What You Can Expect

What can you expect working with the Office of Victim Services Victim Assistance Specialists?

Department of Justice statistics indicate that less than 40% of college students who are victims of violent crime report the crime to law enforcement. Why? When asked, victims list a host of issues - embarrassment, loss of privacy, fear of reprisal, fear of being ostracized by their peers, fear of being removed from college by parents, possible media attention - the list is long. Eliminating the "chilling effects" that prevent students from getting the information and assistance they need is why we have the Office of Victim Services.  Specialists work with any student who may become a victim of a crime. And, while filing a police report is strongly encouraged for our students, Specialists with the Office of Victim Services neither forces a student to file an official police report nor prosecute. The role of the Office of Victim Services is to ensure that the needs of the victim are addressed at one location so that getting information and assistance is not complicated.

The Office of Victim Services specialists adhere to established ethical principles and codes of professional practice. All interaction is private and consultation with others to help provide what a victim requires is on a "need to know" basis.

Please note: Crimes occurring on campus property specific to the Clery Act* are disclosed to appropriate campus administrators. Such disclosure is both helpful in determining the issue of a timely warning notice to the campus community, and in providing information relevant to a victim's safety. Numbers published in the Annual Security Report are victim-anonymous and do not identify the victim or any intervention/remedies associated with the victim or crime.

*Clery Act crimes (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible sex offenses, incest or statutory rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson and hate crimes) that are specific to property owned or controlled by campus, or the streets, sidewalks, parking garages or parking lots inside the campus and immediately adjacent to campus.

Available Services

A specialist, with the ongoing consent and active participation of the student, is available to:

  • explain the reporting process and assist the student, if he/she chooses, in filing a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency;
  • serve as the spokesperson for the student within the College community so that the victim's privacy and dignity are maintained in all aspects of intervention and assistance and, as necessary, to serve as liaison with individuals off campus;
  • work with the student to reasonably accommodate possible disruption to the student's class attendance, class work, academic schedule, or initiating necessary changes that may result from the immediate crime and the impact of that crime;
  • offer immediate crisis intervention and initial support;
  • accompany a student to hearings, help with victim impact statements, liaison with law enforcement jurisdictions, court personnel and other specialized resources on the local, state and national level
  • assist in locating appropriate on campus and community resources, information or remedy to meet the student's specific immediate and ongoing needs.

All contact with specialists with the Office of Victim Services is handled with the utmost discretion and with the consent of the individual being served.

Office of Victim Services Mission Statement

Safeguarding the rights of victims so that their voices may be heard, their choices valued, and their recovery process may become a constructive reclamation of life. SM