Sexual Violence and Harrassment

WOU Statistics, 2018


Consent is an essential component of being sexually active with another individual. If you are unsure if your partner is consenting, the best option is to ask if it’s okay and to stop if you think they may feel uncomfortable.

Consent is informed, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions provided there is a mutual understandable permission regarding the conditions of the sexual activity. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationship or consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Ability to give clear consent (not impaired by alcohol, drugs, disability, or injury). Consent can be withdrawn at any point. (Abby’s House).

Simple ways to ask for consent include: “Is this okay?”; Are you comfortable with this?”; “Is it alright if I…?”.

Sexual Assault

Western Oregon University strives to provide a safe environment in which students can pursue their education free from detrimental effects of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. WOU’s goal is to educate students, faculty, and staff about these issues and to provide a means of resource for students who have been the recipients of unwanted sexual behavior.

I have been sexually assaulted, what are my options?

Immediately after the result:

  • Remember that what happened was not your fault. You did not cause the assault, and no matter what happened, you did not deserve it.
  • Get to a safe place.
  • Remember that eating or drinking, showering, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, and changing or altering your clothes could destroy physical evidence that may be helpful if you later decide to pursue legal action.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will help ensure that you are healthy; provide options to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections; and collect valuable evidence that may be useful in the future, even if you are unsure about pursuing legal action now. Physical evidence can only be collected up to 84 hours after an assault, but a survivor in Oregon has six years to decide whether to pursue a criminal case without DNA evidence and 12 years WITH DNA evidence (or six and 12 years respectively after one’s 18th birthday if the assault was unreported and took place prior to the survivor turning 18).
    • The medical exam and follow up visits are free, even if you do not report the assault to the police.

What are my reporting options?

It is the survivor’s choice whether or not to report a sexual assault and how to proceed in the process. At any time during the process, the survivor has the right to speak up and stop the process. A survivor may choose how much or how little to be involved in the process.

  • You can complete an Anonymous Report Form. If your name and the name of the alleged perpetrator are not listed, most likely the report will only be used for statistical purposes. You can access this form at by clicking here.
  • You have the option to report the sexual assault, but not provide information regarding the alleged perpetrator. In this case, a representative of the Dean of Students Office will work with you to make you aware of the various services and resources available to you and assist you to accessing these. You can contact the Dean of Students at (503) 838-8930.
  • You have the option of filing a detailed report with the Office of Student Conduct (503) 838-8930. In many cases, a Student Conduct Hearing will occur involving the charged student. A representative from the Dean of Students Office will assist you in the navigating the conduct process, discuss any accommodations you may need, and make you aware of the various services and resources available to you and assist you in accessing these.
  • You can make a police report to the Monmouth Police Department (503) 838-1109 or the Independence Police Department (503) 838-1214. Even if you do not want to pursue criminal charges at this time, you can always make a police report to have this information on file. Police reports are eventually accessible by Public Records Requests and could be accessed in the future.
  • You can file a civil lawsuit even without filing a criminal lawsuit or having a guilty verdict in a criminal lawsuit. Sable House (503) 623-4033 provides free legal assistance regarding filing criminal and civil lawsuits and can discuss all your legal options.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace