Special Services was created alongside the Penn Women’s Center in 1973 in response to calls from students, faculty and staff for greater support and transparency related to interpersonal violence on campus. In our 45+ year history, we have developed close partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania Police Department, the University Life Division specifically the Penn Women’s Center, Student Intervention Services, LGBT Center, Penn Violence Prevention and other cultural resource centers, Wellness at Penn, all 12 schools and centers, as well as the Office of the Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX. In addition to Penn resources, Special Services liaises with Philadelphia Special Victims Unit, Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (PSARC), District Attorney’s Office, and Criminal and Family Court divisions as well as non-profits like the Clery Center, WOAR: Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence, Women Against Abuse, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Community Legal Services, and more.
For all information related to the University and COVID-19, please see Penn’s official Coronavirus resource page.
Special Services remains open and available to support you during this time. We are physically in the office during normal business hours to respond to emergencies as well as available by phone, email, or other online video platform. Given the evolving situation with COVID-19, rather than coming in person, we encourage those who can to call and/or email us to reach someone in Special Services.
While many of Penn’s physical offices are closed, resources remain available to support you during this time. Additionally, all campus and confidential resources (listed here: https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/pvp/resources.php) remain available to students. Please see their respective websites for availability.
Members of the Penn community may inquire and receive support services when victimized by any type of crime. The investigation of sensitive crimes and incidents, however, such as, rape, sexual assault, relationship or domestic violence, harassment and stalking, is a prominent part of Special Services’ operations. Highly trained personnel are available to offer immediate assistance, including crisis intervention, accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings, options counseling and advocacy, and linkages to other University and community resources, including Penn Police, Student Health Services, Counseling/Psychological Services, Penn Women’s Center, Office of Student Conduct, Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer, Penn Violence Prevention, VPUL (Vice Provost of University Life) as well as city, state and federal resources.