DePaul University is committed to providing and maintaining a healthy learning and working environment for all students, staff, and faculty members. In accordance with DePaul's Catholic and Vincentian values and its role as an educational institution, the university condemns any form of sexual violence. Further, the university is dedicated to providing both prevention programming and referral services for all members of its community. This document is intended to outline university policies, procedures, disciplinary actions, programs, and prevention efforts regarding sexual violence.
In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, DePaul University is required to report certain sexual offenses occurring on or near campus to the proper municipal authority. The survivor has the choice of whether or not to file a report and/or to proceed with legal action. Students should consult the DePaul Crime Reporting policy for more information. This policy can be found on the University Secretary’s website.
If a sexual offense occurs, the survivor is encouraged to:
- Find a safe place.
- Seek medical treatment for possible physical injuries, transmission of STIs, and pregnancy.
- Preserve evidence of the assault:
- Avoid showering, bathing, changing clothes, washing hands, going to the toilet, or brushing teeth
- If you do decide to change clothes, save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag.
- Avoid disturbing anything in the area where the assault occurred.
- File a report.
- Seek support and counseling.
Sexual Offense Definition
At DePaul, a sexual offense is any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, that occurs without indication of consent of either/any of the individuals involved, or that occurs under threat or coercion. Sexual offenses include, but are not limited to, rape (also referred to as sexual assault in the State of Illinois), forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling or kissing without consent, incest, statutory rape, and the threat of sexual assault. DePaul recognizes that there is nothing a person can do to deserve or provoke a sexual offense. According to the Department of Justice and the FBI, rape is defined as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” This definition includes any gender of the victim or perpetrator, and includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age. Physical resistance from the victim is not required to demonstrate lack of consent.
Consent is defined as a clearly and freely given word or overt action confirming a willing desire to move forward with a specific sexual request, act, or experience. Consent cannot be obtained from individuals who have a temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age. Consent is an affirmative response, not a lack of one, (i.e. the absence of “no” should never be interpreted as “yes”).
If you wish to obtain more information on laws in the State of Illinois, please contact the Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention at 773-325-7295.
Sexual offenses as well as threats of sexual offenses are prohibited by DePaul University.
DePaul recognizes that there are many ways to perpetrate sexual violence. Incidents may occur through physical force, intimidation, manipulation, and coercion. This may include the voluntary or involuntary use of drugs and/or alcohol that renders the survivor unable to give consent. Sexual offenses can occur within personal relationships, including those that are intimate, professional, familial, or friendly. In fact, sexual offenses involving strangers constitutes only a small percentage of cases. Individuals of any sex, sexuality, or identified gender may experience a sexual offense. It is important to remember that there is nothing a person can do to deserve or provoke a sexual offense.
If a student chooses to pursue the Judicial Review Process with respect to sexual violence, the University will ensure that the hearing officers are educated on sexual offenses before the process begins to ensure that the case is handled with sensitivity. The hearing officers receive training on definitions, processes, and how question appropriately.
Upon request the Dean of Students office may accommodate changing classes, moving residence halls, and arranging for escorts.
Reporting Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault
If you are a person who has experienced or thinks you have experienced a sexual offense, whether on- or off-campus, and whether by a member of the DePaul community or not, DePaul is committed to offering a secure and supportive environment for you to receive resources and consider all available options.
The Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention is available for students to ask questions, discuss their experience, and request referrals. Referrals may include those related to medical treatment and evaluation; counseling; legal advocacy; and reporting.
A person who has been sexually offended is encouraged to make a report to the Public Safety Office (Lincoln Park campus 773/325-7777, Loop campus 312/362-8400), Dean of Students Office (Lincoln Park campus 773/325-7290, Loop campus 312/362-8054), or the Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention (773/325-7295). Staff members in all these offices receive training on working with survivors of sexual violence, so as to provide a safe and sensitive environment. The Public Safety Office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A report serves as a means of documenting the incident and allows for immediate response by the Public Safety Office, the Dean of Students Office, and/or the Chicago Police. The report allows the student access to DePaul’s internal Judicial Review Process, whether or not they decide to proceed with criminal legal proceedings. Please note that the student will have to reveal their name in their report if they wish for the Public Safety Office or the Chicago Police to pursue an investigation, and if they would like the Dean of Students Office to conduct the internal Judicial Review Process.
When a report is received, all internal and external options will be reviewed with the student, including contacting the Chicago Police; getting medical treatment; contacting community sexual assault agencies; starting the Judicial Review Process, and connecting with DePaul University Counseling Services or off-campus counseling services. Detailed information on DePaul’s Judicial Review Process can be found under Judicial Review Process in the Code of Student Responsibility.
It should be noted that staff in the Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention and Dean of Students Office are compelled to comply with laws that require the reporting of certain sexual offenses occurring on or near campus to Public Safety. If the survivor does not wish to release their name, a “Jane/John Doe” report will be created about their case, thereby not revealing their identity. The survivor can at any time choose to add their name to the report if they decide to press charges at a later time. In certain cases, the University may be required to issue a campus alert. These safety alerts will not reveal the identity of the survivor or perpetrator.
A person who has experienced a sexual offense is encouraged to seek an appropriate medical evaluation as promptly as possible. Medical evaluation may include treatment of injuries endured during the event; treatment of STIs; and a full examination for the collection of physical evidence should a person later decide to pursue a criminal prosecution and/or civil action. Additional resources may be available at the time of treatment.
As per Illinois law, emergency room (ER) medical treatment for sexual abuse or assault is confidential and is of no cost to the survivor. If the survivor chooses to provide their health insurance information, the insurance carrier will be charged first and any overflow costs will be covered by the State in accordance with applicable laws. Please note that if the primary holder of the health insurance is someone other than the survivor the medical bills will be sent to that primary holder. Although the primary holder will not be required to pay the bills, they will see that the survivor was in the ER due to a sexual assault.
If a survivor chooses to seek treatment, they may call Public Safety to be taken to the ER. At the ER, the survivor may request a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to conduct the examination SANEs can provide the survivor with support to ease their experience at the hospital. The police will be contacted upon arrival at the hospital, but the survivor may decline to file a report.
Information, Support, and Counseling
Counseling is available for survivors whether or not a report is filed. Counseling provides a space for confidential disclosure, and is available both on and off campus 24 hours a day. Survivors may experience Rape Trauma Syndrome, with symptoms similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This condition may be serious and should be treated with respect and sensitivity. Sexual violence can affect all areas of a survivor’s life and counseling can provide support to help navigate through issues that may arise.
*Please note that by dialing Public Safety at 773/325-7777 (Lincoln Park Campus) and 312/362-8400 (Loop Campus), you can access any University office listed below 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
University Counseling Services
2250 North Sheffield Avenue, 3rd Floor
1 East Jackson Boulevard, 1101
Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention
2250 North Sheffield Avenue, Suite 307
2345 North Sheffield Avenue, 304
Lewis Center Lower Level 103,
25 East Jackson Blvd.
Dean of Students Office
2250 North Sheffield Avenue, 307
1 E. Jackson Boulevard, 11001
YWCA - Sexual Assault Support Services
Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Rape Crisis Hotlines provide free numbers where survivors of sexual assault and their significant others can call to receive confidential, immediate assistance.
Illinois Masonic Hospital
836 W Wellington Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Rape Victim Advocates
180 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60604
(773) 730-7077 (helpline)
Porchlight provides unlimited free counseling to college students at offices throughout Chicago.
Crime Victim's Compensation Law
Under the Crime Victim's Compensation Law, a person who has been sexually abused or assaulted may be eligible for support services and medical reimbursement if the crime is reported within 7 days, or in some cases, even longer.
- The Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention provides rape awareness, education, and prevention programs and trainings each year to members of the university community, including students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, this office presents at Premiere and Transition DePaul.
- The Student Affairs Division and the Public Safety Office coordinates and provides crime awareness programs aimed at incoming freshmen, transfer, and commuter students.
- Self Defense classes are provided at the Ray Meyer Fitness Center for students, faculty, and staff. The classes provide participants with tools for their empowerment and safety.
- Brochures about sexual violence and available resources are available through the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Sexual Health & Violence Prevention, the Department of Residential Education, the Women's Center, and the Public Safety Office.