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Sexual Violation and Violence

Everyone has the right to be treated with respect.  No one should ever have to go through a non-consensual sexual experience.  While Swarthmore is actively striving to promote a culture free of violence, sexual misconduct still occurs and can be deeply traumatic for those who experience it.  (Note: Sexual misconduct is a term that Swarthmore uses to encompass any sexual violation including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence.) Individuals have very different responses to traumatic situations, making it difficult to assess whether someone has experienced sexual misconduct unless they choose to tell us. While the signs below may be indicative of a sexual trauma, they may also be indicative of a number of other things.  It is important to check in with a student to express your concern and ask what is going on without jumping to conclusions.


  • Jumpiness, irritability, or edginess
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Mood changes
  • Missed classes or decrease in academic performance
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch
  • Withdrawal or disruption in relationships
  • “Spacing out”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Respond

  • Ensure the student’s safety
  • Check in with the student about how they are doing
  • Affirm that what happened is not their fault
  • Inform them if you are a mandated reporter and must relay any report of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, who will reach out to them to investigate
  • Inform them of resources and explain those that are confidential and those that aren’t
  • Affirm that they have the right to choose how much they participate in the investigation
  • Refer them to the SHARE Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education Website


  • CAPS (x8059)
  • CAPS On Call (24/365) (610-328-7768)
  • Student Health and Wellness (x8058)
  • Title IX Office (610-690-3720)
  • Religious and Spiritual Life (610-690-5744)