What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
Where do I go for help? If you are not safe, call 911 immediately.
Contact someone for support and to discuss your options There are many different people on and off campus you can talk to. They may have different reporting obligations.
RDVIC (Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center) 24-hour hotline: (304) 292-5100 RDVIC can send an advocate to meet you at the hospital, student health, the police department, or the WVU Title IX Office. You can speak with RDVIC advocates confidentially, and they can provide you with information about your options and emotional support. RDVIC can also provide you with free counseling.
WELLWVU Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, confidential counseling and advocacy specifically for WVU Students. Services available 24 hours a day 7 days per week (304) 293-4431.
Aside from contacting a professional, it is always helpful to have someone that you trust and care about with you. Reach out to a friend or family member to help you through the process.
Go to the hospital for medical care, evidence collection, and access to emergency contraception and medicine to help prevent STDs
You can obtain both medical treatment and a Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kit (AKA “SAFE kit”) at the hospital. SAFE kits can only be completed within 96 hours of the sexual assault, and emergency contraception is only effective if taken within 72 hours of the assault. Please note that even if you do not disclose the sexual assault within 96 hours, you can still report it to law enforcement and/or the university. Consenting to a SAFE kit does NOT mean you have to press criminal charges at that time, but ensures the collection of evidence if you later decide to press criminal charges.
In order to preserve evidence for a kit, it is important not to shower or change your clothes. (Even if you have showered or changed your clothes, you can still request a rape kit within 96 hours.) Clothes may be collected as part of a rape kit, so bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital if possible. Please don’t eat or drink anything, or brush your teeth before going to the hospital, in order to preserve evidence.
Although you can go to any hospital, WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital (304) 598-4172 and WVU Student Health (304) 285-7200 will waive the cost of the medical examination if you identify yourself as a WVU student at the time of the examination.
3. Report the sexual assault to law enforcement You can begin a criminal investigation by contacting the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the assault occurred. (If you are unsure of the jurisdiction, contact any police department for help.) If the sexual assault was perpetrated by another student, the police department will share your report with WVU as well.
Once the criminal investigation is complete, the prosecutor’s office will decide whether or not to press charges against the perpetrator. Even if the perpetrator is arrested, he or she may be released on bail pending his or her criminal hearing. The Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has a Victim Assistance Program to help victims navigate the criminal system: (304) 291-7286.
Even if you sign a form indicating that you do not wish to file criminal charges, you still have the right to file criminal charges at a later time.
- West Virginia University Police Department: (304) 293-3136
- Morgantown Police Department: (304) 284-7522
- Westover Police Department: (304) 296-6576
- Granville Police Department: (304) 599-5080
- Star City Police Department: (304) 599-3550
- Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department: (304) 291-7290
- West Virginia State Police: (304) 285-3200
4. Report the sexual assault to the WVU Title IX Office to begin an internal investigation and access temporary accommodations 304-293-5600. Sexual misconduct is prohibited by WVU, and students found “responsible” will be subject to sanctions from the university, including suspicion or expulsion. Once the Title IX Coordinator receives a report about a sexual assault, he will ask you to meet with an investigator to discuss the details of the assault and the possibility of temporary protective actions.
Temporary protection actions may include: prohibiting the alleged perpetrator from contacting you, moving the alleged perpetrator or you to a different residence hall, changing class schedules for the alleged perpetrator or you so that you do not have to be in the same classroom, providing you with an escort between classes and activities, providing you with academic support services, such as tutoring, and helping you with your academic record, and providing you with counseling services.
If the Title IX investigator concludes there is sufficient information to move forward in an investigation, she or he will issue a Notice of Complaint to the alleged perpetrator, including the alleged violation, your name, a notice of student rights, and a warning against retaliation. The victim is sent a copy at the same time. The alleged perpetrator may respond in writing and you have a right to receive a copy of this response. The Title IX Coordinator may send the case to the Office of Student Conduct to schedule a hearing.
During student conduct hearing, the University acts as a neutral party presenting evidence to the Student Conduct Board. Both you and the alleged perpetrator have the right to present testimony, evidence, and witnesses. Both you and the alleged perpetrator have the right to bring an attorney or advisor with you to the student conduct hearing. Students involved in sexual misconduct hearings may contact the WVU College of Law Clinic (304) 293-7249 for free legal advice. When the Judiciary Panel meets the victim or the alleged perpetrator can request that they remain separated from the other during the process. The Judiciary Panel will first determine whether or not the alleged perpetrator is “responsible” or “not responsible” for each violation listed in the complaint (victim) then determine an appropriate sanction for any violation.