WVU reminds campus of resources and education for sexual assault, Title IX

Monongalia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After recent protests, West Virginia University (WVU) has decided to remind the campus community of the education and resources available to them regarding personal safety, sexual assault and other Title IX-related crimes.

WVU’s Title IX coordinator is the one who oversees investigations involving civil rights-based complaints like Title IX on behalf of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

“We support the choices survivors make – whether or not to report, and to whom to report – and recognize that these choices are particularly difficult in some cases,” said James Goins, Jr., WVU’s Director of Equity Assurance and Title IX coordinator. “When a sexual assault occurs, I want to be clear that it is never the victim’s fault.”

On the DEI website there is information about “how to report abuse or file a complaint, the process and a detailed flow chart that walks through it step by step, as well as support offered along the way.” For anonymity, people can contact the Title IX On-Call Line at 304-906-9930.

“Knowing what to do and who to talk to can be confusing,” Amy Kittle, the assistant director for Prevention and Education with DEI, said. “There are people here to guide you to support and resources. We want to help you feel safer and informed following the aftermath of an assault.”

Victims of rape, sexual assault, or are a witness to one, should get to a safe place immediately and call 911.

In the case of an assault:

  1. Do not bathe, douche or brush teeth (this will allow law-enforcement and medical professionals to collect evidence). And do not wash clothing (put it in a disposable bag and bring it to the emergency room).
  2. Go to an emergency room and get a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. WVU students who are victims of sexual assault can obtain a SAFE exam and related medical treatment for free at J. W. Ruby Memorial Hospital when they present their WVU ID.
    Directions to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital Emergency Room
    Directions to Mon Health Medical Center Emergency Room
  3. Tell someone — a trusted friend, parent or relative. Call someone you can talk to, no matter how late it is. You can always find and talk to a resident assistant, resident director or any member of the Student Affairs staff. These staff are required to report disclosures to the Title IX coordinator.
  4. Call the local rape and domestic violence center at 304-292-5100. An advocate is trained to help victims know their medical and legal options and provide emotional support. For a 24-hour hotline call 1-888-825-7835.

Victims and witnesses can report the assault to the WVU Title IX Coordinator.

To ensure your safety, remember:

  • Know your limits and communicate them clearly and firmly to your partner. Decide what you are willing to do sexually. Never assume that others know how you feel.
  • Recognize people who are disrespectful to you. This includes someone who tries to make you feel guilty for saying “no,” doesn’t respect your limits, tries to get you drunk or tries to give you drugs.
  • Trust your feelings. Leave if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid secluded places, especially with someone you don’t know well.
  • Download the LiveSafe app, which enables direct and discreet two-way communication with University Police using text, photo, video and audio. It also lets you virtually walk your friends and family home with SafeWalk.
  • Submit a complaint to the Title IX Office anytime you believe a violation has occurred (students, faculty and staff can submit).

More information in regards to health, safety, preparedness and training resources can be found at safety.wvu.edupolice.wvu.edu, or by following the WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page and @WVUsafety on Twitter.

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