MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After recent protests, the University of West Virginia (WVU) has decided to remind the university community of the education and resources available to them regarding personal safety, sexual assault and other crimes linked to Title IX.
WVU Title IX The coordinator is the one who oversees investigations involving civil rights-based complaints like Title IX on behalf of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI).
“We support the choices survivors make – whether or not to report, and to whom to report – and recognize that these choices are particularly difficult in some cases,” said James Goins, Jr., director of insurance at Equity and Title IX Coordinator of WVU. “When a sexual assault occurs, I want to be clear that it is never the victim’s fault.”
On the DCI website you will find information on “how to report abuse Where file a complaint, the to treat and a detailed flowchart that goes through it step by step, as well as the assistance offered throughout the process. For anonymity, people can contact the Title IX hotline at 304-906-9930.
“Knowing what to do and who to talk to can be confusing,” said Amy Kittle, deputy director of prevention and education at DCI. “There are people here to guide you to support and resources. We want to help you feel safer and more informed after an assault.
Victims of rape, sexual assault or who witness it should go to a safe place immediately and call 911.
In the event of an assault:
- Do not bathe, shower or brush your teeth (this will allow law enforcement and medical professionals to collect evidence). And don’t wash the clothes (put them in a disposable bag and take them to the emergency room).
- Go to the emergency room and pass a forensic examination for sexual assault. WVU students who are sexually assaulted can get a free SAFE exam and related medical treatment at JW Ruby Memorial Hospital when they present their WVU ID card.
How to get to the emergency room at JW Ruby Memorial Hospital
How to get to the emergency room at Mon Health medical center
- Tell someone – a trusted friend, relative or relative. Call someone you can talk to, no matter what time it is. You can always find and speak to a resident assistant, resident director, or any member of the student affairs staff. These staff members are required to report disclosures to the Title IX coordinator.
- Call the local rape and domestic violence center at 304-292-5100. A lawyer is trained to help victims learn about their medical and legal options and to provide emotional support. For a 24 hour hotline, call 1-888-825-7835.
Victims and witnesses can report the assault to the WVU Title IX coordinator.
To ensure your safety, remember:
- Know your limits and communicate them clearly and firmly to your partner. Decide what you are ready to do sexually. Never assume that other people know how you feel.
- Recognize people who disrespect you. This includes someone who tries to make you feel guilty for saying “no”, who does not respect your limits, who tries to get you drunk, or who tries to give you drugs.
- Trust your feelings. Leave if you feel uncomfortable.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated places, especially with someone you don’t know well.
- Download the LiveSafe app, which enables direct and discreet two-way communication with university police using text, photo, video and audio. It also allows you to drive your friends and family home virtually with SafeWalk.
- Submit a complaint to the Title IX office whenever you believe a violation has occurred (students, faculty, and staff can submit).
More information on health, safety, preparedness and training resources can be found at security.wvu.edu, police.wvu.edu, or by following the WVU Safety and well-being Facebook page and @ WVUsecurity on Twitter.