Reporting sexual assault
SMU urges anyone who has experienced sexual assault to alert police as soon as possible. Sexual assault is a crime punishable under Texas law by imprisonment. Sexual assault also is a violation of the federal law Title IX and of SMU's Title IX policy.
In the case of sexual assault on campus, SMU Police can be reached at 911 from a campus phone; at 214-768-3333 from a cell phone; or by picking up a blue-light phone on campus at any time of day or night.
In the case of sexual assault off campus, call 911 to reach police in that jurisdiction or call 214-768-3333 to reach SMU Police, who can connect callers with police in the appropriate jurisdiction.
Students also may choose to report a sexual assault to resources including the SMU Title IX Coordinator. See “Confidential and Other Campus Resources” below.
Reporting an incident to police does not automatically lead to criminal charges being filed or criminal prosecution. However, when a student immediately reports an incident, police are better able to collect evidence that may be helpful in building a criminal case, even if the student decides to wait until a later date to file criminal charges. In addition, a student will have input about his or her case after talking with police.
SMU is committed to responding to sexual assault reports in a timely manner. When a case of on-campus sexual assault is reported to SMU Police, police officials conduct an investigation, which may include gathering evidence and witness statements, and obtaining search and arrest warrants.
SMU issues a crime alert by campus email if the University believes that the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing or serious threat to the community or that the alert will aid in the prevention of similar crimes in the future.
SMU Police also notify the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office or other appropriate external law enforcement agency that a sexual assault has been reported and is under investigation.
A student may decide immediately or at a later date to pursue charges and prosecution in a Texas criminal court. A student also may decide not to pursue charges. In addition, a student may decide to pursue an internal grievance process under the Universityís Title IX Harassment Policy.
SMU Police, 214-768-3333, can provide information and assistance with the criminal process. The SMU Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Access and Equity, 214-768-3601, can provide information and assistance with the internal grievance process. Learn more about criminal and internal grievance options.
Those who wish to anonymously report information may call the SMU Police Silent Witness Program at 214-768-2TIP (2847) or submit a report online through the SMU Police Silent Witness Form. Anonymous reports also may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Title IX Coordinator, P.O. Box 750200, Dallas, TX 75275-0200.
SMU prohibits threats or acts of retaliation against students who are involved in any manner of a report of sexual misconduct, investigation, proceeding, or hearing under SMU’s Title IX Harassment Policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including sustained abuse or violence, threats, coercion, intimidation and discrimination. Students who engage in retaliation or harassment by any means – including in person, through others or on social media – will be subject to disciplinary action.
Retaliation is also a criminal offense under Texas law, and students may face criminal charges.
Students who observe retaliation or who are threatened in any way should promptly notify SMU Police, 214-768-3333; the SMU Title IX Coordinator, 214-768-3601; or the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, 214-768-4563.
CONFIDENTIAL AND OTHER CAMPUS RESOURCES
In addition to SMU Police, students may choose to report sexual assault to the confidential resources or other campus officials listed below. These campus resources are available to all students, including students who have been accused of sexual assault, witnesses in sexual assault cases and friends of students involved in these cases.
CONFIDENTIAL CAMPUS RESOURCES
The following resources must honor confidentiality, except under very limited circumstances such as an imminent threat of danger to self or others.
CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNITY RESOURCE
OTHER CAMPUS OFFICIALS
To the extent possible, the following campus officials will protect the privacy of all parties involved in a report of sexual assault, but are required to report sexual assaults to SMUís Title IX Coordinator for follow-up.The following officials are some of the persons at SMU who are required by the federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended, to notify SMU Police that sexual misconduct has been reported, but they are not required to provide the name of the person reporting the misconduct.
For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator, 214-768-3601.
# # #