Global Education

Sexual Misconduct Abroad

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual violence. Ohio State is committed to providing a living and study environment free from sexual harassment. Cultural norms surrounding gender roles and expectations are often different than those in the United States, and harassment may be particularly difficult to identify abroad. However, cultural sensitivity does not mean that you need to submit to behaviors that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Educating yourself about sexual harassment, violence and gender dynamics abroad can empower you to engage in a safe international experience. Follow these guidelines:

Sexual harassment

Ohio State’s sexual misconduct policy defines harassment to include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature related to academic status, academic decisions or that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for learning or living. Sexual harassment as defined by university policy is also a violation of the code of student conduct.

The university encourages education abroad participants to report concerns and complaints so that prompt corrective measures can be taken to stop sexual harassment whenever it occurs. If you are encountering an environment of sexual harassment:

Ohio State is committed to taking prompt and appropriate action in your support. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken whether Ohio State or host country students and/or faculty are involved. If the individual who harassed you is not an employee or student of Ohio State or the host institution, you should still report the incident because the university may be able to act on your behalf with regard to the situation.

Sexual assault and sexual violence

If you are the survivor of a sexual assault or violence abroad, what happened is not your fault. Ohio State is committed to taking prompt and appropriate action in your support. We encourage you to report any incident of sexual assault to your program resident director or in-country staff. You are also encouraged to contact the international risk manager at simmons.541@osu.edu or via the 24/7 International Emergency Phone Line at +1-614-292-6677. If you report an assault to Ohio State faculty or staff they should:

Three important considerations:

Under federal Title IX requirements and the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, any Ohio State faculty or staff member that knows of a sexual assault is required to report the assault to the university’s Title IX Coordinator. The faculty or staff can offer confidentiality but not complete anonymity. Survivors will receive a notification of assistance and resources from the university’s Title IX coordinators. Ohio State is committed to providing support and resources for students who have experienced sexual violence; the survivor, however, is empowered to accept or decline the services. Survivors who are not interested or do not want to seek support services abroad are still eligible to seek support services upon their return to Ohio State, such as making an appointment with the Student Advocacy CenterCounseling and Consultation Services or through the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO).