Good Samaritan

The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance. At times, students on and off‐campus may need assistance. The College encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need. Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance to others, for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, as student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a victim of sexual misconduct to the Campus security). The College pursues a policy of limited immunity for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the College will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Risk Reduction Tips

Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. Below, suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:

  • Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say "NO" to any unwanted sexual contact. If you are uncertain of what you want, ask your partner to respect your feelings.
  • Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If you say "No," say it like you mean it. Avoid giving mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm voice and clear body language. Do not assume that someone will automatically know how you feel or will eventually "get the message" without you having to say anything.
  • Remember that some people think that drinking, dressing provocatively, or going to your or your date's room is saying you are willing to have sex. Be clear up front about your limits in such situations.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or think you might be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Don't be afraid to "make waves" if you feel threatened. If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into sexual activity, don't hesitate to state your feelings and leave the situation.
  • Attend large parties with friends you trust. Agree to "look out" for one another. Leave with the group, not alone. Avoid leaving with people that you don't know very well.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone's sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Don't take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don't abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

Sexual Offense Educational Programming

Because Northampton Community College recognizes sex discrimination in all its forms as important issues, the College offers annual educational programming to a variety of groups such as: staff, security, Residence Life, Faculty, incoming students, resident and off-campus students and, members of student organizations. Visit for more information and resources on avoiding and preventing sexual assault.

Sex Discrimination educational programming may address matters such as: a definition of what constitutes sex discrimination, the causes of sex discrimination, myths involved with sex discrimination, prevention, the relationship between sex discrimination and alcohol use, what to do if you are assaulted, the nature of a rape examination, an explanation of the College sex discrimination policy, how to file charges within the College, its conduct system, and/or with the local police department, men's issues and sexual assault, and campus community resources to assist both the survivor and the accused.

Federal Enforcer

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the federal agency charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX. Individuals with complaints of this nature always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department Education:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: 800.421.3481

Facsimile: 202.453.6012

TDD#: 877.521.2172