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About The Lighthouse Program
The Lighthouse Program provides interpersonal violence prevention, advocacy, and support to the LSU campus community. The program assists student survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship violence and stalking. These services are available Monday thru Friday 8am-5pm. If you need support services or evidence collected after hours or on the weekend, please contact STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) at 225-383-RAPE, The Phone at 225-924-LSU1, or your local police department.
Purpose of The Lighthouse Program
Louisiana State University is committed to providing confidential, nonjudgmental and appropriate support services for all sexual assault survivors, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, ability, or whether or not they report the crime. In addition, the University has a vested interest in obtaining an accurate account of the number of sexual assaults occurring on- or off-campus involving student survivors. The Lighthouse Program (previously known as Sexual Assault Victim's Advocacy or SAVA) is designed to accomplish both of these goals, as well as to meet federal mandates.
The term survivor will be used to refer to someone who has directly experienced a sexual assault. We acknowledge that the person has survived the incident and is beginning the path toward recovery. The term student-at-risk will refer to a student who is in an abusive/violent dating relationship, who is experiencing further abuse after terminating the relationship, or who is being stalked. The Lighthouse Program is housed in the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion in the Student Health Center, but advocates are located in many different departments and offices on campus.
Role & Function of Lighthouse Advocates
Lighthouse Advocates are specially trained University personnel who can provide confidential guidance and support to LSU students who have directly experienced interpersonal violence (sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship violence, and stalking) or who want to help a friend in need.
Regardless of how long ago the traumatic event or violent incident occurred, you are encouraged to talk to a Lighthouse Advocate about your situation.
The period after a traumatic event can be confusing. Lighthouse Advocates ensure that no survivor or student-at-risk has to navigate the medical, legal, mental health, or University system alone.
Lighthouse Advocates will provide survivors and students-at-risk with options for recovery, including assistance with:
- Filing a police report
- Filing a University judicial report
- Obtaining medical care
- Obtaining emotional support
- Arranging safe housing
- Securing academic accommodations, as well as referrals to appropriate services and resources.
LSU Student Health Center‘s sexual assault support/medical services are available Monday thru Friday 8am - 5pm. If you need support services or an evidence collection kit completed after hours or on the weekend, please contact STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) at 383-RAPE or your local police department.
What is the SANE program?
SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The SANE program allows any LSU student to have a forensic exam or “sexual assault evidence collection kit” conducted by a SANE. A SANE is specially trained in collecting evidence and working with survivors of sexual assault.
What is the mission of the SANE program?
The primary mission of the SANE program is to meet the needs of the LSU student who is a sexual assault survivor by providing immediate, compassionate, culturally-sensitive and comprehensive forensic evaluation and treatment by an LSU Student Health Center professional nurse trained in the parameters of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners standards.
Is there a cost to receive services from the Student Health Center’s SANE?
There is no cost to receive services from the LSU Student Health Center’s SANE.
Medical screening (STD testing, pregnancy test, etc.) and treatment (antibiotics) are provided at no cost to full time students or students who have paid the Student Health Center fee.
Does the SANE work with a Lighthouse Advocate?
The SANE also works closely with a Lighthouse Advocate from the Student Health Center. Lighthouse Advocates are specially trained University personnel who provide confidential guidance and support to LSU students who have directly experienced interpersonal violence. They provide options for recovery including: assistance with filing a police report, getting medical care, navigating the University accountability process, relocating their residence, obtaining academic assistance/accommodations and accessing services and resources.
What information is collected by a Lighthouse Advocate?
Lighthouse Advocates will complete an anonymous report for every incident reported to them. Only demographic information is collected, as required by federal law under The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act/Clery Act.
How many days can evidence be collected?
Evidence can be collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) following a sexual assault up to four days after the assault has occurred. To preserve evidence, avoid bathing, douching, or changing your clothes.
How can I reach the LSU Student Health Center’s SANE?
You can receive medical services by a SANE at the Student Health Center during regular work hours, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You may reach the Student Health Center’s SANE at 578-6085. To preserve evidence, avoid bathing, douching, or changing your clothes.
What if I need a SANE after hours?
For after hours care or if choose to go off-campus you can receive services from a SANE or physician at a local hospital. A hospital advocate from STAR (383-RAPE) will provide hospital accompaniment and support to you through the exam. To preserve evidence, avoid bathing, douching, or changing your clothes.
Do I have to report the crime to receive services?
If you choose to report the crime to law enforcement, a report will be taken at the time of the exam. If you are uncertain about reporting the crime, evidence can be collected and preserved for 30 days should you decide to report the crime and/or prosecute at a later date.
Do I have to report to LSUPD?
You have the option of filing a police report with LSUPD if the assault occurred on campus. Assaults that occur off campus can be reported to the police department serving the area where the assault occurred. Even though police logs are public records, your name can be withheld to maintain your privacy.
How can the LSU Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability help?
If the perpetrator of the assault is a LSU student, you have the option of filing a complaint with the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability for violation of the University Sexual Misconduct Policy. It helps to have already filed a report with the police, but it is not absolutely necessary. You can choose to meet with the C.A.R.E (Communicate, Assess, Refer, Educate) Manager to discuss your case; however the University cannot move forward with an investigation without an official complaint on file.
Who can I talk to for more information about the SANE and Lighthouse Advocate program?
You may contact Mendy Escudier, SANE/Lighthouse Program Coordinator at 225-578-6085 or Seirra Fowler, SANE/Lighthouse Program Coordinator at 225-578-6549.
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The following are Lighthouse Advocates at LSU:
• Seirra Fowler • SANE/Lighthouse Program Coordinator • 225-578-6549 • firstname.lastname@example.org |
• Mendy Escudier • SANE/Lighthouse Program Coordinator • 225-578-6085 • email@example.com
• Disability Services • 225-578-5919
• Greek Life • 225-578-2171
• LSU Police* • 225-578-3231
• Medical Clinic • 225-578-6716
• Mental Health Service • 225-578-8774
• Residential Life* • 225-578-8663
• SANE Program (Nurses’ Station) • 225-578-6085
• Student Advocacy and Accountability • 225-578-4307
• Wellness and Health Promotion • 225-578-5718
• Baton Rouge City Police* • 225-389-3800
• Baton Rouge Sheriff* • 225-389-5000
• Iris Domestic Violence Shelter* • 225-389-3001
• State-Wide Hotline • 1-800-541-9706
• RAINN Hotline* • 1-800-656-4673
• RAINN Online Hotline* • www.rainn.org
• STAR • 225-389-3456, 225-383-7273*
• National Center for Victims of Crime • www.victimsofcrime.org/src
• The Phone (Crisis Line)* • 225-924-5781
• Not Alone • www.notalone.gov
* 24-hour assistance
After Hours Assistance
Help is available after regular University operating hours. If you need assistance at night or on the weekend, the following agencies and University departments can provide immediate assistance:
• IRIS Domestic Violence Shelter - Provides a crisis hotline, safely planning, safe housing, and/or protective order assistance for women in abusive relationships.
• Department of Residential Life - Provides support to on-campus residents.
• Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) - Provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services around the clock through a telephone and online hotline.
• Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center (STAR) - Provides hospital accompaniment for forensic exam, crisis hotline support, legal advocacy and counseling services.
• The Phone (Crisis Line) - Provides support, if you need to speak confidentially with a counselor about how you are feeling.
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The first 96 hours after an assault are critical to the preservation and collection of forensic evidence. It is also a critical time for medical treatment for potential pregnancy or transmission of infections. Survivors may receive a forensic exam at the LSU Student Health Center, Monday - Friday from 8am-5pm at no cost. Survivors are often scared to have the forensic exam because they are unsure about what will happen, particularly regarding filing a police report and pressing charges. However, without a forensic exam conducted in the first 96 hours, crucial evidence could be lost and the survivor's legal case may be significantly weakened. The state will pay for the forensic exam if it is performed at a hospital with a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). A police report will be taken at the time of the exam and the state will follow through with investigating the crime. If a survivor is unsure about whether or not to press charges, the state will hold the forensic evidence for 30 days.
To preserve the physical evidence:
- Do not bathe or douche.
- Do not brush teeth or ingest food/beverages.
- Do not change clothes if possible and do not wash the clothes worn at the time of the assault. Those clothes are considered forensic evidence and will be collected by the forensic examiner at the hospital. If a survivor doesn't want to wear those clothes to the hospital, s/he can take them to the hospital in a paper bag. Do not use a plastic bag because it may "break down" evidence.
The space where the assault occurred is considered a crime scene. The police will gather additional evidence from the scene once charges are filed. If the assault occurred in a residence hall or other building on campus, a Lighthouse Advocate can assist with confidentiality issues during the collection of the evidence. Housing relocation is an option for any survivor who lives on-campus.
No survivor has to go through a forensic exam alone. A STAR Escort will accompany a survivor through the forensic exam, providing support and answering questions about the exam. The Escort can also help a survivor connect with a Lighthouse Advocate for support after the exam and for assistance with other options within the university setting.
It is recommended that a survivor get medical attention even if s/he decides not to have a forensic exam. The survivor may seek treatment through her/his private physician or the Student Health Center. Treatment options can include emergency contraception and testing/treatment for potential sexually transmitted infections.
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Sexual Assault Survivors have the option of processing their case through the civil and/or criminal judicial system. Cases can be processed through each system concurrently or separately. To prosecute a sexual assault or dating violence crime or to get a protective order through the civil or criminal system, it's best to consult with a legal advocate through STAR (225-383-7273) or the Iris Domestic Violence Shelter (225-389-3001).
University Judicial System
The University Judicial system is designed to be educational in nature and can only affect the accused student's status as a University student. A student who is found in violation of the University Sexual Assault Policy cannot be sent to jail through the University judicial process (see Code of Student Conduct due process). However, the student can potentially be suspended or expelled, among other sanctions, if found responsible for violating the University Sexual Assault Policy in the Code of Student Conduct.
To file a complaint, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 225-578-4307. A formal complaint must be filed in order for the University to investigate the allegation. However, a survivor may meet with the Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs to ask questions without filing a formal complaint.
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