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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 offense, but it may be done at any time. Survivors should make their report to the University Police Division and/or to Student Conduct, University Housing, to the Sexual Violence Support Coordinator in the Student Advocacy Center, or to University Human Resources. Reports can also be made to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators. The university will assist survivors 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 survivors in notifying the University Police or other local police if the survivor requests the assistance of law enforcement. The university will not require the survivor to notify law enforcement. Please be aware that some university employees may be obligated pursuant to law to report certain crimes to law enforcement or other university officials.


As discussed more fully above in the section titled, "Confidentiality," the university does not have a policy that generally permits confidential reporting of crimes. However, in reporting a crime, a survivor may disclose sensitive information, and the university will, subject to Ohio public records law, use and disseminate such information consistent with the need to conduct an appropriate investigation, to provide assistance and resources to the survivor, and to perform other appropriate university functions. The use and release personally identifiable information from an education record of a student is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the university will only disclose covered student information in compliance with that law and university policy.


The university will provide student and employee survivors with written notification the survivor’s rights and about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available for survivors both on-campus and in the community. The university will also provide written notification about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if so requested by the survivor and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the survivor chooses to report the crime to campus police or local 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.


For survivors who choose to notify the police, it is important to know 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 in support of criminal charges leading to a successful prosecution. Preserving physical evidence is also important for proving that the offense occurred and/or for obtaining a protection order.


Students or employees 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 survivor 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.

Disciplinary Procedures for Students regarding cases of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Allegations that an Ohio State student has committed a sexual assault or engaged in dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking are investigated and adjudicated by the Office of Student Conduct. Complaints against Ohio State faculty or staff members are addressed by The Ohio State University Department of Human Resources, 1590 N. High St., Suite 300, 614-292-1050. The university will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution during all university disciplinary procedures involving alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Filing a Complaint: Victims ("Complainants") of dating violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking may file a complaint with Student Conduct when the alleged perpetrator is an Ohio State student ("Alleged"). Complaints can be made in person, by phone, or email. Contact information for Student Conduct is found at studentconduct.osu.edu. Once a complaint is filed, a hearing officer from Student Conduct will conduct an investigation.

Investigation: The university will provide a timely and thorough investigation, and will treat the complainant with respect before, during, and after the student conduct process. The hearing officer will interview the complainant and the alleged and any pertinent witnesses. The hearing officer will also review police or other reports and collect relevant, available evidence. The entire process will be consistent with the university’s published policies and will be transparent to the complainant and the alleged. Student Conduct will provide both parties with timely notice of meetings at which they may be present and both parties will be provided with equal access to case materials.

Advisor: Both the complainant and the alleged may have an advisor during any meeting or proceeding. The advisor can be anyone the complainant or alleged chooses, even an attorney, so long as that person is not potentially a party or witness in the case. The advisor is there to support and advise the complainant or the alleged, but is not permitted to represent or speak on behalf of either party.

Charges, Resolution, Sanctions & Appeals: The hearing officer conducting the investigation will decide whether to issue charges for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. If charges are issued, the hearing officer will notify both the alleged and the complainant. The alleged will have two business days to respond to the charges and has three choices. The alleged can accept responsibility. In this instance, the hearing officer will consider appropriate sanctions for the violation. In so doing, the hearing officer will consider all of the material brought forth in the investigation, including statements from the complainant on the impact the violation has had on their life an educational experience.

Sanctions: Available sanctions include separation from the university. Dismissal is a permanent separation. A separation for any limited period of time (typically measured in years of academic terms) is called a suspension. A separation from the university ends the student’s enrollment at the university and bans the sanctioned student from campus. Other available sanctions less than separation include probation, a heightened state of warning, and a formal reprimand. Probation and formal reprimands are rarely given in cases involving allegations of sexual violence. Additionally, when a student is sanctioned to a term of suspension or probation, additional sanctions, referred to as educational sanctions, may be imposed. These sanctions may include behavioral assessments, workshops, community service or other instructive experiences. Complainants are promptly notified of the sanctions imposed. Both parties have the right to appeal sanctions on the ground that the sanctions given are grossly disproportionate to the violation.

Hearings: A student charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct can decide not to accept responsibility and elect a hearing to resolve the charge. The Code provides for two types of hearing and the alleged chooses which type. The first is an Administrative Hearing. The second is a University Conduct Board Hearing. Both hearings are informal in nature. The legal rules of evidence do not apply, and the standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence standard. The difference between the two hearing types is who hears and decides the case. In an Administrative Hearing, the case is heard by a hearing officer from Student Conduct. Typically the case is assigned to a different hearing officer than the one who conducted the investigation. In a University Conduct Board Hearing, the case is heard by a board made up of students, staff, and faculty. The students are appointed through different student government organizations. Staff and faculty are appointed by the Vice President of Student Life.

Both complainants and alleged students participate equally in the hearing process and may have an advisor of their choice present. Should one party desire it, the complainant and alleged shall be in separate rooms connected by video and audio during the hearing. Both parties are able to question witnesses, but questions to each other must be directed through the hearing officer or board coordinator.

Appeals: Once a result is determined by the hearing officer or board, Student Conduct promptly communicates simultaneously, in writing, to both parties: the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, the institution’s appeal procedures, any change to the results before they are final, and when the results become final. Both parties may appeal the outcome. Appeals are heard by the Vice President for Student Life or her/his designee. When the Vice President issues a decision on an appeal, notice is promptly provided to both parties.

Resolution Timeline: Dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sexual harassment cases shall be resolved within a 60 day period once the incident has been reported. When exigent circumstances or other good cause delays the investigation and resolution of a case, Student Conduct keeps both parties informed regarding the cause of the delay and the anticipated time table for resolution.

Training & Conflict of Interest: All employees, staff, and students involved in an investigation or hearing are trained annually on issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, as well as proper hearing procedure that protects victim safety and promotes accountability. An investigating hearing officer, administrative hearing officer, university conduct board member or board coordinator will remove him or herself from any proceeding in which a conflict of interest or bias exists against either the complainant or the alleged.

Protective Measures: In addition to the investigation and hearing process, Student Conduct will provide written notice of options and assist complainants and alleged students in availing themselves to all available university or community resources or protective measures. Protective measures might include residence hall room changes, course changes, or "No Contact" directives. Student Conduct collaborates closely with other university departments, including Residence Life, Student Advocacy, Counseling Consultation Service, Ohio State’s Police Division, and staff from SVES (Sexual Violence Education and Support), to connect students to the appropriate sources of other remedies or protective measures.

Policies and procedures for employees regarding cases of alleged sexual harassment and workplace, family, and relationship violence

The Ohio State University ("OSU") and The OSU Wexner Medical Center ("OSUWMC") maintain several policies that address domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking incidents its employees.

OSU’s Workplace and Family and Relationship Violence Policy 7.05 ("Policy 7.05") aids in providing a supportive workplace in which employees can discuss workplace and family and relationship violence occurring in their lives and seek assistance with those concerns. Policy 7.05 details conduct that is not tolerated by OSU, including, but not limited to: direct or implied threats, physical conduct that results in harm to people, intimidating conduct or harassment that disrupts the work environment or results in fear for personal safety (e.g. stalking), and the use of university property to threaten, harass or abuse someone. Policy 7.05 also lists potential consequences for any employees found to be in violation of the policy. These consequences include corrective action (up to and including termination of employment), as well as the filing of criminal charges. Perpetrators of workplace and family and relationship violence occurring in the workplace may also be required to seek and successfully complete training, assessment, counseling or treatment. The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program can provide assessment, counseling and/or referrals to a family and relationship violence perpetrators' treatment program. Policy 7.05 further encourages employees who are the victims of workplace or family and relationship violence, or who believe they may be targets of violence, to promptly notify an administrator, OSU Police and/or The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program.

OSU also maintains a Sexual Harassment Policy ("Policy 1.15") which applies to all staff, faculty, students and volunteers. Policy 1.15 includes a number of examples of prohibited sexual harassment and lists "some incidents of physical assault" as an example of a form of sexual harassment that is not tolerated by OSU or OSUWMC. Policy 1.15 provides for corrective action, up to and including termination, for anyone who violates the policy. Sanctions also may be imposed on any individual with a duty to act (i.e., supervisor) who fails to respond to a complaint of sexual harassment in a manner consistent with the provisions of the policy. Detailed information about the Policy 1.15 complaint and investigation process can be found in the "Guidelines for Investigating Complaints or Discrimination and Harassment" located at http://hr.osu.edu/public/documents/hrpubs/guidelinesdiscrim.pdf?t=201492981841. As stated in these guidelines, both the complainant and the accused are permitted to have an advisor of their choice accompany them during meetings related to the investigation. Investigations will be concluded within a reasonable timeframe from the date the complaint was filed. If this is not reasonably possible due to extenuating circumstances, the complainant and accused will be informed of the status of the review and an estimated conclusion date. In addition, both the complainant and the accused will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. To the extent possible, all information received in connection with the filing, investigation, and resolution of allegations will be treated as confidential except to the extent it is necessary to disclose particulars in the course of the investigation or when compelled to do so by law.

Finally, OSU promotes educational programs to meet the following goals:
A. Informing individuals about their rights through training and dissemination of the sexual harassment policy.
B. Including the sexual harassment policy in orientation materials for new faculty, staff, students and volunteers.
C. Notifying persons of prohibited conduct.
D. Informing all individuals of the appropriate procedures and reporting mechanisms for addressing concerns of sexual harassment.
E. Informing the community about the problems caused by sexual harassment.
F. Addressing issues of sexual harassment from a multicultural perspective.

The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program ("EAP") is also available as a resource for benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and their families. EAP provides counseling sessions, self-help tools, online articles, and legal assistance for a variety of personal issues. All of EAP’s services are confidential and participation in EAP is voluntary. Information regarding the EAP may be found at hr.osu.edu/benefits/hb_eap.

Criminal and Civil Options in Addition to University Procedures

Students and employees 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 student disciplinary process through the University Conduct system or employee process through the Office of Human Resources. Survivors are assisted by the Title IX Coordinator or deputy coordinators in learning about the options for reporting sexual assault to the university as well as University Police or local law enforcement agencies. Survivors may also consider seeking a protection order in the interest of safety. For more information, please visit titleix.osu.edu.

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 website contains information regarding registered sex offenders for geographic areas covered by this report: communitynotification.com/oh/ag/.






THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES CHECKLIST

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.

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY SURVIVIOR'S RIGHTS GUARANTEE

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.