Reporting a Sexual Assault

Every survivor of sexual assault responds differently and experiences different needs. While Western Michigan University encourages reporting of all acts of violence, it is important to note that only with accurate and thorough reporting will WMU and the Kalamazoo community attain a complete understanding of the prevalence of sexual assault and how to adequately prevent it.  

You should also know: You can report without pressing charges —often, there is a fear of the repercussions of reporting, especially if the perpetrator is a friend, co-worker or partner. You can choose to report a sexual assault to Western Michigan University without taking legal action.

You can make an internal complaint/report to the Office of Institutional Equity. You may contact the Department of Public Safety for assistance in filing a criminal complaint and preserving physical evidence. 

The Office of Institutional Equity has a separate investigation process. For more information go to their website for the Sexual Misconduct Policy or visit FIRE Place Resource and Support Center at 3130 Sindecuse Health Center.

Benefits of reporting include:

  • Seeking justice, through the student or employee conduct systems or the criminal justice system.
  • Seeking protection, including physical safety, emotional security, and/or academic and workplace accommodations.
  • Knowing when, where, and under what circumstances sexual assaults take place will enhance the effectiveness of the University’s prevention, education and response efforts.
  • In order for the University to help protect its community, notification is critical. If you report the assault to the University, you are part of the solution to eradicate sexual violence on our campus without requiring further action on your part.

Despite these benefits, remember: the most important part of the healing process is doing what is right for you. Even if you choose not to make an official report, you are strongly urged to seek the appropriate help.

  • To ensure your safety
  • To begin your healing process
  • To obtain any necessary academic or work related accommodations

WMU Department of Public Safety
Sexual Assault Assistance

Sexual assault, including date and acquaintance rape, is a crime of very serious concern to the WMU Department of Public Safety. If you report that you are the victim of a sexual assault that occurs on campus, the Department of Public Safety provides assistance which may include:

  1. DPS will meet with you privately to receive the information on the alleged assault.
  2. You will not be pre-judged, nor be blamed for what occurred.
  3. Your complaint will be handled with sensitivity, understanding and professionalism.
  4. If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  5. DPS will provide resource support to obtain medical evaluation and treatment as needed.
  6. DPS will assist you with contacting a counselor and make available other resources to help you through this process.
  7. Your complaint will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate steps taken. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the accused. To the extent allowed by law and requirements of the prosecutor’s office, you will be kept informed on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
  8. DPS will continue to be available to you, to answer your questions, explain the systems and processes involved (prosecutor, courts, etc.) and to be a listening ear if you wish.
  9. Your complaint will be taken seriously, regardless of your or the alleged assailant’s gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation.

To report a sexual assault, you have several options:

WMU Department of Public Safety (269) 387-5555
511 Monroe Street, near University Roadhouse restaurant
DPS officials are trained to manage reports of sexual assaults. WMU Police will be the investigating agency for any assault that are reported to occur on WMU property. Reports may be filed at the station. A report may be filed without pursuing criminal charges. 

Office of Institutional Equity
The Office of Institutional Equity promotes an environment of equal opportunity, equity, access, and excellence for all members of the University community, and provides compliance oversight regarding applicable laws, regulations, and policies to ensure a welcome, safe, civil, and inclusive environment. A report about sexual assault and other incidents can be filed on the OIE website.

A note to survivors

It is not your fault. It is the perpetrator's fault for committing the act. You are not alone. Whether or not you decide to report, please remember that your first and most important priority is your own well-being and safety. You and only you can know what is the right thing to do following a sexual assault. 

FIRE! Sexual Assault Peer Education, 2017.

Western Michigan University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, 2015.

Western Michigan University Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence, Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking Policy, 2015.