There are many options for reporting an incident to authorities. You have the right to choose when, how, to whom, or even if you report. Many victims/survivors choose not to formally report what happened to them and we respect your decision. We do hope you do follow up with Student Health Services or Valley Crisis Center for confidential and free services. You have the right to file a formal report at any time.
Not sure where to start?
Speak with a confidential counselor or advocate to help you explore your options.
Download reporting guide (PDF)
Report to Campus Authorities
Merced College policy prohibits sexual misconduct. If you would like to disclose a possible policy violation to campus authorities, you may contact the Title IX Office. The Title IX Coordinator will first ensure your safety and offer supportive measures. If you wish to proceed with a formal complaint, it may be investigated by a trained Title IX investigator. The Title IX Coordinator will not involve the police without your consent unless there is an immediate risk to the campus community. Report to campus authorities.
Merced College Title IX Coordinator (209) 384-6102
You may also chose to disclose a potential policy violation to the Vice President of Student Services.
Vice President of Student Services (209) 384-6186
Report to Merced College Police Department
You may wish to report an instance of sexual violence to the campus police. Please note that reporting does not commit you to filing charges. Campus police will meet you at the location of your choosing. You are entitled to bring a friend or advocate with you. Please call campus police at (209) 386-6600. More information about reporting a crime to campus police can be found at the Merced College Campus Police webpage.
Seek Medical Care / Report to a Hospital
After a sexual assault, you may wish to seek medical attention to treat any possible injuries and to check for injuries you may not be able to see.
How do I find medical care?
Once you’re in a safe place, you can call Valley Crisis Center, a 24/7 Merced County-based victim services provider. VCC will send an advocate to help you through the process of receiving medical care.
You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a local sexual assault service provider. They will direct you to the appropriate local health facility that can care for survivors of sexual assault.
If you need immediate medical assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room, Please note that medical staff are mandated reporters and must report sexual or domestic violence to law enforcement. You do not have to disclose the incident to law enforcement if you do not want to, but you do have the right to request an advocate from Valley Crisis Center to talk with you and advocate on your behalf.
If you would like a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE), you have the right to have an advocate and a support person of your choosing to accompany you to the exam. Advocates can also assist with providing transportation to this exam. The SAFE exam is a forensic exam that collects evidence for a criminal investigation. During this exam, you may ask about medical care for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, or physical injury. To schedule the exam, law enforcement must be notified, as they are the ones who will pay for the exam. If you want an exam, but do not want to make a report, you can complete a Jane Doe SAFE exam. Law Enforcement will still need to be contacted, but they will take an anonymous report and store the kit until the survivor decides to press charges.
Forensic Exam: To obtain a free forensic exam also known as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam, contact the campus advocate, Valley Crisis Center, or law enforcement. A forensic exam is initiated by law enforcement. The forensic exam collects evidence for a criminal investigation. An advocate can assist with this process and provide transportation and accompaniment to the exam. The exam is time sensitive.
Jane Doe SART kit: This kit is collected like a regular SART exam and is also free. The kit is ordered by Law Enforcement but the survivor does not have to release personal information or participate in the investigation process if they want to remain anonymous or are not ready to report. Law enforcement will provide them with a case number and store the kit until the survivors decide to press charges. For more information, contact the campus advocate.
What Happens During a SART Exam?
- Remember, you have the right to refuse any part of the exam at any time.
- If you request an advocate, the advocate will meet you at the facility. The advocate can explain the process of the exam as well as your rights and choices. It is your choice whether the advocate stays with you in the exam room, waits in the waiting area, or leaves.
- The medical examiner will explain the exam and you will be asked to provide informed consent.
- You will be asked to describe the events of the assault, possibly in the form of your own narrative or an interview. These answers will then direct the course of the medical exam.
- The exam begins with a general health check: blood pressure, heart rate, looking at your eyes, ears, nose, etc.
- Physical evidence is collected from head to toe, in the form of hair and oral swabs, to identify both your DNA and that of the person who assaulted you. A lamp is used to look for evidence of semen or saliva.
- A pelvic exam may be done. Initially, the medical examiner will look at external genitalia and may do an internal exam (vaginal or anal, depending on the assault). You have the right to stop the exam at any moment if it becomes too physically or emotionally painful.
- Photographs may be taken of physical evidence (e.g. bruises, lacerations, tears), but these photographs are focused on such a small part of your body and attached to only your SART kit case number so that your identity will not be able to be inferred from any photographic evidence.
- Once all the evidence is collected, it becomes part of a SART kit that is signed over to the police. When the police finish their investigation, the evidence is turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.
- The District Attorney’s office will decide the case. If the case moves forward and enters criminal court, you may be called to speak in court as a witness.
Locations of SART Exams:
Family Healing Center
7025 N Chestnut Ave Ste. 102,
Fresno, CA 93720
Memorial Hospital Los Banos
520 West I Street
Los Banos, CA, 93635