Assault & Rape

Victim support services at Saint Francis University

  • University Police
    Resources
    On Campus Emergency Ext. 3360
    Off Campus Emergency 911

    Emotional Support
    Victim Services Johnstown (814) 535-2551
    Victim Services Altoona (814) 944-3583
    Victim Services toll free hotline 24 Hours (800) 755-1983
    Family & Children Services 24 Hours (814) 944-3583
    Saint Francis University Counseling Center (M-F, 9-4) Ext.3211

    Medical Services
    Saint Francis University Student Health Center Ext. 3008
    Conemaugh Hospital (814) 533-9000
    Altoona Hospital (814) 946-2011

    Police Information
    University Police Department Ext. 3360
    Loretto Borough Police 472-8995
    Pennsylvania State Police (814) 471-6500
    Victim Services (800) 755-1983
    Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (800)692-7445
    24-Hour Hotline

    Unfortunately, many individuals in our society are the victims of personal violence. You are not alone in the feelings you may be experiencing as a result of being sexually assaulted. Many times, individuals will be in the state of shock or disbelief. They may be angry and resentful, ashamed, or blame themselves for what has occurred. Frequently, especially during the early period following an incident of sexual violence, the victim will feel numb or confused. These reactions are common and can occur whether you've been assaulted by a stranger, acquaintance, friend, or romantic partner. There is help available to you. We want to provide you with support and information that will help clarify the issues confronting you and facilitate your recovery. The following information will assist you in considering your options.

    Legal Definitions

    Rape

    Rape, according to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code Title 18 (PA C.S.) Section § 3121 is:
    (a) Offense define. – A person commits a felony of the first degree when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:
    (1) By forcible compulsion.
    (2) By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution.
    (3) Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring.
    (4) Where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
    (5) Who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.
    (6) Who is less than 13 years of age.
    (b) Additional penalties.-- In addition to the penalty provided for by subsection (a), a person may be sentenced to an additional term not to exceed ten years’ confinement and an additional amount not to exceed $100,000 where the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant and has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, any substance for the purpose of preventing resistance through the inducement of euphoria, memory loss and any other effect of this substance.

    INDECENT ASSAULT

    Indecent Assault, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Code Title 18 (PA C.S.) Section §3126 is:
    (a) Offense defined.–A person who has indecent contact with the complainant or causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person is guilty of indecent assault if:
    (1) the person does so without the complainant’s consent;
    (2) the person does so by forcible compulsion;
    (3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
    (4) the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is occurring;
    (5) the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;
    (6) the complainant suffer from a mental disability which renders him or her incapable of consent;
    (7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or
    (8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.
    (b) Grading.–Indecent assault under subsection (a)(7) is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise, indecent assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
    The Saint Francis University Assault Policy has been developed to ensure that consistent procedures are followed when a report of a sexual assault has been received. This procedure has been adopted to meet the medical, legal, safety and psychological needs of the victim. This procedure applies to any member of the Saint Francis University community.

    Instructions for victims

    (A) Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
    (B) Contact someone you trust, a close friend or a resident assistant, to be with you.
    (C) Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not wash, bathe, use the toilet, or change clothing, if you can avoid it. If you do change clothes put all clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack in a paper, not plastic, bag.
    (D) Get medical attention as soon as possible to ensure your physical well being and to collect important evidence.
    (E) Contact University Police by calling ext. 3360 on any campus phone or the local police by calling 911.
    Medical Treatment:
    (A) It is important to seek immediate and follow-up medical treatment for several reasons: first, to assess and treat any physical injuries you may have sustained; second, to determine the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy, and take preventative measures; and third, to gather evidence which would aid criminal prosecution, should you desire to pursue charges.
    Physical evidence should be collected immediately, ideally within the first 24 hours. It may be collected later than this, but the quality and quantity of evidence will be diminished.
    (B) There is a special medical examination which should be conducted as soon as possible after an assault. This exam is to ensure your physical well-being. Even if you have not been physically injured, this exam is recommended to maintain all your legal options. After the evidence is collected, it will be maintained in the event you wish to pursue criminal charges. This examination will be performed by an emergency department physician or gynecologist. A nurse is present throughout the procedure and a support person of your choice can also be present. This exam can be conducted at any local hospital of your choice. All local hospitals’ emergency departments follow national standards for victim care, rape exams, and evidence collection procedures.
    NOTE: The victim must be advised that the hospital will, as a matter of procedure, notify the police department in the jurisdiction in which the assault occurred and the local rape/sexual assault center if the victim has not already done so. The police and a sexual assault advocate will proceed to the hospital. However, the victim is not required to furnish information to the police or to the advocate.
    (3) Counseling and Emotional Support on Campus. You may talk with a counselor by dialing the Counseling Center at ext. 3211. All discussions will be strictly CONFIDENTIAL. The Counseling Center is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, during the evening and night, counselors are available on an on-call basis.
    (4) Reporting to University Police. You can report an incident immediately by calling ext. 3360. A University Police Officer is available to assist you at any hour. This report may be made anonymously.
    The information which you give will be handled in strictest confidence.
    The University Police Department can:
    Protect you and others from future victimization
    Assist you in contacting the support person of your choice
    Assist in the apprehension of the assailant
    Assist you in seeking justice for the wrong which has been committed
    If you choose to report the incident, a trained Police Officer will take a statement from you regarding what has happened. The officer will ask for a description of your assailant, or ask you to identify the assailant if you are acquainted. You may be asked about where the crime occurred, if anyone else was present, or any other pertinent information about the incident. You may have a support person with you during this interview.
    (5)Criminal Investigation and Charges. If you wish to press charges regarding the incident, you must contact the University Police Department immediately.
    For more information please check out these links...

    How to help a friend

    Often, individuals other than trained counselors are the first to learn of a sexual assault/rape. In the event that someone shares this information with you, the following procedures must be followed. However, the victim may choose not to proceed further at any point.

    • As the initial contact person, if someone shares with you information about a sexual assault, share with them the following information and resources available to them.
    • Make sure the victim is in a safe place and secure environment.
    • Be patient with the victim.
    • Encourage the victim to try to preserve all physical evidence. This includes refraining from bathing/washing, using the toilet, or changing clothing. If the victim has changed clothing, place the clothing worn at the time of the assault in a paper, not plastic, bag. The victim may or may not choose to press charges in the future, but preserving physical evidence will give her/him the option to choose later.
    • Encourage the victim to seek medical treatment. This step is important so that the victim receives proper assessment and treatment of any physical injuries he/she may have sustained. Furthermore, it is important to determine the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy, and take preventative measures. Additionally, this step is necessary to gather evidence in the event the victim chooses to prosecute.
    • Physical evidence should be collected immediately, ideally within the first 24 hours. It may be collected later than this, but the quality and quantity of evidence may be diminished.
    • Encourage the victim to contact, or allow you to contact, University Police by calling 472-3360. NOTE: Reporting an incident is a separate step from choosing to prosecute. When a report is filed, the victim is not obligated to continue with legal proceedings or University disciplinary action. The name of the victim may be reported if the victim consents to be identified or is incapacitated and unable to make a decision on his/her own behalf. In addition, any other information that can be used to infer a victim's identity may be reported if the victim consents to being identified or is incapacitated and unable to make a decision on his/her own behalf. This applies to such information as the victim's address, the victim's place of employment, year in school, etc. The caller must indicate, minimally, that a sexual assault has occurred. Anonymity can be maintained at this point.
    • Encourage the victim to talk with a trained counselor and/or sexual assault advocate who can maintain confidentiality, help explain the victim's options, give information, and provide emotional support.
    • Ask the victim if there is someone he/she would like to contact or would like you to contact for them.
Schedule a Visit