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For Safety's Sake


Tip:
Only hospital emergency rooms can collect physical evidence of sexual assault. Therefore, your best source of immediate medical help is your nearest hospital emergency room. All hospitals are required by law to report to the police any injury that is the result of a crime. This does not obligate you to file formal charges.

Sexual Assault Information

Counseling, Support, and Medical Services Available to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Pitt’s Office of Sexual Assault Services (412-648-7930) provides individual and group counseling for individuals who have been sexually exploited in any way. Support is provided throughout the medical, judicial, and recovery processes. Survivors are also assisted with room changes and academic schedule changes.

  • The University Counseling Center (412-648-7930) provides general counseling services for the Pitt community. For survivors of sexual assault, it also offers immediate emergency appointments with counselors and ongoing therapeutic support throughout the recovery process.
  • Pitt’s Student Health Service (412-383-1800) provides ongoing confidential medical treatment for any physical problems related to an assault.
  • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (1-866-363-7273) provides a 24-hour hotline; medical, police, and court accompaniment; and long-term recovery counseling (both individual and group).
  • The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (412-392-8582) provides a 24-hour hotline; medical, police, and court accompaniment; home visits; assistance when filing compensation claims; and post-trial advocacy.

Q: I am a survivor of sexual assault. How can I change my classes or where I live?
A: Survivors of sexual assault have the right to a change in their academic course schedules and living arrangements. University staff will make these changes at the survivor’s request according to the current availability of reasonable alternatives. If the survivor lives off campus, emergency living space will be provided in a residence hall. If the survivor lives in a residence hall, another residence hall room in a different location will be provided.

  • Contact for residence hall changes: 412-648-1200
  • Contact for course schedule changes: academic advisor or appropriate dean’s office
  • For assistance with course schedule or room changes, contact Mary Koch Ruiz, coordinator, Office of Sexual Assault Services, at 412-648-7930.

Q: I don’t know if I want to pursue legal action. What should I do?
A: Survivors are encouraged to report sexual assaults to the University of Pittsburgh Police Department (4-2121 or 412-624-2121) if the assault occurred on campus, or to the Pittsburgh city police (911) if the assault occurred off campus. Survivors have the right to refuse to press charges even if they file a police report. However, Pitt police will assist the survivor in pressing charges on or off campus if the survivor decides to do so.

If the alleged assailant is a Pitt student, the survivor also has the option of filing a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct (412-648-7910) and of pressing charges. The Office of Sexual Assault Services, University Counseling Center, Office of Residence Life, and Student Health Service will assist survivors in notifying these authorities and pressing charges if desired. The Office of Sexual Assault Services, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, and the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime also provide a support person to discuss options and accompany survivors through the legal process.

Q: How does the University take action against alleged sexual assailants?
A: In addition to possible legal action, if the alleged assailant is a Pitt student, the survivor has the option of filing a complaint against the assailant for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This complaint may be resolved through an administrative meeting or a hearing.

Q: What happens during the hearing?
A: Both the survivor and the accused have a number of choices with regard to the hearing. The case may be judged either by an administrative hearing officer or by a three-member hearing panel composed of faculty and/or staff members and a student who are trained in campus judicial procedures. If the survivor and the accused fail to agree on how they would like the case to be heard, a hearing officer will be assigned. This hearing is closed to anyone other than the people directly involved.

The Office of Student Conduct, who serves as the hearing moderator, will enforce the following procedures:

  • The accuser and accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding.
  • The accuser and accused shall be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sexual offense.
  • The hearing will be held in a private forum.

The University of Pittsburgh will, upon request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University of Pittsburgh against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim for purposes of this paragraph.

Q: What sanctions can be imposed following a disciplinary hearing?
A: For both forcible and nonforcible sexual offenses, sanctions range from disciplinary reprimand (with possible residence hall dismissal if the accused lives on campus) to disciplinary dismissal from the University of Pittsburgh.

Punishment for convicted offenders may also be carried out by the public court system if the survivor pursues additional legal prosecution or civil action.

UNIVERSITY EMERGENCY
PHONE NUMBERS

University of Pittsburgh Police EMERGENCIES 4-2121
or Noncampus Phone
412-624-2121
General Assistance 4-4040
or 412-624-4040

Sexual Assault Services
412-648-7930

Student Health Service
412-383-1800

University Counseling Center
412-648-7930

Student Conduct
412-648-7910

Environmental Health and Safety
412-624-9505

SafeRider
412-648-CALL (2255)

PITTSBURGH EMERGENCY
PHONE NUMBERS (OFF CAMPUS)

City of Pittsburgh
Police, Fire, Ambulance 911

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
24-hour hotline 1-866-363-7273

Center for Victims of
Violence and Crime

24-hour hotline 412-392-8582

Pennsylvania Department
of Public Welfare
ChildLine for abuse reporting

1-800-932-0313

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