Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Advocacy Services will only be available by phone or email until further notice. Students and staff can request virtual meetings, appointments, or accompaniments that will be scheduled within 2 to 3 business days and conducted via Zoom.
Advocates can escort students to court and connect them with police or court advocates to explain the protective order process. For more information, check out the “Understanding Protective Orders in Richmond, VA” document by the I-CAN! Accessibility Project.
Advocates are confidential, meaning they do not share your information with anyone without your express consent. The only time advocates have to break confidentiality is if you mention hurting yourself or others, or knowledge of child or elder abuse. Advocates will have to connect you with a crisis counselor or contact the appropriate agency in the case of disclosure.
Title IX and a Criminal Report are two completely separate entities. You can choose to report to Title IX, the police, both or neither. However, with your consent, the two offices can work together and share information.
Listen: If someone tells you about violence, actively listen to them. Try not to give them advice or ask prying questions.
Believe: Believe them without question. Offer to support them and ask them what they need.
Refer: Let them know there are people at the university and in the community who can support them. Refer them to advocacy, or check out the resource page above for great options. For more information on supporting friends, check out this Supporting Survivors Graphic or reach out to an advocate.
Advocates provide non-therapeutic care. We typically only meet with students a few times unless we are accompanying them to meetings to supporting them through a process. Advocates can help with a safety plan and basic emotional support and can refer you to a UCS clinician or community therapist for therapy.
If you experience sexual assault, you have the right to receive a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) Exam and that can be completed within 120 hours/ 5 days of an assault. PERK’s are free of charge.
If you need plan B or want to get tested for an STD, reach out to VCU Student Health