Sexual Misconduct Responders
Sexual Misconduct Responders Information
Sexual Misconduct Responder
Sexual Misconduct Responders are Mount Union faculty and staff members who are trained to help you understand your options. They will not make decisions for you but will provide you with the knowledge you need to make your own decisions. The Responder you call will either come to you or make arrangements to meet you. The choice is yours. The Responder will assist you as you address counseling, medical, and legal issues, and help you with any other concerns you may have.
Sexual Assault Victim
Please know that no one deserves to be assaulted, no matter what! Everyone has the right to be safe and control what happens to their bodies. When someone forces you into sexual contact that you do not want, they are wrong.
Often when people hear about sexual assault, they automatically think about rape. However, sexual assaults occur on a continuum of intrusion and violation. If permission has not been given or the individual does not want to engage in the sexual activity or is tricked, coerced, or pressured into the behavior, it is sexual assault. It is also a sexual assault when the sexual behavior occurs when a person is unable to give consent due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There are many decisions you will be making in your recovery from sexual assault. The University of Mount Union provides services that can assist you with this process. This website describes some of the options available to you.
Contact a Sexual Misconduct Responder
By contacting a Responder, you can gain valuable assistance and information to help you make the many decisions ahead of you. You will also have someone to support you during this challenging time. The Responder will bring you written materials that explain your many options.
It is important to note that if you talk with a Responder s/he is required by school policy and by law to report the assault to the police and to the Dean of Students’ office. This report does not mean you have to make a statement or pursue prosecution, just that the police will be informed of what happened. If you are unwilling to make a statement, you will need to tell the police this directly. Please be aware that you will not be able to control the progress or outcome of a legal investigation, but that your wishes will be given serious consideration.
There are decisions you need to make with or without a Responder. Please give serious consideration to getting assistance from a Responder or other trained sexual assault advocate. In case you decide to work through this process without the benefit of a Responder's assistance, the remainder of this website focuses on the major issues you will need to address during your recovery from sexual assault.
Whether or not you contact a Responder, it is strongly recommended that you call the Rape Crisis Hotline, which is run by Community Services of Stark County. Workers at the Hotline can answer your questions and provide support, hospital advocacy, and counseling, as well as, referral to longer-term treatment and help with health and financial issues.
Receiving medical care as soon as possible following a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault is extremely important for two reasons. First, you may have suffered injuries of which you are unaware of or unable to determine. Testing, treatment, and information regarding sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy may also be needed.
Secondly, if you think there may be any possibility that you will wish to pursue prosecuting the offender, a medical/legal examination for the collection of evidence is vital. Having evidence collected does not mean prosecution. The forensic evidence will be stored until there has been an investigation. While certain medical assistance can be received from a number of locations, Alliance Community Hospital is the only local place where evidence necessary for medical and forensic evaluation can be collected and secured for legal purposes.
For physical evidence to be present and useful, it is best collected as soon after the assault as possible: preferably within 12-24 hours and no later than 48-72 hours. If you have not already done so, you should not shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, eat or drink, or change clothing prior to going to the Emergency Room. Doing so will destroy important physical evidence. If you have already taken any of the above actions, it does not mean that you should not go to the hospital. However, evidence collection may not be as productive. If you changed clothes, you should take all articles of clothing worn at the time of the assault to the hospital. These items will need to be retained as evidence.
Since the crime of rape/sexual assault is a felony offense, hospital personnel are required by law to report the assault to a law enforcement officer. If you have not already spoken with a law enforcement officer, hospital personnel will notify the police that an assault has occurred. A law enforcement officer will come to the hospital to speak to you. It is always your right to decide whether or not to talk to law enforcement, but the police officer will want to hear directly from you if you are unwilling to make a report.
There is no charge for the examination at the hospital if you cooperate with evidence collection. You do not have to request prosecution in order to have the exam for free.
If too much time has passed for a hospital exam to be useful, you can also go to your own doctor or to the Mount Union Health Center for an exam and testing for STD's and pregnancy. In addition, STD testing can be conducted at the Alliance City Health Department or Planned Parenthood of Stark County in Canton. The cost of tests at these facilities is based on a sliding scale. Most college students can expect free or extremely reduced costs. Planned Parenthood also conducts pregnancy tests, as does the Alliance Pregnancy Center. Pregnancy tests at the Alliance Pregnancy Center are free.