Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About the University's Response

What will happen if I report to the University?

By reporting the incident to the University, there are additional support options available work schedules, including help with academic problems, class schedules, financial aid, housing arrangements, transportation, and assistance in receiving health and counseling resources.  You are NOT required to provide additional information about the incident or participate in a University investigation in order to receive services. Our primary goal is to help you, and we will respect your decision to share, or not share, any aspect of the situation with us. Once the University has information that an incident has occurred, it has the responsibility to evaluate what steps can be taken to prevent its re-occurrence.

If you report information to CARE, we do not have an obligation to report the information to the Title IX Coordinator or to law enforcement. 

If the person who did this is not affiliated with Purdue University, the University’s primary response to the report of an incident will be focused on providing services to the victim/survivor and addressing any potential safety issues on campus.

Is there a way to keep the person who did this away from me?

Yes. You have several options for keeping this person from contacting you.  If the Respondent is another student, the Office of the Dean of Students can send them what is known as a “no-contact directive,” which instructs this person that they can no longer have any form of contact, direct or indirect, with you.  If the Respondent chooses to violate this letter, they may face sanctions through the Office of the Dean of Students.

In addition, you can receive help from the local court system. Even without a formal report to the police, you may be eligible for a protective order from a judge directing this person not to contact you. Obtaining a protective order from the court is free, and CARE staff can help explain the process and accompany you to request the order if you wish.

If I tell the University what happened, will my friends, parents, family, professors, etc., find out?

No. Only a few specially trained individuals will know that you reported to the University, and their goal is to help provide support and services to you or to conduct a confidential investigation. Students 18 years of age and older are protected by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), which means that we cannot disclose information about your report to your family or friends without your written consent. If you request an academic change, your professors will only be told the minimum amount of information necessary to facilitate the change, and this will not include any details about your report. 

What if I live in the same residence hall or apartment or have classes with the person who hurt me?

You have the right to feel safe in your living and classroom environment. If you live on-campus in the same residence hall as the Respondent who hurt you, we can help. We may be able to move the Respondent out of your housing community, or, if you choose, we can also move you to another housing community. If you live off-campus, there are options for you too. We may be able to provide you with temporary on-campus emergency housing or try to work with your off-campus landlord to take steps to help you feel safe. 

If you share classes or other University activities with the Respondent, we may be able to move that person or, if you choose, change your class schedule. These accommodations are provided with the highest level of privacy possible. You may CARE to have a confidential conversation about these options. 

Can I get help from the University without having to tell them who hurt me?

Yes. You are not required to provide additional information about the incident, including the name of the Respondent, or participate in a University investigation in order to receive services. We encourage you to share as much information as you are able and willing as it will better help us protect the entire campus community; however, we are here to help you, and we will respect your decision to share, or not share, any aspect of the situation with the University. 

What if the person who hurt me is not affiliated with the University?

If the person who hurt you is not affiliated with Purdue, our primary response will focus on providing services and support to you. 

If I report to the University, will I be forced to press criminal charges or participate in a University investigation?

No. Purdue recognizes that deciding whether to make a report either to us or to law enforcement can be very difficult decisions. If you are over the age of 18, you have the right to decide whether you want to contact law enforcement to pursue possible criminal charges, and the University will not force you to do so. If you do elect to contact law enforcement, CARE staff are available to support and accompany you during any legal process. 

The safety and well-being of our campus community members is always Purdue's highest priority in handling these matters, and Purdue may be required to take some action to protect you and other campus community members from harm. You, however, have the right not to participate in any University investigation or provide additional information if you choose. You may also request that your identity be withheld from the Respondent if the University does investigate the matter. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis, balancing a request for confidentiality or no action with the need to protect the safety of both you and the wider campus community. You should be aware that if you choose not to share information or participate in a University investigation, it may limit Purdue's ability to conduct a meaningful investigation; however, you will never be forced to participate in a University investigation if you do not wish to do so.

We encourage all students to meet with a staff member in CARE to have a confidential discussion about these options so that you can make an informed decision about reporting. 

Are there confidential places on campus where I can get help?

Yes. CARE has specially trained, confidential victim advocates available to assist. You may contact us by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for assistance at (765) 495-2273 (CARE). 

PUSH and CAPS are also confidential resources on campus where you can receive help and support without the University being informed of the incident. Lastly, the MHA Crisis Center and the Lafayette YWCA provide confidential advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence, and they do not have an obligation to report incidents to the University. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Help From Law Enforcement

What will happen if I report to the police?

A trained law enforcement officer will meet with you and take a report. You may be asked to provide a written statement. Based upon your wishes, the police may start an investigation, which could include talking with witnesses and the Respondent. Even if you aren't sure whether you want the police to investigate the matter, filing a report now can help document the situation if you decide to move forward at a later time. Advocates from CARE are available to support and accompany you to all law enforcement meetings and to help you understand the criminal justice process. 

Reporting to the police may ultimately result in the arrest and prosecution of the person who hurt you. The local Prosecutor's Office is responsible for deciding whether to file formal charges and pursue a criminal prosecution. If the prosecutor chooses not to file criminal charges, it does not mean that the incident did not occur or that it was not wrong or illegal. Criminal cases must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is a high burden of proof and may prevent successful prosecution of some criminal cases. In general, the local prosecutor will not pursue charges without the victim's cooperation although the decision wheter or not to pursue criminal charges rests with the prosecution.  

Can someone come with me to the police station if I decide to report?

Yes. Trained advocates from CARE or the MHA Crisis Center are available to accompany you in-person to any meetings or interviews with law enforcement, including with meetings with off-campus police departments (i.e., WLPD, LPD, or the Sheriff's Department). 

Which police department should I contact?

Any incidents that occur on campus or in a fraternity, sorority or cooperative house should be reported to the Purdue University Police Department. Off-campus incidents should be reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the place that the incident occurred. It can be confusing to understand which local agency has jurisdiction, so students are encouraged and welcome to contact the Purdue University Police Department or CARE for assistance in determining whether off-campus incidents should be reported to the West Lafayette Police Department, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department, or the Lafayette Police Department

Is there a way to keep the person who did this away from me?

Yes. Even without a formal report to the police, you may request a protective order through the local courts that can provide a higher level of protection than the University's no-contact directive. Obtaining these orders is free, and trained advocates from CARE can help explain the process and accompany you to request the order. 

If I report to the police, will the University find out?

Probably. If you report the incident to the Purdue University Police Department, the University will be informed of the incident, and the Title IX Coordinator and/or an advocate from CARE will reach out to you to provide resources and discuss University-based options. If you report the incident to the West Lafayette Police Department, the Lafayette Police Department, or the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department, the University will likely learn about the incident due to the relationship between campus law enforcement and these local law enforcement agencies. If you report the incident to a law enforcement agency outside of the Greater Lafayette area, it is unlikely that the University would learn of the incident unless you choose to report it to us. 

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