24-Hour Confidential Information and Support Hotline
Call anytime to speak with someone who can explain your options and connect you with resources.
Frequently Asked Questions about Law Enforcement's Response
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 the Office of the Dean of Students and 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 Office of the Dean of Students, CARE, or the Lafayette 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 the Student Assistance Center 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 Office of the Dean of Students or 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 an advocate from CARE or the Title IX Coordinator 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 report it to us.