the lighthouse program

The Lighthouse Program

The Lighthouse Program provides free and confidential interpersonal violence prevention, support, and advocacy to the LSU campus community. The program assists student-survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, and harassment. The Lighthouse Program is housed in the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion in the Student Health Center. Trained Lighthouse Advocates, who are specially trained university personnel, are also located throughout campus to assist and support LSU students. The Lighthouse Program services are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 

The Lighthouse Program provides survivors and students-at-risk with options for recovery and support, including assistance with:

  • Coordinating evidence collection
  • Obtaining medical care
  • Obtaining emotional support
  • Arranging safe housing
  • Securing academic accommodations
  • Filing a police report
  • Filing a university judicial report
  • Securing academic accommodations
  • Filing a police report
  • Filing a university judicial report

Additional referrals to appropriate services and resources are provided as needed.

If you or someone you know needs Lighthouse services, fill out this brief form. An Advocate will contact you. All information will remain confidential.

Louisiana State University and The Lighthouse Program are committed to providing confidential, nonjudgmental, and appropriate support services for all survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, and harassment, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or decision to report the crime. In addition, the university has a vested interest in obtaining an accurate account of the number of incidents involving student-survivors that occur on or off campus.   The Lighthouse Program is the university’s prevention, support, and advocacy program designed to accomplish these goals. 

The term survivor is used to refer to someone who has directly experienced some form of interpersonal violence. We acknowledge that the person has survived the incident and is beginning the path toward recovery. The term student-at-risk refers 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 supports student-survivors regardless of how long ago the traumatic incident(s) occurred.

Lighthouse Advocates are specially trained university personnel who can provide confidential guidance and support to students who have directly experienced sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, and harassment or who want to help a friend in need.

Lighthouse Advocates are available to provide support regardless of how long ago the traumatic incident(s) occurred.

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 systems alone.

We have trained Lighthouse Advocates throughout campus to support you. If you or someone you know needs assistance, see this list of Advocates.

For more information about Lighthouse Advocates, contact Susan Bareis, Assistant Director of Wellness at the Student Health Center, at 225-578-6521 or sbareis@lsu.edu.

Medical screening and treatment with or without evidence collection can be performed at any time.  The first 120 hours, or five days, 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.  A survivor may seek treatment with their private physician or a provider at the LSU Student Health Center. There is no charge for medical screening and treatment at the LSU Student Health Center.


Evidence Collection
An evidence collection kit can be collected up to 120 hours after an assault.  Survivors are often hesitant to have an evidence collection kit because they are unsure about what will happen, especially regarding making a report to police and pressing charges. However, without evidence collection in the first 120 hours, crucial evidence could be lost and the survivor's legal case may be significantly weakened. 

The Student Health Center partners with the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office to offer evidence collection by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). A SANE is specially trained in collecting evidence and working with survivors of sexual assault. There is no cost in Louisiana for evidence collection if it is performed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at a hospital or health center.  

At the survivor's request, a police report will be taken at the time of the exam and law enforcement will follow through with investigating the crime.  If a survivor is uncertain about reporting the crime, an evidence collection kit can still be collected and held for up to one year.


 Preserve 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 evidence and may be collected by the SANE. If a survivor doesn't want to wear those clothes to the hospital/health center, they can bring them in a paper bag. Do not use a plastic bag because it may compromise the evidence.

Support During Evidence Collection
No survivor has to go through an evidence collection kit alone. A Lighthouse Advocate or Sexual Trauma Awareness Response (STAR) Advocate can accompany a survivor through an evidence collection kit, providing support and answering questions about the exam at the Student Health Center or hospital, respectively. An Advocate can also help a survivor connect with campus/community resources for additional support and resources.


Hours for Evidence Collection
Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  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 855-435-7827 (STAR)or your local police department. 

University Judicial Report
LSU considers sex discrimination and sexual misconduct in all of its forms to be serious offenses.  Any student who has been subjected to sexual misconduct has the right to report the conduct to the Campus Title IX Coordinator, Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability, or any other responsible reporting party.

The university judicial process is designed to be educational in nature and can only affect the accused student's status as an LSU student.  A student who is found in violation of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policy will go through the university’s judicial process, and can potentially be suspended or expelled, among other sanctioned outcomes. Read more about The LSU Code of Student Conduct.

Campus TIX Coordinator - 225-578-3918

Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability - 225-578-4307


Law Enforcement Reporting
Survivors and students-at-risk have the option of reporting to law enforcement and processing their case through the civil and/or criminal justice system. Cases can be processed through each system concurrently or separately. A Lighthouse Advocate can connect you to a legal advocate in the community for assistance with prosecuting a sexual assault or dating violence crime or obtaining a protective order.

  1. Is there a cost to receive services from a SANE?
    • There is no cost to receive services from the SANE program. Medical screening (STI testing, pregnancy test, etc.) and treatment (antibiotics) are provided at no cost to LSU students.

  2. How long after an assault can evidence be collected?
    • Evidence can be collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) up to 120 hours following a sexual assault.  To preserve evidence, avoid bathing, douching, or changing your clothes.

  3. Who do I contact after hours?

  4.  If I report to a Lighthouse Advocate, will the university know?
    • Lighthouse Advocates are specially trained university personnel who can provide confidential guidance and support.  The university will not be notified and an investigation will not take place.

  5. Will my parents find out if I have medical screening done at the SHC?  Will it go on my insurance?
    • All medical care, including medical screening and treatment at the Student Health Center is confidential.  Your parents cannot access your health information without a signed authorization to release your Protected Health Information (PHI).  The Lighthouse Program will not bill your insurance, becuase the program covers the cost of any associated medical screening and treatment. 

Examples of Lighthouse assisting students

  • Provide support and develop a safety plan for students experiencing stalking.
  • Assist with initiating schedule changes for students experiencing victimization.
  • Support and accompany student through university judicial reporting process.


 

Sexual Violence and Support Services

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The Lighthouse Program Advocates

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