Get Help Now
If you are in an emergency situation, dial 911 immediately for law enforcement and/or medical assistance.
If you have experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual harassment or think you have experienced it, help is available. It is not your fault, and there are resources on campus and in the community to provide support. You also have options for reporting the incident.
Steps to Consider
Consider the following options as you decide how to proceed.
It is important to preserve physical evidence even if you do not yet know whether you want to report the incident or pursue filing a complaint. This will ensure that evidence is available if you later decide to proceed with a criminal or university investigation. Below are suggestions for preserving evidence related to an incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. It is important to keep in mind that each suggestion may not apply in every incident.
Evidence of a sexual assault is best collected as soon as possible or at least within 96 hours of the incident. Consider waiting to shower or bathe to avoid washing away important physical evidence. Save any clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault in a paper bag. You can also preserve evidence by saving text messages, social media messages or posts, and other communications that may be useful to investigators.
Not all experiences of dating/domestic violence cause visible injuries. If visible injuries are present, it can be helpful to document them with photographs, if it is safe to do so. It is also important to seek medical attention if possible and safe to do so.
If you have experienced stalking, it can be helpful to an investigation to retain any evidence of that behavior, including documentation of any unwanted communication (whether written, oral, electronic), postings (such as on social media), gifts, etc.
Seeking Medical Attention as Soon As Possible
If you go to an emergency department, the trained professionals can collect necessary physical evidence. Even if you do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care professionals can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases/infections. The forensic exam will be administered by a registered nurse who has received advanced training to provide care and treatment to sexual assault victims.
You will not be billed for a sexual assault forensic exam. Sexual assaults, for which individuals seek medical treatment, must be reported to the appropriate police unit by health care officials. However, you are not required to criminally prosecute the case or file a police report, unless the sexual assault survivor is a minor.
It is important to immediately notify medical staff if you believe drugs or alcohol were involved. Medical staff are specially trained to collect evidence and perform tests, including tests that can provide important evidence if drugs or alcohol were involved.
A support specialist from Women Helping Women will be available at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital to provide information and support for Miami University students, staff, or faculty. It is your choice to speak with an advocate.
Unlike the forensic exam for a sexual assault, if you seek medical treatment for dating/domestic violence there is a cost. Thanks to generous support from donors, Miami may be able to offer financial assistance to cover some or all the expenses associated with the visit. You can learn more by contacting the Title IX Coordinator and/or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
Reporting the Incident
Although Miami strongly encourages all members of the community to immediately report an incident of sexual and interpersonal violence to law enforcement and to the University, you have a choice whether to make such a report, and you can decline to involve the police. Refer to Learn More About Reporting Options for more information.
Seeking Other Assistance and Support
Miami's Title IX officers can provide supportive measures to students, faculty, and staff who experience sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual harassment. You can expect us to:
- provide connections to medical and mental health treatment,
- provide information on how to report the incident to the police and inform you of how to pursue formal action through the university,
- assist you with accessing academic support services, and
- support you with emotional health and other needs.
To learn more about the available supportive measures through Title IX, please contact the appropriate Title IX staff member.
Full description of supportive services
If It Happens to Someone You Know
If someone you know is sexually assaulted, do the following to help:
- Listen, do not judge.
- Give comfort. Realize the victim may be dealing with fear, insecurity, embarrassment, humiliation, guilt, and frustration. You can play an important role by providing reassurance and support.
- Encourage action. Help the victim call the police, contact a hotline, go to the hospital.