As a survivor of sexual misconduct, it is important to know that you do have rights. These rights were established under certain laws and may be grouped under different categories. Also, victims’ rights may vary from state to state. Knowing these rights can help you to make informed decisions. Read on to learn more about these rights.
Rights for Survivors of Sexual Assault on Campus
The Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights states that:
- Both the accuser and the accused must have the same opportunity to have others present during investigation processes. CAP can accompany you to any proceedings and provide you with support and advocacy, contact us at 503-494-3256.
- Both parties must be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
- Survivors shall be informed of counseling services. These services for students at OHSU are provided through the Joseph B. Trainer Health & Wellness Center (JBT). Employees can access counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program.
- Survivors shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement. You can report to OHSU’s Public Safety Department by calling 503-494-4444 (for emergencies) or 503-494-7744 (for non-emergencies).
- Survivors shall be informed of options for changing academic and living situations. There are many resources and support services that CAP can help provide to you if you have safety concerns or are struggling academically. Call us at 503-494-3256 for more information.
The Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) make provisions for employees who are directly affected by or have a minor child or dependent who is directly affected by domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking. You are entitled to paid leave under the following circumstances:
- To get medical treatment or recover from injury caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment or stalking.
- To get legal help or assistance from law enforcement for your own safety or that of your minor child or dependent.
- To get or to help your minor child or dependent to get counseling from a licensed mental health professional for experiences with domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment or stalking.
- To get services from a victim services provider for yourself or for your minor child or dependent. Feel free to contact CAP for these services 503-494-3256.
- To relocate or to make your current residence more secure for your own safety or that of your minor child or dependent.
You should give your employer advance notice and contact the Standard to notify them of your intention to take leave, except in cases where advance notice is not possible.
The Standard may ask you to provide certification of you or your minor child’s/dependent’s status as a victim/survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment or stalking, and that the leave you are taking is for one of the purposes mentioned above. Types of certification that you can provide are police reports, protective orders or any official documentation from a professional related to your case, including your CAP advocate.
All records and information kept by your employer regarding your case are confidential and will not be released without your consent, unless required by law.
For more information on workers’ rights, click here.
In The Justice System
Most states follow the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA). If your case goes to court, here are some important rights to be aware of:
- The right to be treated fairly, and with respect for your dignity and privacy.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused. This does not sanction police protection. Instead, it refers to having separate waiting areas or separate times to appear in court.
- The right to meet with the attorney for the government (the prosecutor) about your case.
- The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding involving the crime, or of any release or escape of the accused.
- The right to be informed of the status of the defendant in the criminal justice system, including conviction and sentencing; the criminal history of the defendant; imprisonment of the defendant; and the defendant’s future release from physical custody. *
- The right not to be excluded from any public court or parole proceeding, unless the court determines that hearing other witness testimony might alter your perception of what happened. In this case, you could be sequestered until after you give your testimony.
- The right (if you are 15 years or older) to be accompanied by a personal representative to phases of the investigation and prosecution of the crime, except for grand jury proceedings and certain child abuse assessments. *
- The right to have phone numbers and addresses withheld from the defendant unless good cause is otherwise shown. As a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, you can have a substitute address designated if disclosing your real address could cause harm to you or your child(ren). *
- The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving the plea, sentencing, release or parole of the defendant. You can speak in court prior to the judge’s ruling or you can prepare a victim impact statement.
- The right to have a copy of any transcript, audio tape or video tape of any court proceeding in open court. *
- The right to compensation for qualifying assessments. Victims of sexual assault can have the cost of sexual assault examinations compensated. *
- The right to have any defendants, in cases where there was transmission of bodily fluids, tested for HIV. If the test is positive, the victim has the right to be provided with counseling and referral to appropriate healthcare, testing, and support services. *
- The right to a trial that is reasonably free from delays.
- The right to full and timely restitution under the law.
*Rights under Oregon state law.