Helping Survivors


These resources on and near campus can help sexual assault survivors

Bailey Gallion / Asst. News Editor

Acampus climate survey Ohio University released in November found that 29 percent of responding students had experienced sexual victimization and nearly 20 percent had experienced dating violence during their time at OU. For students who experience sexual violence and relationship abuse, assistance is available from several places on- and off-campus.

Advocacy groups

The Survivor Advocacy Program provides resources for both survivors of sexual assault and relationship abuse and the friends and family who support them. The office is located in Lindley Hall 038.

Advocates from the program can help survivors navigate the process for reporting sexual violence to law enforcement, undergoing sexual assault examinations and reporting sexual misconduct to the university Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Unlike other university employees, none of the staff members at the Survivor Advocacy Program are required to report sexual misconduct to the university. Resources are available to survivors whether or not they wish to receive medical care or report the incident.

The program also mans a 24/7 hotline for survivors at 740-597-7233.

My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Athens, provides resources and housing for relationship abuse survivors and their families. The shelter is a four-bedroom residence in Athens, and its location is confidential for the safety of the clients.

At least one staff member at the shelter is available around the clock. The shelter can also connect abuse survivors with counselors and court advocates. The shelter can be reached at 1-800-443-3402 at any hour.

Medical care and counseling

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital employs nurses trained to conduct sexual assault examination kits.

Sexual Assault Resources

Olivia Raney | FILE

A sexual assault evidence collection kit sits on a table in O'Bleness Memorial Hospital. Rape kits are sent to a branch of Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, where testing is done on the DNA collected in the kits.

Sexual assault examinations can take about three hours. The examination includes drug testing, DNA testing and administration of emergency contraceptive and STI prevention. Evidence can still be collected up to 72 hours after the attack, whether or not the survivor has bathed.

Sexual assault examination kits can be submitted to law enforcement anonymously. That allows the survivor to undergo the exam without immediately deciding whether to report the incident to law enforcement.

Counseling and Psychological Services provides confidential mental health services to OU students. Survivors of sexual assault can receive counseling there to deal with the psychological effects.

CPS provides both individual counseling and group therapy. Psychiatric consultations are also available for students who wish to take prescription medication.

Group counseling, individual counseling and psychiatric intake are free under the OU Wellbeing Plan. Students who have waived the fee for that plan may have to pay for services.

To initiate treatment at CPS, students can show up for a drop-in consultation on the third floor of Hudson Health Center between 9:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. For emergency assistance outside regular hours, students can call the 24/7 Crisis Intervention Service at 740-593-1616.

Reporting misconduct to the university

Violations of the university sexual misconduct can be reported to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Those reports can be done through an online form, over the phone or in person in the office in Lindley Hall 006.

After a student reports sexual misconduct, certain interim measures are available while the university conducts the investigation. The university might issue a no-contact directive to  someone accused of sexual misconduct or restrict access to campus. The university also might reassign classes or move housing to prevent contact between the two parties.

A student whom the Office of Community Standards finds to have violated the university’s sexual misconduct policy would be suspended for at least one semester. A student found responsible for a violation that involved physical conduct would be suspended for at least a year, and a student found responsible for a sexual misconduct violation involving penetration could be expelled.

Law enforcement and legal assistance

Sexual assault, domestic violence and other crimes can be reported to local law enforcement. The Ohio University Police Department investigates crimes on campus and can be reached at  740-593-1911. Crimes in the city can be reported to the Athens Police Department at 740-593-6606.

Crimes outside the city and campus fall under the Athens County Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction. The Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 740-593-6633.

The Sheriff’s Office and APD both employ advocates for survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence.

Sexual assault survivors and victims of domestic abuse may be able to obtain civil protection orders that limit their abuser’s contact with them. Survivor advocates at law enforcement agencies, My Sister’s Place and SAP can guide survivors through the process of obtaining protection orders.

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Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

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