WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College



WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

 

Victim Resources

Discrimination Resources

Harassment Resources (Including Cyber Harassment)

Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence Resources

How to Help a Friend as a Sexual Assault Victim

Additional Resources

 

 

Discrimination

Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct should be filed with the Chief Human Resources Officer Peggy Carmichael, the designated coordinator for Title IX and Section 504. Her telephone number is 304-214-8901, office location is Room 125-B, B&O Building, Wheeling Campus, and her email address is pcarmichael@wvncc.edu.

Complaints against West Virginia Northern Community College students or college community will be administered consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Rule, Interpersonal Violence Rule, Discrimination and Harassment Rule, and all accompanying guidelines and/or procedures.

File a complaint regarding discrimination or harassment: Any member of the College community who believes he or she has been subject to discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct is encouraged to file a report immediately in accordance with the guidelines and procedures of the Harassment and Discrimination Rule.

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Harassment

Any member of the College community who believes he or she has been subject to discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct is encouraged to file a report immediately in accordance with the guidelines and procedures below.

Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct should be filed with the Chief Human Resources Officer Peggy Carmichael, who is designated coordinator for Title IX and Section 504. Her telephone number is 304-214-8901 and her office is located in Room 125-B, B&O Building, Wheeling campus. Her email address is pcarmichael@wvncc.edu.

Cyber Harassment: If you experience or witness cyber harassment to or by a member of the College community, contact the Title IX Coordinator, Peggy Carmichael, at 304-214-8901, pcarmichael@wvncc.edu or in office 125B of the B&O Building on the Wheeling Campus.

If you are being bullied, stalked or harassed using cell phones, computers or other technology off campus, contact the Service Provider of the harasser at abuse@_____ (insert the internet service provider name). For example, if someone is harassing you over Twitter, you would email the complaint to abuse@twitter.com. You could also contact www.cybercrime@cyberangels.org or www.whoa@haltabuse.org.

Get more information regarding Cyber Harassment and Safety from the following resources:

HaltAbuse.org

GetNetwise.org

StaySafeOnline.info

CyberSmart.org

VictimsOfCrime.org

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Sexual Assault

If you have been assaulted: Go to a safe place. For your own protection, call the police immediately, especially if the assailant is still in the immediate area. The police will help you whether or not you choose to prosecute the assailant. Call a friend or family member for support.

Seek medical attention immediately. The primary purpose of a medical examination following a sexual assault is to check for physical injury, the presence of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy as a result of the sexual assault. The secondary purpose of a medical examination is to aid in the police investigation and legal proceedings. So get medical attention as quickly as possible.

Do not wash. Don’t bathe or douche. Bathing or douching might be the first thing you want to do. You might literally be washing away valuable evidence. Wait until you have an examination.

Preserve all physical evidence. Save your clothing. It is alright to change clothes. But save what you were wearing. Your clothing could be used as evidence for prosecution. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag for police.

It is up to you, but reporting a sexual assault isn’t the same thing as prosecuting a sexual assault. Prosecution can be determined later. Contact police by calling 911.

College Administrators are willing and able to assist complainants in getting them information on how to report incidents to the proper authorities. If you are a complainant of an interpersonal violence and decide not to notify the police, please secure medical attention. The College will assist the complainant by providing a list of supporting agencies. You are not required to notify the police or the College.

For your own protection, call the police immediately, especially if the assailant is still in the immediate area. The police will help you whether or not you choose to prosecute the assailant. Call a friend or family member for support.It is up to you, but reporting a sexual assault isn’t the same thing as prosecuting a sexual assault. Prosecution can be determined later. Contact police by calling 911.

 

Campus Safety Executive Team: Peggy Carmichael (304) 214-8901, Janet Fike (304) 214-8845, Jeff Sayre (304) 214-8809

Title IX Administrator: Peggy Carmichael (304) 214-8901

 

New Martinsville Weirton Wheeling

For Medical Assistance:

Wetzel County Hospital

(304) 455-8000

New Martinsville Health Care Center

(304) 455-2600

For Medical Assistance:

Weirton Medical Center

(304) 797-6000

Hancock County Health Dept.

(304) 564-3343

Brooke County Health Dept.

(304) 737-3665

For Medical Assistance:

Ohio Valley Medical Center

(304) 234-0123

Wheeling Hospital

(304) 243-3000

Ohio County Health Department

(304) 234-3682

To Report Crime:

City Police (304) 455-9100

County Sheriff

(304) 455-2430

State Police

(304) 455-0913

Campus Dean*

(304) 455-4684 Ext. 8760

Counselor**

(304) 455-4684 Ext. 8769

 

To Report Crime:

City Police (304) 797-8555

Brooke County Sheriff

(304) 527-1430

Hancock County Sheriff

(304) 564-4100

Campus Dean*

(304) 723-2210 Ext. 7500

Counselor**

(304) 723-2210 Ext. 7515

 

To Report Crime:

City Police (304) 234-3661

County Sheriff

(304) 234-3607

State Police

(304) 238-1100

Counselor**

(304) 233-5900 Ext. 8946

Campus Security Liaison

(304) 650-9994 or

(304) 233-8822

For Support Services:

Rape and Domestic Violence

(304) 292-5100

Sexual Assault Help Center

(304) 234-1783

After 4 p.m. and on weekends

(304) 234-9782

 

For Support Services:

Healthways (800) 774-2429

Sexual Assault Center

(304) 234-1783

(After 4 and on weekends

(304) 234-9782)

 

 

For Support Services:

Sexual Assault Help Center

(304) 234-1783

After 4 p.m. and on weekends

(304) 234-9782

Tri-County Help Center

(740) 695-5441 or

(800) 695-1639

 

If you have information regarding, suspect, or have witnessed an assault:

In compliance with state reporting mandates, all employees who become aware of or suspect child abuse, sexual abuse of minors, and/or criminal acts against minors will report that information to a College Administrator, who will report suspected cases of child abuse to Child Protective Services and a law enforcement agency immediately, and within not more than 48 hours. Clery Act reporting of offenses for statistical purposes occurs whether victims are minors or adult.

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How to Help a Friend

When someone has been sexually assaulted, he or she may turn to a friend for support, counsel, or guidance. The victim is sharing this information because he or she needs support, trusts, and feels comfortable confiding in a friend; being able to properly and confidentially support a friend will be very helpful in his or her recovery.

When a person is sexually assaulted, the power to control his or her will and body has been taken from them. Be sure to allow your friend to have control over the conversation and over his or her actions. Offer helpful information and let your friend make the decisions regarding what steps he or she feels are best. Regardless of whether you agree with your friend’s decisions, supporting them will help him/her feel that he/she is regaining some control and power so that they are better able to regain a sense of power, control, and safety. Once he or she feels more in control, your friend will be in a better position to make sound decisions.

 

A sexual assault that occurred in the past few days:

In this situation, there are some urgent and sensitive choices that your friend will need to make. Medical attention given within the first 2 to 5 days could make it possible to collect evidence (the purpose of which can be decided at a later time), prevent the development of some sexually transmitted infections, and, if your friend is a female, prevent pregnancy. Collecting physical evidence must occur within 96 hours (4 days) of the assault. Even if your friend does not want to file charges at the moment, it is important to collect evidence while possible so that decisions can be made at a later time. Emergency contraception taken within the first 120 hours (5 days) of the assault can prevent pregnancy. And treatments to prevent the possible development of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections can be helpful if given within 72 hours. Screening for sedative or date rape drugs can be done within 12 (optimal) to 72 hours after the incident. It is important that you inform your friend of this information, provide options regarding transportation, locations and support, and then let him or her decide what steps to take or not take.

WVNCC students can find a list of agencies and hospitals here. You can call to get information for your friend without giving their name. For more information about what to do immediately after a sexual assault click here.

 

My friend doesn’t feel safe:

Your friend may feel physically or emotionally unsafe. If your friend needs immediate medical attention, is at risk for another attack, is suicidal, or at risk of hurting themselves or others you should call Campus Security at 304.650-9994 or see a Campus Counselor for help. If you are off campus, call 911.

If your friend is not in immediate danger, help them think about what changes, if any, they would like to make that will help them feel safer. They may want to consider a change in their physical surroundings or how they interact with people. There is support available to help your friend think about ways to feel safer and decide if they want a restraining order or seek protective measures at the College. You or your friend can speak, confidentially*, to the Title IX coordinator, Peggy Carmichael, in the Human Resources Office, room 125 in the B&O Building on the Wheeling Campus, 304.214.8901 or pcarmichael@wvncc.edu, or a campus counselor.

 

Should my friend report the sexual assault to the police?

Whether the assault happened recently or a long time ago, your friend may consider reporting the assault to the police and/or West Virginia Northern Community College. Reporting the incident is a personal, difficult decision that can only be made the person who has been assaulted. Avoid pressuring your friend to report the incident. You or your friend can confidentially discuss reporting options, and what it may be like to report, with the Sexual Assault Help Center (304.234.1783) or by calling the Sexual Assault Help Hotline, available 24-hours a day (800.884.7242). If your friend wants to report the crime, they can notify:

For some, reporting the crime can help regain a sense of personal power and control. Click here to learn more about various reporting options.

 

How can I help my friends be aware of danger?

There is no accurate stereotype of someone who could commit sexual assault. Aside from those who have previously been convicted of a sexually violent crime, there is no gender, race, sexual orientation, level of education, or conducts that will always indicate that someone is a rapist or sexual offender. However, there are common tactics and behaviors that could help you to recognize a potentially dangerous relationship.

Common tactics of offenders include:

How does someone react after a sexual assault?

Survivors have complicated reactions to this experience. It’s important to listen to what they have to say without judgment. If you analyze what happened or ask questions about the victim’s behavior, you may unintentionally cause your friend to blame themselves and shut down.  Because the brain stores traumatic memories differently from normal memories, it’s very common for people who have experienced trauma to have gaps in memory and/or be unable to relate the experience in a chronological way. 

Sexual assault is a traumatic event and survivors will have similar reactions as those who have been through other types of trauma. Some research has found that sexual assault and combat exposure are the two types of trauma most likely to cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your friend may feel in shock, trying to forget or act like nothing has happened, or feel numb. While some people experience an overwhelming amount of emotions immediately after an assault, others find that days, months, or even years pass before feelings surface. Emotions that may surface include sadness, guilt, powerlessness, hopelessness, embarrassment, shame, anger, and fear. There may be periods when a person is preoccupied with thoughts and feelings about the assault. They may have unwanted memories, flashbacks or nightmares.

Since most often the perpetrator is known to the victim, many survivors will find it difficult to trust other people thereafter. Remember the following:

If you want to read more about common reactions click here.

 

What if my friend is male?

Gender stereotypes about men and boys may make it particularly difficult for men to seek support. If your male friend has shared with you that he has been sexually assaulted it’s important that you believe him, avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes about men and boys, and understand how he may react to the incident. Many people believe that only women are victims of sexual assault. According to The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services, 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in his lifetime.

Although most perpetrators of sexual assault against men are male, women are offenders as well. A male assaulted by another male may question his sexuality and struggle with internalized homophobia. Research has consistently found that male and female victims experience similar effects: fear, anger, shame, isolation, substance abuse, low self-esteem, depression and issues with sexuality. Men may be more likely to outwardly express their anger and use substances to cope with difficult emotions; but, like all survivors, individual reactions will vary depending on many factors such as personal history and support from family and friends. The stereotype that men and boys are supposed to be tough, in control, and unemotional minimizes the trauma that male survivors experience. 

Tips for Helping a Friend

Validate Feelings and Believe Them
Reassure them that the incident was not their fault and that their feelings are completely normal. Let your friend know that you believe them and that you understand how devastating sexual assault is. Limit the number of questions you ask as this can make a person feel as if you doubt them or that they need to prove what happened. 

Avoid questions that could imply blame such as:

Use open-ended questions such as “How are feeling?” or “What can I do to help?” Give your friend time and space to share with you as they are ready to do so.

 

Listen 
One of the greatest gifts you can give a friend is your ability to listen. Avoid judging, giving advice, and sharing your opinions. Some survivors will want to talk more than others. Let your friend know that you are available to listen when they are ready to talk.  

Do not confront an alleged offender
While it is normal to be angry at the person accused of hurting your friend, confronting this person can result in the offender escalating behavior (retaliation) against the victim.

Protect your friend’s privacy
It is important that you get permission from your friend before you talk to anyone about what they have shared with you. Your friend has confided in you because they trust you. If you talk to another person about the incident, your friend may feel betrayed. At the same time, you may find it difficult to maintain your friend’s privacy because the incident is upsetting to you. You can seek support from one of the resources listed here without identifying the victim. 

Take care of yourself
When someone you care about is hurt, it is normal to feel angry, sad and powerless. As a friend, it is also common to experience many of the same reactions a survivor does. Consider getting support with how you are feeling. Processing your feelings with the person who has been sexually assaulted can be overwhelming to them and may exacerbate their trauma. 

Believe in the possibility of healing

Let your friend know that you believe that they have the strength and the capacity to heal. People are resilient; they will recover from the trauma of sexual assault.

 

REACTIONS TO VICTIMIZATION:

EMOTIONAL

  • Feelings of vulnerability
  • Helplessness, self-blame and criticism
  • Loss of trusting relationships
  • Anxiety/phobias
  • Depression
  • Difficulty with anger and aggression
  • Fear of re-victimization
  • Increased fear or terror (often seemingly irrational)
  • Guilt, shame, grief, anxiety or depression
  • Mood swings
  • Social withdrawal

PHYSICAL

  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Generally feeling badly
  • Inability to concentrate and class
  • work may suffer
  • Stress related illnesses such as nausea, diarrhea, and hives
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lowered immunity
  • Increased alcohol consumption or drug use

COGNITIVE REACTIONS

  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory loss (especially
  • related to the traumatic event)
  • Episodes of flackbacks
  • Decline in academics

 

 

 

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Additional Resources

WV Victims Assistance Program

YWCA Emergency Safe Shelter, Wheeling

WV Domestic Violence Resources

WV Foundation for Rape Information and Services

*In compliance with state reporting mandates, all employees who become aware of or suspect child abuse, sexual abuse of minors, and/or criminal acts against minors will report that information to a College Administrator, who will report suspected cases of child abuse to Child Protective Services and a law enforcement agency immediately, and within not more than 48 hours. Clery Act reporting of offenses for statistical purposes occurs whether victims are minors or adult.

 

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