Any Penn State student, employee, or visitor who has been the victim of, or witness to, a crime is eligible for victim services. These services typically include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Consultation about a problem, situation, incident, or crime
- Crisis intervention and/or ongoing support
- Victim service information and referrals
- Explanation of court and legal proceedings
- Assistance in preparing for and accompaniment to court appearances
- Accompaniment during police interviews
- Notification to instructors of time missed from class due to a criminal incident
You are encouraged to contact the Victim Resource Officer via email or at 814-863-0823 during regular business hours to discuss your situation or to arrange an appointment. It is the Victim Resource Officer's goal to see that you are treated with consideration, respect, and sensitivity in all your interactions with the legal system. Our aim is to provide you with the necessary information and support to enable you to make the best choices available.
The Impact of Crime
After being victimized by a stranger, or by someone they know, most people experience a range of emotions including shock, disbelief, anger, self-blame, and fear. It is important for you to know that what happened is not your fault, and that help is available. Because each situation is unique, the Victim Resource Officer will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and assist you in understanding what options are available to best meet your needs.
Definitions of Common Crimes
Harassment: The intention to harass, annoy, or alarm another person by striking, shoving, or kicking that person, following a person in or about a public place, or engaging in a course of conduct which alarms or annoys another person and which serves no legitimate purpose. This can also include making a telephone call or sending an email without the intent of legitimate communication, anonymously telephoning another person repeatedly, using vulgar and indecent language, or phoning at extremely inconvenient hours.
Simple Assault: Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another.
Terroristic Threats: Threatening to commit any crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another.
Sexual Assault: Engaging in sexual intercourse without the other person's consent.
Rape: Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person by the use of force, or the threat of force.
How to Help a Friend
If someone you know has been the victim of a crime, whether it's rape, burglary, harassment, or even a stolen wallet, the result is at times traumatic and devastating. Victims need special support and caring from their friends.
- Be willing to listen without judging or giving advice.
- Be supportive.
- Avoid blaming the victim.
- It's never the victim's fault.
- Don't tell the victim how or how not to feel.
- It's normal for victims to experience a variety of emotions.
- Encourage action.
- Suggest contacting the Victim Resource Officer, the police, or a counselor. Or suggest seeking medical attention if needed.
- Be patient and understanding. There is no timetable for recovery.
- Don't walk alone at night. Call the Safe Walk Service at 814-865-WALK for a safe walk home.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Being intoxicated makes you vulnerable to many types of crime.
- Always lock your doors and follow residence hall security measures.
- Avoid being in a vulnerable situation with someone you don't know.
- Always trust your instincts.
- View the Campus Night Map (pdf), which shows the location of every emergency and courtesy phone on campus.
Email Victim Resource Officer Detective Vicki Litzinger for more information, or to schedule an appointment call 814-863-0823.
Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Hotline
A new hotline has been established for victims and observers of sexual assault and relationship violence. Trained counselors on the hotline will help students access appropriate resources. Penn State students from any campus can call 1-800-560-1637 (TTY 866-714-7177) to access the 24 hour a day, seven day a week hotline.
The Victim Resource Officer is located in the Eisenhower Parking Deck, Room 30-C.