Sexual Assault Response

The University of Mississippi

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Get medical assistance

Student Health Center

Located at 400 Rebel Drive or call 662-915-7274, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Any other time: Baptist Memorial Hospital

Evidence collection:

  • Try not to shower, change clothes, eat or drink after an incident in order to preserve evidence.
  • Go to the hospital or health center as soon as possible. You have up to four days after an incident when evidence can still be collected.
  • Bring a change of clothes for after the exam.
  • What to expect from a sexual assault exam:
    • The exam will be extensive and uncomfortable. Medical staff will collect samples of hair, skin, and bodily fluids, take blood, take pictures and complete a gynecological exam. This exam is the best way to ensure evidence can be used in a criminal trial, so it’s best to have the exam if you think (even if you are not sure) you might report the incident to the police.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing and emergency contraception
    • The Student Health Center will perform STI testing for free. HIV examinations should be completed six weeks after an incident occurs.

Talk to someone

University Counseling Center – Free

  • Call to make an appointment (662-915-3784) or walk in Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Need assistance after hours? Call UPD (662-915-7234) and ask to be connected to the counselor on call.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) online hotline and telephone hotline – Free

Psychological Services – Nominal fee

  • Call 662-915-7385 to make an appointment. The initial appointment is $25, and later appointments are billed on a sliding-fee scale.

Community providers

  • PDF list of referrals – fee dependent on insurance

Love is respect (relationship violence)

  • Hotline: 1-866-331-9474
  • Text: Loveis to 22522
  • Chat

Get academic, housing or other support on campus

You may visit any of the following offices to share what your needs are for accommodations on campus. Examples of accommodations include:

  • Academic (missed classes, exam changes)
  • Housing (temporary safe housing or permanent room changes)
  • Safety (escorts on campus, no-contact letters)
  • Anything you may need – every person’s experience is different

Violence Prevention Office

  • Call 662-915-1059 to make an appointment, or walk in through the Counseling Center

Title IX Coordinator

  • Call 662-915-7045 to make an appointment (recommended), or walk in to 270D Martindale

Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct

  • This office may also assist with accommodations once it has begun working with the students involved.

Report to the university

Remember:

You always have the option to participate or end your participation in an on-campus investigation, and you will not get in trouble for personal alcohol or drug use.

Call or email our Title IX coordinator at:

TitleIX@olemiss.edu to set up a time to file a formal report, OR tell any other faculty or staff member, and she or he can connect you to the Title IX coordinator.

You are entitled to a support person throughout the process

The Violence Prevention Office can provide that support.

Once you make a report, it is important not to retaliate or ask others to retaliate against the accused

Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person. Retaliation can be in-person or online harassment of any type; examples include intimidation, bullying, or posting on social media. Retaliation complaints are heard by the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct. Contact that office at 662-915-1387.

If anyone, including the accused, retaliates against you …

If anyone, including the accused, retaliates against you once you speak with the Title IX coordinator, the police, or the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct, report it immediately to the Title IX coordinator or the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.

Office for Civil Rights direct complaint option

You always have the right to contact the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to file a complaint:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
403 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

202-245-6800
1-800-421-3481
Fax: 202-245-6840
TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: ocr@ed.gov

Report to the police

In an emergency, always call 911 or 4911 from a campus phone.
Remember: It does not matter if you were drinking (even if under the legal drinking age) or using drugs; the police care about what happened to you.

Where did the incident happen?

On campus property: University Police Department
Kinard Hall
662-915-4911 (emergency)
662-915-7234 (nonemergency)

In the city of Oxford, not on campus: Oxford Police Department
715 Molly Barr Road, Oxford, MS 38655
911 emergency
662-232-2400 (nonemergency)

In the county, outside the city: Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office
711 Jackson Ave. East, Oxford, MS 38655
911 emergency
662-234-6421 (nonemergency)

If the incident happened somewhere else or you are not sure: Call or visit UPD for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to tell the police?

No. As long as you are over the age of 17, it is your choice whether you want to go to the police. If someone else is concerned about your safety or believes you are in danger, that person may call the police. Generally, it is your option to press charges.

Will the school tell my parents?

In most cases, no. FERPA is a federal law that protects information about you and your access of university services.

Will I get in trouble for reporting personal alcohol or drug use?

No. The university has an amnesty policy that prohibits a student who reports sexual discrimination from getting into trouble for voluntary personal use of drugs or alcohol.

Do I have to discuss what happened with the university?

No. If you get a phone call or email from a university employee and do not want to discuss your experience, please respond and let the employee know you do not want to discuss the incident.

What if I face harassment from other students for coming forward to report?

The university has a strict prohibition against any sort of retaliation (in person, using third parties, social media, etc.) once a person reports. The policy applies to all members of the university community. If you face harassment and want to take action in response, you can contact Title IX, UPD or the Violence Prevention Office.

Will it cost me any money to access services?

The services on campus and at Family Crisis Services are provided free of charge. If you go to Baptist Memorial Hospital for medical services, then there may be costs associated with your visit.

What do I do if …

1. I am concerned about my immediate health or safety, or feel like I or someone else is in danger

If you are concerned that you or someone else is in danger of imminent physical harm, contact law enforcement immediately. If you are on the Oxford campus, the University Police Department can be reached at 662-915-4911 or 662-915-7234. If you are in the Oxford city limits, you can reach the Oxford Police Department by calling 911 or 662-232-2400. If you are in Lafayette County, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office can be reached by calling 911 or 662-234-6421. The hospital that serves the university, the city of Oxford and Lafayette County is Baptist Memorial Hospital and can be reached by calling 911 or 662-232-8100. The number 911 should only be used for emergencies.

2. I want evidence collected (Rape kit, SANE kit)?

The Student Health Center on the Oxford campus offers Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Baptist Memorial Hospital can do evidence collection 24 hours a day. If possible, take the clothing you were wearing with you, and do not shower or eat before seeking to have evidence collected. You can have evidence collected up to 96 hours (four days) after an incident has occurred. The hospital will notify the police; however, you do not have to discuss what happened with the police unless you choose to do so.

3. I want the police to investigate what happened?

The most common law enforcement agencies that interact with the university community are the University Police Department, the Oxford Police Department and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office. If you are on the Oxford campus, the University Police Department can be reached at 662-915-4911 or 662-915-7234. If you are in the Oxford city limits, you can reach the Oxford Police Department by calling 911 or 662-232-2400. If you are in Lafayette County, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office can be reached by calling 911 or 662-234-6421. The number 911 should only be used for emergencies.

4. I want the university to investigate what happened?

If you would like the university to investigate what happened, contact the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX office is located in Martindale 270D. It is on the second floor of Martindale Student Services Center directly between the Bursar’s Office and the Financial Aid Office. The Title IX coordinator can be reached at TitleIX@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7045.

5. I want university services and/or accommodations?

Depending on the circumstances, the university can provide numerous services, including academic accommodations, housing accommodations, counseling, health care services, parking services, police escorts, no-contact orders and other options. Either the Title IX coordinator or the violence prevention coordinator can help provide these accommodations. The university also may be able to recommend off-campus services.

6. I want to talk to a counselor?

The university has several options available for counseling services. The University Counseling Center is located on the Oxford campus and is available to university students and employees. The Counseling Center does not charge for its services. The university’s Psychological Services Center is located on the Oxford campus and is available to university students and employees and the general public. The Psychological Services Center charges users for its services. The university has a Student Health Center located on the Oxford campus that offers psychiatric services and general medical care. There is no charge to see a physician or nurse practitioner. Contact information can be found below. Family Crisis Services offers free counseling services off campus.

7. I want to talk to someone about advocacy?

Advocates are people trained to support victims/survivors of sexual assault by evaluating all the options open to them, offering connection to resources and empowering them to decide what steps to take next. The university has a Violence Prevention Office (VPO) located inside the Counseling Center on the Oxford campus. The VPO offers advocacy and referrals to other services. Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick is the violence prevention coordinator and can be reached at 662-915-1059 or bartlett@olemiss.edu. Any information given to the VPO will be kept private, consistent with the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. Off campus, you can work with Family Crisis Services.

8. I want to keep my information private?

The Counseling Center, Student Health Center and Psychological Services are granted privilege by Mississippi law. Privilege means that in most circumstances employees in those offices are prohibited by law from sharing your information without your permission. Privilege applies to all individuals over the age of 18 but does not cover minors. In addition to employees with privilege, university policy allows workers in the Violence Prevention Office to keep information private in most circumstances. Most other employees on campus are required to report all information about sexual discrimination, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking to the Title IX coordinator.

If you choose to seek a medical exam for the sake of evidence collection (SANE exam), the medical provider probably will notify law enforcement so the evidence can be collected and preserved. You do not have to discuss what happened with the police unless you choose to do so. If you are seeking a medical exam for other reasons, the information you provide to the medical staff generally will be protected by law.

Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi is an advocacy service that is not affiliated with the university. Family Crisis Services will not share information with the university and generally will keep your information private unless you provide consent.

9. I want emergency contraception, STI testing, pregnancy testing and/or other nonurgent medical care?

The Student Health Center on campus provides all of these services. You may call for an appointment (662-915-7274) or walk in to be seen. You do not have to disclose to front desk personnel the reason you are seeking health care. The physician, nurse practitioner or nurse you speak with cannot share anything about the incident with anyone else.

Support for someone else

Friend

  • Believe your friend. Survivors of violence need the support of their community. Validate your friend’s experience by saying things like “I believe you” and “Thank you for sharing your story.”
  • It is important to allow your friend to finish sharing before interrupting or giving unsolicited advice. Sharing the experience of violence is difficult, and your friend needs a caring ear.
  • Do not blame. Most sexual assaults involve alcohol use, but that does not mean a survivor is in any way to blame for what happened. The accused committed the act of violence, not the survivor. Nothing the survivor did, said or wore made that accused commit the act.
  • Respect privacy. An experience of violence is an incredibly personal experience. Your friend sharing it with you does not mean that friend wants you to share with everyone you know. Keep the information private, and allow the survivor to control her or his own story. If you need to talk to someone, reach out to confidential resources.
  • Ask what you can do. It is important for a survivor to regain control of her or his life after an incident of violence. Ask first what the survivor would like from you, before telling or instructing the survivor on what next steps to take.
  • Offer resources. Check out the support section of this site to share local and national resources with your friend.
  • Get support yourself. As a secondary survivor of violence, you may need support. Please reach out to the Counseling Center (662-915-3784) or other resources to take care of yourself as you support your friend.
  • Do not retaliate against the accused or the survivor. It is important after incidents of violence to empower the survivor of violence to decide whether to engage the student conduct process or the criminal justice process. Retaliation against your friend or the accused in any form could result in conduct charges against you. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person. Retaliation includes in-person or online harassment of any type; examples include intimidation, bullying, or posting on social media. Retaliation complaints are heard by the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.

Partner

  • Believe your partner. Survivors of violence need the support of their partners and often look to them first. Validate your partner’s experience by saying things like “I believe you” and “Thank you for sharing your story.”
  • Listen. Allow your partner to share her or his story completely; avoid interrupting or giving unsolicited advice. The story is difficult to hear, but it is more difficult for the survivor to share with the person she or he trusts most.
  • Remind your partner it was not her or his fault. The reaction of a partner is important to any survivor’s healing process. By reminding the survivor it was not her or his fault for what happened, a partner can empower the survivor.
  • Give your partner space to take control of the next steps. Be clear that any advice you provide is not a mandate, but support. Survivors can misinterpret instructions as commands or may feel she or he has to comply to stay in your relationship.
  • Ask what you can do; don’t tell her or him what to do. Remember that the survivor needs to regain power and control in her or his life. Give the survivor time to determine what is best.
  • Respect privacy. An experience of violence is an incredibly personal experience. Your partner sharing it with you does not mean that she or he wants you to share with everyone you know. Keep the information private, and allow the survivor to control her or his own story. If you need to talk to someone, reach out to confidential resources.
  • Understand your partner’s intimacy boundaries. After a sexual assault, survivors may not want to have sex or be intimate in ways in which your relationship worked before the incident. Respect any new boundaries your partner may have.
  • Offer resources. Check out the support section of the site to share local and national resources with your friend.
  • Get support yourself. Partners can feel the trauma and take on the emotions after an incident. Reach out to the Counseling Center or Psychological Services, or even call or text RAINN to get additional support.
  • Do not retaliate against the accused. You may be angry or upset at the accused. It is important after incidents of violence to empower the survivor of violence to decide whether to engage the student conduct process or the criminal justice process. Retaliation against the accused in any form could result in conduct charges against you. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person. Retaliation includes in-person or online harassment of any type; examples include intimidation, bullying, or posting on social media. Retaliation complaints are heard by the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.

Parent(s)

  • Believe your daughter or son. Survivors of violence need the support of their parents and often look to them first. Validate your child’s experience by saying things like “I believe you” and “Thank you for sharing your story.” When a parent reacts poorly, the survivor may decide not to share with anyone else or decide not to move forward with the conduct or criminal justice process.
  • Allow your child to share her or his story completely; avoid interrupting or giving unsolicited advice. The story is difficult to hear, but it is more difficult for the survivor to share with the individual(s) she or he trusts so much.
  • Tell your daughter or son it was not her or his fault. The reaction of a parent is important to any survivor’s healing process. Your child may interpret her or his experience based on what you share.
  • Ask what you can do; don’t tell her or him what to do. Children respect what their parents tell them to do and may interpret your advice as a command or something necessary to do to retain your support.
  • Respect privacy. An experience of violence is an incredibly personal experience. Your daughter or son sharing it with you does not mean that she or he wants you to share with anyone else. Keep the information private, and allow the survivor to control her or his own story. If you contact anyone on campus, review the confidentiality page to understand who may share information.
  • Offer resources. Check out the support section of the site to share local and national resources with your child. Feel free to call the Counseling Center (662-915-3784) or Violence Prevention Office (662-915-1059) if you have questions.
  • Get support for yourself.

Relationship Violence

Remember: It is not always easy to leave a relationship, even a dangerous one

The most dangerous point in an abusive relationship is when the survivor decides to leave. Trust the survivor to make that decision at the right time.

Relationship violence is a pattern of behavior used to exert power and control over a partner in an intimate relationship

Abuse is not just physical, but it comes in many forms: sexual, psychological, emotional, financial and technological. Violence often happens in cycles, where the accused builds up to an incident, the incident occurs, then reverts to a honeymoon phase where the accused apologizes, buys gifts or tries to placate the survivor.

Warning signs of relationship violence:

  • Withdrawal or isolation from family or friends
  • Constant phone calls, text messages or social media communication
  • Name calling, put-downs or embarrassed by their partner
  • Criticism about appearance or behavior
  • Threats or intimidation to get compliance with commands
  • Destruction of property
  • Control of money, important documents, computer and/or cell phone

How to help:

  • Be careful about intervention. Involving yourself can potentially heighten the danger for a person experiencing relationship violence. Delay your support until a safe time.
  • Offer resources. Look to the resource page, and do not make the survivor feel obligated to reach out until she or he is ready to do so.
  • Do not blame the survivor for the violence she or he experiences. Abusers use tactics like blame and minimization so that survivors feel they do things to bring violence upon themselves. Tell the survivor the violence is not her or his fault.

What if the person does not leave?

  • Continue to offer your support. Survivors are isolated from their friends and family, and once she or he is ready to leave, any support will be welcomed.
  • Constant support can feel like enabling the abuse, but by supporting the survivor and not the accused, you can help ensure the survivor’s safety.

Stalking

Believe the person

Stalking is not a joke, but a serious crime. Often people who experience stalking feel that no one will believe their story.

Respect privacy

Stalkers may try to access friends or family for information, so keep any information shared with you to yourself.

Let her or him know about stalking logs

By keeping a record of all the stalking behaviors, it can be easier to prosecute or take other action against a stalker.

Ask what else you can do

The survivor may just want to share her or his story, or may want support walking to and from class, or to and from her or his car and home to feel safe and comfortable.

Confronting a stalker – take caution

Though you may feel confrontation is the best approach, in many cases confrontation only encourages the stalker to continue or escalate her or his behavior. Involving authority figures such as the police will increase the chance that stalking will decrease or cease, and is a much safer option for confrontation.

Internet safety and cyberstalking

Activate two-factor authentication for your email and social media accounts. Use strong passwords and vary them. Social media platforms allow for blocking or limiting access for certain individuals. For more on this issue, see the National Stalking Resource Center.