FAQS FOR COMPLAINANTS/SURVIVORS
Questions Regarding Self-Care & Support
1. Is there counseling and health care support available and will I have to pay for services?
On campus, confidential and free counseling support is available through the EmPOWER Center, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS), and the Chaplains. Basic medical follow-up care is available through Student Health Services where most services are free of charge. If you are accessing community or non‐institutional services, payment for these will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc.
2. What about legal advice?
Complainants do not need private legal counsel to pursue criminal prosecution because representation will be handled by the District Attorney’s office. However, a complainant may want to retain an attorney if considering filing a civil action. All parties going through a college process are entitled to one support person/advisor of their choosing, including an attorney. However, the attorney may not advocate in the process. For more information, check your institution's policies and procedures. Project Sister Family Services is a community organization that can provide support and advocacy to students impacted by sexual violence. They can be reached 24/7 through their hotline at 909-626-4357.
3. What should I do if the respondent is in my class, knows where I live, or lives in my residence hall? If I am having difficulty in class and concentrating, how can I get help?
Talk with your Title IX Coordinator about available interim measures. Interim measures might include:
A room change for you or the respondent (if formal grievance proceedings are being pursued);
Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
Assistance in requesting an incomplete in a class;
Assistance with transferring class sections, if available;
Assistance with alternative course completion options; or
Other accommodations for safety as necessary.
4. What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened or whether what happened constitutes sexual violence or misconduct?
If you would like to speak with someone in strict confidence to explore the incident, you may want to first speak with a counselor at Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, a chaplain from the McAlister Center, the EmPOWER Center, or a rape crisis hotline. If you believe that you have experienced sexual violence and/or dating/domestic violence or stalking, your Title IX Coordinator can explain the policy and resolution options.
Questions Regarding Reporting an Incident & Grievance Procedures
5. What are the complaint options I have available to me?
There are several complaint options available to you. You have the right to pursue criminal charges off campus and/or make a complaint through the college’s grievance procedures. There are also confidential resources available to you on campus and off campus.
6. What, if anything, will my parents be told?
The college’s primary relationship is to you, the student, and not to your parent/guardian. College officials will only speak with your parents/guardians at your request or when there is a significant threat to your health or safety.
7. Do I have to name the alleged perpetrator?
Yes, if you want to pursue the grievance procedures at the home institution of the alleged perpetrator. You should consult the confidentiality provisions set forth in that institution’s grievance procedures to better understand the college’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different college officials. Complainants should be aware that not identifying the alleged perpetrator may limit the college’s ability to respond comprehensively.
8. Will the alleged perpetrator (respondent) know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, and stalking are serious offenses and the respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the colleges provide alternative testimony options.
9. What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
If one has experienced sexual violence, it is important to preserve evidence. The primary method of preserving physical evidence is a SART exam.
What is a SART Exam? It is a forensic examination performed after a sexual assault, the main purpose of which is to collect evidence that could help in an ongoing or later criminal investigation/prosecution. The exam is conducted by sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), who are medical professionals with specialized training in performing such exams.
How soon after an assault should I obtain a SART exam? As soon as possible, but generally evidence can be collected only up to 96 hours after the incident.
How do I arrange a SART Exam? Navigating the SART exam process can be complicated. It is strongly recommended that students interested in getting an exam contact Project Sister Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at 909-626-4357. A counselor will explain the process, arrange for an exam, and provide a confidential sexual assault counselor (advocate) to attend the exam with you (if you wish). This process ensures the exam is free. Trying to arrange the exam yourself could mean it gets billed to your insurance. Of course, if you want assistance from the colleges, contact Campus Safety at 909-607-2000 and ask to speak to the on-call dean.
Is there anything I should do to preserve evidence before a SART exam? If possible, try not to bathe, brush teeth, eat or drink (don’t worry if you’ve already done so). Put clothes worn during incident (and any other evidence such as sheets) in clean paper bags (plastic can destroy evidence). If you think you were drugged, urinate in a cup ASAP and write down the date/time of urination.
If I undergo a SART Exam, do I have to pursue criminal prosecution? Under federal law, you are entitled to a free forensic medical exam even if you end up choosing not to report to or cooperate with law enforcement. However, obtaining an exam helps keep your options open.
10. Can I have someone with me through the college grievance proceedings?
All parties going through a college process are entitled to one support person/advisor of their choosing, including an attorney. However, the attorney may not advocate in the process. For more information, check your institution's policies and procedures.
11. Will I be sanctioned when reporting sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, or stalking if I illegally used drugs or alcohol?
Consult you institution’s grievance procedures but generally “no.” The seriousness of such misconduct is a major concern and the colleges do not want the circumstance of drug or alcohol use to inhibit your reporting. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the college’s response, but whenever possible the college will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol.
12. Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the respondent’s responsibility. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by a respondent.
13. What will happen if I am retaliated against for filing a complaint?
The Claremont Colleges prohibit retaliation in any way against an individual or group because the individual or group has reported an allegation of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, or has participated in a grievance proceeding in response to such an allegation. The Claremont Colleges recognize retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or group against an individual or group, and that a respondent can also be the subject of retaliation. The Claremont Colleges will take prompt and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary or other action as appropriate.