Reporting Sexual Assault
Immediately Following an Assault:
- A victim should not shower, wash, douche, urinate, defecate, comb hair, change or remove any clothing, or put on makeup.
- A victim should always seek medical attention, regardless of whether she wishes to report the assault. A victim may be in shock after a sexual assault and unaware of the internal or external injuries suffered. Sexual assault may expose the victim to the risk of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases. Lynchburg General Emergency Room has forensic nurse examiners on call 24 hours a day for examining and collecting evidence from sexual assault victims. If convenient, an extra change of clothes should be taken to the hospital to wear home. The clothing worn by the victim at the time of the assault will be kept.
- Even if a victim does not wish to report the assault, evidence should be collected because it gives her the opportunity to press charges later. The victim may not feel like pressing charges immediately. However, a physical exam will leave open the victim’s options.
- Physical evidence is collected with a PERK (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit), which preserves it in the proper way. This examination will be conducted at the request of an investigator.
Reporting the Assault:
- The assault should be reported immediately! This does not mean the victim has to prosecute, it does begin the legal process should the victim choose to prosecute at a later date.
- The assault may be reported to the Office of Student Counseling Services or LUPD by calling 582-3911
- Once reported to the police they assume responsibility for investigation.
- A decision to bring criminal charges must be agreed upon by the victim and the Commonwealth’s Attorney
- The victim may wish to remain anonymous in which they would be allowed to use “third party reporting.” This is a informational report and excluding names and the victim does not get involved personally.
Liberty University Reporting Procedure
There is a University procedure designed to handle sexual assaults committed by Liberty University students. If you would like to find out more about the procedure, contact the Office of Student Counseling Services at 582-2651.