Every survivor of sexual assault responds differently, and experiences different needs. While Western Michigan University encourages you to report all acts of violence, there may be situations in which this is not the best option for you or someone you know. It is important to note, however, that only with accurate and thorough reporting will WMU and the Kalamazoo community attain a complete understanding of the prevalence of sexual assault, and how to adequately prevent it.
You should also know: You can report without pressing charges —often, there is a fear of the repercussions of reporting, especially if the perpetrator is a friend, co-worker or partner. You can choose to report a sexual assault without taking legal action.
Benefits of reporting include:
- Seeking justice, through the student or employee judicial system or the criminal justice system.
- Seeking protection, including physical safety, emotional security, and/or academic and workplace accommodations.
- Knowing when, where, and under what circumstances sexual assaults take place will enhance the effectiveness of the University’s prevention and education efforts.
- In order for the University to help protect its community, notification is critical. If you report the assault to the University, you are part of the solution to eradicate sexual violence on our campus without requiring further action on your part.
Despite these benefits, remember: the most important part of the healing process is doing what is right for you. Even if you choose not to make an official report, you are strongly urged to seek the appropriate help.
- To ensure your safety
- To begin your healing process
- To obtain any necessary academic or work related accommodations
WMU Department of Public Safety sexual assault victim guarantee
Sexual assault, including date and acquaintance rape, is a crime of very serious concern to the WMU Department of Public Safety. If you are the victim of a sexual assault that occurs on campus, the Department of Public Safety guarantees you the following:
- We will meet with you privately, at a place of your choosing in this area, to receive the information on the assault.
- Your name will not be released to the public or media.
- You will not be pre-judged, nor be blamed for what occurred.
- Your complaint will be handled with sensitivity, understanding and professionalism.
- If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
- We will assist you in arranging any medical care or treatment that you need.
- We will assist you with contacting a counselor and make available other resources to help you through this process.
- Your complaint will be thoroughly investigated to help you achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept informed on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
- We will continue to be available to you, to answer your questions, explain the systems and processes involved (prosecutor, courts, etc.) and to be a listening ear if you wish.
- Your complaint will be taken seriously, regardless of your gender or the gender of the suspect.
If you have been sexually assaulted, call the WMU Department of Public Safety at (269) 387-5555 and say you want to privately make a sexual assault complaint. You may call any time of day or night.
If we fail to achieve any part of the above guarantee, the Director of Public Safety will meet with you personally to address any problems. DPS wants to help make the WMU campus safe for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
To report a sexual assault, you have several options:
WMU Department of Public Safety (269) 387-5555
DPS officials are trained to manage reports of sexual assaults. Should you choose to file an official police report, you may contact an officer 24 hours a day at (269) 387-5555.
WMU Student Judicial Affairs (269) 387-2160
The office of Student Judicial Affairs handles all violations of the student code, and therefore is available to help you, should you choose to report and seek judicial action.
Victim Assistance Unit, Kalamazoo Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (269) 383-8677
The Victim Assistance Unit provides assistance to crime victims involved in court cases, as well as with filing Crime Victim’s Compensation claims, which may compensate a victim for expenses related to medical and counseling services, and lost wages.
A note to survivors
Whether or not you decide to report, please remember that your first and most important priority is your own well being and safety. You and only you can know what is the right thing to do following a sexual assault.