Sexual Assault Services
What services are available to students after a sexual assault on campus?
The VU Counseling Center services are available free of charge to a victim who is a VU student. If desired, staff can accompany the student to or meet the student at the ER for services there. Students may also access Counseling Center services at a later time, and receive assistance such as ongoing counseling, problem-solving, explanation of the criminal and campus judicial process, and referral to other appropriate agencies. Functioning under the auspices of state and federal mental health law, and within the guidelines of the Campus Security Act (aka the Clery Act), counselors are not mandated reporters of sexual assaults and are able to maintain a victim’s confidentiality if desired.
Hope’s Voice is a program under the umbrella of Children and Family Services, a community based organization. It is a local volunteer-based victim assistance program. They provide assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including crisis counseling, safety planning, advocacy, and information. They can help with information and referrals for medical and mental health services. They can accompany a person to the emergency room, help them in filing a police report and also assist in filing protective orders if needed. Hope’s Voice staff and volunteers will provide confidential services for victims at the level needed by each individual. Services can range from a supportive phone call, to one-on-one counseling, to sitting with a victim during a court hearing. In addition Hope’s Voice acts as the Victim’s Assistance Representative for the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office for sexual assault victims that are referred by law enforcement for prosecution evaluation.
Good Samaritan Hospital has three Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners who are employed in the Emergency Room to provide needed health services to victims of sexual assault.
Is there a 24-hour crisis hotline available in case of sexual assault? What is the telephone number?
Hope’s Voice (812-899-4673) provides a 24 hour hotline for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.
The Vincennes University Police Department (812-888-5555) has 24 hour access to VU Counseling Center staff for support and consultation.
The Samaritan Center, the local mental health center, also has a 24 hour hotline (812-886-6800) available to those in acute distress, and can connect victims with appropriate agencies should they be contacted by a sexual assault victim.
Does your campus have an advocate on staff or another employee who fills that role?
Vincennes University does not have a dedicated Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator. The VU Counseling Center staff members are available to assist victims of sexual assault if needed or requested.
Are Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) services available to students assaulted on campus? Are they provided on campus or through another community provider?
Vincennes University does not have a dedicated Sexual Assault Resource Team. SART Services are offered through Hope’s Voice and the local community.
Current SART Team members include:
- Dirk Carnahan, Knox County Prosecutor
- Bob Dunham, Asst. Chief, Vincennes University Police Department
- Doug Lowe, Detective, Vincennes City Police Department
- Steve Chesser, Detective, Vincennes City Police Department
- Mike Fisher, Detective, Knox County Sherriff Department
- Jim Dotson, Director of Community Based Services
- Melissa Haaff, Director, Department of Child Services, Knox County
- Brandy Davis, SANE, Good Samaritan Hospital
- Kara Moyer, SANE, Good Samaritan Hospital
- Vickie Potts, Director of ER Nursing, Good Samaritan Hospital
- Jan Dotson, Director, Hope’s Voice
- Meslissa Haaf, Director, Hope's Voice
Is there any identified contact person on staff with campus police that handles sexual violence?
Asst. Chief Bob Dunham and other members of the Vincennes University Police Department are trained to respond to sexual violence victims. VUPD officers have 24/7 access to VU Counseling Center staff (Dr. Lisa Bishop, Jennifer Andrews or Kathy Evans) to assist victims of sexual assault if needed or requested.
Are there other departments or services on campus students can go to after sexual violence?
In some instances, it may be appropriate to refer students to the Health Office for follow-up of physical issues.
Are there partnered organizations within the surrounding community that VU collaborates with or refer to in support of students?
Hope’s Voice and the member of the community SART team as described above.