To Report or Not To Report
We encourage you to file a police report. Filing a report is different from pressing charges. A report puts the incident on record. There is no statute of limitation on the crime of rape. You may press charges at a later date if you choose.
It helps if the UNA Police are notified immediately at 256.765.4357 or 911. If you wish to report at a later date, call 256.765.4357. If you have not contacted the police by the time you arrive at the hospital or the SANE facility, you can ask hospital or SANE personnel to contact them for you.
Once an assault has been reported to the UNA Police, specific campus officials (President, Vice President for Student Affairs, Provost, and the Student Conduct Officer) will be notified for your protection and to help you identify your needs as a UNA student. If you live in campus housing, the Director of Housing will also be notified. Once again, they are notified for protection and support reasons only.
REPORTING TO THE POLICE
- Protects you and others from future victimization.
- Assists in the investigation to apprehend the alleged assailant.
- Helps you maintain future options regarding criminal prosecution, university disciplinary action, and/or civil action against the perpetrator.
Reporting an assault is a deeply personal choice that only you can make. There is no requirement that you must prosecute your assailant. Survivors often make this decision based on the circumstances of their assault and their life situation, including whether or not they feel that they have friends or family who will support them through the process.
CHOICES OF JUDICIAL ACTION
As a student at UNA and a member of the community, you have several options available to you. You are not obligated to take any action, but it is recommended that you report the incident and seek support. You may choose any one or a combination of the following:
- UNA Student Conduct Action
- Criminal Charges
- Civil Suit
UNA Student Code of Conduct
The action taken by the University is separate and different from that taken by the judicial court system. The result of the court's investigation or decision does not necessarily influence the investigation or decision of the Student Conduct Officer. If you wish to file a conduct complaint through the University, contact the Office of Student Conduce at 256.765.5012. There are various formal or informal options available to you if the accused is UNA-affiliated.
Criminal Prosecution and/or Civil Suit
You are urged to report a sexual assault to the police. Reporting an incident does not mean you have to prosecute or continue with legal proceedings or university conduct action. Reporting does help you to maintain future options regarding criminal prosecution, university conduct action, and/or civil action against the perpetrator. If you choose to take action through the court system, a counselor from Rape Response is available to explain the specifics about the criminal and civil processes. Call 256.765.4357.
Another factor for some survivors is the feeling that they would not want another person to be victimized by the same perpetrator. Filing criminal charges or filing charges through the University’s Office of Student Conduct if their attacker was a UNA student, is one way of regaining some control, holding the perpetrator accountable for his or her actions, and taking a stand on their own and the community's behalf.
The following provides information about several different reporting options. For further information about any of these options, please do not hesitate to contact the Women’s Center the Vice President of Student Affairs or the University Police Department.
- Filing a Criminal Complaint
- Protective Orders
- Criminal Prosecution
- Civil Suit
- Third Party / Anonymous Report