Commonly Asked Questions and Answers for Survivors of Sexual Misconduct
The following information is intended to provide answers to commonly asked questions surrounding acts of sexual misconduct. This includes information on both internal and external processes. If you have a question or concern that is not specifically addressed below, please contact one of the College’s Title IX Coordinators or any of the external agencies listed herein.
Additional information is also available through a resource handbook; published in 2018 by the office of the governor in conjunction with the first lady of Michigan, entitled A Resource Handbook for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors, Friends and Family.
What Should I Do If I Believe I May Be A Victim?
Call 9-1-1 in the midst of any kind of emergency, immediate harm, or threat of harm.
As a victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, victims are encouraged to seek immediate assistance from police and healthcare providers for their physical, emotional and medical care. Ultimately, it is the choice of the victim whether to notify police and/or seek medical attention. The College’s Title IX Coordinator can assist the victim in notifying the police, if desired. A delay in reporting may limit the College’s ability to investigate and remedy the effects.
Contact Information for Local Law Enforcement
Clare County Sheriff’s Department
255 W. Main St., Harrison, MI 48625
Mt. Pleasant Campus:
Isabella County Sheriff’s Department
207 Court St., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
For incidents occurring at off-campus events or activities, please contact 911 or contact the law enforcement agency with responding jurisdiction.
Contact Information for the College’s Title IX Coordinators:
Martricia (Tricia) Farrell
Director of College Compliance and Ethics
Title IX/Civil Rights Coordinator
1375 S. Clare Ave, Harrison, MI 48625
Office: Harrison Campus Main Building, Business Office Suite, Room 205
2600 S. Summerton Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Office: Center for Liberal Arts & Business, Room 168C (located inside Library and Learning Services)
(989) 386-6622 x394 | email@example.com
MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare
703 N. McEwan St
Clare, MI 48617
McLaren Central Michigan
1221 South Drive
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Should I Preserve Evidence?
It is important to take steps to collect and preserve evidence, as it may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order. Victims of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination has been performed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessitated, seek immediate medical attention at a local hospital and take a full change of clothing for use after the medical exam. In instances of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, e-mails, text messages, etc., rather than physical indications. However, it is still necessary to take steps to preserve evidence in these situations, as well.
Should I Seek Medical Attention?
Victims of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to seek medical attention. It is important to be examined for injuries. Information on counseling services, pregnancy, and STDs will also be provided. An additional important reason to seek medical attention is to collect any physical evidence for any criminal investigation, if pursued. Evidence may be collected up to five (5) days after the assault through a sexual assault evidence collection kit, but evidence is best collected within a six (6) hour window of time. Additionally, some assailants use drugs to render their victim, helpless. If a victim of sexual assault believes that they may have been drugged, seeking medical attention from a local hospital is strongly encouraged. Blood or urine tests may detect drugs in the system and should be completed as soon as possible. Some drugs can only be detected within 12 hours of ingestion.
Where Can I Go for a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit?
Most emergency rooms offer a sexual assault evidence collection kit, but the staff may recommend that the exam be performed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). SANE personnel have received specialized training in the collection of evidence, testing, and treatment. They address their work with specialized sensitivity and knowledge. Currently, the following hospital has such specialized nursing available:
Isabella County SANE Program
McLaren Central Michigan Hospital
1221 South Drive
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
Alternate SANE service locations can be obtained by contacting (800) 656-HOPE.
How Much Does an Exam Cost?
In Michigan, the SAFE Response Program of the Crime Victim Services Commission ensures that sexual assault victims are never directly billed for a medical forensic exam. The SAFE Response Program will pay for the exam whether or not the victim chooses to report the assault to local law enforcement. If the victim has medical insurance which would cover the cost of the exam, SAFE Response legislation requires that the victim’s insurance be used to pay for the exam unless the victim believes that billing the insurance would substantially interfere with their personal privacy or safety. For additional information or questions about payment, contact: Crime Victim Services Commission, SAFE Response (517) 334-SAFE (7233).
If I Seek Medical Assistance, Will I Have to File a Police Report?
Many hospital policies require that sexual assaults be reported to the Police. However, being treated at an emergency department or having sexual assault evidence collected does not mean that you must talk to the Police. You can choose not to speak with them. If you are unsure about participating in the criminal process, having the sexual assault evidence collection kit completed will assist you in keeping your options open. The Kit cannot be released to the Police without your consent.
What Reporting Options Are Available to Victims of Sexual Misconduct?
You have the right to report acts of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, as well as local law enforcement for acts of sexual misconduct and/or crimes of violence. If you report the incident to both the College and Police, it is possible that two separate investigations will take place simultaneously. The outcome of a Police investigation does not influence the College’s investigation. The police investigation is a criminal investigation, while the College’s investigation is administrative.
What Happens If I File A Complaint with the Police?
If you file a police report you will be interviewed by an officer or detective who will conduct an investigation into the situation. After completing the investigation, the officer or detective will turn the information over to the Prosecuting Attorney who will review the report and decide whether or not to bring criminal charges against the perpetrator. If charges are brought, the matter will proceed through the Court system and you may be required to testify. The Prosecutor will provide you with information on the criminal justice process, as well as your rights as a victim.
What Happens If I File A Complaint with the College?
The matter will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator to determine which College policy/policies have jurisdiction and the matter would be adjudicated according to that particular policy. It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to handle oversight of the investigation and also to provide resource information and interim supportive measures to the involved parties.
What If I Tell an Employee of the College?
Certain employees of the College (i.e. Campus Security, members of Security Operations and Systems, Campus Security Authorities) are considered Responsible Employees and are obligated to report any incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. If you disclose an incident of sexual misconduct to College employees (as mentioned above), it will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. Upon receiving a third-party report, the Coordinator will generally contact the victim via e-mail to provide information, resources and any options available through the College.
If I File a Complaint, Will My Name Be Released?
The College will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to protect an individual’s privacy and confidentiality when conducting an investigation and resolving a Complaint, except as otherwise required by law. Should a Complainant request confidentiality or ask that a Complaint not be investigated, the request will be considered. However, the College cannot guarantee that said request will be honored. In limited circumstances, the College reserves the right to investigate despite a Complainant’s request for confidentiality. This exception would be in circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the Respondent may pose a continuing threat to the campus community.
Can I Bring a Support Person With Me During the Investigation?
Yes! Both the Complainant and Respondent may have an Advisor present at any meeting or proceeding. The Advisor may be anyone, including a union representative from the Complainant’s or Respondent’s collective bargaining unit, an attorney, or in cases of the sexual misconduct, a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate. Depending on the Policy with adjudication oversight, the Advisor’s role will vary.
Under the College’s Campus Non-Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, What Rights Do I Have? ?
During the investigation and through the resolution of a Complaint, both the Complainant and the Respondent shall have certain rights, which include:
- Equal opportunity to present witnesses and other relevant evidence
- Equal opportunity to review statements or any evidence provided by the other party
- Equal opportunity to review and comment on information that is independently developed by the Investigator through the investigation process
- To be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an Advisor. The Advisor may be anyone, including a union representative from the Complainant’s or Respondent’s collective bargaining unit, an attorney, or in cases of the sexual misconduct, a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate. An Advisor may not be a person with relevant information to the allegations whom may be interviewed by the Investigator during the investigation. The Advisor may not answer questions for the Complainant or Respondent regarding the subject matter of the investigation. The Advisor may observe and consult with the Complainant or Respondent and take appropriate action to ensure that the investigation does not violate policies or collective bargaining agreements.
- Comparable and timely access to all information considered when resolving the Complaint
What Are the Possible Outcomes of an Investigation and How Would I Be Notified of Outcomes?
After concluding the investigation, the Investigator will submit the information to the Decision-Maker assigned to the case for review and final determination. The Parties will simultaneously be notified, in writing, of the results. If a finding of responsible is issued, the College will take any necessary steps to end the misconduct and prevent the reoccurrence of said misconduct. Corrective action will be taken as appropriate.
A list of sanctions that could be imposed based on the severity of the incident (ranking low to high) include: verbal warning, written warning, college No Contact Order, classroom/work reassignment, probation, social probation (limiting or removal from student group’s social activities, sports, etc.), community service, restitution, recommendation for external counseling, implementation of behavioral/improvement contract, program attendance/interview, internal professional development, loss of college computer use and/or network, suspension, revocation of degree, expulsion or termination.
What If I Do Not Agree With the Outcome?
When notified of the Final Determination/outcome, the Respondent and the Complainant will also receive instructions for filing an Appeal. This appeal petition must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) business days of receiving the written Final Determination. The original findings and sanctions are considered reasonable and appropriate, so disagreement with the finding is not a basis for an Appeal. Therefore, the only grounds for Appeal are as follows:
- A procedural (or substantive) error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.).
- A consideration of new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
- The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
What If I Am Retaliated Against for Filing a Complaint?
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of retaliation for opposing discriminatory behavior, reporting sexual misconduct, or participating/cooperating in an investigation, should immediately contact one of the Title IX Coordinators. Any person found to have retaliated against a person for engaging in protected activity will be in Policy violation and will be subject to disciplinary action.
How Do I know If I am Victim Of A Crime of Violence?
- Can be physical, sexual, verbal or emotional. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your partner insult or make fun of you?
- Is your partner jealous when you want to see your family, friends or be in certain social situations?
- Does your partner constantly text or send you messages to keep an eye on you?
- Has your partner ever thrown things, hit, kicked, shoved, strangled or grabbed you?
- Has your partner posted sexual photos of you online without your permission?
- Has your partner forced you to have sex or perform sexual acts when you didn’t want to?
Is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that adults or adolescents use to control their intimate partners. These behaviors include physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic threats. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has your partner discouraged you from taking classes or seeking employment?
- Does your partner limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
- Does your partner tell you that no one would ever want you if you left them?
- Does your partner sometimes act like two different people?
- Has your partner ever hit, choked, pushed, bitten, or slapped you?
Is a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; an act that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has someone been repeatedly following you?
- Has someone been repeatedly and unwantedly approaching or confronting you in a public place or on private property, despite requests to stop?
- Has someone unwantedly been appearing at your place of employment, despite requests to stop?
- Has someone unwantedly been contacting you by phone; sending e-mails, text messages?
(The above is a sampling of questions and are not intended to be the sole determining factors for identifying dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking)
If you answered yes to any of the above questions or are frightened about something in your relationship and want to learn more, the following confidential information and help is available:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233); TYY (800) 787-3224; additional information is available by visiting National Domestic Violence website.
- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline (866) 331-9474; TYY (866) 331-8453; Text Love is to 22522; or by visiting Love is Respect.
- RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline (800) 656-HOPE (4673); or by visiting RAINN
- RISE for Clare and Isabella Counties (844) 349-6177; or by visiting RISE
- Shelter House for Gladwin and Midland Counties (877) 216-6383; or by visiting Shelter House
I’ve Heard Mention of a Personal Protection Order. Where Can I Lean More?
A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a document that is obtained through the Court. It orders someone to stop threats or violence against you. A PPO can help protect you from someone who is threatening, harassing, or hurting you. You may petition the Court for a PPO if you have a reasonable fear for your personal safety. There are three types of Personal Protection Orders: Domestic Relationship, Non-Domestic (Stalking), and Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault). For information, paperwork, or assistance in obtaining a PPO, please visit Michigan Legal Help . Assistance can also be provided by contacting sexual assault or domestic violence service providers, such as Women’s Aid (Clare and Isabella Counties) or Shelter House (Gladwin and Midland Counties).
How Can I Help a Friend Who Has Been A Victim of Violence?
There are many ways to help a friend that has been a victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. The most valuable help that you can provide to them is your presence. Be with them and be a good listener. Educate yourself and those around you on the warning signs of these various acts of violence and the resources that are available in your community. To learn about resources in your community visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Do not pass judgment; strive to understand what they are saying and going through; be supportive, remind them that they are not responsible for the abuse; inform them of options available and assure them that you will protect their privacy and help them no matter what their decision is.
Any Advice On How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Violence?
To help reduce one’s risk of becoming a victim to violence, there are useful things to remember:
- Let friends and/or family members know where you are going, who you will be out with, and what time you will return
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know where you are and who is around you
- Have a cell phone with you and make sure it is charged
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. If you arrive at an event together, be sure you leave the event together
- Take a matured responsibility for your alcohol intake and recognize that it lowers your sexual inhibitions. It may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk person as a “sexual opportunity”
- Tell a sexual aggressor, “NO,” --clearly and firmly
- Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor
- Find someone nearby and ask for help
- Trust your instincts. If a situation feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself In an emergency call 9-1-1!