If You or Someone You Know is a Victim/Survivor
If It Happens to You
Immediately following a sexual assault, get emergency medical care. Your physical health should be your first priority. You may have injuries that need immediate attention and it is important to test for sexually transmitted infections and discuss the option of emergency contraception. McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford has specially trained sexual assault nurse examiners. You will not be billed for services. You should not change your clothes or otherwise cleanse yourself before going to the hospital in order to preserve physical evidence that may be needed for investigation and prosecution should you decide to pursue legal remedies.
Report the assault to the authorities. The more often sexual assaults are reported, the easier it may be to prevent them. Reporting an assault to the University Police or other law enforcement or campus security authorities does not require filing criminal charges, but it does allow support systems to be put in place for the survivor. Reporting is best done as soon as possible after the assault, but it may be done at any time. Students can make their report to any campus security authority, including, but not limited to, University Police (513-529-2222), Oxford Police (513-523-4321), Office of Community Standards (513-529-1417), advisors to recognized student organizations and athletic coaches. The University will assist students who report sexual assault in obtaining medical support and information regarding available legal and judicial resources as well as counseling and support services.
Personal crimes, including assaults, sexual assaults, and hate crimes, are a very serious concern of the Miami University Police. Students who choose to notify police should be aware of the importance of the immediacy of reporting the incident and the importance of preserving physical evidence at the assault scene as well as on the person assaulted. The gathering of physical evidence can provide important evidence and support criminal charges leading to a successful prosecution. Do not shower, wash, douche, or change your clothes, even though that may be your immediate reaction.
Students who are reporting an immediate assault should be accompanied to a health care facility of their choice to allow for collection of evidence and treatment. If a sexual assault victim chooses to report the incident days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged; however, criminal investigations are much more difficult.
Sexual assaults, for which individuals seek medical treatment, must be reported to the appropriate police unit by health care officials. However, as noted above, students are not required to criminally prosecute the case or file a police report, unless the sexual assault survivor is a minor.
Reporting an assault to the police ensures that the incident will be included in the University's annual crime statistics report. It does not commit you to pursuing the charge but does allow you to keep your options open.
Seek support from both your friends and from people trained to help you. Miami's Title IX officers serve as the primary source of support for students who experience sexual misconduct or assault. You can expect us to: 1) provide connections to medical and mental health treatment, 2) help you report the incident to the police and inform you of how to pursue disciplinary action, 3) assist you with accessing academic support services, and 4) support you with emotional health and other needs.
For the contact information of Title IX officers, see Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Sexual Harassment. For a full description of support services, see Title IX Protocol.
Counseling is available 24 hours a day by calling the independent resource, Women Helping Women, at 513-381-5610 or toll-free, 877-889-5610. This program provides victim advocates who can meet survivors at the hospital, help them work through feelings, discuss options, and offer assistance with referrals and follow-up. Students may also seek assistance from the university's Oxford Student Counseling Service at 513-529-4634 during normal business hours. On-call counselors can be reached at any time through the university police dispatcher at 513-529-2222
Miami will make changes in your academic (all campuses) and living arrangements (Oxford Campus) if you wish. Contact the Dean of Students, 110 Warfield Hall, at 513-529-1877.
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.
For more information, you can consult the National Crime Prevention Council, the Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault, Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, and the Ohio Department of Health.