Office Of Social Equity

West Chester University

13/15 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2433
Fax: 610-436-3164


Frequently Asked Questions

Sexual Misconduct Policy: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I have been sexually assaulted, what should I do immediately?
  2. Are there any important timelines for submitting evidence?
  3. I don’t want to go to the hospital or police alone but I’m not ready to tell my friends. Can someone come with me?
  4. If I have been sexually assaulted, what can I expect at the hospital?
  5. Where can I get an STI (sexually transmitted infection), pregnancy, and/or HIV/AIDS test?
  6. Criminal vs. Campus charges
  7. Where can I fill out an incident report form?
  8. If I report to the University, will my name stay confidential?
  9. Do I have to press charges if I report to the police?
  10. If the assault occurred off-campus, who and where do I report the incident to?
  11. What if I don’t want to tell anyone that I was sexually assaulted?
  12. What if I am accused of sexual assault? Where can I go to get help?
  13. What if I was sexually assaulted while intoxicated, but I’m not 21?
  14. Where can I go to get legal assistance?
  15. Are the University Resources free?
  16. What if I live in the same residence hall or are in the same class as the accused student?
  17. How can I help a friend who’s been sexually assaulted?
  18. How can I avoid consent issues?
  19. I’m still confused, where can I go to get further information?

 

  1. If I have been sexually assaulted, what should I do immediately?

    Go to a safe place, contact someone you trust (or call an advocate, see #2), and seek immediate care at Chester County Hospital, Brandywine Hospital, Paoli Hospital or the Student Health Center. It is important to check for injuries, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), or pregnancy. (See page 10 in the Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information)

    24 hour assistance is available at:
    • WCU Public Safety at 610-436-3311
    • The Crime Victims Center of Chester County at 610-692-7273
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  2. Are there any important timelines for submitting evidence?

    If you want to submit evidence (commonly known as a ‘rape kit’), it is best collected within 72 hours of the assault. Evidence can be submitted at a hospital but not at the University health center. It is recommended that you do not shower or change your clothes before going to the hospital so as to retain as much evidence as possible. (Bring a change of clothes as well).

    You do not have to press charges if you undergo evidence collection.

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  3. I don’t want to go to the hospital or police alone, but I’m not ready to tell my friends. Can someone come with me?

    A Crime Victim Advocate from the Chester County Crime Victims’ Center can accompany you to the hospital to provide support and answer any questions you may have. To obtain an advocate call 610-692-7273. The hospital emergency room can also obtain an advocate for you at your request.

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  4. If I have been sexually assaulted, what can I expect at the hospital?

    Each hospital varies, but we recommend having a Crime Victim advocate with you for assistance. Some hospitals will also have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), a nurse who is trained specifically in sexual assault medical care. For more information go to http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-recovery/rape-kit.

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  5. Where can I get an STI (sexual transmitted infection), pregnancy, and/or HIV/AIDS test?

    The Student Health Center, a local hospital, or at Planned Parenthood.

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  6. Criminal vs. Campus charges

    To press criminal charges, call 911 or contact your local police department. Filing a police report will initiate a criminal investigation.

    You have three options to file a report on campus:

    1. WCU judicial report: A complaint filed against a WCU student.
    2. Complaint for Title IX violation: A complaint pertaining to sex discrimination, sexual violence or gender-based harassment
    3. Informal or Anonymous Report: If you wish to file a complaint about any sexual misconduct violation but wish to remain anonymous.
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  7. Where can I fill out an incident report form?

    You can fill out a form online at www.wcupa.edu/sexualmisconductreport or by visiting any office listed in the On-Campus Resources below. Paper copies can be submitted to Barbara Schneller, Office of Social Equity, 13/15 University Avenue, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, 19383.

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  8. If I report to the University, will my name stay confidential?

    The University will do their best to maintain confidentiality while investigating, and will not inform parents or guardians. However, in cases of life-threatening situations, confidentiality is not legally possible. The University will inform the victim that an investigation will be done.

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  9. Do I have to press charges if I report to the police?

    No. When a victim reports a crime to the police, the police will do a investigation and often the police/detectives will confer with the District Attorney’s Office about pressing charges. Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth and as a result it is always the Commonwealth that will “press the charges”. Chester County District Attorney’s welcomes victims’ input in all crimes and specifically sexual assaults.

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  10. If the assault occurred off-campus, who and where do I report the incident to?

    You may report the incident to the local police department. If the perpetrator was a WCU student, you may still file a campus complaint.

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  11. What if I don’t want to tell anyone that I was sexually assaulted?

    You do not have to report a sexual assault if you do not want to. However, if you would like to receive emotional support, the WCU Counseling Center, WCU Women’s Center, and National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center are all good resources.

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  12. What if I am accused of sexual assault? Where can I go to get help?

    You will be called to a Judicial Board Hearing where you can have a support person and an advisor/attorney who can be consulted privately but cannot participate in the proceedings. There are also several on- and off- campus resources available for legal support and counseling. (see answers to question 19)

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  13. What if I was sexually assaulted after I was drinking, but I’m not over 21?

    You generally will not face disciplinary charges from the University, Department of Public Safety, or Police.

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  14. Where can I go to get legal assistance?

    On-Campus Legal Advice is available by appointment, which can be scheduled by logging onto your myWCU account, and clicking on the “Legal Advice” link in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

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  15. Are the University Resources free?

    Initial medical evaluation costs will be covered by a hospital if you file a police report. If you do not wish to file a police report, the WCU Victims’ Assistance Fund will cover the cost for care delivered at the WCU Health Center. On-campus counseling and legal advice are free for students.

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  16. What if I live in the same residence hall as the accused student?

    The Office of the Assistant Dean of Students can arrange changes in academic schedules or housing. Residence Life can also assist you in housing reassignment (610-436-3307).

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  17. How can I help a friend who’s been sexually assaulted?

    Having the support of a friend can be invaluable to someone who has been sexually assaulted. Knowing the resources available and being able to provide support in whatever steps he/she decides to take are important. There are also resources available for you if you need someone to talk to.

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  18. How can I avoid consent issues?

    Make sure you are communicating effectively with your partner before and during any sexual interaction. Remember, impairment due to drugs or alcohol, physical force or abuse, intimidation, coercion, mental or physical impairment, threats, or isolation takes away a person’s ability to freely consent. If you’re not sure if you have consent, STOP.

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  19. I’m still confused, where can I go to get further information?

    On-Campus

    • The Counseling Center 610-436-2302, Lawrence Center, Room 241A
    • Department of Athletics 610-436-3573, Sturzebecker HSC 220
    • Greek Life 610-436-2117, Sykes Student Union, Room 238
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally Services 610-436-3147, Sykes 238
    • Office of Assistant Dean of Students 610-436-2509, Wayne Hall, 2nd floor
    • Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance (On-Campus Legal Advice) 610-436-3511, Sykes Student Union, Room 238
    • Office of Multicultural Affairs 610-436-3273, Sykes 003
    • Office of Residence Life, Lawrence Center, Room 202
    • Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) 610-436-3307, Lawrence Center, Room 202
    • Office of Social Equity 610-436-2433, 13/15 University Avenue
    • Public Safety 610-436-3311, 690 South Church St
    • Student Health Center 610-436-2509, Wayne Hall, 2nd floor
    • Women’s Center 610-436-2122, Lawrence Center 220

    Off-Campus Resources for Victims of Sexual Misconduct

    Off-Campus Resources for Students Accused of or Guilty of Sexual Misconduct

    • College Judicial Consultants (617) 287-8782 www.collegejudicialconsultants.com
    • Human Services, Inc., Dr. Kevin Kirby 610-873-1005 x162, Downingtown, PA
    • Legal Aid of Southeastern PA 610-436-4510, 222 N. Walnut Street, 2nd floor, West Chester, PA
    • Menegery 215-242-2235, http://www.lasp.org/
    • The Joseph J. Peters Institute 215-701-1560, 100 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, http://jjp.org/
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Please see the Sexual Misconduct Policy for more in-depth explanations of the above resources.