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Health Promotion and Wellness

Reporting an Incident of Sexual Violence

If you are a survivor of an act of sexual misconduct, you have control over what happens next. As a survivor you can choose if, when, and to whom you report an incident of sexual misconduct. There is a wide array of responses, from a conversation with a SARA to a full investigation by the Portland Police Bureau, that a survivor can activate with the help of the College. The entirety of the Lewis & Clark Sexual Assault Response Network is in place to help you in reaching recovery and justice, no matter what form that process may take. The specifics of each level of response are outlined below:

Contacting a Sexual Assault Response Advocate

  • A conversation with a SARA will be documented only by an anonymous Sexual Assault Incident Report Form, which will be kept on file with the Sexual Assault Response Network Coordinator. The survivor can choose to do as little as speaking with a SARA to gather information to as much as pressing charges through the Portland Police Bureau. 
  • This report does not carry the survivor’s name or any other specific identifying information, unless specifically authorized by the survivor. This document does not constitute an official report, though the incident will be reported, without the survivor’s name, to Campus Safety for the purposes of data collection for the annual Crime Awareness, Security, and Fire Safety Report.
  • In cases where a perpetrator poses a significant risk to the general safety of the campus community, the SARA will contact the Associate Dean of Students. The name of the survivor will be disclosed only if that disclosure is absolutely necessary to protect the campus community from harm. A survivor may request that a SARA be present at any meeting with the Associate Dean, should a meeting be necessary. If the Associate Dean concludes that a significant threat exists, they will take necessary action to protect the community while preserving the survivor’s privacy.

Report to the College

  • If a survivor wishes to pursue disciplinary action through the College, a SARA or other member of the Sexual Assault Response Network will direct them to meet with the Associate Dean of Students (or designee).
  • The Associate Dean will outline the investigation and hearing process.  If the survivor decides to make a charge, the Associate Dean will take a written or recorded statement of the survivor’s account of the incident.
  • The Associate Dean may also assist with any housing or academic changes the survivor wishes to initiate. Interactions with the Associate Dean are voluntary and confidential, and a SARA may accompany the survivor to these meetings.
Significant Threat to the Community

In cases where a perpetrator poses a significant risk to the general safety of the campus community, the Advocate will contact the Associate Dean of Students. The name of the survivor will be disclosed only if that disclosure is absolutely necessary to protect the campus community from harm. If the Associate Dean concludes that a significant threat exists, the Associate Dean will take necessary action to protect the community while preserving the reporting survivor’s privacy.

Report to Portland Police Bureau

  • Campus Safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will initiate an investigation into an act of sexual misconduct solely at the request of the survivor.
  • At the discretion of the survivor, Campus Safety may assist in filing a report with the Portland Police Bureau. Campus Safety officers are trained in working with survivors of sexual assault and rape by members of the Portland Police Sex Crimes Unit.
  • If survivors would like to contact the police directly, they should file a report in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.  In an emergency situation, please call 911.  The Portland Police Bureau may also be contacted 24-hours a day through their non-emergency number: 503-823-3333.
  • The Portland Police Bureau is required by law to maintain the confidentiality of all survivors of sexual assault and rape. The survivor may request that the Portland Police Bureau investigate the crime and gather evidence at the time of the incident, but the longer the survivor waits, the smaller the amount of evidence the police will be able to obtain.
  • The survivor may request that the Police Bureau not investigate the crime itself, but rather maintain the information of the crime and its particulars in its regular reservoir of crime data. A SARA may remain with the survivor during all interactions with the Police Bureau.
  • A Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) can be an integral piece of evidence in a case involving sexual misconduct. A SARA can explain the SAFE procedure and help you obtain the exam if you choose.

Overview of criminal justice procedure