NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Deterring Sexual Violence on Campus

Despite the ongoing crisis of sexual violence on college campuses, NECC remains one of the safest schools in the Northeast.

According to the National Institute of Justice, one in five college women and one in 16 men will experience some form of non-consensual sexual experience by the time they graduate.

Statistics provided by the Massachusetts government ( show that 46 percent of victims are assaulted by an acquaintance and 21 percent by a friend. Only 19 percent are assaulted by a total stranger.

Anthony Branco, 19, is a student at Massachusetts School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and urges his friends to make safe decisions while attending parties on campus.

“Don’t ever accept a drink that someone else made and if you’re gonna get drunk; make sure you have a good friend with you at all times.” said Branco.

In a mass email sent out on Sept. 14, NECC students were notified that they are expected to participate in “HAVEN (Help Against Violent Encounters Now): Understanding Sexual Assault,” an online course designed to educate students and raise awareness of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking. Students are required to complete part one by Oct. 9 and part two by Nov. 20.

“Sexual violence is an epidemic right now and it is going on everywhere,” said NECC student Samson Racioppi. “I don’t know if a 30-45 minute course will change that, but it’s a good place to start.”

In accordance with mandates of the Crime Awareness and Campus Safety act of 1990, all accredited colleges must make available to the public an annual report known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Safety Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act.

Information provided by the schools’ individual Clery reports compare 10 of the area’s campuses and show that both the Lawrence and Haverhill campuses of NECC have had zero reported incidents of sexual or relationship violence.

To view NECC’s current Clery Act report online, along with many helpful hints on campus safety, go to the Student Services tab on the NECC home page and access the information under the Public Safety section.

Before enrolling at NECC, Eileen Page, Human Services major, attended a four-year college where most people lived on campus.

“There were reports of sexual violence almost every week.” said Page.

Although NECC students live off-campus, the HAVEN course provides guidance for personal safety in many social or academic environments regardless of location.

“I haven’t participated in HAVEN yet,” said Page. “If it’s telling people not to sexually assault others, I don’t think it’s very productive, but I think if it’s more about empowering victims to report it, then I’m all for it.”

Students experiencing or witnessing a crime on campus are urged to alert Campus Security at (978) 556-3333 or call 911.

“We have to watch out for each other,” said Branco. “Don’t go anywhere alone.”

Students requiring more information about HAVEN can contact Justine Caron, Title IX Coordinator at or 978-556-3956.

“We have to watch out for each other,” said Branco. “Don’t go anywhere alone.”

Students requiring more information about HAVEN can contact Justine Caron, Title IX Coordinator at or 978-556-3956.

Number of On-Campus Sex Offenses Reported in 2014

(compiled from individual schools’ Clery reports)

Northern Essex Community College/ Haverhill     0
Northern Essex Community College/ Lawrence     0
Northshore Community College/ Danvers     0
University of Massachusetts/ Lowell     0
Southern New Hampshire University/ Salem     0
Massachusetts School of Pharmacy and Health Services/ Boston     0
Harvard University/ Cambridge     1
Merrimack College/ North Andover     7
University of New Hampshire/ Durham    21
Boston College/ Boston    23