Northwest College

What To Do When an Assault Occurs

If you or someone you know is sexually assaulted, you have several options for addressing the assault.

Option One: Seek Medical Attention

Go immediately to the Powell Valley Emergency Room (777 Avenue H) or to Heritage Health Center (128 North Bent Street) in Powell and request a rape kit (a sexual assault evidence gathering exam).

A rape kit gathers possible DNA evidence from your body, clothing, and other personal belongings. In most cases, it is best for DNA evidence to be collected within 72 hours.  

With the option of getting a rape kit, you are not required to report to campus security or the police; you do not have to report the crime to be able to have the exam. The exam results will be safely stored, should you decide to report in the future.

Before having a rape kit done, it is important to avoid showing, bathing, changing your clothing, or combing your hair. Bring an extra set of clothing with you to the medical facility, and bring a person for support. If you do change clothing, put the clothing you had been wearing during the assault in a paper bag to take for evidence during the rape kit exam (RAINN, 2016).

For more information about rape kits and what to expect, visit “What is a Rape Kit” from RAINN.

Option Two: Report to Law Enforcement

You may contact law enforcement by dialing 911 or by contacting the local Police Department (see contact information below). An investigation by law enforcement is separate from an investigation by the College. Contact information for local police departments include:

  • Powell Police Department: 307.754.2212
  • Cody Police Department 307.527.8700
  • Lovell Police Department 307.548.2215
  • Worland Police Department 307. 347.4253

Option Three: Report to the Title IX Coordinator

If an individual wants to make an official report of an act of sexual misconduct to the college, she/he may file a report with the Northwest College’s Title IX Coordinator. The report does not have to be made by the individual subjected to the misconduct.

A report may be made in person, electronically, or by a written letter (paper). You can contact the Title IX Coordinator by these following ways:

  • In Person: See Lourra Barthuly in the Orendorff Building, Room ORB104F
  • By Phone: Call Lourra Barthuly at 307-754-6102
  • By Paper Mail: Lourra Barthuly, Title IX Coordinator, Northwest College, 231 W 6th Street, Powell, WY 82435

Option Four: Report to a College Official

An individual may report sexual misconduct to a faculty or staff member other than the Title IX Coordinator. A faculty or staff member, including RAs, with any knowledge about a known or suspected incident of sexual misconduct must report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.

No employee has the authority to investigate or resolve complaints without the involvement of the Title IX Coordinator.

Option Five: Report to a Limited Confidential or Confidential Support Resource

On-Campus Limited Confidential Report:

An individual may choose to discuss a sexual misconduct situation with a licensed professional counselor in the Student Success Center in order to access help and services.

Any reports made to the Student Success Center, to either a college counselor or the student health services manager, must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator; however, it can be done so on a limited/anonymous basis in reference to personally identifiable information.

Counseling Services and Student Health Services at Northwest College are located in the Student Success Center (307-754-6135) in the basement of Colter Hall.

Off-Campus Confidential Report:

Confidential Support Resources off-campus include licensed professional counselors, attorneys, or healthcare professionals. Local counseling services provided with a sliding scale fee can be found at Yellowstone Behavioral Health Center

Option Six: Receive Help and Resources from The Local Crisis Intervention Services

Crisis Intervention Services in Park County offers the following services:

  • 24-Hour Toll-Free Crisis Line at 1-877-864-9688
  • Support Groups for Adults and Children
  • Peer Counseling
  • Victim’s Rights Advocacy and Compensation Assistance
  • Emergency Safe Housing
  • Family Violence Protection Order Assistance
  • Emotional Support and Advocacy
  • Court Support and Accompaniment
  • Prevention/Education Programs
  • Stalking Protection Order Assistance
  • Safety Planning
  • Self-Sufficiency Training

You can contact the Park County Crisis Intervention Services by the following numbers:

  • Powell Office: 307-754-7959
  • Cody Office: 307-587-3545
  • 24-Hour Crisis Line: 1-877-864-9688

 

College Investigation vs Criminal Investigation

An investigation at NWC can take place simultaneously with a police investigation; they are separate investigations with their own outcomes. The following explains their differences.

Evidence:

  • A college investigation uses the preponderance of evidence standard, which means more likely than not, something happened. The college needs to take action to prevent or remedy a hostile environment.
  • A criminal investigation (not college related) with the police requires a high level of evidence to be able to convict a person.
Time Frame:

  • A college investigation is concluded within sixty days. However, time extensions may be warranted when the College is working with other agencies or when there are delays due to extenuating circumstances, such as witness availability. During the investigation, the college may take interim measures as needed to protect the parties in an educational setting. This could include someone changing halls, changing classes, or changing work schedules. There are no statute of limitations, meaning a person can make a report anytime. For example, if an incident happened five or fifteen years ago, a person can still report it to the college.
  • A criminal investigation (not college related) and possible court procedures may take several months or much longer to complete.
Violations:

  • A college investigation determines if an individual violated Northwest College's Sexual Misconduct Policy. If a person is found in violation of policy, he/she may be warned, removed from resident halls, put on probation, suspended, or expelled, depending on the case. Amnesty may be given for other violations. For example, if a student reporting a rape on campus was drunk on campus when the rape occurred, the investigators will focus on the rape, not the alcohol violation. 
  • A criminal investigation (not college related) determines if an individual violated a criminal law. If a person is tried and found guilty, he/she may be imprisoned or subjected to criminal penalties. 

Reporting Considerations

Northwest College encourages individuals to report alleged sexual misconduct promptly to campus officials and to law enforcement authorities. Individuals may, however, choose not to report sexual misconduct to such campus officials and/or law enforcement authorities.

Northwest College respects and supports the individual’s decision with respect to reporting; nevertheless, if information about sexual misconduct comes to the attention of the College, the college may:

  1. start an investigation even in the absence of a filed complaint or
  2. notify appropriate law enforcement authorities if required or warranted by the nature of the information of which it becomes aware

For further information about sexual misconduct at Northwest College, please refer to the NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy.