Sexual Assault

In accordance with Public Act 88-629, Southwestern has established a community task force focusing on sexual assault responses. The DPS, as a subcommittee of the CHOICE Team, co-chairs and facilitates the Sexaul Assault Task Force. The SATF charter is to discuss and outline sexual assault protocols and response procedures for victim support services and law enforcement agencies for both the college and local support agencies. The subcommittee is composed of representatives from: DPS, Counseling and Disability & Access, city and county law enforcement, victim support agencies (such as Call for Help Inc.), administrators from each campus and a student representative.

If You Are The Victim

  • Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations. Your judgment and thinking will be your best weapons. Evaluate the situation for possible avenues of escape.
  • Your first concern should be for your personal safety and survival. Use your judgment to do what is necessary to save your life. That may mean making a scene by drawing attention to yourself so that the assailant leaves. It may mean fighting back. It may mean not resisting physically.
  • If you choose not to resist the attack physically, it does not mean that you have asked to be sexually assaulted. It means that you did what was needed to survive.
  • Remember, there are several “right” ways to respond. The person being attacked is the best judge of which options will work in that situation.
  • Take notice of the characteristics of your assailant, the person’s habits, surroundings, contacts, speech and mannerisms. This could enable you to deal with the assailant and perhaps talk your way out of a rape situation or provide a means of escape. Also, this information is invaluable for the police in trying to apprehend the criminal.
  • Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
  • It is critical to preserve all physical evidence. DO NOT bathe, shower, douche, use the toilet, eat, drink or smoke. DO NOT change clothing. DO NOT touch anything the suspect may have touched; DO NOT chase the suspect.

Reporting

  • If you have been raped, you should seek medical treatment immediately regardless of whether you report the matter to police.
  • If on campus, immediately call the DPS or 9-911 for the local police and emergency medical services.
  • If off campus or at an Off-Campus Site, call 911 for emergency services.
  • Consider seeking assistance from the sexual assault crisis center in your area. See Victim Assistance Agencies.

The responding DPS officer or administrator will assist with protection, first aid, counseling referrals and notifying local law enforcement agencies when requested to do so by the victim. It is important that the victim receive medical attention immediately following the incident. The responding DPS officer or administrator will assist the victim as needed.

The DPS will coordinate with the Southwestern Counseling Center and the Sexual Assault Task Force, utilizing the approved protocols.When a victim notifies the DPS of a sexual assault, the local police or sheriff’s office will not be notified without the victim’s consent. The victim may want to talk with a trained counselor or have a counselor present during police and medical proceedings. The DPS and/or Counseling Center will assist the victim by explaining available options.

Service to the victim is of utmost priority. Officers are trained specifically to handle sensitive crimes such as sexual assault investigations. Female officers will respond at the request of the victim, if available. In addition to apprehension of the offender, priority is given to providing medical care and counseling for the victim. Trained medical personnel will conduct a physical exam, with the victim’s permission, using the Illinois State Police Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. DPS officers and/or police officers do not collect evidence of a personal nature from a victim’s body.

Male Victims

While most victims of sexual assault are women, some men are also victims.

Male victims will receive the same services as women. Emotional support, optional counseling, legal advocacy and medical treatment are available to assist all those recovering from sexual assault.

Other Victim Assistance

Victims are encouraged to contact the DPS. However, if the victim does not choose to contact the DPS, the victim can contact:

Call for Help, Inc. Sexual Assault Crisis Services
St. Clair,
Monroe and
Randolph Counties
East St. Louis Satellite Office Madison County
9400 Lebanon Ave.,
Edgemount, IL 62203
618-397-0975
129 N. 8th St., Room 329
East St. Louis, IL 62201
618-271-8990
2421 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 103,
Granite City, IL 62040
618-797-1049
The victim also may contact the police for assistance:
Dial 9-1-1 (Dial 9-911 from on-campus administrative phones)

Sanctions

Sexual assault is a violation of federal, state and local law, and the policy of Southwestern. Therefore, criminal sanctions by the criminal justice system and administrative sanctions by the college may be imposed upon the accused if it is found that the accused perpetrated the offense. Disciplinary proceedings by the Interim Dean of Student Enrollment will determine what, if any, administrative sanctions are imposed by the college upon students charged with violating the Student Conduct Code. College disciplinary proceedings regarding sexual assault will ensure that:

  • The accused and the accuser are afforded the same opportunities to have others present during all proceedings.
  • Both the accused and the accuser are informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.
  • The Southwestern Counseling Center will assist victims in changing their academic situation (class schedule or location, etc.) after a sexual assault incident, if requested by the victim.