What Does It Mean to Make a Report?
Longwood strongly encourages individuals to report sexual assaults to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and Longwood officials.
Reporting an assault is the only effective way that action can be taken against the alleged attacker. Longwood offers several reporting systems in an effort to provide the conditions under which students feel free to report ALL instances of sexual assault.
Victims may choose one or more of the following courses of action:
Reporting to campus police helps protect yourself and others from future victimization. The report can be used for future options such as criminal prosecution, Longwood disciplinary action, and/or civil action against the perpetrator. When you report an incident, a Longwood police officer will take your statement of what happened. You will be asked to identify or describe the alleged assailant(s). You will be asked questions about the scene of the crime, any witnesses, and what happened before or after the incident. Reporting an incident is a separate step from choosing to prosecute. When you file a report, you are not obligated to continue with legal proceedings or Longwood disciplinary action. The Longwood police officer will take a written report which may be important to you in case you wish to bring charges (criminally or through the judicial process) immediately or at a later date.
Longwood Judicial Procedures
Longwood's Judicial Process has jurisdiction if the sexual misconduct charge is filed with the Director of Honor and Judicial Programs within one year and if both the victim and the alleged perpetrator are students at Longwood. The victim is entitled to a confidential hearing to determine whether there has been a violation of the student judicial code and, if so, what type of sanction(s), up to and including dismissal from the University, should be imposed. The decision may be appealed by the accused (see the Rights of Students as Applied to Disciplinary Hearings section of the Student Handbook). The victim and accused may have a Victim Assistant help them prepare and make a case at the hearing. The accused may bring an advisor. The advantages of a judicial hearing are that it can be completed in approximately three weeks form the date charges are filed and is confidential.
Longwood encourages reporting the incidence to the campus and/or local police. Reporting an assault does not mean the victim has to prosecute (go to court), but it does begin the legal process should the decision to prosecute be made at a later date. Longwood police officials are available to assist the victim throughout the investigation and criminal court process. There is no cost to the victim for criminal investigation and prosecution. Even if prosecution does not occur, the police report and relevant evidence may be useful during the Longwood judicial process.
Victims may hire a private attorney to file a lawsuit for damages against the perpetrator. Many attorneys take cases on a contingency basis; their fees are an agreed upon portion of any compensation that is collected from the perpetrator. This process takes place in a local civil (not criminal) court. The purpose of the lawsuit is to financially compensate the victim for the wrong done to him or her.
Third Party/ Anonymous Reports
Either the victim, survivor, or someone else on their behalf may complete this CONFIDENTIAL form available on-line at http://www.longwood.edu/police.