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Sexual Assault Information & Resources

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What is sexual assault?

Edinboro University considers sexual assault and interpersonal violence to be actions of power and control. Anyone can be a victim of a sexual assault, regardless of age, sex, race or sexual orientation. Sexual assault can be committed by a stranger or someone known to the victim (i.e. a classmate, friend, date, etc.) According to the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, a sex offense is defined as "either a forcible or non-forcible sexual act directed against another person, against that person’s will, or where the victim is incapable of giving consent, and may include rape."

What are my rights if I am a victim of a sexual assault?

Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights

The accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present during campus disciplinary proceedings.

Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings.

Survivors shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement.

Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.

Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.

What if I want to file a report with the police?

The University Police can be contacted by calling 814-732-2921. University Police officers investigate campus crimes, including sexual violence, within their scope of the law and jurisdiction. Crimes that occur off campus will be referred to the appropriate police agency. The University Police will honor all protection and no contact orders as directed by law. Therefore, a copy of the order should be provided to University Police. The University Police may also assist by contacting campus and community support personnel for immediate emotional assistance. When possible, specific requests for a female or male police officer will be honored.

What if I choose NOT to file a report with the police right away?

An individual is NOT required to file a police report if she or he is a victim of a sexual assault. However, individuals who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to preserve all physical evidence. Choosing not to immediately pursue criminal charges does NOT prohibit one from doing so in the future. Therefore, the collection of physical evidence is important for bringing a criminal case forward.

What if I don’t want to report the incident to the police?

Whether an incident occurs on campus or off campus, there are many people at the University who are genuinely concerned about the personal well-being of an assault victim. If you choose

not to share information with a campus or community police agency, please consider reporting the incident to one of the University or community sexual assault resources.

Will the University take disciplinary action?

An individual who experiences a sexual assault and/or interpersonal violence may request that university disciplinary procedures be initiated against the accused student as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Reports made to this office are NOT criminal charges. The filing of campus disciplinary charges does NOT prohibit criminal charges from moving forward through the criminal justice system. If an individual desires to initiate campus disciplinary proceedings, staff in the Office of Student Judicial Affairs will gather information about the incident and coordinate a campus disciplinary hearing. On-campus disciplinary hearings typically occur in a timely fashion. However, delays may occur depending on whether or not criminal charges have been filed. Interim (temporary) disciplinary actions can be imposed upon the accused student to keep him/her away from the victim until the campus and/or criminal proceedings have formally resolved the matter. Possible disciplinary sanctions for sexual assault or interpersonal violence include, but are not limited to, removal from campus housing and suspension or expulsion from the University. Information concerning the final outcome the campus disciplinary proceeding will be made available to the complainant.

Should I seek medical attention?

Medical attention is important for an individual who has experienced a physical or sexual assault. The Ghering Health and Wellness Center is located in McNerney Hall. When a student reports a sexual or physical assault to a member of the medical staff, a medical professional will assess physical injuries, provide information on the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and/or attempt to assist with transportation to a local hospital for an exam and evidence collection. Medical staff will also try and facilitate access to campus or community sexual assault resources. In addition, employees at the Ghering Health and Wellness Center may also coordinate temporary safe housing for students who do not feel safe returning to their place of residence.