Where should I go for help?
If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, especially if it involves non-consensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual intercourse, you are encouraged to:
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible. In an emergency, call 911.
- Try to preserve all physical evidence, including the clothing you were wearing at the time of the sexual misconduct. Do not wash those clothes. If you do change your clothing, put the clothes you were wearing at the time of the attack in a paper bag (not a plastic bag). Do not use the bathroom, shower or brush your teeth until you have been examined by a medical professional.
- Immediately seek medical attention. A medical professional will gather evidence as well as provide treatment.
- Contact Shenandoah University’s Department of Public Safety at (540) 678-4444.
- You are also encouraged to meet with a professional in the university’s Counseling Center. The center provides a confidential, safe space for you to talk. The Counseling Center professional will also explain your reporting options, offer additional resources and information and provide emotional support. Call the Counseling Center at (540) 665-4530.
- Contact a close friend or someone you trust who can support you. If you live on campus, you can also reach out to your Resident Assistant (RA) who can connect you with university resources.
- Contact Title IX Coordinator Amber Ellis at email@example.com. As the Title IX Coordinator, she can explain the adjudication process and talk with you about your options.
- Let your academic adviser or dean know about the incident if you feel comfortable doing so. The Vice President for Student Life can provide assistance, too. Call (540) 665-4863.
What about past abuse?
There are victims who do not report sexual misconduct and do not tell anyone about the incident. Even if the sexual misconduct occurred recently or years ago, assistance is always available. Talking to someone can help a victim in their recovery process. Seek assistance through any on-campus and off-campus resources.
Yes, men can be victims, too.
Although most victims of sexual misconduct are women, men are also victims of sexual misconduct. At Shenandoah University, male victims receive the same compassionate support and have access to the same services and resources as female victims.
Medical treatment is important.
It can be difficult to think about seeking medical treatment after becoming the victim of sexual misconduct, but it is extremely important for medical professionals to gather any evidence that may be on the victim or the victim’s clothing – preferably within 24 hours of the incident. Victims are strongly encouraged to seek immediate treatment for other reasons, too, such as care for any physical injuries, determination of any risk of sexually transmitted infections or diseases as well as the risk of pregnancy. A victim can – and is encouraged – to seek treatment even if it is outside of the 24 hour timeframe. Non-emergency treatment can be arranged with Shenandoah University’s Wilkins Wellness Center. Call (540) 665-4530.
You have on-campus counseling and support services.
The Counseling Center offers free, confidential support to all Shenandoah University students. Reach the Counseling Center at (540) 665-4530 during regular business hours. A counselor can help you understand your options and help you decide what you want to do regarding your legal and university reporting options.
In the event of an after-hours emergency, contact the Department of Public Safety at (540) 665-4530. The DPS officer on duty can connect you with after-hours emergency personnel.
You have off-campus resources, too.
Concern Hotline, Inc. is a 24-hour helpline you can reach at (540) 667-0145. The Concern Hotline is staffed by trained volunteers who offer support, resources and information.
The Laurel Center is an emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter that also has a 24-hour hotline to offer assistance and support. Call its 24-hour hotline at (540) 667-6466. The Laurel Center can be reached at (540) 667-6160 during regular business hours.
For additional off-campus resources, go to (insert link to resource page).
Call the Department of Public Safety at (540) 678-4444 if you need to get to medical treatment or a safe space on campus.
Options for Criminal Charges
Victims are not required to file a criminal report, but are encouraged to do so and will be assisted by the Department of Public Safety in notifying law enforcement if the victim chooses. Regardless of whether a victim opts to report the crime, accommodations or protective measures will be provided if the victim requests them and if they are reasonably available. Shenandoah University will take steps to keep your information private to the extent allowed by law.
Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation and stalking can file a criminal complaint by contacting Winchester Police Department at (540) 662-4131 if the incident occurred on main campus. If the incident occurred on a satellite campus, contact Frederick County Sheriff’s office at 540 665 5600.
Options for Orders of Protection
Victims of sexual misconduct may want to prevent communication between themselves and the other party. A protective order is a legal document that can help prevent such communication. There are four different types of Protective Orders: Emergency Protective Orders, Preliminary Protective Orders, Protective Orders and University-Based No Contact Orders. All four are issued through different processes and can all be active concurrently. Any person who obtains a protective order should provide a copy to the Department of Public Safety and the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. A reporting party may then meet with the Department of Public Safety to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan for campus security and the reporting party to reduce risk of harm while on campus or coming and going from campus.
Violations for Emergency Protective Orders, Preliminary Protective Orders, and Protective Orders, may result in criminal charges, while violations of University-Based No Contact Orders may result in disciplinary action by the University.
Emergency Protective Orders (EPO): Victims can petition for an EPO at the local Magistrate office at no cost, even if there is no related criminal case. The Winchester magistrate is located at 141 Fort Collier Road, Winchester, Virginia. An EPO is generally valid for 72 hours but may be extended by the court.
Preliminary Protective Orders and Protective Orders, are issued by the court and prohibit the defendant from contacting the victim(s). These may expire at the end of a criminal case, and victims should keep in contact with their victim witness coordinator and prosecutor to know when a Protective Order has been imposed or will expire.
University Based No Contact Order: Shenandoah University may choose to impose a University-Based No Contact Order when appropriate. To request a University-Based No Contact Order, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at (540) 665-4921, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understand Shenandoah’s student conduct procedures.
Contact Title IX Coordinator Amber Ellis at (540) 665-4921 or email@example.com to pursue a university action following an incident of sexual misconduct. As the Title IX Coordinator, she can explain the adjudication process, talk with you about your options and review the investigation procedures and the resolution process.