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Sexual Violence

•   Policy & Protocol
•   Getting Involved
•   Sexual Violence Resources

Villanova University seeks to foster and maintain a community of mutual respect and concern for all of its members. There can be no greater violation of the terms of that community, or of the essential dignity of any member of it, than the act of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. These acts constitute the deepest affront to University standards and will be not be tolerated in any form.

Defining Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent. This includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact achieved by the use or threat of force of coercion, where an individual does not consent to the sexual act, or where an individual is incapacitated. Sexual assault includes the following acts:

  • Attempted or Actual Penetrations: Having or attempting to have non-consensual vaginal, anal or oral penetration, however slight, with any object or body part, with another person.
  • All Other Forms of Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Having or attempting to have any non-consensual, non-accidental touching of a sexual nature. This touching can include, but is not limited to, kissing or touching the private parts of another, or causing the other to touch the harasser's private parts.

Prohibited sexual misconduct also includes sexual exploitation and intimate partner violence. For a full definition of prohibited sexual misconduct, see the Blue Book, Conduct constituting sexual violence is a crime in Pennsylvania. For more information about the criminal code, CLICK HERE.

Stats and Facts

Sexual violence is an act of control. It is not motivated by sexual desire, but by the desire to overpower and dominate another person. Read on for basis statistics and facts regarding sexual violence.

  • Both men and women are sexually assaulted.
  • 1 in 5 college women are survivors of attempted or completed sexual assault.
  • 1 in 7 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
  • Fewer than 1% of acquaintance rapes are reported on college campuses.
  • Alcohol is the #1 predatory drug. It is involved in more than 70% of sexual assaults on college campuses today.

Statistics taken from: Fisher, BS, Cullen, FT, Turner, MG. 2000. The sexual victimization of college women. Washington: Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice; Publication No. NCJ182369.

How to Help a Friend

  • Listen and offer support.
  • Get to a safe place: your home, your residence hall room, or the residence of a trusted friend.
  • Let them know that what has happened is not their fault.
  • Help connect your friend to campus and community resources.
  • Respect their privacy.
  • Support their choice of solution to the assault.
  • Be dependable and available when they need you.
  • Be patient.

Because preservation of physical evidence is of the utmost importance, you should:

  • NOT change your clothing.
  • NOT shower.
  • NOT apply medication to injuries that have been sustained unless absolutely necessary.
  • NOT disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
  • NOT drink or chew gum.
  • NOT store your clothing in anything other than a paper bag. Plastic and other materials may destroy evidence.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible to make sure that you are physically healthy.
    • Visit the Student Health Center on the third floor of the Health Services Building. Medical professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Medical attention at the local hospital is required in order to preserve valuable evidence should you decide to seek prosecution through the criminal justice system. It is important to know if you go to the hospital, the local police will be contacted. However, you may choose whether or not to talk to the police.
    • Bryn Mawr Hospital provides professional medical services to anyone who is sexually assaulted. The Villanova Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC) or VEMS is available for transport to the hospital.
    • If you suspect that you may have been given a predatory drug like Rohypnol or GHB, please let the Student Health Center or hospital medical staff know.
      • A urine sample can be collected within 72 hours of a sexual assault for predatory drug testing.
      • Please note: if you have predatory drug or sexually transmitted infection testing done at the Student Health Center, any costs associated with the testing are covered by the University.
  • Seek free, confidential counseling at the Holloway Counseling Center. Rape trauma syndrome may occur several weeks, months and even years after the incident. Seek counseling any time to help you or your friend.
  • Call Public Safety at 610-519-6670 to report the incident.
  • Speak with a POWER peer educator. POWER peer educators are trained to serve as a resource for their students on the issue of sexual violence and can help direct you to the appropriate resources on campus.
    • You may identify a POWER peer educator by calling 610-519-7407or by visiting Health Promotion, located on the first floor of the Health Services Building.

To learn more about rape trauma syndrome and emotional reactions to sexual violence, please visit the Counseling Center's sexual violence information page.


Policy & Protocol

What to expect when reporting an incident of sexual violence at Villanova:

  • You will be treated with care and support.
  • You will be encouraged to talk to the Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC).
    -The SARC will discussion your options (on-campus disciplinary action, off-campus police involvement, etc.).
    -The SARC will not tell you what to do. You will be able to decide later what, if any, action you want to pursue.
  • In general, it will be up to the survivor to decide whether you wish to pursue an investigation through Public Safety, local police, neither or both. In some cases, such as when the incident suggests an ongoing threat to the University community, an investigation of the incident may still occur. Working with the SARC, you will be encouraged to cooperate with Public Safety should an investigation occur.
  • If you decide to seek treatment at a local hospital, please be aware that the hospital is obligated to contact the local police. You may choose whether or not to talk with the police.
  • Timely reporting is of critical importance, since proof of criminal offense requires that local police collect and preserve evidence immediately after an assault. Ideally, you should not wash, douche, use the toilet or change your clothing prior to a medical exam.

Getting Involved

Knowledge is power. The Office of Health Promotion on Villanova’s campus provides educational materials and resources to the campus community on many topics such as sexual violence. To assist with these educational endeavors, Health Promotion trains students each year to be POWER peer educators.

Peers Offering Wellness Education and Resources (POWER)

  • provides presentation in the residence halls, classrooms, and in the community;
  • sponsors awareness months and campaigns;
  • distributes educational materials around campus
  • refers students to the appropriate resources.

If you would like more information on POWER, click here or please call 610-519-7407.


***************BE AWARE OF THE RED ZONE!*************

The first six weeks of a student’s first year of college is a vulnerable time and carries the most risk for sexual violence. Students are unfamiliar and uncomfortable in their new environment and may make decisions that put them at greater risk for intoxication, risky sexual decision-making and sexual violence.


Campus Resources

For immediate support, call: 610.519.7408

For pregnancy, STI and predatory drug testing, call610.519.4070 

For emotional support, call:

To report an incident, call:

For immediate medical attention, call:

To get involved with sexual violence programming, call:  610.519.7407

Community Resources

Abused Women’s Hotline: 215.885.5020

Women Organized Against Rape

Domestic Abuse: 610.565.6272

Philadelphia Sexual Assault Resource Center: 215-425-1625