Options for Further Action


As a victim of rape or indecent assault and battery, you may want your assailant identified, apprehended and prosecuted in court. If you choose to proceed in this manner, notify HUPD immediately for assistance and guidance.


You may also choose not to prosecute your assailant. There is no law in Massachusetts requiring a rape victim to prosecute.

Disciplinary Procedures

If the alleged offender is a Harvard affiliate, you may report the incident to a University officer to file a complaint against the perpetrator under the applicable Harvard disciplinary procedure. The Dean’s Office, Office for Student Affairs, or Human Resources Office in your school or department can provide advice. You may initiate a disciplinary process whether or not you seek to prosecute.

Reported rape and other sexual misconduct by students, faculty, or staff are grounds for initiating disciplinary procedures. Since these procedures vary among schools and administrative departments, you should consult the Dean’s office in your school or the appropriate administrative office in your school or department for information on applicable processes.

The accuser and accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. University-imposed sanctions for rape, sexual assault, or other sex offenses will vary depending on the nature and severity of the offense, and may include penalties up to termination of student status or Harvard employment. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sex offense.