Sexual Assault

The university’s code of conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Violations of this principle can result in a range of sanctions, from a warning to expulsion. Note that Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc.

What to do if you are raped:

  • Go to a safe place as soon as you can.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not bathe, shower, douche, use the toilet, brush teeth, or change your clothing.
  • Contact a close friend who can be with you until you feel safe again. Your friend can also accompany you to the medical exam.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible to make sure that you are physically okay and to collect and preserve evidence.
  • Contact the police. Rape is never your fault—it’s a crime. You are encouraged to report it.
  • Seeing a counselor is important to help you understand your feelings and begin the process of resolution and healing.
  • Please know you will feel less alone and more in con­trol as you be­come familiar with the re­sources avail­able to you and as you reach out for help.

Police Services

  • Campus Police & Public Safety: 570-675-9111; 570-406-2058 (cell)
  • Lehman Township Police: 911 or 570-675-1483
  • After midnight, contact Pennsylvania State Police: 911

Medical Assistance

Emotional Support


Student Affairs

Wanda Ochei
Director of Student Services & Engagement
Contact for Victim Resources (Title IX Violations)
office: Murphy Student Services Center, Room 120
phone: (570) 675-9225
email: [email protected]

Medical Information and Services

It is important to seek medical attention immediately after and as a follow-up to sexual assault to determine the presence of physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. A special exam that includes the collection of evidence for potential criminal prosecution can be conducted. The exam is performed by a specially trained health care provider called a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE), who is typically a nurse. It is important for the SAFE to recover and document any evidence of the assault no later than 96 hours following a rape. Having the examination for the collection of evidence does not automatically mean you are agreeing to a criminal investigation. However, should you decide you want to pursue that option later, any evidence collected would then be available to help support the investigation.

General Hospital Emergency Department
575 N. River Street (Cross Valley Exp., Exit 3)
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
phone: (570) 552-1000

Geisinger Wyoming Valley
1000 East Mountain Drive
Wilkes-Barre, PA
phone: (570) 808-7300

Emergency Contraception

If you are a woman and have been raped, there is a risk for a resulting pregnancy. There is a medication called Emergency Contraceptive Pills, or ECP, that may reduce this risk by as much as 75%. It must be administered within 120 hours of the rape to be effective. ECP is available over the counter for women 18 and older. For women students younger than 18, a prescription by a physician is required.

Medical Fees

Penn State pays for the first exam and transportation cost (taxi/ambulance) and one follow-up exam for all Penn State students, at all campus locations. If a student withdraws following a sexual assault, the fees for a follow-up visit/treatment during the same semester will be covered. If additional medical care beyond initial exam and first follow-up exam is required, certain expenses may be covered by the PA Crime Victim Compensation Fund (if the assault was reported to police). For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services—Victims Compensation web page.


There are several options available to victims needing to get to General Hospital. Whenever possible, the student should be accompanied by a friend.

  1. An ambulance can be reached by calling 911.
  2. If available, student may be transported in a University Staff Vehicle, by a staff member of University Police Services. The student must be accompanied by a friend.
  3. Student may take a taxi. Round trip taxi cost will be paid for by the University.
    Local taxi numbers:
    Plymouth Taxi Co. (570) 639-1649
    Posten Transportation Co. (570) 823-3333
  4. The student may arrange own method of transportation to local hospital (e.g., have a friend drive them).

The student will be encouraged and assisted to contact the Victims Resource Center at hotline number 570-823-0765. The Victims Resource Center has trained volunteers who will meet the student at the hospital.

Male Victims

While most victims of sexual assault are women, some victims are men. It is important for men to know that male victims at Penn State are offered the same support services as women, including transportation and payment provisions. Male victims are eligible for the special exam at General Hospital.

Follow-Up Care

After the initial treatment for rape, it is critical that the victim receives follow-up care. The testing done immediately after an assault or within a few days does not necessarily identify all potential problems that could result from a rape. A follow-up exam and testing two weeks after the rape affords the opportunity to find medical problems such as infections that may have gone undetected during the initial exam.

Non-Emergency Medical Procedures

If the rape or sexual assault occurred in the recent or distant past and you did not have the emergency exam within the first 96 hours, it is still important to have a medical exam. This exam will include treatment of any physical problems and various lab tests for sexually transmissible diseases and pregnancy.

If you are feeling anxious about your symptoms and come for treatment after seventy-two hours, you can still be seen at General Hospital Emergency Department. However, at that time, the full rape evidence collection exam cannot be done.

When providing services to a victim, the primary concern is the student’s health and safety. It is important to hold the perpetrator accountable, not the victim. Reprimanding a student for drug and alcohol offenses is not the University’s primary concern; the student’s well-being takes precedence.

Legal Resources

PA Victim Services: Your Rights as a Victim

Sexual Harassment and Assault Reporting and Education (SHARE)

Penn State Hotline (800-560-1637)

Office of Student Conduct

Wanda Ochei
Director of Student Services & Engagement
office: Murphy Student Services Center, Room 120
phone: (570) 675-9225
email: [email protected]

Relationship violence, sexual assault and stalking are prohibited by Penn State’s Code of Conduct. Student perpetrators of these specific behaviors, as well as others which fall into categories of sexual misconduct, harassment or abuse, will be held accountable by staff and/or designees of the Office of Judicial Affairs. The possible sanctions for these categories of behaviors ranges from disciplinary probation through expulsion. If you are a victim of these actions and the perpetrator is a Penn State student, seek assistance from this university resource.

The Office of Student Conduct assists in setting standards for student behavior that help maintain a safe university environment. If the suspect is a student, a victim can file a complaint against the alleged rapist through Student Conduct. Disciplinary action is taken with due process and can include separation of the assailant from the University and removal from University property.

Administrative Directives for No Contact

The Office of Judicial Affairs also has the ability to issue an “Administrative Directive for No Contact.” This university action prohibits a Penn State student from having contact with the person who requests the directive. It will also restrict the recipient from contacting a victim through a third party. At times a victim may feel that the most important thing is that a perpetrator not be allowed any communication with them and an administrative directive may be very effective in restricting contact.

Off-Campus Incidents

Luzerne County District Attorney
200 North River Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
phone: (570) 825-1674

The District Attorney’s Office presents the state’s case against accused rapists and others suspected of committing crimes. The district attorney (DA) evaluates the evidence and decides on the possibility of successful prosecution.

The county’s Victim/Witness Advocates act to ensure that the victim’s rights to information and restitution under the law are met. An advocate may also accompany a victim to court.

Emotional Support Services

If you have been raped, you may be feeling:

  • a variety of strong emotions—fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, disorientation, powerlessness, shame, shock, disbelief, embarrassment, denial, anger;
  • a number of physical problems—sleep disturbances, nausea, stomach problems, change in eating habits, nightmares;
  • confused and alone, wondering if or how you should tell your family and friends;
  • that, even though the rape occurred a while ago, you would now like to talk to someone about what happened.

Whatever your feelings, there are support services available to help you.

Campus Counseling and Psychological Services

The Wilkes-Barre campus has counseling services available to students about a range of personal concerns and is available to provide psychological support to you in crisis situations such as rape. Appointments during the fall or spring semesters can be arranged by contacting the following personal counselors or their staff assistants. Confidentiality is strictly respected.

Meredith Cosgrove
Personal Counselor
office: Murphy Center, Room 105
phone: 570-675-9282
email: [email protected]

Wanda Ochei
Director of Student Services & Engagement
office: Murphy Student Services Center, Room 120
phone: (570) 675-9225
email: [email protected]

Student Success Services students may contact:

Gail Stevens
SSS Coordinator
office: Murphy Student Services Center, Room 106
phone: (570) 675-9297
email: [email protected]

Local Counseling and Emotional Support

Victims Resource Center
71 North Franklin Street, Suite #106
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
(Between W Union and W Market St)
daytime: (570) 823-0766
hotline: (570) 823-0765

Domestic Violence Service Center
P.O. Box 2177
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703-2177
daytime: (570) 823-6799
hotline: (570) 823-7312
toll-free: (800) 424-5600
TTY: (570) 823-5853

Help Line of NEPA
(570) 829-1341 or
toll-free: (888) 829-1341

Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley
31 West Market Street
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701
phone: (570) 823-5144
fax: (570) 829-5054
email: [email protected]

Luzerne Wyoming County Mental Health Center
Community Counseling Services of Northeast Pennsylvania
110 S Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes Barre, PA 18701
(570) 552-6000

Community Counseling Services
99 Bridge Street
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
(570) 836-3118

There are numerous private psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers in the local area. For assistance and referral to private counseling, contact Wanda Ochei at (570) 675-9225.

State and National Hotlines/Internet Resources