Upcoming release of survey results on sexual misconduct and support resources

October 07, 2019

Dear students,

I am writing to let you know about the upcoming release of the results of the 2019 Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct. I also want to follow up on one important piece of feedback President Reif and I received from some of the students who attended last week’s MIT and Jeffrey Epstein forum.

First, the survey update: Next Tuesday, October 15, we will share with our community the results of the survey students at MIT and universities across the country took last spring to measure the prevalence and impact of sexual misconduct and harassment. We will detail the actions we have been taking – including strengthening our student support network by adding advocates, education, and prevention professionals to various offices – as well as the new steps we plan to take in response to the survey’s findings. And we will call for an ongoing, reflective community-wide dialogue about what the findings tell us about MIT’s climate and how, together, we can work to make things better.

I am deeply aware of the impact survey results of this nature might have on our community, survivors in particular. That is why at the end of this email, I have included a list of on-campus and off-campus resources that can help survivors of sexual violence and abuse. There are many dedicated, experienced, and caring offices and organizations that are standing by, ready to provide support. I hope you will not hesitate to turn to any of the resources listed below if you need help now or after the survey results are released.

Second, following up on the student forum: Many students attended last week’s conversation about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein and spoke candidly about intense and important issues. As President Reif said at the end of the event, he will arrange to meet with groups of students in the coming weeks and months to continue this dialogue.

After the forum, President Reif and I discussed how we could quickly respond to one specific piece of forum feedback we both heard clearly – there is a desire for MIT to again offer a survivors’ support group.

At President Reif’s request, I reached out to Violence Prevention & Response (VPR) and Student Mental Health and Counseling Services (SMHCS), two confidential resources for students, and these offices will co-lead a support group if students would like to take part. They encourage any student who is interested in participating to email vpradvocate@mit.edu.

I hope you will let VPR and SMHCS know if you would like to join the support group. And I hope you will turn to any of the resources offered below if you need help at any point in time.


Cynthia Barnhart

On‐Campus Resources for Students
MIT encourages individuals to seek assistance for incidents involving sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, or stalking.

MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling
Building E23, 3rd floor, 617‐253‐2916 (nights/weekends: 617‐253‐4481)
MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling Services provides free and confidential consultation, short‐term therapy, referrals, and coordination with other Institute resources with consent.

MIT Violence Prevention and Response (VPR)
Building E23‐499, 24‐hour hotline: 617‐253‐2300

vpradvocate@mit.edu or http://mit.edu/wecanhelp
Violence Prevention & Response (VPR) is the Institute’s focal point to support survivors of sexual assault, people experiencing domestic or dating violence, and those with concerns around stalking and/or harassment. VPR is a confidential resource, and trained staff are available 24 hours a day to answer questions and offer help.

MIT Title IX and Bias Response Office (T9BR)
Building W31, 617-324-7526

titleix@mit.edu or http://titleix.mit.edu
The T9BR Office provides formal and informal reporting options to people who have experienced any form of bias or discrimination, including sexual harassment, assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking.

MIT Medical
Building E23, 617‐253‐4481

MIT Medical serves the healthcare needs of the MIT community. For well-being resources, such as sleep and self-care, please visit https://medical.mit.edu/services/community-wellness.
To learn more about confidential and private resources available to MIT students, please visit http://titleix.mit.edu/students/resources.

Off-Campus Community Resources

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)
24-hour hotline: 800-841-8371

BARCC provides free services to survivors of rape and sexual assault, including a 24‐hour hotline, counseling, legal advocacy, and medical advocacy.

Transition House
24-hour crisis line: 617-661-7203

Transition House provides a range of services to survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner abuse, dating violence, and family violence. Services include counseling, safety planning, support groups, housing advocacy, and legal advocacy.

Casa Myrna Vazquez
Dial 617‐521‐0100 for this multicultural organization offering a variety of services to individuals affected by domestic violence.

24-hour hotline: 877-785-2020

Contact the Massachusetts statewide 24‐hour toll‐free domestic violence hotline for information, support, and resources.

The Network/La Red
24-hour hotline: 617-742-4911 (voice), 617-227-4911 (TTY), 800-832-1901 (Toll-Free)

The Network/La Red’s 24‐hour hotline provides confidential emotional support, information, and safety planning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender (LGBQ/T) individuals, as well as people in SM/kink and polyamorous communities who are being abused or have been abused by a partner. We also offer information and support to friends, family, or co‐workers on the issue of domestic violence in LGBQ/T communities. All hotline staff are trained in domestic violence, peer counseling, crisis intervention, and safety planning. You don’t have to leave or want to leave your relationship to get support.

The Victim Rights Law Center
617-399-6720 x19

The Victim Rights Law Center provides free, comprehensive legal services for sexual assault victims with legal issues in Massachusetts and Oregon in the areas of privacy, safety, housing, education, employment, immigration, LGBTQ‐specific issues, criminal justice advocacy, and financial stability.

National Resources
These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers can connect free of charge to the phone hotlines and will be directed to local agencies in their area. Individuals can also connect with trained hotline staff online through a secure chat messaging system.

Phone Hotlines
National Sexual Assault Phone Hotline (RAINN):
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1‐800‐273‐TALK(8255) (Press 2 for Spanish)
New York City Anti‐Violence Project Hotline (LGBTQ community): 212‐714‐1141 (hotline will assist LGBTQ community nationwide – not limited to New York City)

Websites, Text Lines, and Online Hotlines
Crisis Text Line: Text 741741
National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (RAINN): https://hotline.rainn.org/online
Website: http://www.rainn.org/