Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace: Get Help

This document is an overview of resources to support you in getting help if you encounter an incident of sexual misconduct in the workplace. For an educational overview of this topic, see our Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace: Education resource.


It is important to know that you are never alone if you are not feeling safe, do not know where to turn, or need someone to talk to about an experience of sexual misconduct. A hotline is a free, confidential service that you can access by phone and/or online, available 24 hours a day.

Hotlines provide emotional support, resources, and information to survivors of sexual misconduct, as well as their friends, family, and other loved ones. When you call a hotline, you will be able to speak with a trained hotline counselor who can listen to your story, help you think about next steps, and make referrals to medical, legal, and counseling resources.

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), serving 29 cities and towns in the Greater Boston area, is the oldest and largest center of its kind in New England. BARCC provides free, confidential support and services 24/7 to survivors of sexual violence ages 12 and up and their families and friends. They work with survivors of all genders regardless of when the violence occurred. They help survivors navigate health care, criminal justice, social services, and school systems. They provide services in English and Spanish, as well as other languages by request.

RAINN established and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, accessible 24/7 by phone or online. They partner and work closely with hundreds of local sexual assault service providers across the United States to offer confidential support to survivors of sexual violence, regardless of where they are in their recovery.

The Network La Red is a 24/7 hotline that provides confidential emotional support, information, crisis management, and safety planning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) individuals who have experienced abuse. The hotline also provides information and support to friends, family, or co-workers on the issue of domestic violence in LGBTQ communities.

Available 24/7, Pathways to Safety International offers support to Americans living or traveling overseas. Calling the hotline will help you connect with a case manager and/or counselor who can help you with safety planning, legal advocacy, and resources in your foreign country or help you return to the United States.

Medical Care

If you are a student, the Wellesley College Title IX website provides time sensitive information for receiving medical care as well as contact information for medical services both on and off campus. Visit the Wellesley College Title IX website and click on the “Time Sensitive” and “Medical” tabs for more information.  

As you research resources on medical care, you may encounter terms like SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) or rape kit. You may want to learn more about these terms. BARCC explains the SANE Program, and RAINN offers a thorough description of a rape kit.   

Medical Resources in Greater Boston
If you are seeking medical attention at an area hospital, a free, trained medical advocate from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) can meet you 24/7. Check out BARCC’s Medical Advocacy webpage to learn more about how a medical advocate can support you.

Whether or not you are a current student, Fenway Health is a local option for those seeking medical care focused on the LGBTQ community. As always, check with your insurance provider to assess your coverage prior to seeking care.

Medical Resources Beyond Greater Boston    
The Office of International Study (OIS) webpage offers details on the Wellesley College Travel Assist Program for students studying abroad. This travel assist program also applies to students on internships funded or sponsored by Wellesley (see the Internship Resource Kit and click on the “Travel” section).

Working with Minors

Minors, under the age of 18, are considered a vulnerable population and require specific action in cases of abuse or suspected abuse. According to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), anyone may report cases of suspected child abuse. DCF depends on reports from professionals and other concerned individuals to learn about children who may need protection.

Anyone who is concerned that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse can make a report by calling the Department of Children and Families via the Child-at-Risk Hotline (800-792-5200). If you work with minors in a professional capacity (this includes paid and unpaid positions) you are mandated to report abuse to DCF. If you are unsure of whether or not you should report an incident or observation, report it.

Other states have different reporting guidelines and resources. Identify the Department of Children and Families, Child Welfare, and Human Services in your location to find the toll free number for that area.
You can learn more through the Child Welfare Information Gateway, maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


It is never too early or too late to seek counseling. Therapists offer a confidential space to work through challenges and manage stress. Counseling can be short or long term. A therapist can support you during a crisis or with the management of ongoing concerns. RAINN offers answers on How Can Therapy Help? and useful tips for Self-Care After Trauma.  

There are many options for support:

  • Students can get confidential counseling from the Stone Center and from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Learn more through the Wellesley College Title IX webpage and then click on “Support” for details of on-campus counseling resources.
  • For off-campus resources, including resources specificially for LGBTQ communities and individuals with disabilities, visit the Wellesley College Title IX page and click on “Support.”
  • If studying abroad, your Wellesley College Travel Assist Program may also have resources to connect you to counseling support services, either nearby or virtually.
  • If you are a professional living abroad, you might consider Pathways of Safety International as a resource to find local counseling services.

Financial Considerations

Counseling services come at a cost. Many health care insurance plans do offer some coverage to counseling providers within your network. Be sure to check with your health insurance about options. Depending on your insurance, you might be offered full coverage, a reimbursement process, or a co-pay (similar to payment to visits with your physician and other health care professionals).

Support Resources to Find Stability

Support resources (case management) might include identifying housing options, accommodations by the Academic Review Board, a leave of absence through the Dean of Students, and overall stabilizing your situation.

For a comprehensive list of campus offices and how they can best support you, please visit the Title IX Office (Click on “Additional” tab). Please note that some staff are required to share any information that may be shared with them regarding sexual misconduct with Wellesley’s Office of Non-Discrimination Initiatives.

Off-Campus Support Resources

As an alumna or student not on campus (either throughout the academic year or while participating in internships or other activities), case management will look somewhat different. You may find you need support in areas including:

  • Housing
  • Insurance
  • Victims Compensation
  • Disability Benefits
  • Financial Resources

For more information about case management in Greater Boston, refer to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) resources. You also can search the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) for local support within the United States.

If you are participating in a Wellesley-sponsored experience (study abroad, internships, volunteering, research, field work, athletic activities), you may also have access to additional support. Contact your College program administrator to find out what resources are available to you.

Legal Support

You may not be sure whether what happened violated your rights. Even if you are certain that your rights have been violated, you may not know what steps to take, or if you need legal support. The following resources from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) may help you understand and use the system to seek legal support:

Evaluating If You Need a Lawyer

The AAUW’s Do I Need a Lawyer? webpage can help you determine why, when, and how you might contact a lawyer. If you decide you need or want legal representation, next you can spend time finding the right support by browsing the Legal Referral Network in your community, and state-by-state resources for legal support at free or reduced rates. The AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund also offers a range of resources that can help you to challenge sex discrimination in its many forms (including unfair pay, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment). Their resources “range from community outreach programs to backing of major cases.”

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) has Legal Advocates that can help you understand your options as you make decisions and support you through legal processes. RAINN’s guide to Reporting and the Criminal Justice System offers an overview of how to communicate with law enforcement and what you may expect from the criminal justice system.

Additional resources to consider in seeking legal support can be found at Wellesley College's Title IX webpage by clicking on “Additional” and scrolling down to “Legal.”

Ultimately, it is your choice to decide whether you will report a violation. Our hope is that these resources arm you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.


Confidentiality and privacy are two important words when talking about sexual misconduct. You may want to understand who is considered confidential before sharing your experience or story with someone. If you are a Wellesley student, visit the Wellesley College Title IX webpage for information about reporting to confidential sources (refer to the “Report” tab).

Confidential sources are legally able to keep your information and story confidential, or secret. Confidential sources generally include medical professionals, members of clergy, and lawyers. On Wellesley’s campus, this refers to counselors in the Stone Center, professionals in Health Services, and leaders in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL). Note that in cases where there is high safety risk or danger (including self-harm), confidential sources may report information in the best interest of your safety.

Everyone else at Wellesley is considered a “mandated reporter.” This includes Career Education staff, Class Deans, and Student and Residential Life staff. These individuals are required by law to report incidents of sexual misconduct to Wellesley’s Title IX Coordinator. In most cases, you will retain control over what happens and you can feel free to ask the Title IX Coordinator about any exceptions. If you call a hotline or reach out to any organization for support, you can ask to speak with someone who is a confidential resource.

If your situation includes someone who is or has been affiliated with Wellesley College, that may have an impact on confidentiality. If not, the Office of Non-Discrimination Initiatives can support you with information and resources outside of Wellesley College. Furthermore, even after you have graduated, you may reach out to the Office of Non-Discrimination Initiatives for help with information and resources, or to Career Education for help with how to navigate career development questions related to your experiences.

Here is a flow chart outlining Support and Reporting Options for Students Who Have Experienced Sexual Misconduct, including confidential and non-confidential sources.

You also may be wondering how to protect your anonymity online. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) provides examples of Confidentiality and Privacy considerations.

Telling Your Story

If you are considering Sharing Your Story, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) offers a useful resource to help you think through your options. It is geared toward survivors who want to share their story in a public setting. It is also very helpful if you intend to share your story in a less “public” way, for example, through an application process. Know too that Career Education staff members are always available to help you articulate your experience and consider the implications of sharing it.

Committee on Sexual Misconduct

  • Lindsay Laguna (Chair)
  • Alyssa Beauchamp
  • Kate Dailinger
  • Rocío Garza Tisdell
  • Dana Keep
  • Becky King
  • Erin Konkle
  • Tess Mattern
  • Sheryl Rosenberg
  • Katy Ryan

With special thanks to Sonia Jurado for her contributions.