiary record.
Determination is of responsibility are made by majority vote; determinations as to the appropriate sanction are also made by majority vote, except where the sanction in question is expulsion or revocation of a degree, for which unanimity is required.
If the resolution panel finds the respondent not responsible, it will simultaneously send its determination, with the reasons for its decision, the complainant and respondent, with a copy to the Title IX Coordinator. If the resolution panel finds the respondent responsible, it will proceed to the sanctioning phase.
The resolution panel in student respondent cases (or appropriate administrator/panel/board in faculty/staff respondent cases) may consider the following factors in the sanctioning process:
· The specific misconduct at issue;
· The circumstances accompanying any lack of consent (e.g., force, threat, coercion, intentional incapacitation, etc.);
· The respondent’s state of mind (bias-motivated, reckless, negligent, etc.);
· The respondent’s prior disciplinary history;
· The safety of the University community;
· The respondent’s conduct during the investigation and resolution process; and
· Such other factors as the resolution panel deems appropriate.
In appropriate cases, e.g., where the administrator/panel/board finds that the respondent poses a threat to the complainant or to campus safety, the administrator/panel/board, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, may impose interim sanctions before issuing a decision.
The administrator/panel/board will impose sanctions that are fair and appropriate, consistent with the University’s handling of similar cases, adequate to protect the safety of the campus community, and reflective of the seriousness of the misconduct at issue. The administrator/panel/board may impose any one or more of the following sanctions on a respondent found responsible for sexual misconduct, or other such appropriate sanction as the circumstances may dictate:
· Changing the respondent’s academic schedule;
· Disciplinary probation;
· Revocation of honors or awards;
· Restricting access to University facilities or activities, including student activities and campus organizations;
· Mandatory training;
· Issuing a “no contact” order to the respondent or requiring that an existing order remain in place;
· Moving the respondent’s residence;
· Dismissal, termination or restriction from University employment;
· Removal from student housing;
· A ban from campus (either limited time or indefinite);
· Transcript notations;
· Expulsion; and
· Revocation of degree.
The administrator/panel/board will simultaneously send its determination of responsibility and sanction(s), with the reasons therefor, to the complainant and respondent, with a copy to the Title IX Coordinator. The administrator’s/panel’s/board’s notice to the complainant and respondent shall describe the University’s appeal procedures.
The administrator/panel/board may also recommend additional measures to the Title IX Coordinator that are designed to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct or respond to the effects of the sexual misconduct on the University community that include, but are not limited to: increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the sexual misconduct occurred; additional training and/or educational materials for students or groups; revision of the Policy; and campus climate surveys.
The administrator/panel/board may also recommend additional measures to the Title IX Coordinator to remedy the effects of the sexual misconduct on the complainant. These measures, which should be considered regardless of what interim measures were instituted, include but are not limited to: providing an escort for passage between classes and activities; ensuring the complainant and respondent do not share classes or extracurricular activities; moving the respondent or complainant (if the complainant requests to be moved) to a different residence hall; providing victim focused services including medical, counseling and academic support services, such as tutoring; and arranging for the complainant to have extra time to complete or re-take a class or withdraw from a class without an academic or financial penalty.
For a full explanation regarding the Resolution of Sexual Misconduct Allegations involving Student Respondents, click here.
7. Where can I go to file a complaint against a student who has sexually harassed and/or sexually assaulted me?
All complaints against students may be filed through JHU’s Title IX Coordinator or a school’s Student Affairs Dean or Director. Students are encouraged to contact either office and meet with the Coordinator or Dean/Director in person. JHU’s Title IX Coordinator, Joy Gaslevic, is reachable at: (410) 516-8075 or Joy.Gaslevic@jhu.edu. Ms. Gaslevic's office is located on the Homewood campus in Baltimore: 3400 North Charles Street, Wyman Park Building, Suite 515. Students outside of Baltimore are encouraged to contact Ms. Gaslevic to arrange to meet at a more convenient location. All sexual harassment and/or sexual assault complaints against students will be handled by or in consult with JHU’s Title IX Coordinator.
Contact information for each of JHU’s Student Affairs Deans or Directors are as follows:
Advanced Academic Programs:Laura Hannon, Executive Director of Student Affairs1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20036Phone: (202) 452-0983E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carey Business School:Debra "Jill" Green, Associate Dean for Admissions and Programs100 International Drive, Baltimore, MD 21202Phone: (410) 234-9467E-mail: email@example.com
School of Education:Teresa "Teri" Murray, Director of Student Services6740 Alexander Bell Drive, Columbia, MD 21046Phone: (410) 516-5430E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
KSAS and WSE:Smita Ruzicka, Dean of StudentsHomewood Campus 210, MattinBaltimore, MD 21218Phone: (410) 516-8208E-mail: email@example.comRenee Eastwood. Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic AffairsKrieger School of Arts & Sciences614 Wyman Park BuildingJohns Hopkins UniversityPhone: (410) 516-8477E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgChristine Kavanagh, Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic AffairsWhiting School of EngineeringRm 103 Shaffer HallJohns Hopkins UniversityPhone: (410) 516-0764E-mail: email@example.com
School of Medicine:Tom Koenig, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Assistant ProfessorDepartment of General PsychiatryBroadway Research Building (BRB), Room 137733 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205-1832Phone: (410) 955-3416E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPeter Espenshade, Associate Dean for Graduate Biomedical Education725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205Phone: (443) 287-5026E-mail: email@example.com
School of Nursing:Jennifer Dotzenrod, Associate Dean for Student Affairs525 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205Phone: (410) 955-7545E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peabody:Debra Gould, Interim Director of Student AffairsOne East Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD 21202Unger Lounge Plaza LevelPhone: 667-208-6703E-mail: email@example.com
SAIS:Noemi Crespo Rice, Assistant Dean of Student AffairsFinancial Aid1740 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036Suite #: 305Phone: (202) 663-5707E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Where can I go to file a complaint against a staff member or faculty member who has sexually harassed and/or sexually assaulted me?
All complaints against staff and faculty may be filed through JHU’s Title IX Coordinator. Students are encouraged to contact meet with the Coordinator in person. JHU’s Title IX Coordinator, Joy Gaslevic, is reachable at: (410) 516-8075 or Joy.Gaslevic@jhu.edu. Ms. Gaslevic's office is located on the Homewood campus in Baltimore: 3400 North Charles Street, Wyman Park Building, Suite 515.
9. I was sexually assaulted, and I want to talk with a Title IX Coordinator or Student Affairs officer about what an investigation and/or disciplinary process would look like, before I decide what to do.
Students, staff and faculty who have been sexually assaulted are encouraged to talk to a Title IX Coordinator or Student Affairs officer. Because Title IX investigators and Student Affairs officers are obligated to respond to and initiate investigations of sexual assault disclosures where there is sufficient detail to identify the accused(s), individuals who are sexually harassed and/or assaulted may wish to keep out the name of the accused and/or details of where the assault occurred. This allows the investigator or officer to provide feedback and/or a suggested roadmap to the complainant about what an investigation would look like. It has been the experience of University investigators, that sometimes after a complainant meets with an investigator one or more times, she or he will then decide that they wish to pursue a complaint process after they have a more clear understanding of what that process would entail.
10. If I file a complaint through JHU, how much say do I have over how the case proceeds?
Once a JHU office (i.e., OIE or Student Affairs) receives a complaint of sexual harassment and/or assault from a student, staff or faculty member, its Title IX Coordinator is obligated to insure that an initial assessment is made of the complaint. By assessment, we mean: a determination about what risk the reported complaint poses to the individual complainant as well as the JHU community; a decision about how to investigate; and decisions about what interim measures are needed (i.e., class changes, dorm/living/roommate changes, suspending a respondent pending the outcome of an investigation, and others). Assuming the complaint leads to an investigation, once that investigation concludes and where there is a determination of misconduct, the University must put in place measures that address the misconduct and prevent it from recurring. Those measures will be determined by either a disciplinary board (in the case of students) or a division/department dean or leader (in the case of students and faculty).
11. Does JHU have names of individuals who may be available to support?
For information on contacting an individual who is willing to serve as a support person, please contact Jennifer Calhoun.
All JHU campuses also have counselors available for students through the JHU Sexual Assault Helpline, the Johns Hopkins Counseling Center, or the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program. Students are encouraged to talk with a counselor for emotional support while any investigation or disciplinary process is underway.
12. Can the University still help me if I was sexually assaulted while off campus and/or abroad?
Yes. JHU will assist students who have been sexually assaulted on or off campus, as well as abroad. Where a student has been assaulted by another JHU student either off campus or abroad, that student is still subject to JHU’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures, as well as the applicable division’s Student Code of Conduct. JHU can and will conduct an investigation and determine appropriate disciplinary action just as it would in a case that occurred on campus.
JHU encourages students to report all incidents of sexual assault that occur in a study abroad program. In addition to helping the student who has been harmed, a report of sexual assault abroad could result in JHU making changes to that program to prevent future assaults.
Where the accused is unknown or a not affiliated with JHU (i.e., is a student from another institution), JHU may be limited in its ability to fully investigate the complaint, but will take all measures possible to do so, and implement all available measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant. For example, JHU will contact other institutions and request that the other institution conduct an investigation, or request a joint investigation. A joint investigation could result in a JHU investigator conducting investigatory interviews of the accused/witnesses alongside an investigator from the other institution. And while any disciplinary action taken against the accused would likely be decided by the other institution, JHU can offer recommendations to that institution about what it finds appropriate.
13. I was drunk when I was sexually assaulted. If I file a complaint, I am afraid that I won’t be believed. How will my having been drunk affect my case?
Drinking alcohol can impair a person’s judgment or memory. Simply because a person was drunk does not mean she or he will not be believed. When a person is drunk to the point of being incapacitated, she or he cannot legally consent to a sexual act. In a sexual assault case involving a victim who has been drinking, one of the issues to be determined is the victim’s ability to consent and whether the accused knew or should have known that the victim was incapacitated.
Because the impact of alcohol varies from person to person, someone will be considered unable to give valid consent if she or he cannot appreciate the: who, what, when, where, why, or how of a sexual interaction. In terms of assessing a victim’s ability to consent to sexual acts due the amount of alcohol she or he has consumed, the following factors may be considered:
- How much alcohol had the victim consumed?
- Did the victim blackout or partially blackout?
- Was the victim able to make reasonable decisions?
- Did the victim know where she/he was?
- Did the victim know who she/he was with?
To assess whether the accused knew or should have known that the victim was incapacitated, the following factors may be considered:
- Did the victim appear lucid to the accused and/or others?
- Was the victim slurring her/his speech?
- Was the victim vomiting?
- Did the victim appear to be combative or very emotional?
- Was the victim able to support her/his self?
14. I am a student and was sexually assaulted by another student. I’m worried that because there were no witnesses, that nothing can be done. Is that true?
No. Most cases of sexual assault and rape occur in settings where there are no witnesses. There are many measures that can be taken almost immediately after a sexual assault is reported: students can be separated; no contact orders can be issued to the students requiring no further communication – in person or otherwise; changes to class schedules where student complainants and respondents who are enrolled in the same class(es) can made; emotional support can be provided. And all of these measures can be put in place very soon after a complaint is filed.
From an investigatory standpoint, investigators are trained to assess the credibility of both parties involved. We refer to this as: word against word credibility. Simply because there are no witnesses to a sexual assault, does not mean that there can be no finding of wrongdoing.
15. Can I file a police report?
Yes. JHU stands ready to assist students who wish to file a police report with local law enforcement. JHU’s sexual assault investigators and security personnel will provide information to students about that process.
16. If I file a sexual harassment and/or sexual assault complaint with JHU, will the police be contacted?
With the exception of complainants who are under 18 years of age, or the university determines that it is in the best interest of the community to do so (e.g., the allegations suggest that a serial rapist is at large), JHU will only contact the police/local law enforcement on behalf of the complainant if the complainant so desires. JHU staff and faculty are mandated by law to contact local law enforcement where they learn of allegations of sexual assault or abuse of a minor.
17. I think I was raped and I want to find medical help. Where should I go?
In Baltimore City, individuals who are raped or sexually assaulted can seek medical assistance, support and testing at Mercy Hospital, 345 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202. Mercy Hospital is the only hospital in Baltimore City equipped with a sexual assault forensic examination program, where specially trained nurses can assist victims of rape and sexual assault with physical examination, evidence collection, and assistance with pursuing a complaint with the Baltimore City Police, if the victim so desires. For additional medical centers equipped with forensic services in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metro areas, please click here. For medical assistance outside the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas, please contact your closest local hospital and inquire about the nearest hospital equipped with medical forensic services.
While the University’s Health Center has location on the Homewood campus at 3003 North Charles Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21218, phone number (410) 516-8270 and Health Services Center located 933 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, phone number at (410) 955-3250 are not able to perform forensic examinations (that is, they cannot collect evidence), they can perform a physical exam as well as test for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. While the first 120 hours following a rape are most likely to result in collecting evidence, some victims may not wish to follow to have a forensic exam done. Please know that there are health assessments that can be performed to ensure a victim’s physical well-being and provision of medical care if needed.