Grand Valley Police Department

Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking

Grand Valley State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited whether sexually based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. As a result, Grand Valley State University issues this statement of policy to inform the community of our comprehensive plan addressing sexual misconduct, educational programs, and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, whether the incident occurs on or off campus and when it is reported to a university campus security authority.  The University has identified and conducts yearly training for all campus security authorities.  In this context, the University prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and reaffirms its commitment to maintain a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the university community.


What to do if you have been the victim of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking

It is not uncommon for a victim/survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking to feel fearful, confused, guilty, ashamed, or isolated. Many people find it helpful to talk with someone about their feelings and their options. There are many trained people at the University and in the community who are prepared to assist you. You are encouraged to report incidences to the Grand Valley Department of Public Safety Services. Reporting incidences to the department does not commit you to further legal action; the police will help whether or not you choose to prosecute the assailant. If you choose, the earlier you report these crimes to the police, the easier it will be for police to investigate the crime and to prosecute the case. Earlier reporting helps to preserve your options for the future.

Public Safety Services officers can assist you in connecting with a variety of services including contacting an advocate in the Women’s Center, the University Counseling Center, and with transportation to a nurse examiner program.  Assistance is also offered to obtain a personal protection order, or in contacting other law enforcement agencies in the event that the assault did not occur on campus. Public Safety Services officers and the Women’s Center advocate can assist you by informing you of various options they have in reporting the incident and will respect the choices made by you, including non-reporting. If you request an investigation, the Public Safety Services officers and the advocate will contact appropriate personnel to assist. If you prefer to speak with a female officer, every reasonable attempt will be made to make one available.

Hospital treatment is recommended in situations where there is serious physical harm including loss of consciousness or blow to the head, continual bleeding following the assault, possible broken bones, a laceration requiring stitches, abdominal or chest pain present, pregnancy, or other serious medical or emergency conditions.

After an incident of rape, you should consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible from a specially trained nurse: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).  A nurse examiner program is different from visiting an emergency room at a hospital. The nurse examiner programs provide free and confidential comprehensive medical exams to rape victims/survivors. During an examination, and with your consent, evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse in a supportive environment. In the State of Michigan, evidence may be collected even if you chose not to make a report to law enforcement.  If you do not know if you wish to pursue a criminal investigation, it is still recommended that you visit a nurse examiner for health care concerns.  In addition to collecting evidence, a nurse examiner can also provide emergency contraception, high-dose antibiotics to treat gonorrhea and chlamydia and other important resources, such as counseling.

Although it is not an absolute deadline, it is strongly encouraged that physical evidence be collected within 96 hours.  It is helpful that as a victim/survivor of sexual assault, you do not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, brush your teeth, change clothing or clean the bed/linen/area where you were assaulted; but doing so does not disqualify you from an examination.

Any preserved evidence collected may be used to the proof of criminal activity.  If possible you should maintain the scene exactly as it was at the time of the assault if you intend to report the incident to the police. The collection of evidence does not presume that charges will be filed against the assailant; the filing of a criminal charge is always the choice of the victim/survivor.


Nurse Examiner Programs

Kent and Ottawa counties offer free of cost, Nurse Examiner Programs.  Victims/survivors are encouraged to call in advance before going to either of the following locations. Someone is on call 24-hours a day.

YWCA of Grand Rapids                                                                                             

1700 Clinton Street

Grand Rapids, MI 49503                                                                  

24-hour crisis hotline

(616)776-RAPE (776-7273)                                                  

www.ywcawcmi.org

 

Center for Women in Transition                                                          

411 Butternut Drive                                                                           

Holland, MI 49424                                                                            

(616)392-1970 or (800)848-5991                                         


Investigation Options

Victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence are encouraged to also preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to university hearing boards/investigators or police. Although the university strongly encourages all members of its community to report violations to law enforcement, it is the victim/survivor’s choice whether or not to make such a report and victim/survivor have the right to decline involvement with the police.

If the suspect is a student member of the University community, victim/survivors have the option to file a complaint with the Dean of Students or Title IX Officer. The Dean of Students Office is located at 202 Student Services Building, Allendale MI 49401, 616-331-3585.  The University Title IX Officer is located at Suite 4035 Zumberge Hall, Allendale MI 40401, 616-331-2242.  The Title IX Officer is responsible for coordinating the University’s compliance with Title IX requirements.  Complaints involving assailants who are non-student members of the university community need to be filed with the Title IX Officer.  The University’s sexual harassment policy, including a description of the grievance procedures can be found in the Anti-Harassment Policy located in the Grand Valley Manual, http://www.gvsu.edu/gvmanual/grand-valley-manual-policy-index-a-z-3.htm.

Representatives from the University Women’s Center,  Dean of Students Office, Counseling Center, and Title IX Office are available to assist victim/survivors with notifying local police and through the investigative process if they so desire.

For incidents occurring on the Allendale Campus, Public Safety Services may be reached for emergencies by calling 911 or directly for non-emergency by calling 616-331-3255.  Victim/survivors may meet with officers in person at the Department of Public Safety Services located at the Allendale Service Building, 11106 Service Dr. Allendale MI 49401.  Additional information about Public Safety Services may be found online at: http://www.gvsu.edu/gvpd/.

Sexual assault, dating or domestic violence and stalking incidents occurring on the Pew Campus should be reported to the Grand Rapids Police Department (616)456-3400 and the Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers department (616)331-6677. Incidents at the Detroit, Holland, Muskegon and Traverse City campuses should be respectively reported to the Detroit Police Department (313)596-2200, Holland Police (616)355-1100, Muskegon Police (231)724-6750 (Lake Michigan Center and Michigan Alternative Energy Resource Center) or Muskegon Community College Campus Safety (231)777-0545 (Muskegon Regional Center), Grand Traverse Sheriff’s (231)922-4550, NMC Campus Safety & Security (231)995-1111 as well as to Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers department.

The University will provide resources to a victim/survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, and will apply appropriate disciplinary procedures to those who violate policy. The procedures are intended to afford a prompt response to charges of sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, and stalking, to maintain privacy and fairness consistent with applicable legal requirements, and to impose appropriate university sanctions on violators of this policy.

As time passes, evidence may dissipate or become lost or unavailable, thereby making the investigation, possible prosecution, disciplinary proceedings, or obtaining protection orders from abuse related to the incident more difficult. If a victim/survivor chooses not to file a complaint regarding an incident, he or she nevertheless should consider speaking with a member of the Public Safety Services staff or other law enforcement to preserve evidence in the event that the victim/survivor changes their mind at a later date.


Assistance for Victim/Survivors: Rights & Options

Regardless of whether someone elects to pursue a criminal complaint, the university will assist victim/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking with a written explanation of their rights. 

The University complies with the law in State of Michigan recognizing Personal Protection Orders.  Officers of the Department of Public Safety Services or the advocate from the Women’s Center will meet with members of our community to discuss how to obtain a Personal Protection Order.  Campus police officers will transport members of the campus community who do not have any means of transportation to a local court to obtain the order.   If obtained, campus police will serve the order at no cost if the respondent is in the vicinity of the Allendale or Pew Campus.  Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers does not offer this service. 

Members of the university who obtain a Personal Protection Order within the State of Michigan or any other state outside of Michigan against another person should contact and provide a copy of the order to the campus police.  Public Safety Services will keep the order on file and assist in directing the complainant to resources within the campus to develop a Safety Action Plan.  Public Safety Services, Dean of Students Office, Housing, Title IX, and the Women’s Center are resources available to assist in developing a plan.  The plan is intended to reduce the risk of harm while on campus.  The plan may include, but is not limited to change of academic, housing, transportation, working or other special safety factors on a case by case basis.  Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers does not offer this service.  

Personal Protection Orders can be obtained by petitioning a court.  In a personal protection order (PPO), a court orders another person to stop threats or violence against you. Generally there are two types of PPO orders:


1. Domestic/Non-Domestic PPO: A PPO is available if the person you want protection from is:

  1. Your spouse or former spouse.
  2. Someone with whom you have a child in common.
  3. Someone you are dating or dated in the past.
  4. Someone who lives now, or has ever lived, in the same household with you.
  5. Someone who sexually assaulted you.

It must be shown that this person is interfering with your personal freedom or has threatened or committed violence against you.

2.  Stalking PPO: A stalking PPO is available to protect you from anyone else who has engaged in a pattern of two or more acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened, or molested. 

A parent may not obtain either type of PPO against their minor child. A minor child is unable to obtain a PPO against a parent. In such cases, the county Juvenile Division of the Family Court should be contacted for support. A State of Michigan guide for Personal Protection Orders is available online at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/PPO_Brochure_2_176129_7.pdf

Under circumstances where a community member does not wish to obtain a PPO for domestic or stalking incidents, yet does not want contact with another person, Public Safety Services and Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers can assist with a “No Contact/Cease and Desist” letter.  To obtain such a letter, a community member is required to file a report with the Public Safety Services or Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers summarizing the nature of the incident.  The letter outlines that a community member is making notice to another person that the other person is prohibited from contacting the community member by various means including in person, telecommunication devices, or by a third party.  The document serves as notice that no contact is wanted.  If contact continues, the letter has the potential to be used as evidence towards a stalking complaint. 

Individuals who are suspect in sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking and are not part of the campus community may be trespassed from entering onto university property.  Public Safety Services and Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers can assist with the trespass order.  A report is required to be filed with either Public Safety Services or Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers outlining the nature of the incident.  Under certain circumstances, a member of the community can be trespassed from specific areas on the campus.  


Confidentiality

The University will protect the identity of persons who report having been victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to the fullest extent of the law.   Additionally, personal identifiable information about the victim/survivor will be treated as private and only shared with persons with a specific need to know who are investigating/adjudicating the complaint or delivering resources or support services to the complainant.  The University does not publish the name of crime victims nor house identifiable information regarding victims in the campus police departments Daily Crime Log or online.  Victims/survivors may request that directory information on file be removed from public sources by request.  The University will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those with a legitimate need for it.


Disciplinary Procedures Following a Complaint

Whether or not criminal charges are filed, a person or the university may file a referral under the Student Code alleging that a student violated policy. Reports of all domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking made to either the Public Safety Services or Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers will automatically be referred to the Title IX Officer for investigation regardless of whether the complainant choses to pursue criminal charges.

The University disciplinary process includes a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation that is outlined in the Student Code, specific for cases involving sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking. Investigators and hearing board members are annually trained about issues related to sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking, on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability.  The judicial referrals may be submitted showing the victim or the Title IX Officer as the complainant.  All judicial referrals involving sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking are adjudicated under the preponderance of evidence standard. Victim/survivors may attend the hearing.  At their expense, the victim or accused student may have an advisor of their choice present. An advisor may only consult and advise the student, but not speak for the student at any meeting or hearing.  The accuser and the accused will be notified simultaneously in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding, as well as any changes to the results or disciplinary actions prior to the time that such results become final. 

Should the complainant not be the victim, the notification of the outcome of the hearing will go to the Title IX Officer. The victim/survivor, accused, or complainant may utilize the judicial referral appeal process for a case involving sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking, consisting of a written appeal to the coordinator (1st appeal is with a trained appeal officer, 2nd appeal is to the Dean of Students).

A person alleging retaliation from an incident involving sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking by a staff or faculty member may also utilize the complaint and investigatory procedures set forth in the university’s Anti-Harassment policy in the Grand Valley State University Manual, http://www.gvsu.edu/gvmanual/ in order to remedy any hostile environment.  All conduct proceedings against students, however, will be resolved through the Dean of Students Office in the form of a Judicial Referral.


Sanctions and Protective Measures

In cases involving students, referrals that result in a finding of a violation of the Student Code will lead to the initiation of disciplinary procedures against the accused individual. University sanctions including, warning, restitution, probation, loss of privileges, removal from housing, denial/revocation of honor, scholarship, or degree, suspension, and dismissal from the institution may be imposed after it was determined there is a violation of the Student Code.

To the extent of the victim/survivor’s cooperation and consent, university offices, including Title IX, Dean of Students, Counseling Center, Housing, Women’s Center, University Counsel, Human Resources, Public Safety Services along with the Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers will work cooperatively to ensure that the complainant's health, physical safety, work and academic status are protected.  The University may implement protective measures following the report of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking which may include some or all of the following actions: Change academic, housing, transportation and working situations if requested by the victim/survivor and if such accommodations are reasonably available regardless of where the victim/survivor chooses to report the crime to the campus police of local law enforcement.   The Dean of Student’s Office and Women’s Center is responsible for assisting victims/survivors with these accommodations.

Employees who violate the Anti-Harassment policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are criminal acts which are subject to criminal and civil penalties under federal and state law.


Interim Measures

The Title IX Officer or the Dean of Students will determine whether interim interventions and protective measure should be implemented, and, if so, take steps to implement those protective measures as soon as possible.  Examples of interim protective measures include, but are not limited to: an order of no contact, housing relocation, adjustment of course schedules, a leave of absence, or reassignment to a different supervisor or position.  These remedies may be applied to one, both, or multiple parties involved.  Violations of the Title IX Officer’s or Dean of Student’s directives and/or protective measures will constitute related violations that may lead to additional disciplinary action. Protective measures imposed may be temporary pending the results of an investigation or may become permanent as determined by Grand Valley State University.

Page last modified November 10, 2014