Sexual Assault & Rape

Rape is a violent sexual act committed against person's will and is a violation of personal rights. You should be aware that most people imagine the typical rapist as a psychotic stranger lurking in an alley. However, many rapes are committed by seemingly "nice guys" whom you may know quite well. It could be anyone with whom you socialize, an acquaintance, classmate, co-worker, boss, family member or neighbor.
 
Remember. regardless of actions. rape is never the victim's fault.

Preserving Evidence
Preserving evidence is critical aft'9r a sexual assault. Victims should be careful not to bathe, douche, wash clothing, urinate, defecate, or tamper with other potential evidence on their person or in the area where the attack occurred. Your first inclination may be to do one or more of the above; however, you should resist the temptation because the evidence will be vital to criminal prosecution.
 
Reporting a Sexual Assault
If you are assaulted, you should report the rape immediately and may do so by contacting the Campus Police Department, NEO's Counseling Office or Student Health Services. You may also report a rape or sexual assault to a Resident Director or Resident Assistant.
 
Reporting the crime does not mean that you must file charges against the attacker. However, it is wise to report the incident because the information you provide may help locate a suspect in other offenses and possibly prevent another person's injury. Campus Police will not pressure you to file charges. That is your decision alone.
 
Sexual Assault Nurse Examination
A Campus Police Officer or designee will take you to the nearest medical facility where you will receive a complete physical examination by a physician. The physician may obtain evidence necessary for court proceedings and administer antibiotic therapy to decrease the chances of venereal disease. You will also receive treatment for any injuries you suffered. If you would like a friend or relative to accompany you, every effort will be made to accommodate your request.
 
After the examination, you will be brought back to Police Headquarters or another location for interviewing. A counselor or victim advocate from the District Attorney's Office may be present.

Role of the Police Officer and the Investigation

When a sexual assault is reported to Campus Police, an officer is immediately sent to the victim's location. The officer's priority is to determine the extent of physical and emotional trauma suffered. However, s(he) will ask for a brief review of events, a description of the attacker, the direction the assailant traveled and a description of the vehicle used, if any. This information is very important for quick apprehension.
 
Following the interview, the officer or whomever the victim designates, will assist the victim in obtaining a complete change of clothing so that apparel worn during the attack can be secured as evidence and transport the victim to the nearest medical facility for an examination.
 
Sometime later, an interview at Police Headquarters will be conducted where the victim will be asked for more specific details related to the attack. A person of their choosing may accompany the victim and questioning will be handled considerately and courteously.
 
The interview serves a dual purpose: it assists officers in their criminal investigation and it helps the victim to firmly establish what happened in their mind. It also makes testifying in court much easier and less frightening. All comments made during the interview may be tape recorded for future reference.
 
Role of Housing
Resident Directors and Resident Assistants are knowledgeable about available rape and sexual assault resources and able to help you. In addition, you may request assistance from the College administration in changing academic and/or living arrangements where a continued threat may be reasonably assumed.

Role of Counseling Services
The psychological and emotional trauma following a sexual assault is often very painful. Possible symptoms of distress include eating disorders, sleep disturbances, lack of trust, feelings of guilt, depression, mood swings, relationship and communication problems. If a victim suffers from these symptoms, help is available through NEO's Counseling Office. If additional counseling is required, referrals will be made.
 
Additional Assistance
It is normal to feel confusion, anger, guilt and other strong emotions after a sexual assault. If you need assistance beyond what NEO can provide, you may contact one or more of the following:
 
_A rape crisis center _A women's counseling center _A social service agency
_A campus or school counselor _A member of the clergy _A mental health or community crisis center
_A victim/witness program usually _available through the Court
 
NOTE: NEO DOES NOT TOLERATE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OF ANY KIND. For a review of this policy, please refer to Appendix A of the Code of Student Conduct located in the Office of Student Affairs