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Reporting Sexual Assault

Students who are survivors of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to report the assault. To report an assault to the University Police Division (non-emergency), please call (614) 292-2121. Non-emergency contact information for other local police agencies include: Columbus Police Division, (614) 645-4545; Clinton Township Police Department, (614) 471-1479; Upper Arlington Police Division, (614) 583-5150; and Grandview Heights Police, (614) 488-7901.

In an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

Reporting an assault to the University Police or other law enforcement or campus security authorities does not require filing criminal charges, but it does allow all support systems to be put in place for the survivor. Filing a police report will provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution and will allow the student to be connected with the appropriate support and medical resources.

The University Police will ensure that complaints of sexual harassment / violence are forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator for appropriate action. Interim measures taken during an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment or assault should minimize the burden being placed on alleged victims of sexual assault.

Reporting is best done as soon as possible after the assault, but it may be done at any time. Students should make their report to the University Police Division and/or to Student Life unit: Student Conduct, University Housing, or to Sexual Violence and Support (SVES) in the Student Wellness Center. The university will assist students who report sexual assault in obtaining medical support and information regarding available legal and judicial resources as well as counseling and support services. The university will also assist students in notifying the University Police or other local police if the student requests the assistance of law enforcement. If requested by the survivor, and if reasonably available, the university will assist the survivor in changing his/her academic or living situation after the alleged assault. University offices, such as the Student Advocacy Center and University Housing, can, upon request, assist the survivor with exploring options to address academic, housing and financial concerns. Options may include, but are not limited to, academic/financial aid guidance and discussion of options, assistance in withdrawing from classes or adjusting academic schedule, transitioning the survivor into another residence facility, or emergency housing.

Students who choose to notify the police should be aware of the importance of the immediacy of reporting the incident and the importance of preserving physical evidence at the assault scene as well as on the person assaulted. If possible, a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal examination. The gathering of physical evidence can provide important evidence and support of criminal charges leading to a successful prosecution.

Students who are reporting an immediate assault should be accompanied to a health care facility of their choice to allow for collection of evidence and treatment. If a sexual assault victim chooses to report the incident days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged; however, criminal investigations become much more difficult.

Sexual assaults for which individuals seek medical treatment must be reported to the appropriate police agency by health care officials. However, as noted above, students are not required to file a police report.

University Disciplinary Procedures Regarding Sexual Assault

Students have the right to a fair disciplinary process through Student Conduct. Procedural requirements are not as formal as those existing in the courts of law. Students should contact the Student Conduct for detailed information regarding the process. To ensure fairness, the following procedures apply:

  • Both the accused and accuser may have an individual of their choice present to advise or support him or her. The advisor may provide support and advice to the student and may not actively participate in the process, unless clarification is needed, as determined by the hearing officer or panel.
  • If a hearing is held, both the accused and accuser may submit a written statement and may recommend to Student Conduct that witnesses attend on their behalf. The university may call witnesses, as well as question those appearing on behalf of the accused and accuser. In cases where written witness statements will be allowed without the presence of the witnesses, both the accused and accuser will be given the opportunity to review the materials.
  • During the hearing, both the accused and accuser shall be given the opportunity to speak and present evidence. The accused and accuser may direct questions at the witnesses through the panel chair. The accuser has the right to provide a statement of impact to the hearing officer or hearing panel.
  • Both the accused and accuser shall be provided with the hearing outcome as soon as practicable by the hearing panel or hearing officer. If either the accused or the accuser appeals the outcome, the other party will be notified of the pending appeal and its final outcome.
  • Sanctions to be imposed upon students by the university are varied and depend upon the degree of severity, ranging from formal reprimand to permanent dismissal. Additional educational sanctions may include participation in workshops, community service, behavioral assessments or other instructive experiences.
  • When sanctions are imposed, consideration will be given to the individual mitigating circumstances as well as aggravating factors, such as past misconduct by the accused student or failure of the accused student to fully comply with previous sanctioned conditions.

Criminal and Civil Options in Addition to University Procedures

Students who are survivors of sexual assault have the right to initiate a criminal investigation and possible prosecution of an assailant under criminal law as well as initiate the disciplinary process through the University Conduct system. Survivors will be assisted by Student Conduct in learning about the options for reporting sexual assault to the university as well as University Police.

In addition to legal and disciplinary action, the victim of sexual assault may consider retaining a private attorney for the purpose of filing a civil action for the recovery of damages.

Sexual Violence Education and Support (SVES)

Sexual violence includes sexual assault (including acquaintance rape), intimate partner/dating/domestic abuse & violence, stalking and sexual harassment. Support for those who have experienced sexual violence is available on the main campus through the Sexual Violence and Support Program (SVES).

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center's Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Program

Services Provided:
  • Medical care, crisis intervention, emotional support, and referrals for female and male survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence ages 15 and over.
  • Interaction with a volunteer patient advocate (coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) if patient desires.
  • Follow-up phone contact by program coordinator if the patient desires.

Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO)

The Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) offers a 24-hour rape helpline that can provide callers with emotional support, sexual assault information, and community referrals. The helpline number is (614) 267-7020. SARNCO also provides rape patient advocates in the emergency departments of Grant/Riverside Hospitals as well as long-term advocacy, resources and sexual violence prevention programs. For additional program information, please call SARNCO's business line at (614) 566-4414.

Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act Information

The responsibility for tracking persons in Ohio who have been designated as Sex Offenders is assigned to the sheriffs of the various counties. The following websites contain information regarding registered sex offenders for geographic areas covered by this report.


The following is a list of services and support that you may wish to use. Non-medical/non-counseling personnel may have an obligation to report information to the police.


Sexual assaults, including date/acquaintance rape, are a very serious concern of the University Police. If you feel you are the survivor of a sexual assault on campus, the University Police Division will guarantee you the following:
  1. We will meet with you privately, at a place of your choice, to take a police incident report.
  2. We will not release, without your consent, your name to the public or to the press during the course of the criminal investigation.
  3. Our officers will not prejudge you, and you will not be blamed for what occurred.
  4. We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.
  5. If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  6. We will assist you in arranging for any hospital treatment or other medical needs, including transportation to a local hospital with a Rape Crisis Treatment Center.
  7. We will assist you in privately contacting counseling services, the development of a safety plan and advising you about other available/necessary resources.
  8. We will fully investigate your case and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up to date on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
  9. We will continue to be available for you to answer questions, to explain the systems and processes involved (prosecutor, court, etc.) and, if you wish, to be a listening ear.
  10. We consider your case seriously regardless of you or any suspect's race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status.
If you feel you are a sexual assault survivor, call the OSU Police Division at (614) 292.2121 and indicate that you want to file (privately) a sexual assault report. You may call the division anytime (24/7).

If we fail to achieve any part of the listed guarantee, the Chief of Police, (614) 292-4216, will meet with you personally to address any problems/concerns. University Police want to help you make the OSU campus safe for its students, faculty, staff and visitors.