Sexual Assault

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts which take place against a person’s will, or where that person is incapable of giving consent. While most people think of sexual violence as being limited only to rape, in fact, sexual violence includes sexual assault (rape), forced sodomy, forced oral contact, statutory rape (sex with a minor), sexual assault with an object, sexual battery (non-consensual touching), dating or intimate partner violence of a sexual nature, sexual coercion, sexual intimidation, sexual exploitation, and threat of sexual assault. Sexual violence is all of these things.  Related crimes that are non-sexual in nature include harassment, stalking, battery, intimate partner or dating violence of a non-sexual nature.

Consent is the voluntary, informed, affirmative, uncoerced agreement through words and/or actions, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Sexual activity should only occur when all participants willingly and affirmatively choose to engage in particular acts. See for additional information.

Are you physically and emotionally safe?

Your physical safety is the first priority. If you are in immediate danger, call Campus Security at (626) 395-5000 or if off campus, 911. 

We encourage the reporting of all crimes but respect and support your individual choices. The Caltech Center for Diversity and Student Counseling Services are confidential resources available to provide emotional support to survivors of violence or related crimes, as well as offer information and resources for reporting and any other options available to you. We are also available to assist students who wish to support a friend who has been victimized.

Do you need immediate medical attention?

Evidence Collection: Caltech Student Health Services cannot collect evidence that can be used in a criminal case against an assailant, should the student decide to press charges. Evidence collection must be done by a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) program in a medical facility.   

The closest SART facility to Caltech is:

SAN GABRIEL MEDICAL CENTER located at 438 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA. The San Gabriel SART provides comprehensive treatment and forensic evidence collection (the rape kit). SART assists individuals of all ages: 24 hours a day, 365 days year. For help, call the SART Hotline at (877) 209-3049 or, to contact the hospital, call (626) 289-5454.

Additional SART facility:

RAPE TREATMENT CENTER AT SANTA MONICA-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER for forensic evidence collection (the rape kit), advocacy, support, and a 24-hour hotline: (310)319-4000.  Online:

All medical providers (but not psychological counselors), such as physicians, staff in urgent care centers and emergency rooms, etc., must notify the police that an assault has taken place. This includes SART facilities.  However, a survivor has the right to have an advocate present throughout the process. The advocate will guide you through decisions about treatment and reporting options. Every sexual assault victim has the right to decide how much or how little to cooperate with the police investigation. Please don’t let the worry about police involvement prevent you from getting the medical assistance you need; including evidence collection, if you consent.  The SART staff knows how to manage the delicate balance between providing service to an assault victim and complying with the legal requirement to notify the police.

Health Services is open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Health Services is committed to providing compassionate and quality medical help to a student who has been sexually assaulted. Any student who has been assaulted may need a medical exam/treatment for any injuries they may have suffered as a result of the assault.  In addition, the Health Services staff member will discuss testing and treatment for any possible exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, as well as pregnancy prevention. If additional or specialized medical care is needed, Health Services staff can help facilitate that care. Students will also be offered a visit with a Counseling Services clinician for confidential consultation and support.

Confidentiality: Because personal medical information is protected by law, a student can come to Health Services, report the assault, and be treated for injuries without concern that your private information will be shared with anyone else at Caltech, except whomever the student decides to tell.  Note that medical providers (but not psychological counselors) in California, including Health Services, are required to notify law enforcement when they receive a report of sexual assault.

Health Services is closed after hours (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m.), weekends & holidays.

A student in need of medical care can go to any urgent care or emergency room. However, an urgent care or emergency room will refer a person who has been assaulted to the nearest SART facility. We recommend going directly to a SART center, such as those listed above.


Where can you turn for confidential emotional support and advocacy on campus?

Students often turn to another student in time of crisis; we understand and encourage reaching out to friends. At the same time, sexual violence and other related crimes have a significant emotional impact and often help and support from a professional is needed.

Counseling Services can provide emotional support both in the immediate crisis and afterwards. Counseling Services will also refer a survivor to the Center for Diversity to discuss options with respect to reporting, make a change in living arrangements, ensure safety, help with academic accommodation or referrals to off-campus support groups, etc. The Center for Diversity can serve as an advocate on your behalf on all these issues.

Both Counseling Services staff and designated staff of the Center for Diversity provide support that is CONFIDENTIAL.  This means that your personal experience is protected and is not reported to anyone else. The staff of the Center for Diversity (but not Counseling Services) must report non-identifying information about crimes to the Institute, but they take great care in ensuring that students cannot be named or identified by the information provided. We understand that students may want to talk to someone they know and trust. We strongly encourage you to reach out to someone to talk about your experience.

All other employees of Caltech, including the Title IX Coordinator, R.A.s, R.L.C.s, Deans, faculty, and others, are required to make it known that an assault has taken place in order to protect students and the campus community. Any member of the Caltech community who wishes to file a complaint of sexual violence should do so as soon as possible after the assault, although complaints may be filed at any time. Complaints can be made orally or in writing. Complaints should be brought to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator at For more info about Title IX policies, resources for the community, and the complaint resolution process, see

Who to contact during the day for confidential support

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence, we encourage you to speak to one of the confidential resources listed below. They are available for consultation during business hours from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Taso Dimitriadis

Program Manager

(626)395-8108 **

Office location: Room 268, Center for Student Services

** You may leave a confidential voice message at either of these phone numbers.**

You may also call the Center for Diversity’s main line at (626)395-6207 and ask to speak to a confidential resource.


Call (626) 395-8331 during daytime hours.

Who to contact after hours (5pm-8am), weekends and holidays

Currently, if you experience sexual violence, non-sexual violence, or anything that you want to talk to a clincian about after-hours, you have a couple of options:

For after-hours and weekend response, call the Counseling Center’s main line 626-395-8331 and press "2" to be connected to a clinician. You may experience a brief hold while your call is connected; please stay on the line.

Report the incident to off-campus resources:

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE TEAM CENTER for forensic evidence collection (the “rape kit”): (877) 209-3049 / 438 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA

 PEACE OVER VIOLENCE for advocacy, support, and 24-hour crisis hotline: (626) 793-3385 (West San Gabriel Valley)

A resource that is further away but provides both advocacy and medical services is:

RAPE TREATMENT CENTER AT SANTA MONICA-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER for forensic evidence collection, advocacy, support, and 24-hour hotline: (310) 319-4000