If you are the victim of sexual assault, seek medical attention, emotional support and legal assistance. All victims have the right to seek resources and support. Options for seeking help are different based on whether the assault occurred within or after 72 hours.
Within 72 hours: Seek immediate medical attention. Receiving medical attention immediately after an assault gives survivors the most options for protecting her/his health and gathering information if she/he decides to pursue legal charges. Medical attention helps determine if the survivor is physically injured, needs care for sexually transmitted infections or possible pregnancy. Receiving medical attention does NOT require survivors to report the assault to the police, or follow through with the charges if she/he chooses to report. Becca Bishopric, Coordinator for Health Promotion – Violence Prevention and Response can accompany you to the hospital at any time. For accompaniment and support call Becca Bishopric at 336-278-5009 if between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M Monday through Friday or 339-278-5555 to get her to call you or meet you at the AMRC emergency room.
Hospital personnel are prepared to conduct a standardized medical exam known as a "rape protocol exam." This exam collects relevant evidence and records important observations. IMPORTANT: To collect the best evidence the survivor must not shower, change clothes or use the bathroom before receiving the rape protocol exam. If the survivor must change clothes for her/his psychological well being be sure to put clothing in a paper bag to protect evidence collection. If possible, bring a change of clothing for the survivor to wear after the exam because the clothing will be taken as evidence. Elizabeth can help organize getting clothing and toiletries to survivors at the emergency room.
The cost of the exam is covered by special government state funds set aside for crime survivors or through the office of Health Promotion – Violence Prevention and Response. If a survivor goes to the hospital before calling police, the hospital is required to contact law enforcement. However, the survivor is not required to file a report (or even speak with the police) when they arrive at the hospital.
The hospital should also call CrossRoads Sexual Assault Crisis and Response Center and a volunteer advocate should arrive at the hospital to support the survivor throughout the exam. Follow-up services provided by the university include security matters (lock change, room change, phone number change, etc.), academic assistance, advocacy through the criminal justice system, Elon’s student conduct process, support groups, and other specialized services. All of these services are confidential.
After more than 72 hours: Many survivors of sexual assault do not come forward until days, weeks, months, or even years after the assault. For survivors of assault that occurred more than 72 hours ago, all of the same procedures apply with the EXCEPTION of the necessity to go to the hospital for evidence collection (rape protocol exam). Survivors still have the option to seek medical attention. The type and extent of medical attention will depend on the amount of time since the assault.
Becca Bishopric, Coordinator for Health Promotion – Violence Prevention and Response is available to provide support, information, advocacy, and referrals 24 hours a day. If someone has just been assaulted and needs immediate assistance call Campus Safety & Police at 336-278-5555 and ask for Becca to call you back. You are welcome to stop by her office in Duke 204C at any time. She is also available via phone at 336-278-5009 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have been sexually assaulted you may be experiencing a wide range of feelings: shock, fear, disbelief, shame, numbness, outrage, confusion, sadness, humiliation, despair, and anger. All of these feelings are normal and valid. Negative or traumatic feelings will subside with time, information and support. Choosing to heal is courageous, and can be challenging.
Everyone’s experience is unique. You are in control of your healing process. Often talking with someone helps the healing process, especially when that person can share resources to help you heal. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, Becca can offer immediate resources and support and longer term help. Services from Becca's office are available for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or rape no matter when it occurred. CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center, a community resource, is available to all Elon students as well.
Deciding whether or not to report.
Often deciding whether or not to report an assault is an emotional process. Reporting can be empowering, but it can also be frightening or overwhelming. Whether or not to report the rape is your decision. There are benefits of reporting assault. Reporting the crime often helps survivors regain a sense of personal power and control. Reporting assists you in accessing specialized medical care. Reporting helps preserve evidence that could be valuable if you decide later to prosecute. Reporting helps you to resolve concerns about personal safety and security. Reporting does not mean prosecution is certain, but if pursued later, the first steps have been taken. For many survivors reporting is a first step in healing.
If you are struggling with the decision of whether or not to report please speak with Becca Bishopric, Coordinator for Health Promotion – Violence Prevention and Response at 336-278-5009 or through email at email@example.com about your options. She will NOT pressure you to report. Instead, she will provide you with an opportunity to consider your options and make the choice that is best for you.
If a sexual offense occurs involving an Elon University student, on or off-campus, there are three options for the university and the survivor to pursue. The university prefers to investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct, thus allowing us to pursue and maintain a close and safe community where all members are respected and appreciated. The university will only investigate allegations with the consent and approval of the alleged survivor. The university will also protect the identity of the survivor through the process and inform her/him of the outcome of any internal proceedings.
1.The survivor wishes to pursue BOTH criminal and university charges. If you decide to pursue both criminal and university charges then Elon University will support your decision and will support you as possible.
If you go to the hospital for medical support you will have the option to speak to a police officer and report at that time. If you choose to report later, you may call 336-584-1301 between 8-5 to file a report. Both the Town of Elon Police and the Elon University Campus Police both have as their policy to not release the name of the survivor to anyone except the District Attorney’s Office.
Please note the Office of Student Conduct is a university judicial program, not a criminal entity. Thus, it will conduct its own investigation. Information will be gathered to determine whether university judicial charges will be pursued. If charges are assigned, the judicial process as outlined in the Student Handbook will be followed. Every precaution will be taken to insure your identity is not shared. Survivors are not required to attend university judicial proceedings but are welcome to attend.
2. The survivor wishes to pursue ONLY university charges.
In this situation, the university will support your decision and will support you as possible. The Office of Student Conduct will request any information from the survivor and the local police agencies if such exists. Every precaution will be taken to insure the identity of the survivor is protected and not shared.
Because it is a university judicial program and not a criminal entity, the Office of Student Conduct will conduct its own investigation. Information will be gathered to determine whether university judicial charges will be pursued. If charges are assigned, the judicial process as outlined in the Student Handbook will be followed. Survivors are not required to attend university judicial proceedings but are welcome to attend.
3. The survivor wishes to pursue ONLY criminal charges. If the university is made aware of the situation it will attempt to support and honor the request(s) of the survivor during the criminal process. If a student does not inform the university about the incident or does not wish for any support, the university will not get involved.
The Office of Student Conduct will support law enforcement as requested and appropriate. University student conduct records are protected by the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) and will not be shared with any legal offices or entities without a Court subpoena.
CONFIDENTIALITY: The university will hold all reported acts of sexual abuse and violence in the highest confidence. The names of survivors will not be released to any other party without the written consent of the survivor. The names of accused students will not be released as directed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Survivors who choose to process claims of sexual assault through the campus judicial system will be informed of the results of judicial hearings as permitted by the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990. See the Student Conduct Website for more information regarding the campus judicial process and reported acts of violence.
CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center is available to all Elon students as well.