Frequently Asked Questions


Is there anything I can do to preserve evidence of a sexual assault?

In many cases, yes. The following steps will help to preserve evidence of a rape or other sexual assault:

  • Do not shower or douche.
  • Try not to urinate. Urinating may reduce the ability to detect “date rape” drugs.
  • If there was oral contact, do not smoke, eat, or brush your teeth.
  • Do not change clothes. If you have already changed your clothes, place them in a paper bag, as plastic may destroy evidence. If you haven’t changed, keep the original clothes on and bring an extra set to wear home.
  • A Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) will preserve help preserve forensic evidence of an assault and can be performed by staff at the OCH Regional Medical Center. Inform your medical care provider that you wish to have a PERK performed as soon as possible.

What are my reporting obligations as a Responsible Employee?

Responsible Employees are required to notify the university’s Title IX Coordinator when they learn of (1) sexual misconduct involving any member of the university community, or (2) any other sexual misconduct on campus or involving any MSU program or activity. To that end, Responsible Employees should keep the following in mind:

  • Reporting should be prompt. A Responsible Employee should report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as is practical under the circumstances.
  • Reporting is not discretionary. The obligation to report sexual misconduct is not discretionary. A Responsible Employee may not, for example, decide that a matter is not sufficiently serious to report. That is a decision for the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate university officials to make.
  • Independent responses are prohibited. Under no circumstances may any employee, department, organization, or division of the university attempt to resolve unilaterally a complaint of sexual misconduct that is required to be reported under university policy. The Responsible Employee must always notify the Title IX Coordinator, who will determine the correct response after consultation with appropriate officials.
  • Inform students of your obligations. Many Responsible Employees can reasonably anticipate students reporting sexual misconduct to them. The university encourages these employees to inform students of their reporting obligations in advance. When sexual misconduct is actually reported, the employee should tell the reporting person as early in the conversation as possible that any information provided will have to be relayed to the Title IX Coordinator, and that if the reporting person prefers to keep the information confidential, the university has resources such as the Office of Survivor Support, the Student Counseling Center, and Longest Health Center that can provide confidential assistance.
  • Tell the reporting person what will happen next. A Responsible Employees should tell the person reporting sexual misconduct (1) that they will be informing the Title IX Coordinator of the incident; (2) why they are sharing this information—i.e., their obligation to inform those on campus in a position to respond; and (3) that the university will contact them to provide additional information and support.
  • Do not share the information with others. Once you have informed the Title IX Coordinator, your reporting duties are complete. You may not share the information with anyone else. If your supervisor or someone you report to expects to be notified of such reports, you may inform them that you have relayed a complaint to the Title IX Coordinator, and that they may contact the coordinator directly with questions or concerns.

What should I do if I have experienced sexual assault or other sexual misconduct?

First, you need to ensure your physical safety. Go to a safe place. If you are in danger or need emergency assistance, call 911. If you are not in danger, you can call the MSU Safeline at 662-325-3333. The Safe Line is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You will talk to a trained counselor, who will assist you in getting the help you need, including appointing a Sexual Assault Advocate (SAA). This conversation is confidential. You are not required to submit a formal report to the university, although the Safe Line can provide information on how to report if you choose to do so.

What types of assistance can the university provide if I report sexual assault or misconduct?

The university will take steps to assist and protect individuals who report sexual misconduct or seek confidential assistance. The Title IX Coordinator or a designee will discuss potential assistance during an initial meeting with the complaining party. Persons who wish to remain confidential should contact the Office of Survivor Support, which can refer them to a Sexual Assault Advocate, who can help obtain assistance without triggering a formal investigation.

Assistance may include, but is not limited to:

  • Modifying class or work schedules as necessary;
  • Making alternate housing or workplace arrangements;
  • Addressing other academic or workplace concerns (e.g. assignments, leaves of absence, and withdrawal); and
  • Providing additional and/or targeted educational programming and training.

The university may also issue orders prohibiting contact between the complainant, the accused, and/or any other member of the university community. While these accommodations are most commonly provided to complainants, the university may also make accommodations for the accused or any other person, where it deems them necessary for a prompt, fair, and impartial resolution.