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Resources and Reporting Options

A student may choose to disclose an experience of sexual misconduct to a variety of individuals in the U.S. or abroad in order to receive supportive services. Northwestern employees that support students abroad receive training on how to respond to a disclosure of sexual misconduct. Some individuals are able to offer legally protected confidentiality; others can offer privacy and discretion, but are required to report the incident. Information below describes employees’ reporting options/responsibilities, resources and support available through Northwestern and the role of emergency contacts.

Confidential resources

Confidential resources will not disclose information about incidents of sexual misconduct to anyone, including law enforcement or the University. Telephone or Skype conversations provided by Northwestern employees can be arranged to occur outside of regular business hours and in a time zone that is convenient for the survivor.

Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE)

CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services, is not able to provide counseling to students over the phone, but can work with students once they have returned to campus.

Religious and Spiritual Life at Northwestern

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline (Not affiliated with Northwestern)

  • Phone: (888) 293-2080

Additional resources

Under the Policy on Institutional Equity, all other Northwestern employees (such as advisers and faculty) or their agents (such as resident directors abroad), are obligated to report sexual misconduct abroad that they observe or are told about using the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form.

Additional resources include the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) and on-site contacts. These contacts can provide support and connections with resources as needed. The mission of the OGSS is to support Northwestern travelers in need abroad. They can be reached on campus during regular business hours or through the Northwestern University Police after hours and on weekends. View contact information.

Study abroad students have designated on-site staff or faculty who receive training on responding to a report of sexual misconduct. Students traveling abroad for other purposes may not have a pre-determined on-site contact. Either group of students may also contact CARE, OGSS or the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance.

Upon return to campus, the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance can provide continued assistance to students seeking academic, housing or other interim measures or accommodations.

Reporting sexual misconduct

Northwestern handles sexual misconduct reports discreetly, with information shared only with those who need to know in order to investigate or resolve the matter. In cases where a person who may have experienced sexual misconduct does not wish to proceed with an investigation, Northwestern will try to honor that request. In some cases, the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance may determine that the University needs to proceed with an investigation based on concern for the safety and well-being of the community.

Northwestern faculty and staff accompanying students abroad should contact Northwestern Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance directly to report a disclosure of sexual misconduct. 

On the Sexual Misconduct Reporting form, under "Description of the Concern" please include, if known:
  • the citizenship of the survivor;
  • the local telephone number of the survivor (if different from their US-based phone number);
  • the name of the trip or program;
  • the type of trip or program (study abroad, non-credit class trip, etc.);
  • the location of the program (city, country);
  • the name and contact information of any Northwestern staff or faculty on-site (if applicable);
  • the name and contact information for the program provider (such as IES or the host institution) (if applicable); and
  • any other information readily known about this location that might be useful in the response

Emergency contacts

Northwestern will not contact a student’s listed emergency contact (obtained in the study abroad application phase or the non-credit travel registry phase) without the student’s express permission unless the circumstances fall under one of these exceptions. The student:

  • is unable to speak for him/herself (and medical decisions need to be made on his or her behalf);
  • has been missing for more than 24 hours (and there is some indication of nefarious activity);
  • is perceived to be a danger to him/herself or others; or
  • when a significant health, safety, or security incident affecting the entire program has occurred abroad. This is normally following an incident such as natural disaster or a terrorist attack in the vicinity of the program, and no personally indefinable information is reported.

Such circumstances rarely apply to a report of sexual misconduct.