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.
Consider seeing a health-care provider who will be able to check you for injuries, talk to you about possible pregnancy concerns and/or sexually transmitted infections, and collect evidence by completing a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) exam, which can be completed at VCU Health, (804) 628-0623, or off-campus at St. Mary’s, (804) 281-8184.
You may want to report the assault to the police now or in the future and the sooner you have the evidence collected, the better. A PERK exam can be obtained at no cost within 120 hours of an assault; however, having a PERK exam does not obligate you to report the assault to the police. If there is any chance you might press charges, do not change or shower. If you do remove clothing, place them in a paper (not plastic) bag. If oral contact took place, try not to smoke, eat, drink, or brush your teeth.
Emergency contraception can be effective within three days after an assault and is available at VCU Student Health and local pharmacies. Screening for the presence of drugs in the urine can be completed at the hospital.
VCU Student Health provides free STI testing/treatment for sexual assault survivors. If there is a risk of HIV transmission, preventive medications can be started within 72 hours.
Intimate Relationship Violence (also known as dating violence or intimate partner violence) includes acts of violence, threats, or intimidation that harm or injure a partner in a current or former intimate relationship. These acts may be physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, or economic in nature.
Intimate relationship violence can be a single act or pattern of behavior. Intimate Partner Violence includes “dating violence” and “domestic violence.”
A course of conduct (i.e., more than one act) directed at a partner that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear, to experience emotional distress, or to fear for the safety of a third person. Acts that together constitute stalking may be direct actions or may be communicated by a third party.
If you are still in an abusive relationship: identify a safety contact, keep a fully-charged cell phone and cash on you at all times, and find a safe place to go while your partner is violent. Photographs of any injuries can be obtained by a police officer or nurse at the hospital.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, covers the cost of forensic exams for sexual assault victims regardless of whether the crime is reported to law enforcement and provides assistance with other crime-related expenses for victims reporting to law enforcement and cooperating with law enforcement/prosecution. For more information visit www.cicf.state.va.us or call (800) 552-4007.
Stalking occurs when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses someone, making them feel afraid or unsafe. A stalker can be someone the person knows, a past partner or a stranger.
If you think you are being stalked, contact VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 and speak to a victim/witness officer who can help you explore your options and explain ways to document the behaviors. They can also ask the person to stop contacting you and/or help you obtain a protective order that can last up to two years.
Sexual misconduct is any form of gender discrimination prohibited by federal and state law. VCU is committed to creating a community that encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual misconduct complaints, and to providing a fair and impartial process for all parties. VCU will take prompt and appropriate action to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects, which may include educational, housing, or employment modifications; interim suspension from campus; and reporting to local police. For more information visit www.equity.vcu.edu/titleix or review the Interim Sex-Based Misconduct Policy.
To encourage both reporting and cooperation in investigations, the university will not pursue disciplinary action based on the disclosure of personal consumption of drugs or alcohol where such disclosures are made in connection with a good faith report of sexual misconduct or an individual’s cooperation in an investigation into such actions.
Retaliation is any attempt to seek retribution against an individual or group of individuals involved in filing a complaint or report under this policy, filing an external complaint, participating in a disciplinary process or opposing in a reasonable manner an action believed to constitute a violation of this policy.
Retaliation can take many forms, including abuse or violence, threats, harassment and intimidation. Actions in response to a good faith report or response under this policy are considered retaliatory if they have a materially adverse effect on the working, academic or VCU‐controlled living environment of an individual; or if they hinder or prevent the individual from effectively carrying out his or her VCU responsibilities.