FAQ’s for Complainants/Survivors

Questions Regarding Self-Care & Support

Is there counseling and health care support available and will I have to pay for services?

Confidential and free counseling support is available through Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS).  Basic medical follow-up care is available through Student Health Services, 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.

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.  It is advisable to check your institution’s policies and procedures regarding the role, if any, of legal counsel in your institution’s grievance proceedings.

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.

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, or a rape crisis hotline.  If you believe that you have experienced sexual violence and/or sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of policy, you should contact your Title IX Coordinator who can explain the policy and resolution options.

Questions regarding Reporting an Incident & Grievance Procedures

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.

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.

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.

Will the alleged perpetrator (respondent) know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint.  Sexual violence and sexual misconduct 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.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime.  Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 96 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time.  If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to the emergency room, before washing yourself or your clothing.  The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, a nurse who is specially trained to collect evidence in cases of alleged sexual assault, at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (1798 N. Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767, 909-865-9500) is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you decide to seek medical attention and wish to have evidence collected, contact the emergency room and request that they call a SANE nurse.

The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections.  If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless).  If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence.

You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. If you would like someone from the College staff to accompany you to the hospital, contact Campus Safety at 909-607-2000 and ask them to contact the Dean on call.  A Dean is available whenever the college offices are closed to assist students in emergency situations.

If you go to the hospital, local police will be called, but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution.   Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to do so at a later date.  Collecting evidence will not obligate you to any course of action.

Can I have someone with me through college grievance proceedings?

Each campus will have its own processes and policies regarding this matter.  Most campuses allow a current member of the Claremont College community to be present during formal hearings in an advisory and supportive manner.

Will I be sanctioned when reporting sexual violence or sexual misconduct if I illegally used drugs or alcohol?

Consult you institution’s grievance procedures but generally “no.”  The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the colleges do not want the circumstance of drug or alcohol use to inhibit your reporting of sexual misconduct.  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.

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.  On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint.  If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the respondent without further corroborating information such as sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence, and/or witnesses.  Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by a respondent.

What will happen if I am retaliated against me 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 or sexual violence 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.