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Wellness Center

Sexual Assault Response

Reducing Risk of Assault

 

I. The Role of the University Sexual Assault Response Coordinator

  • The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator will neither investigate nor adjudicate complaints of sexual assault. In the event of a sexual assault complaint, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator ensures appropriate services are made available. This includes:
    • Crisis counseling to the victim/survivor.
    • Appropriate medical referral.
    • Direct referral to ASPEN (Abuse Support & Prevention Education Now) for medical and legal advocacy.
    • Referral to the Health and Counseling Center to meet with a counselor who will provide additional emotional support and assist victims in sorting out feelings associated with the assault.
    • Provide advice on the university's discrimination complaint procedures, disciplinary action against the accused, alternative housing assignments, academic assistance, and the role of the ASPEN advocate in other proceedings.
    • Make every effort to contact victims within 24 hours and, while respecting whatever decision they have made, encourage them to get some type of assistance.
  • The Sexual Response Coordinator coordinates the process of reporting incidents by:
    Notifying the following offices as appropriate and with the victim's consent: Dean of Student Success(if the accused is a student), Office for Equal Opportunity (if the accused is an employee), Office of Housing and New Student Experience (if either the accused or the victim is living in the residential community), Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, Academic Affairs (if victim needs academic accommodations), and International Programs (if either the victim or the accused is involved in that program.)
    • Encouraging victims to report the occurrence to CWU Public Safety and Police Services for investigation and/or prosecution.
  • The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator maintains and provides appropriate statistical information by:
    • Maintaining generic statistical information and providing data to CWU Public Safety and Police Services as required under the Clery Act. (The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act – for information see http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/campus.html)
    • Maintaining confidentiality at the informal-advice level with the exception of the mandated statistical summaries required by the Clery Act.
  • Other duties of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator include:
    • Coordinating campus resources and educational efforts.
    • Advising Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP), a student organization providing educational programming for students.
    • Working closely with the Sexual Violence Commission.

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II. Assisting Victims of Sexual Assault

  • Individuals who are contacted by a victim of sexual assault at Central Washington University should encourage the victim to:
    • Contact CWU Public Safety and Police Services
    • Secure advocacy services available through the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program at Comprehensive Mental Health (ASPEN)
    • Talk with the university's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
  • If the victim wishes to speak only to you:
    • Ascertain whether or not the victim needs immediate medical assistance. Ask the victim directly if she/he is all right physically. If the victim needs medical attention, refer her/him to the Emergency Room, Kittitas Valley Community Hospital or to the university's Student Medical and Counseling Clinic. Always encourage the victim to seek medical attention.
    • Find out the victim's most critical concerns and respond in a non-judgmental way. Recommend appropriate resources for the victim and feel free to consult with the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for additional guidance.
    • Remember, the victim may wish to do nothing further, other than have this conversation.
    • Report the incident to CWU Public Safety and Police Services (names of victims are not required) so that the university can comply with legal reporting requirements.

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III. Education for Prevention

Central Washington University is committed to providing effective education on preventing, coping with, and responding to sexual assault and rape for all members of the university community. The Sexual Violence Commission oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive, systemic and coordinated campus prevention and education program. The Commission is comprised of a cross section of students, staff, faculty and community members; the Commission Chair is appointed by the President. The Commission remains current on issues of sexual assault through biennial campus wide surveys that assess the nature and incidence of unwanted sexual experiences of CWU students.

Prevention education addresses the sociological under-pinnings of sexual violence, how to respond to victims including campus and community referral resources, and helpful precautions in preventing sexual assault. Prevention education is delivered through academic instruction, workshops, seminars, and other specially designed co-curricular activities. This information is offered to faculty, staff and students and will be supported by the university administration.
 

IV. Resources

 
The victim may wish to go directly to the local hospital for medical help and/or a forensics analysis. That medical center is one of two places in Kittitas County where evidence necessary for medical and/or forensic evaluation and court testimony can be collected. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner will also provide services at Planned Parenthood in Ellensburg. The victim should not shower, bathe, or change clothing prior to going to the emergency room, as this will destroy important physical evidence. For physical evidence to be useful, it is best collected within 12-24 hours and no later than 5 days after the assault. The collection of medical evidence does not presume that charges will be pressed against the assailant. As part of the evidence collection, the emergency room involves testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The emergency room personnel will automatically call ASPEN, and the victim can determine the extent to which she/he wishes to use the advocate services.

Central Washington University Student Medical and Counseling Clinic
The health service clinicians will follow a formal sexual assault medical protocol including (a) tests for sexually transmitted diseases, and (b) in the case of a female victim, a pregnancy test and counseling regarding the availability of the morning-after pill. A counselor will be available to help with considerable alternatives for action when appropriate and to help with the emotional healing necessary following a trauma.

Crisis Line
Ask for the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault (DV/SA) advocate. This advocacy serves Ellensburg and the CWU community. ASPEN has a 24 hour access line, see list of resources above.