Resources for Victims of Crime
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A CRIME
If you are a victim of a crime, you have the right to choose to talk to police when you feel ready to do so, and can choose to decline involvement with the police if you wish. However, SMU PD urges you to notify us as soon as possible if you are a crime victim. When a victim reports an incident as soon as possible, we are better able to collect evidence that may help build a criminal case, even if you decide to wait until a later date to pursue criminal charges.
We are committed to responding to reports in a timely, sensitive, and respectful manner. When a victim makes a report to police, the responding officer will request information about the circumstances of the incident and the alleged perpetrator, to aid the investigation and build a criminal case.
REPORTING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
On campus, SMU Police can be reached at 911 from a campus phone; at 214-768-3333 from a cell phone; or by picking up a blue-light phone on campus at any time of day or night.
Off campus, call 911 to reach police in that jurisdiction or call 214-768-3333 to reach SMU Police, who can connect callers with police in the appropriate jurisdiction.
Students who seek medical assistance for themselves (Medical Amnesty) or another person (Good Samaritan) due to intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs will not normally be subject to the SMU Conduct Review Process, except when it has been determined that another violation of university policy has occurred (e.g. destruction of university property, fire safety violation, physical harm to another person, etc.). Any exemption from the SMU Conduct Review Process which is granted under this policy may only apply to disciplinary action and/or sanctions under the SMU alcohol and drug policies in the SMU Student Code of Conduct, and therefore does not prevent the SMU Police or another police agency from detaining a student, issuing a citation, or making an arrest if they deem that action necessary.
For this policy to apply, the student must meet with their assigned Conduct Officer, complete an application, and once referred, complete all recommendations made by a substance abuse counselor in SMU Counseling Services. (These recommendations will include, at a minimum, an individual appointment and a counselor and a follow-up appointment.)
Preserving evidence in case of Sexual Assault
Victims of sexual assault are urged to obtain medical care and a sexual assault exam that preserves forensic evidence as soon as possible. Time is of the essence because certain types of evidence can dissipate or become unavailable. Obtaining a forensic exam does not require a person to file a police report, but it will help preserve evidence in case he or she decides later to do so.
Before the exam: Do not change clothes, bathe, shower, or douche; do not eat, drink or use toothpaste or mouthwash; do not wash clothing, bed sheets, pillows, or other potential evidence. If victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers still can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases.
Preserving evidence in case of domestic or dating violence
Victims of domestic or dating violence should not bathe or change clothes before documentation of physical evidence. Preserving evidence may be necessary to prove criminal domestic violence or dating violence in obtaining a protection order or pursuing criminal charges. If victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries.
Preserving evidence in case of stalking
Victims of stalking should save evidence such as any letters, notes, e-mails, phone calls, videos, photos, texts, social media postings, computer screenshots, voicemails or any other form of evidence that would be helpful.
Counseling Services has licensed, full-time substance abuse counselors available to SMU students, their families, and the campus community.
Counseling, referrals, and support
• Confidential counseling, with referrals for outside support and treatment when necessary.
• Self-help groups on campus and in the community, including Alcoholics Anonymous and twelve-step programs for a student-age group and a student-only recovery group.
• Support for recovering students, relapse prevention and assistance with re-entry to college after treatment.
Dr. Bob Smith Health Center
P.O. Box 750195
Dallas, Texas 75275-0195
SMU Counseling Services provides students with confidential counseling and assistance from counselors who specialize in sexual harassment issues. An emergency contact number is provided at all hours.
The SMU Chaplain’s Office provides confidential counseling to campus community members; call 214-768-4502.
The SMU Employee Assistance Program provides confidential counseling and referral services for all full-time and part-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff and their dependents; call 1-877-704-5696.
A community resource, the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC), provides confidential counseling, as well as victim advocates and assistance at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas; call 972-641-7273 (available 24/7)
or visit dallasrapecrisis.org/
The following Dallas-area hospitals have certified health care professionals who are authorized to perform medical/legal examinations:
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, 8200 Walnut Hill Lane Main phone, 214-345-6789
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), 214-345-6203
Parkland Hospital, 5201 Harry Hines Blvd. Main phone, 214-590-8000
Victim Intervention Program/Rape Crisis Center, 214-590-0430
Methodist Dallas Medical Center, 1441 N. Beckley Ave. Main phone, 214-947-8181
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), 214-947-8181
Other confidential resources:
• Genesis Women’s Shelter: 214-946-4357 or genesisshelter.org
• National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
• Stalking Resource Center: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) or victimsofcrime.org
TEXAS CRIME VICTIM RESOURCES
Crime victims in Texas are guaranteed certain rights, as outlined in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Office of the Attorney General has more information: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cvs/crime-victim-publications
SMU Police will assist victims in applying for a protective order, which tells a person to stay 500 feet from where the protected person lives or works. It instructs a person not to commit or threaten violence, or stalk the person applying for protection. Applications for protective orders are made at the Dallas County District Attorney’s SMU PD will also provide support in accessing University resources such as no-contact orders, letters to professors requesting leniency, escort and transportation services and classroom and housing accommodations.