There are currently several ways to report incidents of interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence (including sexual assault), or stalking, to local law enforcement or to the university. Students may pursue criminal charges with the police in addition to, or instead of, pursuing cases through a University process. The University encourages students to contact the police and pursue criminal charges and will assist students with that decision.
Any student who wishes to contact the police about a sexual assault should call 911. The University’s Department of Public Safety officers are specially trained to assist students who experience sexual assault. If the incident occurred off campus, officers will connect the student to the police department or law enforcement agency in the correct jurisdiction. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Ew Quimbaya-Winship) can guide students through the process of pursuing criminal charges as well as support them with their options on campus, including support and reporting options.
Reporting to Police
The University encourages all students to report sexual violence or potentially criminal conduct by calling 911 or contacting the UNC Department of Public Safety as soon as safe to do so after an incident.
Incidents or behaviors occurring on campus can be reported to the University’s Department of Public Safety. Incidents or behaviors occurring off campus can be reported to the corresponding local police department (e.g., the Chapel Hill or Carrboro Police Department).
Making a report to law enforcement or seeking medical treatment provides the opportunity to preserve any evidence and to begin a timely investigative and remedial response. Evidence from an assault or other form of violence should be preserved as soon after an incident as possible. Campus Health Services and UNC Hospitals both have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners available for this purpose.
Even if a student is unsure about whether to make a report on campus or with law enforcement, a student can seek medical assistance to preserve evidence of an assault which might be used later to support a campus report, criminal prosecution or to obtain an order of protection.
We know that many students experience sexual assault, abusive relationships, and stalking each year but that few report these incidents to the Police – the US Department of Justice estimates that about 40% of sexual assaults/rapes are reported to the police. At UNC, our Department of Public Safety’s officers are specially trained to help individuals who experience interpersonal violence. For some survivors, it is challenging to share the specific details of an incident of interpersonal violence, and not everyone feels comfortable reporting the incident to the Police as it requires telling intimate details to a stranger. The Department will do its best to support you and connect you with advocacy services. Sexual assault, stalking, and abuse are crimes! If the incident took place off-campus, the Department will help connect you to the correct jurisdiction, such as Chapel Hill or Carrboro Police Department, in order to report the incident. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Ew Quimbaya-Winship) can guide students through the process of pursuing criminal charges as well as support them with their options on campus, including support and reporting options.
The LGBTQ Center provides ongoing training and consultation to the Department of Public Safety. If you’re concerned about coming forward because of your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (or that of the person who hurt you), you can reach out to the LGBTQ Center or Project Rainbow Net for support. LGBTQ Center staff is available to you to help you navigate the legal reporting process and services if needed.
According to the Federal Law known as the Clery Act, UNC Public Safety police officers must investigate all reports of violence crime – including sexual offenses – to rule out the potential for an imminent, ongoing threat to the campus community. This includes any sexual offense reported to other agencies (Student Affairs, Campus Health Services, etc.) which comes to the attention of UNC Public Safety.
Beyond that, victims of sexual crimes are under no obligation to contribute to an investigation. If the victim does wish officers to pursue an investigation and potential prosecution, an incident report without identifying information about the reporting party will be filed. Neither the victim’s name nor any identifying information will appear in this document. Public Safety officers also will connect the reporting party to Ew Quimbaya-Winship (the Deputy Title IX Coordinator) and will make the reporting party aware of of the numerous campus and community resources available to victims of violent crimes.
You may also be interested in:
Reporting to UNC