Support, resources available for victims of sexual assault and misconduct

January 21, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For new and returning students, the start of the new semester is a good time to become familiar with the variety of resources and services available at the University, including tips for staying safe at Penn State and prevention, as well as options for seeking care and making a report of sexual assault or misconduct.

As part of the University’s efforts to create an environment focused on safety, reporting and accountability, Penn State has implemented a variety of efforts aimed at combating sexual assault, including for example the Stand for State bystander intervention program, among others.

The University encourages individuals who have been victims of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct to make a report by contacting the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response or the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

“Penn State is committed to eliminating sexual assault and misconduct on our campuses and to providing victims with the information, care and support they deserve,” said Chris Harris, Title IX coordinator. “If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault or harassment, we encourage you to make a report to the University or law enforcement. No matter the circumstances, sexual assault is never your fault.”

For students and employees who have been impacted by sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, there are multiple resources available to meet your needs, including:

  • Confidential survivor advocacy and support services.
  • Free psychological counseling and psychological support.
  • Free or low-cost healthcare options for students.
  • Academic accommodations.
  • Housing and/or employment modifications.
  • Referrals to local community agencies for additional services.

If you have been sexually assaulted, consider the following:

  • Go to a safe place as soon as you can; in an emergency, call 911.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence; do not bathe or use the bathroom.
  • Contact a close friend to be with you until you feel safe again.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible; have a friend accompany you.
  • Consider whether you would like to make a report to the University and/or the police.
  • See a counselor or advocate to help you understand your feelings and access resources and support services.

The following medical, counseling, advocacy, and police and safety services are available to Penn State students and employees. If at any time you don't know where to turn for support, staff in the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response can assist you.

UNIVERSITY PARK CAMPUS

Medical services:

It is important to seek medical care after any physical or sexual assault to make sure you're physically okay and to collect and preserve evidence. In the event of an emergency, seek immediate assistance by calling 911. For students, University Health Services can provide an initial non-evidence collection medical evaluation and one follow-up visit at no charge. At Mount Nittany Medical Center, individuals may choose to have either an evidence collection exam or a non-evidence collection exam. Staff are specifically trained and sensitive to your concerns.

Reporting resources:

You have options if you choose to report an incident of sexual assault or misconduct. Reports can be made any time to the University and law enforcement; however, individuals are encouraged to make reports as soon as possible after an incident.

Emotional support, advocacy and counseling services:

There are a variety of University resources available to support those who have been impacted by sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct. Advocates also can provide information about reporting options.

Safety and educational services:

ALL PENN STATE CAMPUSES

Below is a list of contact information for the Title IX Resource Person at each Penn State campus. These individuals can connect you with available medical assistance, emotional support and advocacy resources.

OFF-CAMPUS RESOURCES

For more information regarding available Penn State resources, support services and procedural options, visit TitleIX.psu.edu.

Last Updated January 28, 2020