Reporting a Crime
Procedures Following the Occurrance of an Offense
A guiding principle following the occurrence of a crime (inluding, but not limited to, sex offense, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking) is to avoid possible re-victimizing by engaging in a plan of action. It is recommended that the victim consider each of the following:
- Get to a safe place.
- Avoid the destruction of evidence. Showering, bathing, douching, changing clothes, or cleaning up in any way can destroy crucial evidence.
- Preserve evidence in marked paper bags.
- Preserve copies of digital evidence like emails, text messages, chat logs and voice mails.
- Get medical treatment. Be forthcoming about the event so that the medical examiner can give the appropriate and necessary treatment to assess your condition and preserve evidence
- Reporting options
- File a police report. (The university strongly encourages to file a police report in the event of a crime)
- Report the incident or experience to campus authorities—the Title IX coordinators: the Vice President for Student Services and the Student Life Administrator.
- Make an anonymous report to law enforcement. See the section on Alternatives to Immediately Filing a Police Report for complete information.
- Other alternatives to immediately not filing a police report.
- Obtain protective orders if needed.
- Pursue counseling from University Counseling Services or an outside counseling agency
A student or employee who reports to the University that the student or employee has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus, shall be provided with a written explanation of the student’s or employee’s rights and options, as described or referenced herein.
A report to the police can empower the complainant by exercising her/his legal rights and can aid in the protection of others. University staff will encourage the complainant to file a police report and will assist the complainant in notifying the police, if requested. The police should then advise the complainant of the legal process. The police can be contacted by dialing 9-1-1 or by calling 252-335-4321. The Elizabeth Police Department (“ECPD”) is located at 302 East Colonial Avenue, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.
- On-campus investigation is typically conducted by MACU and law enforcement personnel. Responsibilities of the ECPD include:
- Attending to the immediate needs of the victim, including personal safety and prompt medical care
- When appropriate, broadcasting a description of the offender
- Off-campus cases are usually investigated by the Elizabeth City Police Department or another law enforcement agency. When an investigation or legal proceeding occurs off-campus, services are still available through the University.
Immediately filing a police report is encouraged and recommended. Filing a police report is not analogous with filing charges against an accused. Charges may or may not be filled. However, the immediate filing of a police report may improve the collection of evidence and may improve the adjudication process. Pursuing charges is at the discretion of the applicable state judicial or legal authority. Reporting an incident does not obligate a person to press charges, but gives the complainant the option of seeking a judicial no-contact, restraining and protective order.
While the University strongly encourages the filing of a police report as soon as possible, other alternatives do exist, such as:
- Report the crime at a later time/day.
- Make a complaint to a University official or the appropriate Title IX Coordinator, who, if desired by the victim, can assist the victim in notifying law enforcement authorities. Regardless of whether a report is filed with the University, any filed police reports will go through the judiciary and review process at MACU.
- Make an anonymous report to the police (a report that notifies the police that a domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking incident has occurred, but gives no names or identification). Elizabeth City Police Department operates and anonymous CRIMELINE – (252) 335-5555
- Contact the appropriate Title IX Coordinator for more information concerning the administrative process. Students may reference the University judiciary process outlined in this policy or in the Student Handbook. Faculty and staff should consult the Staff Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.
- Opt not to notify authorities.
If the complainant does not choose to file a police report, an official complaint may still be filed with the University. Complaints will be referred to law enforcement agencies if appropriate.