This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

 For questions regarding any of these laws, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (508) 531-2744 or by emailing titleix@bridgew.edu.

Federal Laws

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex against any person in education programs and activities receiving federal funding.

For further information regarding Title IX, please view the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights website

The Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to report annual statistics regarding crimes that occur on or near their campuses.  It also contains requirements for policies, requirements for conducting disciplinary proceedings, and prevention and awareness programs related to sexual assaults, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

View the University’s Clery Act information.

Massachusetts Criminal Laws

For the purpose of the university’s internal Title IX grievance procedures, alleged incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation are determined by the definitions set forth in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.  

However, an individual who believes that they have been the victim of a crime may also choose to pursue a criminal investigation through local law enforcement.  In those instances, the criminal law definitions will apply: 

Sexual Assault

Massachusetts criminal law uses the term “rape.”  The definition encompasses (1) the penetration of any orifice by any body part or object (2) by force (or threat) and (3) without consent.  Rape also includes instances where the victim is incapacitated (“wholly insensible so as to be incapable of consenting”) and the perpetrator is aware or should have known of the incapacitation.  Relatedly, under M.G.L. c. 268, § 40, a person who knows that an individual is a victim of an aggravated rape and is at the scene of the crime, must report the crime to law enforcement as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Consent

There is no definition of the term “consent” in the Massachusetts General Laws.  Massachusetts courts use the term “against his/her will” which means without consent.  Cases have held that consent cannot be compelled or induced by force or threats, and consent is not present when the victim is incapacitated.  In other words, consent requires a voluntary agreement demonstrated by words or actions, by a person with sufficient mental capacity to make a conscious choice to do something proposed by another, free of duress. Commonwealth v. Lopez, 433 Mass. 722 (2001), Commonwealth v. Lefkowitz, 20 Mass. App. Ct. 513 (1985); see also: M.G.L. c. 265, § 22 

Domestic Violence

Section 1 of M.G.L. c. 209A defines domestic abuse as “the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:  (a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.”

For the purposes of  Chapter 209A, “family or house-hold members” are defined as persons who (a) are or were married to one another;  (b) are or were residing together in the same household;  (c) are or were related by blood or marriage;  (d) have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or  (e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts’ consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination.

Section 13M of M.G.L. c. 265 prohibits assault and/or assault and battery against family or household members, which is defined as:  “persons who: (i) are or were married to one another, (ii) have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together or (iii) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship.” See also: Section M.G.L. c. 260 

In determining whether Section 13M applies to a particular relationship, the courts shall consider the following factors:  “(1) the length of time of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the fre-quency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time that has elapsed since the termination of the relationship.”

Section 15D of M.G.L. c. 265 prohibits the strangulation or suffocation of another person.

Dating Violence

While Massachusetts does not have a law concerning dating violence, conduct may constitute an assault or assault and battery under M.G.L. c. 265, § 13A. An assault or an assault and battery: (i) upon anoth-er and [the perpetrator] by such assault and battery causes serious bodily injury; (ii) upon another who is pregnant at the time of such assault and battery, [the perpetrator] knowing or having reason to know that the person is pregnant; or (iii) upon another who [the perpe-trator] knows has an outstanding temporary or perma-nent vacate, restraining or no-contact order or judgment issued pursuant to [applicable law], in effect against him at the time of such assault or assault and battery.”

Section 13M of M.G.L. c. 265 prohibits assault and/or assault and battery against family or household members, which is defined as:  “persons who: (i) are or were married to one another, (ii) have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever mar-ried or lived together or (iii) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship.” See also: M.G.L. c. 260

In determining whether Section 13M applies to a particular relationship, the courts shall consider the following factors:  “(1) the length of time of the rela-tionship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the fre-quency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either per-son, the length of time that has elapsed since the termination of the relationship.”

Section 15D of M.G.L. c. 265 prohibits the strangulation or suffocation of another person.

Stalking

Section 43 of M.G.L. c. 265 defines “stalking” as “(1) willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable per-son to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily harm.”