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Sexual Assault Response Procedures

If you have just been sexually assaulted:
  1. Get to a safe place
  2. Contact someone who can help you: a friend, Counseling & Health Services, your RA, or the police. You may report the incident to MSUPD by calling 911 from an on-campus phone or 606-783-2035 from off-campus or your cell phone. Calling 911 from off-campus or a cell phone will connect you with the Morehead City Police. Police can meet you at a confidential location.
  3. Do not shower, drink, eat, smoke, brush your teeth, douche, or change your clothes after the assault. These activities destroy important physical evidence, in the event that you decide to prosecute the assailant. 
  4. Get medical attention immediately either at the Caudill Health Clinic or the St. Claire Regional Medical Center emergency room. Students may feel more comfortable with the professional health care staff at Morehead State University. They have the training and are licensed to perform the exam to assess for physical injuries and to collect the evidence needed in the event you decide to prosecute the assailant. The police can take you to the hospital or meet you there. A rape crisis advocate from Pathways will meet you there also. 
  5. As soon as you have a quiet moment, write down everything that you remember with as much detail as possible. This will help you with your own healing process, as well as help in any legal action you might decide to take.
  6. Remember: the assault was not your fault.


Even if you don't want to report the incident to police, you may have injuries of which you are not aware. You may want to do what you can to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Physical evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after the assault (24 hours after oral or anal penetration). However, some evidence may still be collected after 72 hours.

Remember to take a change of clothes to the clinic or hospital, as they will collect the ones you are wearing as evidence.

To request a sexual assault forensic exam by the MSU Sexual Assault Response Team call 606-776-0076


Statements to Victims of Sexual Assaults

  1. We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding, and professionalism.
  2. If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or a male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request. 
  3. We will meet your privately, at a place of your choice in this area to take a complaint report. 
  4. We will consider your case seriously, regardless of your gender or the gender of the suspect. 
  5. Our officers will not prejudge you and you will not be blamed for what occurred.
  6. We will assist you in arranging for any hospital treatment or other medical needs. 
  7. We will assist you in privately contacting a counselor and/or other available resources. 
  8. We will fully investigate your case and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up-to-date on this progress of the case. 
  9. We will continue to be available for you, answer your questions, explain the systems and process involved, and be a willing listener.


Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

Counseling and Health Services at Morehead State University offers the Sexual Assault Response Team. Dr. Shannon Smith-Stephens, a Family Nurse Practitioner, and licensed Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is working with Chief of Police Merrell Harrison (S.A.R.T. Trained) and Pathways to provide a comfortable, safe environment for victims. Sexual assault examination and counseling services from licenses therapists are available for students, faculty and staff on campus. The services provided by the Health Clinic are free of charge and are available 24 hours a day.

The Sexual Assault Response Team consists of law enforcement, a victims advocate and a health care professional. The health care professional has been licensed as a sexual assault nurse examiner and can perform physical examinations and forensic-medical examination if necessary. Victims have the right to determine whether to report the assault to law enforcement, except when reporting abuse and neglect of a child, souse and other vulnerable adult as set forth in Kentucky law. No victim shall be denied an examination because the victim chooses not to file a police report, cooperate with law enforcement, or otherwise participate in the criminal justice system.  

If the victim decides to prosecute (which is not required), a prosecutor will also be a  
part of SART. All services are confidential. There are also free services available through the rape advocacy office at Pathways at 606-784-4161.

To learn more about the resources for victims of sexual assault in Kentucky, visit To request a sexual assault exam, call 606-776-0076 or for more information contact 606-783-2123.


Counseling and Health Services

Victims of a sexual assault, who are MSU students, are eligible to the services at the Office of Counseling and Health Services, located on the first floor of Allie Young Hall. The Caudill Health Clinic is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters. Hours of operation at other times are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Sexual Assault Policy

Morehead State University will not tolerate sexual offenses in any form. Sexual offenses include indecent exposure, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, sodomy and rape, including acquaintance rape. (Source: Kentucky Penal Code, Chapter 510) Where there is probable cause to believe that University regulations prohibiting sexual offenses have been violated, campus disciplinary action can be pursued. Campus disciplinary action can include suspension or dismissal from the University. A student charged with a sexual offense can be prosecuted under the Kentucky Penal Code and/or disciplined under the Code of Student Conduct. Even if the victim chooses not to prosecute, the University can pursue disciplinary action at the request of the victim. It should be remembered that Morehead State University has an obligation to uphold the laws of the larger community, of which University is a part. While the activities covered by the laws of the larger community and those covered by MSU’s Code of Student Conduct may overlap, it is important to note that the community’s laws and MSU’s Code of Student Conduct operate independently and that they do not substitute one for another. Morehead State University may pursue enforcement of its own rules, whether or not legal proceedings are underway or may use information from third party sources, such as law enforcement agencies and the courts, to determine whether University rules have been broken. At the request of the victim, MSU will make every reasonable effort to change a victim’s academic and living situation after an alleged sex offense. The victim will be notified of these options by University officials in the reporting and counseling process.

When a sexual assault occurs:

If a person has been sexually assaulted, he/she should take one of the following actions immediately:

  • Report an incident occurring on campus to the University Police by calling 911 from on campus or 783-2035 from off campus. Report an incident occurring off campus by calling 911 to contact Morehead City Police, Rowan County Sheriff, or Kentucky State Police as appropriate.
  • Contact a crisis counselor by calling the University Counseling Center at 606-783-2123, or after hours by calling the University Police at 606-783-2035, and requesting to speak with a crisis counselor.
  •  Seek medical attention at the Caudill Health Clinic on campus or at the emergency room of St. Claire Regional Medical Center.

Victims should select the quickest and most appropriate option possible. It is important not to delay. Seeking help immediately is critical.

A crisis counselor will be able to:

  • Provide the immediate psychological support the victim needs
  • Assure that the victim receives proper medical attention
  • Provide support to the victim if the victim chooses to report the crime to the University Police

There are important reasons that the victim should receive immediate medical attention. A victim may be in shock and unaware of the severity of physical injuries. Tests are administered that will alleviate fears about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Evidence will be collected and can be used if the victim chooses to file charges. Contact the MSU Police Department (100 Laughlin Bldg.) at 606-783-2035.

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