Special Victims Services

Service Overview of the Special Victim Services Unit

The Department of Public Safety is dedicated to assisting in the reduction of incidents of interpersonal violence. We are dedicated to responding to and investigating sexual assaults, domestic/partner violence, and stalking. Our goal is to increase the likelihood that incidents of interpersonal violence are reported to DPS, enhance our response to survivors and hold offenders accountable. Our officers will connect victims and survivors with a variety of campus and local community resources, including safety planning, medical assistance, and accommodations for housing, academics, transportation, and work.

Interpersonal Violence

Special Victims Services (SVS) enhances DPS’ response to interpersonal violence crimes which include: sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. We are trained to respond to and investigate all types of crimes including interpersonal violence crimes.

Sexual Assault

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

  • 750.520a Definitions
  • 750.520b Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree
  • 750.520c Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree
  • 750.520d Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree
  • 750.520e Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree
  • 750.520f Second Offense Penalty

Evidence Considerations
Sexual assault is a crime and survivors of sexual assault are entitled to have a free 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. YWCA of Greater Flint, Hurley 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 site collector 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 DPS may attempt to collect and preserve in a criminal case.

DPS 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 DPS 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.

DPS 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 YWCA of Greater Flint, as well as consideration of accommodations for housing, academics, transportation and work.


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.

Michigan State Law (MCL 750.411h)
DPS will assist survivors in notifying the suspect to have no further contact with the survivor, applying for a Personal Protection Order and safety planning. DPS refers all survivors of interpersonal crimes to UM-Flint’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Center for Gender and Sexuality (CGS) and YWCA of Greater Flint for support, counseling and/or advocacy.

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

Reporting Options

If you or someone you know may be a victim of crime, seek help as soon as possible by contacting the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 810-762-3333. DPS takes all reports seriously and completes full investigations by our officers / investigators, who are on duty 24/7. DPS also can assist or connect all students, faculty and staff with resources to apply for a Personal Protection Order to help stop the contacts.

Individuals reporting sexual misconduct or assault, interpersonal violence and stalking have reporting options. Individuals may report to law enforcement, the university, to both or neither, the individual chooses.

  • To report to the police: Contact DPS at 810-762-3333 at any time of the day
  • To learn more about the University’s non-criminal reporting process visit: https://www.umflint.edu/ecrt/

Response Resources – Recommended Actions for Survivor

  • Remember you are not to blame for what happened to you, no matter the circumstances.
  • Consider reporting the assault to the police department in the jurisdiction where the event took place. DPS will assist campus members with law enforcement agency has jurisdiction if needed.
  • Know your options. Call an advocate on YWCA’s 24-hour crisis line at 810-238-7233 for immediate support and/or to discuss medical and reporting options.
  • If a sexual assault is, or may be involved, request a free medical examination at the YWCA of Greater Flint, Hurley Medical Center or your local hospital emergency room. This exam will be provided to you at no cost and no charge to insurance without your permission.
  • Tell someone you trust. Domestic/dating violence, sexual assaults and stalkings are an enormous burden to bear alone. Talking to a supportive friend or family member often can be helpful. UM-Flint Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff also is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with you and provide you with support. UM-Flint Center for Gender and Sexuality (CGS) has an advocate who can help you navigate the academic, legal, medical, and housing resources available to you as a University of Michigan-Flint community member.

Recommended Actions for Supporters of Survivors Following an Assault

  • 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.

University Sexual Misconduct Reporting and Resources

Visit https://www.umflint.edu/ecrt/ to learn more about:

  • University Reporting and Process
  • Education and Training
  • Faculty and Staff Resources
  • Student Resources
  • Umbrella Policy on Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct
  • Our Community Matters (resources and information)