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Understanding DPS Response to Sexual Assault

Filing a report of sexual assault with the Brown Department of Public Safety does not require you to pursue criminal charges against your offender.  We believe in empowering a victim of a crime to make their own decisions, considering ALL of their options.  Your safety is paramount to us.  DPS can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options. DPS staff can also advise you on safety planning techniques.   Reporting to a Campus Life office (Psychological Services, Office of Student Life or Health Services) does not constitute a subsequent notification to the Department of Public Safety.

"All reports of sexual assault will be handled with the greatest of care."  Mark Porter, DPS Chief of Police.

RI General Law: Legal definitions of Sexual Assault

Getting Help at Brown
Day One

See below for the following information:

Victim Rights information
Steps Involved with Reporting to Brown DPS
About Evidence Gathering
About Protective Orders
Public Safety Resources


Steps involved with reporting to DPS:

  • As a response to your report, a Campus Police Officer will be dispatched to your location to gather preliminary information and to render assistance.  The Dean on-call and the on-call Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor will be notified.  The SACC will be available to provide support and accompany you to the hospital to receive medical attention if you choose.  Your physical health is paramount and you should consider seeking medical care.  DPS will offer a transport to Health Services or the local hospital in an unmarked vehicle. 
  • DPS places much emphasis on minimizing the number of officers present during this preliminary interview process.  The officer will ask you to provide details about what occurred, as well as information about your offender to the best of your ability, at a pace that you are comfortable with.  An advocate can be available to accompany you during this process.
  • A DPS Detective will be available to assist you with any follow-up conducted by the Providence Police Department to interview you to obtain the details of the incident.
  • Your identity will be maintained in confidence. Although community advisories about the incident may be circulated in cases that present only a serious public safety risk, every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and to respect the legitimate privacy concerns of all involved individuals.

  • The DPS Investigations Unit, which includes detectives, will be assigned to the case. All members of the Unit have been trained extensively in the investigation of sexual offenses and the impact of the crime on the victim. They will approach each case in a sensitive manner and will be responsible for conducting any in depth interviews with you. 

All reports of Sexual Assault are handled with a great level of sensitivity and you may opt out of the process at any point.

Victim Rights Information

RI Victim Bill of Rights
Know Your Rights:  Title IX Prohibits Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Where You Go to School
The Federal Campus Assault Victims' Bill of Rights
 
 Evidence Gathering

When reporting to DPS, you are not expected to make any critical decisions on the spot.  However, the gathering and preserving of any available evidence is critical should you ever decide to pursue your case criminally. In the state of RI, there is no statute of limitations for filing criminal charges in 1st degree Sexual Assault cases.  You have the option to have critical evidence gathered and preserved by undergoing a medical examination kit at the local hospital up to 96 hours after an assault.  You are advised not to change clothes, shower, bathe, eat, or drink before this examination.  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are available at most local hospitals, to include the Woman and Infants Hospital ER to administer this examination. 
There is no cost associated with this exam and having it administered DOES NOT require or obligate you to pursue any course of action.   Please ask your advocate about this option.

Your Safety

As a result of your experience, you may be feeling anxious and/or fearful.  You may also have concerns about stalking or intimidation. If you have personal safety concerns, a DPS Law Enforcement Advocate is available to create a personal safety plan with you.  This plan, created with your input, will outline options available to you that specifically address your residential and personal safety concerns, list all applicable support offices available to you at Brown and across RI, and all of your reporting options moving forward.

PUBLIC SAFETY RESOURCES

DPS Detectives Unit   863-3412 or 863-9956
DPS Detectives are responsible for meeting with and interviewing victim/witnesses.  Detectives also offer case follow-up and assistance with pursuing criminal charges. If a case requires communication with another police agency, Brown Detectives will coordinate with external police departments to assist a victim.  Our detectives received specialized training in the areas of sexual assault and trauma and domestic violence. 

DPS Law Enforcement Advocate  863-2542
A law enforcement advocate is available to provide victim advocacy and support to persons who report they have been a victim of a crime. Services available include individual and workplace safety planning, review of victim rights, assistance with obtaining restraining orders, and referrals to external victim service providers as warranted. 

About Protective Orders
There are two types of protective orders.  A No Contact Order is related to a criminal charge and is issued at the time of an offender’s arraignment.  A No Contact Order is in effect for the entire length of the criminal case, including through the length of the sentence.  It can be dropped only at the
request of the victim with the approval of a judge.
Restraining orders (civil) can be sought whether or not there is a criminal case. Restraining orders can be issued when there has been physical or sexual abuse, threats of violence, harassment or stalking that leads someone to fear for their physical safety.
For students at Brown, No Communication Orders are often initiated through the Office of Student Life.  These orders are not to be confused with state issued protective orders. 
For more information about protective orders, please contact the DPS Special Victims Unit at 863-2542 or the RI Restraining Order Office at (401)458-3372.

Day One, Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) 421-4100, ext. 141
SART is a legal advocacy program intended to offer victims of sexual assault, age 14 years and older, with information and emotional support through their experience with the criminal justice system if they choose to file criminal complaint.  All SART services are provided free of charge. If you would like to access these services, please contact the SART Case Manager.

For more information please contact DPS at 863-2542.