PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY
The Concord University Office of Public Safety guarantees you the following:
- A public safety officer and a Sexual Assault Response Team member will meet with you privately at a place of your choosing to take a report, or simply discuss your case, whichever is your preference.
*Please note: Federal law requires all University administrators and campus Public Safety officers to be reporting agents. Your case will be counted as a reported sexual assault in compliance with the 1990 student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Acts. Neither your name, nor any particulars of your case, will be divulged as part of this requirement.
- We will not release your name to the public nor the press.
- You will be offered the assistance of a victim advocate. You will be given the choice of several on campus Sexual Assault Team Members, all of whom have been trained in victim advocacy, or the office of the victim advocate of Mercer County will be made available to you. S.A.F.E. (Mercer County's Victim Advocate Program) can be reached by calling 324-7820.
- Realizing that you will want to relive the attack as few times as possible, we will make every effort to take your assault statement on only one occasion.
- We will not engage in pre-judging or victim blaming.
- Concord University Police officers will treat you and your particular case with the utmost courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.
- The University will fully investigate your incident should you wish us to do so. You will be kept up-to- date on the overall progress of the case. In those instances where arrest and prosecution of the suspect appears likely, the Public Safety Director will discuss additional details of the case with you. You have the right to have your victim advocate present at this meeting.
- The University will give your case full and serious consideration regardless of your gender, or the gender of the suspect.
- The University will supply physical protection, relocation, relocation of or >other limitations on the reported perpetrator(s) if known.
If you feel you are a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse, call the Concord University Public Safety Office at 384-5357. The emergency telephone number, after 4:00 p.m., weekdays and all weekend is 384-9334. The emergency line transfers your call to the on-duty police officer radio system, so explain that your information is confidential and ask him/her to call you on a landline.
If the assault takes place off campus, the WV State Police Department (425-2101) is available to facilitate this process with the victim.
The Sexual Assault Response Team Program (Victim Advocacy),
The University strongly urges all sexual assault victims to report the crime as soon as possible to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Doing so saves investigative time, preserves evidence, and may prevent future assaults by the same offender. It also ensures that a victim receives prompt medical attention and counseling as needed. However, many victims are hesitant to initiate the reporting process alone, and some victims may decide not to report the crime. The University is committed to providing nonjudgmental and appropriate support services for all sexual assault victims, regardless of whether or not they report the crime. In addition, the University has vested interest in obtaining an accurate count of the number of sexual assault involving student victims that occur on or off-campus. The Sexual Assault Response Team program is designed to accomplish both these goals, as well as to meet federal mandates. The Student Right To-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 requires Concord University to provide accurate crime statistics on an annual basis to the campus community, while the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1992 Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights requires, among other things, that all higher education institutions establish a protocol for responding to reported sexual assault incidents. Victim advocates ensure that students who have been sexually assaulted, do not have to navigate the legal, medical or mental health system alone. All victim advocacy services are confidential and free of charge. Victim advocates are designated University staff members who possess knowledge in sexual assault issues, have experience in sexual assault crisis intervention, and have received appropriate training in the medical and legal issues related to sexual assault. Acurrent list of victim advocates is available from the Office of Housing and Residence Life in Sarvay. Any person that is a victim of sexual assault is strongly encouraged to consult a victim advocate as soon after the assault as possible. Any time that a student reports a recent sexual assault (defined as an assault that occurred in the current academic or calendar year) to a Concord University employee, that employee is required to immediately refer the student to a victim advocate.
The victim advocate, in turn, is required to do the following:
- Inform the victim of her/his legal options for recourse (both civil and criminal), encourage the victim to report the assault to the Concord University Public Safety Office, assist the victim with preserving evidence, and inform the victim of her/his legal rights and protections;
- If the victim is a student, inform her/him of other options for recourse, including a campus disciplinary hearing, and notify the victim of her/his Code of Conduct rights and protections;
- Encourage the victim to seek medical attention for injuries, sexually transmitted infection prophylaxis, emergency contraception, GHB/rohypnol testing, and HIV testing;
- Encourage the victim to seek counseling services;
- Assist the victim with obtaining academic accommodations as appropriate in the he event of posttraumatic stress disorder;
- Assist the victim with obtaining new or temporary living arrangements if a threat to physical safety persists;
- Serve as an emotional support resource for the victim during the initial phase of recovery;
- Provide support with/for significant others and friends;
- Make a confidential and anonymous report in writing to the Dean of Students, who, in collaboration with the Office of Public Safety, compiles an annual summary for purposes of federal campus crime reporting.
In the event of a persistent or imminent threat top student safety, the Dean of Student and/or the Public Safety Director will inform the Concord University community in a timely manner.
Role of the Victim Advocate:
- Provide medical and legal advocacy for victims of sexual assault.
- Make appropriate resource referrals for victims.
- Assist victims in obtaining academic accommodations and other support services.
- Assist the University with meeting federally mandated campus crime reporting requirements.
- Ensure consistency of care and response for all victims.