Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Oregon State University provides education for the student community about sexual violence through presentations during CONNECT Week each fall. In addition, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Office (located in Student Health Services), and the Department of Public Safety, offer sexual violence education and information programs to University students and employees upon request. Information about sexual violence, consent, and University response is available through Office of Sexual Assault Support Services SASS at 541-737-2131 or 7-2131.
In addition, OSU has a Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Alliance (SARPA), which was developed to strengthen collaboration and coordination of sexual violence response and prevention initiatives at Oregon State University. SARPA is co-facilitated by the OSU Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator, the Sexual Assault Support Services Coordinator and a representative from University Housing and Dining. SARPA consists of numerous departments and agencies on and off campus, including: ASOSU Safe Ride, the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, Good Samaritan Hospital, Oregon State Police/OSU Department of Public Safety, OSU Dean of Student Life Office, OSU Office of Equity and Inclusion, OSU Student Conduct and Community Standards and OSU Women’s Center.
Reporting Sexual Assault
If you are a victim of sexual assault at this institution, your first priority should be to get to a place of safety. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. The University Patrol Office of the Oregon State Police strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault may be reported directly to an Oregon State Police Trooper, and/or you may also choose to report the assault to a University Housing and Dining Services Residential Assistant (RA). Filing a police report with an OSP Trooper will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. Filing a police report will:
- Ensure a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim.
- Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam).
- Assure the victim has access to free confidential advocacy and counseling from professionals specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.
When a sexual assault victim contacts the Department of Public Safety, the Oregon State Police Sex Crimes Unit will be notified as well. A representative from the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV), an agency which provides support and advocacy for victims, will also be notified. The victim of a sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and/or the University’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or the University’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. A representative from the Oregon State Police or CARDV will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision.
University disciplinary proceedings, as well as special guidelines for cases involving sexual misconduct are detailed in the Student Handbook. Both the victim and accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding; and both the victim and accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found responsible for violating the University sexual misconduct policy can be criminally prosecuted in the state courts and may be suspended or expelled from the University for a single offense. Student victims also have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living situations after an alleged sexual assault.
Support and Advocacy for Survivors/Victims of Sexual Assault
Support is available for survivors of sexual assault, whether or not a survivor decides to report to Law Enforcement or the University. Survivors may contact OSU Sexual Assault Support Services (541-737-2131 or 7-2131, available for students) or the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV, available for students and community members) 24 hour hotline at 541-754-0110 for support, crisis intervention and information about their options and resources. SASS also provides ongoing counseling for students, consultation and referrals for faculty, staff and community members. Counseling for faculty and staff is also available through the Employee Assistance Program.
Medical Services for Survivors/Victims of Sexual Assault
A survivor in entitled to receive comprehensive medical services for sexual assault without reporting to the Police or the University. Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence exams (SAFE kits) are available at OSU Student Health Services (SHS, available to students, 541-737-7355 or 7-7355) and also at local hospital Emergency Departments (EDs). A survivor may request for evidence to be collected anonymously using a SAFE kit and may later decide to make a formal report to Law Enforcement. Financial assistance is available to cover the expenses for the SAFE exam. Contact CARDV at 541-754-0110, SHS or your local ED concerning questions about SAFE exams.