If You or a Friend are Accused of Sexual Assault
- Within 72 hours an individual can be treated prophylactically for certain STDs and pregnancy (if that is a concern). Most hospital ERs offer this treatment; in Cedar Rapids Unity Point Health St. Luke's Hospital and Mercy Medical Center offer emergency pregnancy prophylaxis. Most physician offices, Planned Parenthood, and The Emma Goldman Clinic can also provide this treatment. There may be a charge for this service. Also important is follow-up testing for STDs such as HIV.
Mental health follow-up:
- On-campus free, individual counseling is available to individuals accused of sexual assault, to help deal with feelings related to being accused, decision making, and exploring behaviors such as alcohol use. If appropriate, a referral to an off-campus mental health professional may be provided. You might offer to help an accused friend by accompanying them to the Counseling Center to schedule the first visit. Support persons for those accused of assault may also obtain counseling from the Center. For more information call ext. 4292 (319-895-4292).
- Off campus counseling is available at many locations in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas.
- The Foundation 2 crisis line is available 24 hours a day at 319-362-2174 or 800-332-4224.
Legal and adjudicatory concerns following a sexual assault:
- In the State of Iowa, a survivor has 10 years from the date of a sexual assault (or 10 years after their 18th birthday if they are a minor when assaulted) to report the assault to the police and pursue prosecution. A survivor can make a report & choose not to prosecute, but still have the report on file. An accused individual may also wish to consult with the police to share their perspective, and should consult a qualified attorney if criminal charges are pursued against them.
- Cornell's policy establishes that as long as the accused is a member of the Cornell community, the College may investigate and take necessary action if warranted. Prompt reporting is crucial to help ensure full investigation of complaints and is thus encouraged. Currently, on-campus procedures include that a complainant may provide a report to the College. Reports should be filed with the Dean of Students or the Title IX Coordinator. Those cases that are adjudicated through the student conduct process will be coordinated by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students (Gwen Schimek, Old Sem, x4234) is available to assist both the complainant and the accused. For more information, see the complete sexual misconduct policy online.
- Civil court proceedings are a third option available to a survivor. This course does not result in criminal action against the accused. Rather, monetary damages can be sought through this avenue. If civil proceedings are brought against an accused student, the student should consult a qualified attorney.
What to do to help the accused:
- Listen to your friend from their point of view.
- Accept your friend as a person, even if you don't agree with their behavior.
- If possible, provide an atmosphere where your friend can express honest feelings.
- Be honest with your friend about how much support you can give.
- Help your friend generate alternatives and options in dealing with the situation.
- Let your friend make the ultimate decision about what to do.
- Direct your friend to campus or community resources.
- Realize that you, too, have been affected and seek support/counseling if necessary.
What NOT to do:
- Don't try to tell your friend what to do.
- Don't offer your help and support if it is not genuine on your part.
- Don't blame your friend for what happened--if you weren't there, you don't know.
- Don't blame the "victim"--again, you don't know exactly what happened.
- Don't assume you know how your friend wants to be treated--ask them.
- Don't rely on your friend to deal with your own feelings about what might have happened.
- Don't break your friend's trust by telling others what might have happened.
Important Contact Numbers:
.........from campus phone x4299
.........from non-campus phone 319-895-4299
Mt. Vernon Police 319-895-6141
Cedar Rapids Police 319-286-5491
Counseling Center 319-895-4292
Foundation 2 Crisis Line 319-362-2174 or 800-332-4224
.........(24-hour crisis line for any concern)