UIPD issues Public Safety Advisory

Trigger Warning: This warning addresses a report of sexual misconduct. Resources are available on and off campus to provide assistance. Contact RVAP for 24/7 support at (319) 335-6000; or at https://rvap.uiowa.edu/.

Even though this incident occurred off campus, in the interest of campus safety, we want everyone to be aware that on Saturday, January 20th, a female victim reported that a male offered her a ride to her residence hall when she was leaving a business located downtown Iowa City at approximately 2 a.m. The victim reported the male suspect instead drove the her to another location where he sexually assaulted her before driving her to her residence hall.

The only person responsible for sexual misconduct is the perpetrator. It is a violation of university policy to engage in sexual activities without clear consent from your partner. Someone incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs cannot consent to sexual activity. A student or employee in violation of University of Iowa's sexual misconduct policies (https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/policy) faces sanctions up to and including expulsion or termination.

How to report:

If you believe a crime has been committed, we encourage you to call the police at 911. To contact University of Iowa Police call (319) 335-5022. You also have the option to make a University policy complaint. The Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC) (https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/victim-resources/report-problem) is available to explain and answer questions about reporting options.

How to get help:

We strongly encourage victims to seek medical attention immediately, even if there are no obvious physical injuries. A sexual assault examination is free and conducted by a specially trained nurse. An examination does not obligate someone to an investigation; however, it allows evidence to be collected and preserved in the event someone chooses to authorize a criminal investigation at a later time. Victims may also receive medication for prevention of pregnancy and STI's.

In addition to seeking medical attention, there are other options for self-care after an assault, including contacting a confidential victim advocate (24/7 support at 319-335-6000). A comprehensive list of resources can be found on the OSMRC's website (https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/resources-victimsurvivors/victimsurvivor-options).

What to remember:

Consensual sex occurs when both partners agree to engage in sexual activity. Consent should always be mutual, voluntary, enthusiastic and given without pressure, intimidation, or fear. Learn more about the UI's stance on affirmative consent (https://dos.uiowa.edu/assistance/consent/).

The most common type of sexual assault is not committed by a stranger but by someone known to the victim, typically a date or other acquaintance. If you feel uneasy about a situation, trust your instincts and attempt to interrupt the chain of events. Here are some strategies:

  1. Create a distraction and involve others.
  2. Make a commitment to ensure everyone has a safe way home.
  3. Remember being an active bystander doesn't require you put yourself at risk.

Where to find additional resources:

The UI is committed to combating sexual violence, supporting survivors and holding perpetrators accountable. Read about the UI Anti-Violence Plan (https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/anti-violence-coalition/anti-violence-plan) and the UI Anti-Violence Coalition's work (https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/anti-violence-coalition).

Additional information on how to reduce your risk of sexual assault is available from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) (https://rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention). Research has shown that sexual violence is associated with numerous negative outcomes that affect academic success and persistence, including substance use, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Research also shows that trauma often goes beyond those who directly experience violence to encompass friends, family and colleagues, creating ripples throughout the community.