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Sexual Misconduct & Reporting

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a living and learning community that is free from harassment, violence, and discrimination. Consistent with this commitment, Duke has developed a comprehensive Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct, administered by the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) and applicable to sexual misconduct committed by students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), faculty, staff, and visitors. This policy prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sex-/gender-based harassment, sexual/gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and stalking. These prohibitions also include non-physical forms of sexual harassment, including threats, intimidation, spying, and peeping. 

Students studying away from Duke’s campus who experience sexual harassment or misconduct involving other students, faculty, staff, administrators, or third parties can report such prohibited conduct in a number of ways:  

          1. Report to your faculty leaders and/or the Duke Immerse (not confidential). If you experience sexual misconduct on a Duke Immerse program, you are encouraged to reach out to your faculty leaders to let them know about the incident. Working with offices back at Duke, your faculty will attempt to assist you in accessing follow-up care and other resources – such as local counselors – where available, and institute interim support measures as needed. Please note, however, that some locations may have limited on-the-ground resources available to students. In such instances, Duke will attempt to locate alternative forms of support for you. Alternatively, if you would like to report an incident directly to Duke’s Office of Student Conduct or Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention, you can do so online by filing a report on the following website: If you do not have access to the internet, but would still like to report an incident directly to Duke, you should call the Office of Global Health and Safety at +1-919-452-9546 and let them know about the situation. OGHS will then alert the relevant parties at Duke who will reach out to you. 
          1. Confidential reporting resource. Students on Duke Immerse programs have an option to confidentially discuss an alleged violation of Duke’s harassment policies – – without the information being reported to Duke’s Office of Student Conduct or Office for Institutional Equity – with the University Ombudsperson. Except in extreme circumstances, the ombudsperson is in a position where they may maintain strict confidentiality under university policy and within the scope of their professional responsibilities. Students should be aware that, with the exception of this confidential resource, all employees, including faculty, who become aware of possible sexual misconduct committed by students are expected to notify Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity. Students who serve in an ongoing peer-advising role (such as Resident Assistants) are also expected to notify Duke of such conduct.  


Keegan Cary 
                  Student Ombudsperson 
                  Phone: 919-613-2736 


If you need physical or mental health support after a sexual misconduct incident, ISOS can help arrange doctor’s or counseling appointments. Your program director, OGHS, or Duke Immerse staff can assist you in contacting ISOS. However, you are able to contact them directly at +1.215.942.8478. ISOS is available 24/7 and will accept collect calls.   

Resources for when you’re back at Duke :


General Resources 

For more general information, please consult the following resource: 

For more general information on sexual assault, please consult the following resources: 

Minimizing the Risks

Sexual assault and rape are prevalent globally, and no one is immune. While female students are statistically more susceptible, students of all gender identities should exercise caution and awareness. It is important to remember that sexual violence is never your fault. 

While Duke students have already shared some helpful advice online, we have outlined additional or reinforced some of the same points below to help you minimize your risk of becoming a victim of sexual assault while on your program: 

        • Research your study away location and local culture to better understand cultural norms (including gender issues), appropriate dress, interpersonal communication, conceptions of personal space, and areas/neighborhoods to avoid. 
        • Learn the unwritten rules of your host culture during the early stages of your program. Past Immerse program participants suggest getting together with fellow students to discuss what does and does not work in regards to dealing with unwanted attention. 
        • Take cues from locals. Look at how they dress and interact with strangers. Although you may want to express your own individuality, keep in mind that the way you dress may attract unwanted attention from men and women alike. Try not to look like a tourist, as the outward appearance of being wealthy or foreign could lead you to being targeted. 
        • Drink in moderation and do not take drugs. Being intoxicated can make you a target for predators because of impaired judgment and reduced capacity to protect yourself. If you are drinking in excess, make sure you are with friends and keep track of each other. 
        • Trust your instincts. You should never do something you are not comfortable with, and remember it is okay to say no. If you feel cornered by someone, look for a way to get out of the situation and seek help immediately. 
        • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Walk confidently and act as if you know where you are going. Avoid poorly lit, deserted areas and try not to walk alone, especially at night. Avoid walking or working out with headphones or earbuds in. 
        • When out, travel with a group. Make sure to stay together, lookout for each other, and do not leave anyone behind. 
        • Do not respond to any catcalls that you receive. Just walk on. 
        • If you have to wait somewhere alone, like in a train station, stay near other people or families. This may help keep you from being harassed or approached. 
        • Do not open a residence door to strangers if you are alone or feel uncomfortable. 
        • Check the legality of “self-defense” items in your host state/country before traveling. Be aware that in certain states and countries, mace, pepper spray, and other such self-defense items are considered weapons and may be illegal to carry. 
        • Know the emergency number for your host country. It is not necessarily 911 as it is here in the United States. Be sure to save this number into the phone you will be using while abroad. You should also save the cell phone numbers of your faculty leaders and on-site support staff, just in case you ever need to reach them. If you do not know these numbers, you should ask for them. 

You should also know that incorporating practices such as bystander intervention into your daily life is an important way to help keep yourself (and your friends) safe while on your program. The goal of bystander intervention is to change social norms so that everyone is looking out for one another. This strategy empowers all students on study away programs to intervene with their peers in order to help prevent an assault from taking place. For more information on bystander intervention strategies, review the following resources: