Legal FAQ

The following information is intended as a guide, and not legal counsel. 

How Do I Report to the Police?
You should report the sexual violence to the law enforcement agency that is in charge of where the crime occurred.
Lafayette Police Dept: (765)807-1200

West Lafayette Police Dept: (765)775-5200
Tippecanoe Co. Sheriff: (765)423-9321

Purdue Police: (765)494-8221

If the incident happened in another county, but you live in Tippecanoe County, you should report the crime to the Indiana State Police
In an emergency you can always dial 911 to get immediate assistance. 

How Do I Save Evidence of Sexual Abuse? 
If you would like to press criminal charges, the following strategies can help preserve physical evidence of the sexual violence: 
•Avoid washing or tampering with anything that you feel might be relevant to the case. For instance, do not wash the clothing you were wearing, or the bed sheets, blankets, etc that were there when the sexual violence took place.
•If you have already showered, brushed your teeth, used the bathroom, eaten, you can still seek medical attention, and you are still eligible to recieve a forensic sexual assault examination ("rape kit").
However, the evidence is best saved if you can avoid showering, using the bathroom, etc.

What Happens When I Make a Police Report?
Once you report the sexual violence to the police, the report will either go to police detectives or to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's office.  You do not have to come down to the police station; law enforcement can come to you whether it is at your home, the hospital, or a relatives home. However, to get a good interview on camera you might be requested to come to the police station. The police will do whatever they can to find the alleged attacker. As a precaution during the filing of charges, you have the option of getting a no contact order issued through the courts or a protective order against the other party. Please keep in mind, however, that neither a no contact order nor a protective order can guarantee your safety or guarantee that the other party will stay away from you. Therefore, it is very important to be mindful of your safety at all times if you fear the perpetrator will try to find you. You can contact the YWCA DVIPP at 765-423-4486 to speak with someone about developing a safety plan.

What is the Age of Consent in Indiana?
No consent can be given to sexual activity if the individual is younger than 14 years of age. 
A person must be at least 16 years of age to give consent to sexual activity with a partner who is more than four years older than them.
*If the older person is in a position of authority over the minor, this is still a crime.

It is important to remember that an older person, especially one with authority, can easily convince a child to do what they tell them. This can be confusing for children, their family, and their friends, because it looks like consent. The abuser will often also say that it is consent, but it is not.
Click here for more information on child sexual abuse.