Steps to Follow If an Offense Occurs

If you believe you are the victim of sexual assault or relationship violence (including dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or sexual exploitation), you are encouraged to take the following steps:

1. Go to a safe place.

2. You may seek medical attention. Immediate medical attention is strongly encouraged for any possible injuries. Medical attention is important to diagnose and treat any injuries (including internal injuries) or infections which may have resulted from the offense. Please note that local laws differ as to the healthcare provider’s obligations in regards to a medical exam related to a suspected sexual assault.

Providence Campus:
Getting an exam does not mean that you have to report the incident to the university or local law enforcement; however, a medical exam may help to preserve evidence should you choose to report to police or seek a protective order at some point.

North Miami Campus:
Getting an exam does not mean that you have to report the incident to the university or local law enforcement; however, a medical exam may help to preserve evidence should you choose to report to police or seek a protective order at some point.

Denver Campus:
Getting an exam does not mean that you have to report the incident to the university or local law enforcement. The healthcare provider is legally mandated to report a suspected sexual assault to law enforcement. You may choose to remain anonymous during this process. A medical exam may help to preserve evidence should you choose to report to police or seek a protective order at some point.

Charlotte Campus:
Getting an exam does not mean that you have to report the incident to the university or local law enforcement. Hospitals will retain forensic exam information as part of the medical record and contact a law enforcement agency to provide the agency with the evidence kit. No identifying information will be on the package. A medical exam may help to preserve evidence should you choose to report to police or seek a protective order at some point.

Time sensitive steps: Some actions are more effective or only may be taken within a few days after a sexual offense. You may wish to consult with medical personnel quickly regarding these items:

  • Preventative treatments for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
  • Evidence collection
  • Toxicology testing if there are signs that drugs or alcohol may have facilitated the assault/violence

Individuals of any gender can be victims of sexual assault or relationship violence. JWU encourages victims to go to the appropriate hospitals for their campus listed in Getting Help.

3. Consider your reporting options. Your options include

  • reporting the offense to law enforcement authorities by dialing 911 or contacting the appropriate police at the numbers listed in Getting Help. Campus authorities will assist you with notifying law enforcement authorities, if desired; and/or
  • filing a disciplinary complaint and reporting the offense to the university for investigation by Campus Safety & Security (see Getting Help for your campus information):
    • reporting the offense directly to Campus Safety & Security;
    • reporting the offense to a Residential Life staff member (such as your Resident Assistant [RA] or Resident Director [RD]);
    • reporting the offense to the university’s Title IX coordinator or nondiscrimination campus liaisons; and/or
    • reporting the offense to any of the other organizations or departments listed in Getting Help

If you wish to report confidentially or are uncertain about your next step you may call Counseling Services (see Getting Help for your campus information).

Johnson & Wales University strongly urges students and employees to report criminal offenses to local police and Campus Safety & Security so that the university can take appropriate measures to provide help to the victim and prevent future crimes. However, you have the right not to report the matter.

4. Consider steps to preserve and record evidence. If you wish to press charges or seek a protective order, it is important to preserve and record evidence, including recording the name (if known) and a description of the perpetrator (including type of clothing, race, age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, distinguishing marks, etc.), details of events, where events occurred, and the direction of travel of any vehicle involved. Best practices to preserve evidence with respect to sexual offenses include seeking medical attention from a hospital emergency department shortly after the event and

  • avoid washing anything (including your hands, mouth and face) or showering
  • avoid going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, eating, drinking, douching or changing your clothes
  • It is recommended that you bring an extra set of clothes with you to the hospital.

If you do change or have access to other materials like sheets or blankets present during the assault/violence, those materials can be brought to the hospital or given to law enforcement for evidence collection. Please use a paper bag, not plastic bag, if you choose to transport any of these materials on your own.

You may also consider preserving electronic evidence and other relevant information such as communications from the perpetrator (e.g., social media posts, emails, texts or other materials).

5. You may seek free confidential counseling services. You can obtain free confidential counseling assistance whether or not you file a report:

  • Contact Counseling Services directly (see Getting Help for your campus information as well as assistance available in the community).
  • Without disclosing any details of the incident, ask a Residential Life staff member or Campus Safety & Security to contact the on-call counselor. Campus Safety & Security will also provide you with written information about university counseling resources.

6. You may seek assistance regarding obtaining interim or protective measures at the university, including No Contact Orders and changes to university academic, living, student financial aid, visa and immigration, working, and transportation situations, regardless of whether you choose to report the crime to local law enforcement. Campus Safety & Security, the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators and/or a Nondiscrimination Campus Liaison will provide you with written information about university and community resources for changing situations or addressing needs.

7. You may also wish to create a safety plan with the assistance of people and organizations listed as offering this service under Getting Help.

8. You may seek an order of protection, court-ordered No Contact Order, restraining order or similar lawful orders from a court. Please note that the local police are responsible for the enforcement of these items and not Campus Safety & Security, but Campus Safety & Security will provide you with assistance. When an allegation of sexual assault or relationship violence is made against a student, that student will receive a university-issued “no contact” order, which will remain in effect until at least the Conduct Review Process has been completed.

9. You may seek additional help, counseling, advocacy, legal assistance and other assistance. People and organizations offering these services are listed under Getting Help.

Reporting Offenses to the University

JWU strives to be supportive of and accommodating for all victims of sexual assault and relationship violence. University representatives will make every effort to help in these ways:

  1. We will meet with you privately at a place of your choice on campus to take a statement, explain your options and provide you with a written list of rights and resources.
  2. We will treat information that you share with the highest level of discretion.
  3. CONFIDENTIALITY: We will do our best to honor your request to maintain confidentiality, provided your request does not interfere with our obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate a request to maintain confidentiality and consider several factors in evaluating such a request:
      1. The totality of known circumstances
      2. The seriousness of the offense
      3. Whether the prohibited conduct involved physical violence or use of weapons
      4. Whether the report reveals a pattern of prohibited conduct
      5. Whether the respondent has a history of arrests or is the subject of prior reports indicating a history of violence
      6. Whether multiple respondents were involved
      7. The complainant's age
      8. Any other available and relevant information and evidence
    • The university’s crime log will not include identifying information about the complainant to the extent permissible by law.
    • Please be advised that if we honor a request to maintain confidentiality, our ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the respondent may be limited.
    • Any accommodations or protective measures provided to you will be kept confidential, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the ability of the university to provide the accommodation or protective measures.
    • If we cannot honor your request to maintain confidentiality, we will inform you and, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling our response to the incident.
  4. We will not prejudge you.
  5. We will treat you and your particular situation with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.
  6. If you feel more comfortable talking with either a counselor or representative of a specific gender, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  7. We will assist you in arranging for any hospital treatment or medical needs.
  8. We can assist you in privately contacting local law enforcement officials, counseling, Campus Safety & Security, advising and other available resources, both on campus and in the community as set forth in Getting Help.
  9. We will fully investigate your report with respect and discretion.
  10. We will continue to be available for you — to answer your questions, explain the systems and processes involved, and be willing listeners.
  11. We will consider your report seriously, without bias based on a protected category.
  12. We will provide written notification of rights and options, including interim and protective measures.

See additional information: Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Policy, Education and Prevention, Getting HelpCriminal and Disciplinary Action, Retaliation and State Laws.