It is not your fault.
If you have experienced sexual assault, it’s not your fault.
Defining Sexual Assault / Sexual Violence
Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration: Any act of vaginal or anal penetration by a person’s penis, finger, other body part or an object, or oral penetration by genitalia, without consent.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any sexual touching without consent, other than non-consensual sexual penetration. Examples of non-consensual sexual contact may include genital-genital or oral-genital contact not involving penetration; contact with breasts, buttocks, or genital area, including over clothing; removing the clothing of another person; and kissing.
Other Definitions under VCU’s Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination Policy include:
Affirmative Consent: Voluntary, informed, non-coerced agreement through words and actions freely given, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual acts. Affirmative Consent to sexual activity happens when each partner willingly and affirmatively chooses to participate. Affirmative Consent is informed (knowing), voluntary (freely given), active (not passive), meaning that through the demonstration of clear words or actions, a person has indicated permission to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.
Important points regarding Affirmative Consent include:
Incapacitation: The state in which a person’s perception or judgment is so impaired that he or she lacks the cognitive capacity to make or act on conscious decisions and, specifically, that a person cannot make informed, rational judgments about whether or not to engage in sexual activity. A person who is incapacitated is unable, temporarily or permanently, to give Affirmative Consent because they are mentally or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is taking place. A person may be incapacitated as a result of the consumption of alcohol or other drugs, or due to a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition.
Sexual exploitation: Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person, whether for their benefit or the benefit of another person.
Shocking Statistics 
Prosocial bystanders are individuals whose behaviors intervene in ways that impact the outcome positively. For all types of crimes, bystanders are more likely to help the situation than to make it worse. As an active or empowered bystander, you can support others in your VCU community by using these bystander intervention strategies and tools:
All RAMs have an obligation and opportunity to keep everyone in their RAMily safe.
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein.
What are some of the potential effects of an assault?
Survivors of sexual assault react to their experiences in many different ways. So many feelings and experiences are common for many survivors, while others may be specific to the given circumstances. If you have not experienced any of these, it does not mean there is something wrong with how you are responding to the experience. The feelings you experience are part of the healing process. Everyone’s experience is different.
Sexual assault is an act of power and control. When you were assaulted, you were without power during the assault. It is natural to feel frightened and powerless after what you have experienced. You may:
Please remember this is not your fault and how you feel is normal. There are people on & off-campus that are here to support you.
24/7 Richmond Regional Hotline at 804-612-6126.
You may also phone VCU Police at 804-828-1234 and ask to be connected with a 24-hour on-call VCU Counseling Services therapist.
 Walters, M.L., Chen J., & Breiding, M.J. (2013). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.