Grand Valley State University Women's Center
Sexual Assault Considerations and Resources
Grand Valley State University recognizes the importance of support and encouragement in dealing with instances of sexual assault. A variety of support services are available at the University and in the community to assist students in dealing with sexual assault. The following information outlines a variety of options that are open to victims of sexual assault.
It is always the victim/survivors decision as to what they want to do. Filing a police report or requesting a judicial review might be the right step for some, but it is not always the route every victim/survivor wishes to take. Immediately following an incident of sexual violence, it might be important for the victim/survivor to seek medical attention. While visiting the emergency room of a hospital might be appropriate, many domestic violence shelters and crisis centers offer examinations specifically for victim/survivors of rape and sexual assault.
Addressing the emotional and physical health of a victim is an important first step following an incident of sexual violence. It is also highly recommended that a victim/survivor of rape seek medical attention from a nurse examiner program as soon as possible following the assault.
Aside from the immediate medical needs a victim of sexual violence might have, the emotional effects of a sexual assault might also require additional attention. There are many different counseling options available to victims of sexual violence, and the Women’s Center can refer a victim to the appropriate place.
A nurse examiner program is different from visiting an emergency room at a hospital. Nurse examiner programs provide free and confidential comprehensive medical exams to rape victim/survivors. During an examination, and with the victim’s consent, evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse in a supportive environment. This information can be used if the victim/survivor decides to pursue a criminal case. Even if a criminal case is not the avenue the victim wishes to take, it might still be important to visit a nurse examiner program. In addition to collecting evidence, a nurse examiner program can also provide emergency contraception, STI/STD treatment and other important resources, such as counseling. While it is encouraged to have an examination as soon as possible following a rape, it is never too late.
It is also important for a victim of rape to avoid showering or changing their clothes, but doing so does not disqualify a victim from an examination. Additionally, a victim of rape might wish to put his or her unwashed clothes in a paper bag to be used as evidence.
Victims of sexual assault that occur on university property and/or by another Grand Valley State University student may file a Judicial Referral Form with the Coordinator for University Judiciary. This referral can be filed regardless of whether the victim decides to file criminal charges.
The purpose of the Judicial Referral is to hold the accused accountable for violating the student code.
Additionally, Grand Valley State University is required under Title IX to prevent and address sexual discrimination, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual misconduct, against students, faculty and staff whether perpetrated by peers or by employees of the institution. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for investigating sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Accordingly, a victim/survivor of sexual violence might wish to file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Affirmative Action. If a victim/survivor is not comfortable filing a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, he or she can always file a referral with the Women’s Center, the Dean of Students Office or the Grand Valley Police Department.
A hearing often results from a referral, in which the victim, with the help of an advisor, presents evidence of the sexual assault. The victim may also testify at the hearing.
Victims of sexual violence are encouraged to contact the Grand Valley Police Department. By contacting GVPD, it is not mandated that an official police report be made.
Officers will assist victim/survivors by informing them of the various options they have in reporting the incident, and if the victim wishes to pursue an investigation, officers will contact appropriate personnel to assist. The GVPD can also assist in transporting a victim to a nurse examiner program, obtaining a personal protection order or contacting other police agencies in the event that the assault did not occur on campus.
Victims should be aware that just because they contact the campus police department, this does not mandate they make an official police report. Officers will assist victims by notifying them of various options they have in reporting the incident and will respect the choices made by the victim, including non-reporting.
If the victim wants an investigation, officers will contact appropriate personnel to assist. If the victim prefers to speak with a female officer, every reasonable attempt will be made to make one available.
The university will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those with a legitimate need for it. The University Counseling Center may notify the victim about university and community resources and students are strongly encouraged to connect with this support.
Under Michigan law, sexual assault is called "criminal sexual conduct" (CSC). There are four degrees or categories. First, second, and third degree CSC are felonies. Fourth degree CSC is a misdemeanor. Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct is a felony. Conviction of any CSC charge can carry a substantial prison term. However, severity of the sentencing depends on a number of factors. These laws can be very complicated. Additional information about Michigan Law can be found at http://www.michiganlegislature.org. Sections 750.520A-750.520L are specific to sexual assault.
Sex registry information is available at www.mipsor.state.mi.us.
Sexual Assault Programs
Programs dealing with rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses are presented on a regular basis at a variety of student educational activities, including orientation prior to classes, on-campus residential life programs. Most of the programs are sponsored by the Women's Center, Counseling Center, Office of Housing and Residential Life, GV Police Department, and Eyes Wide Open Peer Sexual Assault Education Student Group. In addition, self-defense classes are offered each semester through R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense System) seminars. The sessions are taught by community police officers who are nationally certified R.A.D. instructors.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE VICTIM/SURVIVORS
LOCAL RESOURCES- On Campus
At the first sign of danger, contact the police. Trust your gut instinct.
Emergency …........................................... 911
The Women’s Center is a place of support and advocacy, providing guidance to you through whichever steps you choose to take.
Women’s Center 1201 Kirkhof Center ………………..Phone: 331-2748
The Grand Valley Police Department can help you through the legal process if a police investigation is the step you wish to take.
GV Police Department Services Building……………..Phone: 331-3255
The Title IX Coordinator is required to investigate any sexual assault incident on campus. This judicial investigation is separate from criminal or civil investigations. If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can file a complaint with the Title IX coordinator in the Office of Affirmative Action.
Title IX Coordinator 36 Zumberge..……….... Phone: 331-2242
The Counseling Center offers free and confidential counseling to all GVSU students.
Counseling Center 204 STU……………….... Phone: 331-3266
Regardless of the situation, retaliation is always prohibited.
LOCAL RESOURCES- Off Campus
A nurse examiner program provides a free and confidential comprehensive medical exam to sexual assault victim/survivors. During an examination, and with the victim’s consent, evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse in a supportive environment. A nurse examiner program can also provide emergency contraception, STI testing and other important resources.
The YWCA offers a nurse examiners program. The center can be reached using the bus, route 50 GVSU Campus Connector.
Nurse Examiner ………………........616-776-RAPE
25 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids
24-Hour Crisis Line ………………. 616-776-7273
The Center For Women In Transition also offers a nurse examiner program.
Nurse Examiner..........………….......Phone: 616-392-1970
411 Butternut Dr., Holland
24-Hour Crisis Line ……………......800-848-5991
The Men’s Resource Center of West Michigan offers counseling for victim/survivors of sexual assault.
Grand Rapids ………………...…......616-456-1178
534 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids
426 Century Ln., Ste. 100, Holland
Kent County Health Department offers free STD/STI and HIV testing.
Fuller Clinic……..........…………........616- 632-7100
700 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids
Page last modified March 5, 2013