A Guide for Students & the Kutztown University Community
If you or someone you know has been hurt by sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or other gender-based misconduct, Kutztown University is here to help. You have the right to live, learn, and/or work in a safe and welcoming environment. This guide outlines steps to take depending on what services you want or need. Please refer to the Kutztown University's Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information, details on your rights, and complaint procedures.
Unsure Where to Start?
You may want more information to talk to someone confidentially as you decide what you'd like to do moving forward. You can access crisis counseling, information, and support by connecting with resources in this guide.
What is Sexual Assault?
Legal and institutional definitions of sexual assault vary widely but in simple terms, sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact, or in other words, sexual contact against your will, and without consent (womenslaw.org). Sexual violence and intimate partner violence is a problem that plagues our society and college campuses are no exception.
- Sexual Misconduct Policy (Title IX)
First Steps: Things to Consider
Are you in danger?
If yes, call 911 or KU Public Safety at 610-683-4001
Do you need medical attention?
You can receive medical attention at any medical facility; however, certain facilities have specially trained staff to help survivors of sexual assault. The following locations have sexual nurse examiners
Reading Hospital & Medical Center
420 S. Fifth Avenue
West Reading, PA 19611
Lehigh Valley Hospital
1200 South Cedar Crest Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18103
If You Have Been Assaulted
- Call the police if you are in immediate danger: Call 610-683-4001 on-campus or 911 on or off-campus. On-campus emergency telephones are identified by a blue light.
- Get to a safe place: After an assault, you may be in a state of shock. Wrap yourself in something warm. To preserve evidence, DO NOT: Bathe/shower, eat/drink, smoke, brush your teeth or hair, urinate, or wash your clothing. Put the clothes you were wearing into a paper (not plastic) bag.
- Call someone you trust: Receiving comfort and support helps restore a sense of safety and contributes to better decision-making.
- Seek medical attention: You may have injuries of which you're unaware; you also should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy (if applicable). A medical exam for evidence collection (by a qualified forensic nurse examiner) is strongly recommended and should be done as soon as possible.
- Report the assault promptly: Reporting an assault does not commit you to filing charges and you can decide at any time not to pursue the case. While it is important that perpetrators be held accountable and prevented from doing this to others, you should never let anyone pressure you if you know you do not want to report.
- Talk with a counselor: Working with a counselor can accelerate recovery and help you manage post-traumatic symptoms.
- Take care of yourself: Rest, eat well, seek social support, and engage in activities that are healing for you and your body.
If Someone You Care About Has Been Assaulted
- Listen and take what the person has to seriously.
- Reassure the person that the assault or violence was not her/his fault.
- Ask first before you touch or hug the person to show support.
- Don't judge or ask questions that could be interpreted as blaming, such as "Why didn't you fight back?" "What were you wearing?" or "How can you stay in that relationship?"
- Don't press for details. Allow the person to share information at her/his own pace in a safe environment.
- Encourage the person to seek assistance and volunteer to go with her/him.
- Respect the person's right to make her/his own decision about whether to report the assault/abuse.
- To the extent possible, maintain confidentiality and respect the person's privacy.
- Offer to accompany the person to classes, meals, parking lots, social gatherings, etc.
- Get support for yourself. Hearing about or witnessing events that are hurtful to those for whom we care also can produce post-traumatic symptoms.
The Importance of Preserving Evidence
As a result of an assault, if a person goes to the hospital, local or campus police may be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a complainant but will not obligate him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the complainant decide later to exercise it.
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault or rape must be collected from the complainant's person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe someone has sexually assaulted you, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The nearest hospital to the University with a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) is Reading Hospital & Medical Center. The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene-leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.
If You Need Medical Attention
Health & Wellness/Clinical Services
Kutztown, PA 19530
After Hours Emergencies: 610-683-4001
Confidential Resources on Campus
- Counseling & Psychological Services
122 Beck Hall
Kutztown, PA 19530
- Health & Wellness (Clinical Services)
Kutztown, PA 19530
After Hours Emergencies: 610-683-4001
- Women's Center (Administrative Staff Only)
126 Old Main
Kutztown, PA 19530
*Per the Sexual Misconduct Policy:
Communication with certain individuals may be privileged by operation of law and reports made to these individuals will not be shared with the University Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement except in very limited situations, such as when failure to disclose the information would result in imminent danger to the individual or to others or as otherwise required by law. Only individuals employed by the University as licensed campus professional counselors, acting in their capacity as such, are afforded this statutory privilege.
Certain individuals are designated as having confidentiality. For reports made to employees designated with having confidentiality, the University will respect the reporting party’s expectations of privacy to the extent permissible by law while still ensuring compliance with other reporting obligations. For example, reports involving minors are subject to mandatory reporting requirements. Individuals designated as having confidentiality are required to report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to the Title IX coordinator. Confidential resources will not share other information with the Title IX Coordinator or any other employee of the University without the express permission of the disclosing party. Confidential resources can provide information about the University and off-campus resources, support services and other options. As noted above, because of the confidential nature of these resources, disclosing information to or seeking advice from a confidential resource does not constitute a report or Formal Complaint to the University and will not result in a response or intervention by the University. A person consulting with a confidential resource may decide to make a report to the University and/or law enforcement. The following individuals have been designated as confidential resources pursuant to the University’s Title IX Exemptions Policy (DIV-010):
- Director, Assistant Director, Nurses, Medical Records and Clerical Staff at the Health and Wellness Center.
- Director, Clerk Typist 3, and Graduate Assistant(s) in the Women’s and GLBTQ Centers.
- Counseling & Psychological Services
Campus Advocacy Services (Crisis Counseling) via Safe Berks
Safe Berks Hotline: Call 844-789-SAFE or Text: “SAFE BERKS” to 20121
If you are a past or present survivor of sexual or interpersonal violence, you are not alone and we are here to help. The KU Women's Center can provide a safe space, compassionate support, on-campus counseling referral, and assistance with the reporting processes. Stop by the center at the Boxwood House, call 610-683-4655, or email: email@example.com.
In addition, the KU Women's Center works with Safe Berks to provide campus advocacy services, which are confidential. Services include: a review of all reporting options; accompaniment to the Berks County Courthouse to obtain a Protection Order, law enforcement interviews, and Title IX meetings/hearings; and referrals to other Berks County support services and resources, as needed. KU's Safe Berks Campus Advocate is LaTisha Baker, who can be reached at 484-651-9745 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Safe Berks also has a hotline where a certified advocate is available by telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To contact the hotline, please call 844-789-SAFE or Text “SAFE BERKS” to 20121. All services provided by Safe Berks are inclusive and available to every KU student. However, please note, a report to a Safe Berks representative does not constitute a report to the University, since these individuals are not employees of the University and, therefore, are not required to report allegations of a Title IX violation to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or any other University employee with the authority to investigate and/or redress sexual violence on campus.
On & Off-Campus Resources
- Public Safety & Police Services: 610-683-4001
- Safety Escort Services (24/7): 610-683-4002
- Anonymous Crime Tip Line (on-campus only): x38477
- Counseling & Psychological Services: 610-683-4072
- Dean of Students Office: 610-683-1320
- KU Behavioral Intervention Team (KUBIT): 610-683-1396
- Health & Wellness Center: 610-683-4082
- Women's Center (HEART at KU): 610-683-4655
- Title IX Coordinator: 610-683-4700
- International Admissions & Services (Immigration & Visa Services): 484-646-4256
- SafeBerks: 610-373-1206, www.safeberks.org
- SafeBerks/HEART Hotline: 610-372-9540
- Turning Point of Lehigh Valley: 610-437-3369, www.turningpointlv.org
- Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape: 1-888-772-7227, www.pcar.org
- Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1-800-932-4632, www.pcadv.org
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233, www.ndvh.org
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673, www.rainn.org
- National Dating Violence Hotline: 1-866-331-9474, www.loveisrespect.org
Consent to Sexual Activity
Per KU's Sexual Misconduct Policy consent is defined as follows:
A knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity at the time of the activity communicated through clear actions and/or words that are mutually understood.
In order to be valid, Consent must be active, present and ongoing.
Consent is not present when it is the result of coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. Consent is not present when an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol, drugs, or sleep, or otherwise without capacity to provide Consent due to intellectual or other disability or other condition. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and consent to one form of sexual activity is not necessarily consent to other forms of sexual activity.
When alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. When drug use is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond being under the influence of or impaired by the use of the drug. Alcohol and other drugs impact each individual differently. Determining whether an individual is incapacitated requires an individualized determination. When determining whether a person has the capacity to provide Consent, the University will consider whether a sober, reasonable person in the same position knew or should have known that the other party could or could not consent to the sexual activity.
When determining whether Consent has been provided, all the circumstances of the relationship between the parties will be considered.
How to Report Sexual Misconduct
While anonymous reports are accepted, Kutztown University's ability to address misconduct reported anonymously is significantly limited.
To file a report, use the following online form or contact one of the offices below:
Sexual Misconduct & Intimate Partner Violence Report Form:
Title IX Coordinator: Office of Social Equity - Old Main, A Wing
Public Safety & Police Services: Old Main, B wing (Basement Level)
- Emergencies: 610-683-4001
- Non Emergencies: 610-683-4002
Dean of Students Office: 119 Stratton Administration Center
How to File a Formal Complaint
Making a report is different from filing a Formal Complaint... A report is defined as notification of an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee by any person. A report may be accompanied by a request for (1) Supportive Measures; (2) no further action; (3) filing a Formal Complaint; and/or (4) a request to initiate an informal resolution process after filing a Formal Complaint. Filing a Formal Complaint initiates the University’s formal investigation process.
Please refer to the Sexual Misconduct Policy for specifics related to Filing a Formal Complaint and the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process
- When a report is filed, the Complainant will be contacted by the University to provide an opportunity to review options and resources.
- To file a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must provide the Title IX Coordinator a written, signed complaint describing the facts alleged.
- Students may do this through the Office of Social Equity or Dean of Students at an intake meeting.
Sexual Misconduct Definitions
KU Sexual Misconduct Policy Definitions:
1. Dating Violence – (as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act) includes any violence committed by a person: (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.
Dating Violence is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Dating Violence will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.
2. Domestic Violence – (as defined in the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act), includes any violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under Pennsylvania’s domestic or family violence laws or by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Pennsylvania.
Domestic Violence is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Domestic Violence will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.
3. Retaliation – Any action, directly or through others, which is aimed to deter a reasonable person from reporting sexual misconduct or participating in an investigation or hearing or action that is done in response to such activities. This includes but is not limited to intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual (A) for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 or its implementing regulations; or (B) because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Policy. A finding of retaliation under this Policy is not dependent on a finding that the underlying sexual misconduct occurred.
4. Sexual Assault – (As defined in the Clery Act) – This includes any sexual act directed against another person, without the Consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving Consent.
Sexual Assault may be one of the following categories:
A. Sexual Penetration Without Consent - Any penetration of the mouth, sex organs, or anus of another person, however slight by an object or any part of the body, when Consent is not present. This includes performing oral sex on another person when Consent is not present.
B. Sexual Contact Without Consent - Knowingly touching or fondling a person’s genitals, breasts, buttocks, or anus, or knowingly touching a person with one’s own genitals or breasts, when Consent is not present. This includes contact done directly or indirectly through clothing, bodily fluids, or with an object. It also includes causing or inducing a person, when Consent is not present, to similarly touch or fondle oneself or someone else.
C. Statutory Sexual Assault – The age of consent for sexual activity in Pennsylvania is 16. Minors under the age of 13 cannot consent to sexual activity. Minors aged 13-15 years old cannot consent to sexual activity with anyone who is 4 or more years older than they are at the time of the activity. Minors aged 16 years of age or older can legally consent to sexual activity, as long as the other person does not have authority over them as defined in Pennsylvania’s institutional sexual assault statute.
Sexual Assault is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Sexual Assault will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.
5. Sexual Exploitation – Engaging in sexual behaviors directed toward or involving another person when Consent is not present. This includes, but is not limited to, the following actions, including when they are done via electronic means, methods or devices:
A. Sexual voyeurism or permitting others to witness or observe the sexual or intimate activity of another person without that person’s Consent;
B. Indecent exposure or inducing others to expose private or intimate parts of the body when Consent is not present;
C. Recording or distributing information, images or recordings of any person engaged in sexual or intimate activity in a private space without that person’s Consent;
D. Prostituting another individual; or
E. Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without that individual’s knowledge; and
F. Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
6. Regulatory Prohibited Conduct – For purposes of this Policy, the term includes the defined violations of Regulatory Quid Pro Quo, Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Regulatory Dating Violence, Regulatory Domestic Violence, Regulatory Sexual Assault and Regulatory Stalking.
7. Regulatory Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment – An Employee conditioning the provision of aid, benefit or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
8. Non-Regulatory Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment – An Official, Volunteer or Student conditioning the provision of aid, benefit or service of the University on the individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
9. Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome conduct, on the basis of sex, that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s Education Program or Activity.;
10. Non-Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome conduct, on the basis of sex, that a reasonable person would determine is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from any educational, employment, social or residential program in offered connection with the University.
11. Stalking – (as defined in the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act) means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
A. fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
B. suffer substantial emotional distress.
A course of conduct is when a person engages in two or more acts that include, but are not limited to, acts in which the person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about a person in a prohibited way, or interferes with a person’s property.
Stalking includes the concept of cyberstalking, in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, email or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.
Stalking is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Stalking will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.
Campus Disciplinary Process: Rights & Options
A. Reports and Formal Complaints have different meanings. An individual has a right to make a report of sexual misconduct to the University, which may be accompanied by a request for Supportive Measures. An individual also has a right to make a Formal Complaint of sexual misconduct, which is a request to initiate the University’s informal resolution process or a formal disciplinary process, which includes an investigation and may proceed to a hearing.
B. Prior to the conclusion of a sexual misconduct investigation, the Complainant may request to withdraw the Formal Complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator/designee in writing. The Title IX Coordinator/designee will determine whether to close the case or conclude the investigation without the Complainant’s continued participation.
C. An individual also has the right to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement, separate and apart from any report or Formal Complaint made to the University.
D. Victims and witnesses of sexual misconduct have the right to be assisted by the University in notifying law enforcement authorities of sexual misconduct or they can decline to notify such authorities.
E. Witnesses and Parties cannot be compelled to participate in the hearing, and have the right not to participate in the hearing free from retaliation.
F. Each Party who is charged with a violation of this Policy where jurisdiction is appropriate has a right to a hearing and for an Advisor to cross-examine Parties and Witnesses.
G. At the time a report is made, the reporting party does not have to decide whether to file a Formal Complaint or make a report of sexual misconduct to law enforcement.
H. An affected party has the right to request Supportive Measures from the University, which may include interim contact restrictions.
I. The reporting party has the right to seek medical treatment to address physical and mental health and to preserve evidence.
J. Parties may also have options to file civil actions in court or with administrative agencies.
K. To file a Formal Complaint, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee.
Requesting Supportive Measures & Accommodations
Regardless of whether or not you choose to report to local or campus police, there are specific options available to you, if requested and reasonably available. In many cases, the Office of Social Equity or the Dean of Students Office can assist with the coordination of supportive measures at the time of reporting.
Area Requiring Assistance
Who/How to Contact
On-Campus Safety Escorts
Public Safety and Police Services
Leave of Absences
Additional/Other Including No Contact Orders
Title IX Coordinator
The University's Title IX Coordinator is Mr. Jesus A. Peña, Esq., and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Jacqueline Fox, Esq. The offices of the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator are located in the Office of Social Equity, Old Main A Wing, and either may be reached by telephone at 610-683-4700 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Role of Advisors
Any party to a complaint has the right to an Advisor of Choice under the Sexual Misconduct Policy:
Advisor – An individual who may be present to provide support to a Party throughout an investigation and/or hearing.
- Advisors may accompany a Party to any meeting or hearing they are required or eligible to attend, but may not speak for the Party, except for the purposes of cross-examination.
- Each party is responsible for coordinating and scheduling with their choice of Advisor.
- The Advisor may be an attorney or a union representative when applicable.
- If a party does not have an Advisor of choice present for a hearing, the University will appoint an Advisor for the limited purposes of conducting cross-examination.
- If a Party does not attend the hearing, the Party’s Advisor may appear and conduct cross-examination on the Party’s behalf.
- If neither a Party nor their Advisor appear at the hearing, the University will provide an Advisor to appear on behalf of the non-appearing Party for the limited purposes of conducting cross-examination.
- The Advisor is not prohibited from having a conflict of interest or bias in favor of or against a Party, nor is the Advisor prohibited from being a Witness in the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process.
Risk Reduction Strategies
With no intention to blame the complainant, and with the recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. Below, suggestions to avoid a non-consensual sexual act being committed against you are also offered:
If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
Tell a sexual aggressor "NO" clearly and firmly.
Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
Find someone nearby and ask for help.
Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help reduce your risk for a complaint of sexual misconduct being made against you:
Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
Understand and respect personal boundaries.
Don't make assumptions about consent; about someone's sexual availability; about whether a person is attracted to you; about how far you can go or about the person's physical and/or mental ability to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
Don't take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if the state is self-inflicted.
Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don't abuse that power.
Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
- Don't think that it can't happen to you! Just being aware that you could be at risk makes you less vulnerable.
- You have the right to set sexual limits in any situation. Make sure that you clearly communicate these limits.
- Don't invite people into your room that you do not know.
- Don't be afraid to be assertive. If someone is doing something you don't like or is not respecting your limits, then leave the situation.
- Trust your instincts. If you are uncomfortable in a situation, then trust your gut reaction and get out as soon as possible.
- Stay sober. Drinking or using drugs diminishes your ability to make good decisions and makes you more vulnerable to the possibility of assault.
- Never leave any beverage unattended or accept a drink from someone you do not know well.
- Don't leave any event with someone you just met or don't know well.
- Don't walk alone at night; avoid being near secluded or wooded areas.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know where you are going, look around to see who is near you, walk confidently and always be alert. Use cell phones with caution; they can distract you from your surroundings.
- Always keep your home and car doors locked.
- Never buzz in, sign in or let anyone you don't know well into your residence hall or apartment. Make sure you know who is at the door before you open it.