Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center

Information on Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police and/or the University

  • It is the survivor’s right to choose whether to report the sexual assault.

  • Law enforcement officers are not confidential resources.

  • Many survivors who decide to report do not do so immediately.  It is never too late to make a report or to seek help from the University or other agencies. A prompt report may strengthen the case for prosecution.

  • If reporting a sexual assault immediately, you can protect evidence to support your case in the following ways: not washing, bathing, or brushing your teeth; not removing sheets or clothes; not straightening up or touching anything in the area where the assault took place.

  • SAPAC supports the survivor’s right to choose whether to report the sexual assault.  If a survivor needs more information to make a decision, SAPAC can provide information and help facilitate the reporting process.  


Reporting Options

Criminal Report/Police Report

You may file a report with the police agency that has jurisdiction where the sexual assault occurred.  For incidents occurring on UM Campus contact UM Police Department at 734-763-1131 and an officer will meet with you.  If the incident occurred off campus, UMPD can assist you in notifying the police agency with jurisdiction.  It is your choice whether to file a report with the police; you may ask the officer questions prior to making that decision.  If you choose to file a report with the police, after the investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office where it will be reviewed for criminal charges.  You may speak with the police and/ or prosecutor for information about the process and any charges that are filed.  If there is sufficient evidence in the case, charges may be filed. If you change your mind about your desire to prosecute you can advise the police and prosecutor of this and when possible, they will honor your request.  If there is not sufficient evidence in the case and no charges are filed, this does not mean the police or prosecutor do not believe you.  Your report will stay on file with the police and may become chargeable if more evidence is found or another allegation is made against the same suspect.  


Reporting to the University

If you are interested in filing a report with the University, you can file the report with the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) either in person, over the phone, or on their website. Once the report is received, the university will strive to complete the investigation within 60 days. After filing the initial report, the OIE investigator will ask to schedule an interview with you (described in the policy as the “claimant”) to learn more about the incident. You are able to participate in the process as little or as much as you wish, so it is entirely your choice. You are able to bring a support person, such as a SAPAC advocate or anyone else you choose, with you during any and all parts of the process. After the interview, the investigator will draft your statement and if you would like, they can send it to you so you can review and submit any edits or comments.


The investigator will ask you what you would like to come of the investigation, such as a particular sanction, and the investigation team will take that into consideration. Retaliation is strictly prohibited by our policy and OIE will make that explicitly clear to the perpetrator (described in the policy as the “respondent”), who will also be instructed not to contact you. If you feel you are experiencing any sort of retaliation, you are encouraged to report that to OIE as well so they can take the necessary steps to eliminate such behavior. You will not be asked to sit in the same room as the perpetrator. If you would like, you can be given updates about the process and will be able to view the statement(s) of the perpetrator and witnesses.  


The policy utilizes a preponderance of evidence standard, which differs from the criminal standard of “clear and convincing.” The preponderance of evidence standard means it is more likely than not that misconduct occurred, which may be referred to as “51% certainty.” If it is concluded that the respondent is responsible, the university strives to complete the sanctioning process in 15 days. The policy is designed to eliminate misconduct, prevent its re-occurrence, and remedy its effects, in line with the university’s Title IX obligations. There is an appeals process available to both respondents and complainants.


Where to Report Sexual Assault

  • To the police

    • On campus call: University of Michigan Police Department (UMPD): 911 or 763-1131

    • Off campus call: Local police department: 911

  • To the University


Things to Know about Making a Report to Law Enforcement or the University

  • You may ask that a friend or SAPAC advocate accompany you.

  • For incidents occurring on UM Campus contact UM Police Department at 734-763-1131 and an officer will meet with you at a location that is convenient for you including the SAPAC office.

  • The Police officer taking the initial report  and detectives who continue the investigation, as well as OIE investigators, will ask you for as much information, in as much detail as you can give, about the circumstances of the crime and the assailant. This doesn’t mean they do not believe you, they are just trying to build their case.

  • The questions asked may be difficult to answer but are designed to help you accurately recall the incident.  You have the right to ask the purpose of a question and to have the officer or investigator explain to you why your answers are needed.  

  • Do not be afraid to say you are not sure or don’t remember.  Feel free to request an explanation if you don’t understand what is being asked.  

  • You may find that as the days pass, you will remember more details about what happened.  Consider contacting the police and/or OIE to provide them with this additional information.  

  • You should be given a report number at the time the report is made and you can request a copy of the report once the case is closed.  To do so, call UM Police Department at 734-763-1131 and ask for the records unit.

  • In an OIE investigation, if you choose to discontinue your participation, you may request that a SAPAC advocate informs you of the outcome.


Prohibited Conduct Under The University of Michigan Policy and Procedures on Student Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence​:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Retaliation
  • Violation of Protective Measures


Confidential Resources on Campus:


To Report an Incident Online:


For information on the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy: