If you are danger, call 911 (regardless of whether you are on or off campus).
If you have experienced sexual assault, stalking, dating or domestic violence, gender or sex based discrimination there are many options for help, and know that we are here to assist you.
Getting to a safe place can be a good first step as you begin to explore options for support, healing and reporting. There are numerous places on and off campus that can assist you with accessing support resources. You have the choice of who tell about this incident, as well as what resources, support and reporting options you wish to pursue.
In general, your first set of options include:
- Medical Attention and/or Evidence Preservation - Seeking medical attention for an emergency and non-emergency. For more information, see below.
- Confidential Support - Speaking with confidential resources such as on and off-campus professional counselors, medical professionals, community advocates and priests or clergy acting in their sacred confidence role, all of whom can offer complete and legally protected confidentiality. A complete list of such confidential resources can be found in the Harassment & Non-Discrimination Policy.
- Reporting the Incident - Reporting the violence, abuse, harassment, misconduct or retaliation to the University and/or to Law enforcement for inquiry and investigation to stop the behavior, prevent its reoccurrence, address the behavior through administrative and/or criminal justice systems, and seek remedial action.
Reporting options include:
- Criminally through the Spokane Police Department
- Administratively through Gonzaga University Process
- Both through the Criminal and GU Administrative processes
Medical Needs and Evidence Preservation
Regardless of whether an incident is reported to the police or the University, Gonzaga University strongly encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence to preserve evidence to the greatest extent possible, as this will best maintain all legal options for the in the future.
Gonzaga University works collaboratively with campus and community professionals specially trained to assist and support individuals reporting sexual violence. These professionals can assist individuals in reviewing options and identifying and facilitating support resources related to:
- Seeking medical attention
- Seeking support, advocacy and counseling services
- Accessing a state certified crime victims advocate that can accompany you during any phase of a support, reporting or exams; and, reporting to the police in addition to obtaining a medical exam.
- Preserving evidence now that may be used for reporting later by obtaining a Forensic Medical Exams within 72-120 hours (3-6 days) after an incident
- Receiving medications to help prevent and address sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy;
- Discussing safety options, including seeking protective orders from a court
- Options under the university's sexual misconduct investigation process
To preserve evidence:
- It is recommended that you do not bathe, shower, douche, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, urinate, defecate or change clothes before the exam. Even if you have already taken these actions, you are still able to have prompt medical care.
- Gather bedding, linens or unlaundered clothing and any other pertinent articles that may be used for evidence and secure them in a clean paper bag or clean sheet. In the event of you choosing to file a criminal complaint, securing evidence will assist you in pursuing legal action in the future.
- Do not delete or alter electronic evidence, photographs, texts, emails, social media posts and messages, etc.
If you choose to file a criminal complaint with the Spokane Police Department, securing such evidence may assist you in pursuing legal action in the future.
Students who undergo a sexual assault examination may choose to file a police report and pursue charges, but are not obligated to. The evidence collected anonymously is stored at the hospital for a limited time while you make a decision. Under Washington State Law, the cost of sexual assault examinations are completely covered by local hospitals and free of charge. Additional testing or medication may not be covered. For more information regarding what to expect and the processes of a sexual assault examination or SANE exam, please visit "What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination"
Reporting Promptly to the University may also allow us to determine if there was video and or other forms of evidence under our purview such as security video footage, electronic data, etc.