Sexual Assault Awareness

Liberty University classifies sexual assault as "any unwanted forced sexual contact." Areas of sexual assault include, but are not limited to:

  • Any forced sexual contact or relations
  • Rape (which includes date and acquaintance rape) - sexual relations that constitutes the lack of consent, committed either by force, intimidation or through the use of the victim's mental or physical incapacity
  • Any coercion of a sexual nature

A victim may contact LUPD, the Student Conduct Office, Student Counseling Services Office, or the Sexual Assault Response Program if anyone, even someone she or he knew or trusted, has done any of these things.

Legal Repercussions

Criminal Law

Rape, is punishable in Virginia by sentences from five years up to life in prison. A victim who presses charges against her assailant will have a difficult and often painful time throughout the course of the legal proceedings. Pressing charges however, can help a victim feel that she has retaken control of her life; control the assailant attempted to take away from her.

A victim who does take her assailant to court will be given the complete cooperation and support of both the police and the Commonwealth Attorney. In addition, the Sexual Assault Response Program (SARP) offer trained volunteers and professionals who give encouragement and emotional support in court and out of court.

Civil Law

An act of rape can also be the basis of a non-criminal, that is, civil, lawsuit for what is called the tort of battery. The main purpose of a civil suit is to compensate the victim for the wrong done to her. The person who is sued for battery does not, as a result of the suit, face criminal charges, not the possibility of a criminal record, but may face paying the victim substantial financial compensation.

Many lawyers take tort cases on a contingency basis, so the victim’s financial outlay would not necessarily be significant. Because a suit for battery must be brought within two years, victims should consider talking with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Liberty University Police Department

The Liberty University Police Department provides 24-hour, 7-days-a-week patrol protection, police, security and emergency medical services to campus grounds, parking lots, residence halls and other properties owned or controlled by the University. Liberty Police Officers are duly sworn with full law enforcement powers and responsibilities, identical to the local police or sheriff’s department from your local community.

The safety and welfare of Liberty students, faculty, staff and visitors is of primary concern. However, a truly safe campus can only be achieved through active participation of all persons who reside, work, study and visit campus on a regular basis. Remember that safety is a community responsibility. Any potential criminal actions or other emergencies may be reported directly to LUPD by any student, faculty, staff member or visitor by telephone (582-3911) or in person.