UMPD Special Victims Unit

SVU Overview

In order to help reduce incidents of interpersonal violence on the University of Michigan campus, the University of Michigan Police Department created a Special Victims Unit.

This unit is dedicated to responding to and investigating sexual assaults, domestic violence, stalking and child abuse. The SVU officers – two detectives, a community outreach officer, and three patrol officers – have expertise in working with survivors of interpersonal violence. The unit's goal is to increase the likelihood that interpersonal violence incidents are reported to law enforcement, enhance the responses to the survivors and hold offenders accountable.

To directly contact the SVU, call
(734) 763-3434

Officers will connect victims and survivors with a variety of community resources, including medical assistance and accommodations for housing, academics, transportation and work. We also will assist the survivors in creating personal safety plans.

Reporting Crimes to law enforcement

University community members, students, faculty, staff and guests are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to police or security in a timely manner. Bystanders or witnesses are encouraged to report when a victim is unable to report.

TO REPORT A CRIME

On campus
University of Michigan Police Department
Dial 911 if it is an emergency or
(734) 763-1131

Off campus
Ann Arbor Police Department
Dial 911 if it is an emergency or
(734) 994-2911

UMPD has police jurisdiction on any U-M property; if the incident occurred off campus the report should go the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.

To report a crime or an emergency, call 9-1-1. The call will be answered by the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security Communications Center (DPSS CC) if on-campus, or for the Ann Arbor Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency off-campus. Calls from on-campus blue-light emergency telephones directly access U-M DPSS. Police dispatchers are available at these respective agencies 24 hours a day to answer your calls.

SVU Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan Police Department Special Victims Unit is to promote the effective investigation and successful prosecution of interpersonal crimes to include; criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, stalking and child abuse cases by providing survivor-centered responses. This approach includes giving survivors options for reporting and connecting survivors with medical treatment and advocacy resources. UMPD SVU is committed to working with survivors to provide for immediate and ongoing safety and well being.

Community Partners

UMPD collaborates with other Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) departments including:

UMPD works closely with other University of Michigan departments including:

UMPD supports the work of advocates and makes referrals to U-M SAPAC and Washtenaw County Domestic Violence Project SafeHouse for all survivors of interpersonal crimes.

Response to Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion. On college campuses, perpetrators of sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence most frequently assault those they know. Alcohol is the most common tool used by perpetrators of sexual violence.

TO REPORT A CRIME

On campus
University of Michigan Police Department
Dial 911 if it is an emergency or
(734) 763-1131

Off campus
Ann Arbor Police Department
Dial 911 if it is an emergency or
(734) 994-2911

Recommended Actions for Survivors Following an Assault

  • Remember you are not to blame for what happened to you, no matter what the circumstances were.
  • Consider reporting the assault to the police department in the jurisdiction where the event took place. U-M Police will assist campus members which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction if needed.
  • Know your options. Call an advocate on SAPAC’s 24 hr. crisis line at (734) 936-3333 for immediate support and/or to discuss medical and reporting options.
  • Request a medical examination at the U-M Hospital Emergency Department or your local hospital emergency room. This exam will be provided to you at no cost.
  • Tell someone you trust. Sexual assaults are an enormous burden to bear alone. Talking to a supportive friend or family member often can be helpful. SAPAC staff also is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with you and provide you with support. SAPAC can help you navigate the academic, legal, medical, and housing resources available to you as a University of Michigan community member.

Recommended Actions for Supporters of Survivors Following an Assault

Assault Victim Resources
Click here for a comprehensive resource guide that is intended to assist University students, faculty and staff who may have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking.
  • Let the survivor know right away if you have any mandated responsibility to report the crime so they can make informed decisions about whether and how much information to share with you.
  • Listen to what the survivor is telling you without interruption. Allow the survivor to lead the conversation and share as little or as much as they choose.
  • Believe that the survivor is telling you what they feel happened. Refrain from asking questions that focus on the survivor’s actions, choices, appearance, prior experience, etc. since the assault was the choice of the perpetrator and not the survivor.
  • Support the survivor in whatever way is requested, to the degree you are able. Respect the decisions that the survivor makes, even if you don’t agree with them. Do not take it personally if the survivor does not want your help.
  • Refer and connect the survivor to trained professionals for comprehensive crisis intervention, advocacy, and support. At the U-M, SAPAC advocates are the campus experts on responding to survivors of sexual assault.

Stalking

Stalking is a crime. Stalking is defined as any unwanted contact between a stalker and their target which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear. Some stalking behaviors include: following a person; repeated and unwanted phone calls; making repeated and unwanted contact by e-mail or on social media sites like Facebook; or leaving gifts for their targets. Stalking is not flattery – it is a stalker’s attempt to control and exert power over their victims.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Education

The University of Michigan provides comprehensive prevention and awareness education to all incoming students, staff and faculty on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. These primary prevention programs include bystander education information, information on consent, applicable state and local laws and campus policies, and risk reduction strategies for individuals and communities.

Prior to arrival on campus, students complete Community Matters, an online educational requirement for all incoming undergraduate students that addresses alcohol and sexual assault issues, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. For more information on this program, visit http://studentlife.umich.edu/communitymatters/course.html

First-year undergraduate students also receive a peer-delivered, interactive primary sexual violence prevention workshop in the first semester on campus. This workshop is designed to promote healthy relationships and building students’ skills in communicating about interests, needs, and desires in sexual or intimate relationships. Additionally incoming first year students receive a bystander education program in their first semester that reinforces bystander intervention skills introduced in their online educational course.

Incoming faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students complete an online educational course that includes:

  • primary prevention information addressing sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking
  • bystander intervention education
  • sexual harassment information, including workplace harassment
  • definition of consent for University of Michigan and relevant information on consent in the state of Michigan
  • State law pertaining to dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
  • information on risk reduction
  • information on resources available on campus to address these issues
  • information on campus expectations and values

Ongoing Education and Awareness Programs

Throughout the year, SAPAC's professional staff provide professional training and educational programming to faculty, professional staff, and student staff on a variety of issues related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. SAPAC's student volunteer groups and SAPAC professional staff deliver a wide range of educational programming and skills-training workshops for the entire campus community. Programming available include: bystander intervention training, sexual assault response training, men's only programming, workshops for athletic teams, workshops for Greek organizations, ally training, and many others. For more information or to request a workshop, please visit http://sapac.umich.edu

University of Michigan Wolverine Wellness program, Sexperteam, offers programs, training and primary prevention workshops to University of Michigan students on healthy sexuality and healthy relationships.

The Office for Institutional Equity provides ongoing training and education to University of Michigan faculty, professional staff and student staff on issues related to sexual misconduct and stalking, and staff reporting responsibilities.

The Abuse Hurts Initiative provides training on dating violence, domestic violence and stalking to faculty and staff members at University of Michigan. The program also distributes campuswide promotional materials such as posters, bus signs, and wallet cards that provide information on institutional resources for support and assistance. The Abuse Hurts Initiative also supports speakers and educational programming to inform the campus community on issues related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking. For more information, please visit http://hr.umich.edu/stopabuse/


Interpersonal Violence Crimes

Special Victims Unit (SVU) assigned detectives and patrol officers enhance the department's response to interpersonal violence crimes which include: sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and child abuse. In addition, all U-M Police Officers are trained to investigate and respond to all types of crimes including interpersonal violence crimes.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Assault Victim Resources
Click here for a comprehensive resource guide that is intended to assist University students, faculty and staff who may have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking.

Sexual assault is defined under Michigan Law as unconsented sexual contact or sexual penetration. See Michigan Law (MCL 750.520 a-f):

Evidence considerations:

Sexual assault is a crime and survivors of sexual assault are entitled to have a sexual assault medical examination and evidence collection kit (within 120 hours of the assault) completed by a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) with no cost to the survivor. University Hospital and other area hospitals offer these examinations with no obligation to file a police report. SANE nurses can also provide information and treatment for STDs, pregnancy and other medical needs. The evidence kit will be retained by the hospital for at least one year unless the survivor chooses to file a police report and releases the evidence to the police agency with jurisdiction.

There are many other forms of evidence that UMPD may attempt to collect and preserve in a criminal case.

Options:

UMPD is committed to providing sexual assault survivors with as many options as allowable under the law for reporting, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault crimes. Domestic Violence, juvenile assaults and ongoing public safety concerns are the most common reasons UMPD would investigate and proceed with prosecution without survivors consent.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence is a crime. Michigan Law (MCL 750.81) requires law enforcement agencies with information about a domestic violence incident to respond to, investigate and make an arrest of the offender when probable cause exists to do so. Survivors do not "press charges" under state law the State of Michigan is the complainant.

U-M Police will assist survivors of domestic violence with filing reports, obtaining medical treatment, safety planning and applying for a Personal Protection Order. We also will provide referrals for other assistance within the community, including advocacy referrals to SAPAC and Safehouse Center, as well as consideration of accommodations for housing, academics, transportation and work.

STALKING

Stalking is defined as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes that individual to feel emotional distress including fear, harassment, intimidation or apprehension.

U-M Police will assist survivors in notifying the suspect to have no further contact with the survivor, applying for a Personal Protection Order and safety planning. UMPD refers all survivors of interpersonal crimes to SAPAC and Safehouse for support, counseling and advocacy.

For more information about stalking, including resources and prevention strategies, click here.

CHILD ABUSE

Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional maltreatment and/or neglect of a child or children.

U-M Police work with Department of Human Services Child Protection personnel to respond to any reported incidents of abuse to children on our campus and with the U-M Hospital Child Protection Team for incidents of abuse related to the University and Mott Children's Hospitals. UMPD works with the Washtenaw County Child Advocacy Center to conduct forensic interviews of children who may be victims in these cases.