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How Can I Get Help? What Resources Are Available to Me?

In case of an emergency, call 911 or University Police at 804-289-8911.

For all other after hours, time-sensitive concerns, call 804-289-8715 to speak with a URPD dispatcher who can connect you to the Area Coordinator on duty.

Call the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline at 804-612-6126 at any time to reach a confidential advocate.

***All of the above options are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.***

What Should I Do Right Away?

If you have experienced sexual misconduct, especially misconduct involving non-consensual sexual intercourse or contact, we urge you to do the following:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence.  Do not wash clothes or use the toilet.  Put all clothing you were wearing at the time of the incident in a paper bag, not in a plastic bag.
  • Contact University Police by calling 8911 (from a campus phone) or (804) 289-8911. On campus, a blue light emergency phone will connect you directly to the University Police dispatcher.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible.  A medical examination will provide any necessary treatment and collect important evidence. Injuries may not be immediately apparent.  The Student Health Center can assist with injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and other health services.
  • It is important to seek immediate and follow-up medical attention for several reasons:
    • To assess and treat any physical injuries you may have sustained.
    • To determine the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy and take appropriate medical measures.
    • To gather evidence that may aid criminal prosecution. Physical evidence should be collected immediately—ideally within the first 24 hours. It can be collected up to 120 hours later, but the quality and quantity of evidence may be diminished.

A special hospital exam (PERK: Physical Evidence Recovery Kit) should be performed by an emergency department.  University students can receive the exam at St. Mary's Hospital or Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.  The hospital emergency departments follow national standards for survivor care, sexual assault exams, and evidence collection procedures.  If you are concerned about anonymity or your parents being notified, hospital personnel can talk with you about your options.  Should you choose, you can remain anonymous in order to report and receive care—just inform the triage nurse of your request for anonymity upon your arrival to an emergency room.  There are many resources available to survivors that may assist with PERK exam costs, and medical personnel will give you more information.  At the hospital, you may choose to undergo a PERK exam even if you are unsure whether you want to report the sexual misconduct to the police and want time to think about it.  If you choose to report anonymously, hospital authorities will collect the evidence without revealing your identity to the authorities.  The evidence will be held for two years before being discarded, and you would need to contact the storage facility for an extension beyond that point.  The forensic nurses can speak with you further about your options.

How Can I Report Possible Sexual Misconduct? Whom Can I Talk To?
  • Contact the University Police by calling 8911 (from a campus phone) or (804) 289-8911.  On campus, a blue light emergency phone will connect you directly to the University Police dispatcher.
  • Contact one of the University of Richmond's Title IX Coordinators.  Any member of the community could contact: Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Tracy Cassalia, at (804) 289-8464. Faculty and staff should contact: Carl Sorensen, Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, (804) 289-8166. They can talk with you about your options on campus and refer you to resources in the University community. The University’s Title IX Coordinators are Safe Zone Allies.
  • Talk with a counselor who will maintain confidentiality, help explain your options, give you information, and provide emotional support.  On campus, you can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (804) 289-8119. When the CAPS office is closed, a University counselor is on-call and may be reached through the University Police dispatcher at (804) 289-8715 or through your Resident Assistant; you only need to say that you would like to speak with the counselor on call.  Please note that all CAPS Counselors are Safe Zone Allies.
  • Students may file an anonymous report.  (Please note that University employees cannot use this form anonymously and must provide all requested information when making a report.)
  • The Richmond Regional Hotline, available at (804) 612-6126, is a crisis response system for people across the region impacted or affected by domestic, intimate partner, and/or sexual violence.  Calling the hotline will connect you to a local specialist who can offer support and information about resources and experts in the Richmond area.  The hotline is available 24 hours per day and open to survivors and their supporters.  It is sponsored by the YWCA, Safe Harbor and other area organizations.  The YWCA also provides support groups for survivors of sexual violence.
  • Safe Harbor supports those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence. Safe Harbor offers comprehensive services for survivors of sexual and/or intimate partner violence including: a 24-hour helpline at (804) 287-7877, children/youth services, community education and training, counseling, court advocacy, emergency shelter, and hospital accompaniment.
  • The Virginia Anti-Violence Project offers support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning survivors of sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence as well as hate-motivated violence.  The LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline is available Monday-Friday 8am-8pm at 1-866-356-6998. 
  • Contact someone you trust, such as a close friend, to be with you and support you. 

Contact your dean's office about the incident.  Many students find it difficult to focus on academic work or have other difficulties after an incident of sexual misconduct.  The dean’s offices want to support you.  For undergraduate students, contact the Richmond College Dean’s Office at (804) 289-8061 or the Westhampton College Dean’s Office at (804) 289-8468.  For law students, contact Kristine Henderson, Associate Dean Student Services & Administration, Law School Dean's Office, (804) 289-8186.  For MBA students, contact Debbie Fisher, Associate Director, MBA Program, (804) 289-8012. For SPCS students, contact Ellen Walk, Associate Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, (804) 287-8770.  Please note that these individuals are required to report incidents of possible sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinators.

Do I Need to Report Right Away? What If I Want To Report an Incident from the Past?

The University encourages individuals to report possible sexual misconduct to the University Police and the University’s Title IX Coordinators as soon as possible.  Making a prompt report allows survivors to get help and access resources quickly.  It also allows the University to conduct a timely and thorough investigation and contributes to campus safety.  A prompt report to the University Police will enable the University Police to gather evidence that could be used should the survivor choose to pursue a criminal investigation.  A delay in reporting to the University Police or other appropriate law enforcement officials may result in the loss of important evidence.

However, the University recognizes that many individuals who experience sexual misconduct do not tell anyone about it at the time of the incident.  If you had an unwanted sexual experience weeks ago or even years ago, assistance, including counseling and other support, is still available. The University will investigate a report of possible sexual misconduct even if it is made weeks, months or even years after the incident, although the ability to gather important information may be affected by the passage of time.  The University’s Title IX Coordinators will investigate a report of sexual misconduct as long as any of the involved individuals are members of the University community (e.g., students, staff, or faculty).  The University Police will investigate all reports over which it has jurisdiction, regardless of whether an involved individual is a member of the University community.

Is the Process the Same for All Genders?

Yes. The University of Richmond prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.  The University uses the same process to respond to and investigate reports by survivors of any gender.  No matter how someone identifies (e.g. female, gender fluid, male, questioning, trans, etc.), all survivors receive the same services and support.  Emotional support, counseling, and medical treatment are available to assist any individuals recovering from sexual misconduct.

Is the Process the Same for All Sexualities?

Yes.  The University of Richmond prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.  The University uses the same process to respond to and investigate reports by survivors of any sexuality.  No matter the sexuality of the survivor (e.g. bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, straight, etc.), all survivors receive the same services and support.  Emotional support, counseling, and medical treatment are available to assist any individuals recovering from sexual misconduct.

The University’s Title IX Coordinators are Safe Zone Allies.

The University of Richmond also recognizes that the LGBTQ community may need additional assistance finding supportive resources. The Office of Common Ground offers several resources both on and off-campus to support the LGBTQ community.

What Counseling and Emotional Support Resources Are Available?

On-Campus

Counselors at the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (“CAPS”) are available to assist in a crisis situation and to provide you with any information about your options including medical assistance, psychological counseling, University disciplinary procedures, and legal prosecution.  You may reach a CAPS counselor at (804) 289-8119 during regular office hours. The CAPS staff also maintains an on-call schedule for emergencies and may be reached through the University Police dispatcher at (804) 289-8715.

Counselors at CAPS can provide safe, confidential support for you during this difficult period. They can inform you of common reactions to crisis situations and discuss coping methods that may assist you immediately following the misconduct and later.  Talking about your concerns with one of these counselors may help you sort through feelings and decide what to do.  You do not need to disclose your name if you call CAPS for information.  Counselors will not reveal your identity to anyone without your permission.  All CAPS Counselors are Safe Zone Allies and Title IX-trained.

Another important source of support is the University’s Coordinator for Sexual Misconduct Education who can be reached at (804) 287-1217. They are available to assist students and can provide information on University resources, how to report an incident of sexual misconduct, and the University’s process for Title IX investigations and for disciplinary action.

Members of the University community seeking pastoral care and support may contact the Office of the Chaplaincy at (804) 287-6501.

Off-Campus

The Richmond Regional Hotline, available at (804) 612-6126, is a crisis response system for people across the region impacted or affected by domestic, intimate partner, and/or sexual violence.  Calling the hotline will connect you to a local specialist who can offer support and information about resources and experts in the Richmond area.  The hotline is available 24 hours per day and open to survivors and their supporters.  It is sponsored by the YWCA, Safe Harbor and other area organizations. The YWCA also provides support groups for survivors of sexual violence. 

Safe Harbor supports those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence.  Safe Harbor offers comprehensive services for survivors of sexual and/or intimate partner violence including: a 24-hour helpline at (804) 287-7877, children/youth services, community education and training, counseling, court advocacy, emergency shelter, and hospital accompaniment.

The Virginia Anti-Violence Project offers support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning survivors of sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence as well as hate-motivated violence.  The LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline is available Monday-Friday 8am-8pm at 1-866-356-6998.

The victim's and witness's roles in the criminal justice process can be difficult ones.  The University Police Department's Victim/Witness Coordinator serves as a liaison between the City of Richmond and the County of Henrico courts systems.  In addition, the Coordinator secures services for victims and witnesses of crimes.  These services include counseling and psychological support, guidance to area resources, and assistance through the court process.  Any faculty, staff, or student can use this service.  The Victim/Witness Coordinator, Officer Angie Dubose, is available by calling University Police at (804) 289-8715.

What Other Resources and Support Are Available?

Transportation

The University Police are always available to transport victims of sexual misconduct to the hospital.  To arrange transportation, call the University Police dispatcher at (804) 289-8715 and indicate your need for immediate assistance.

Non-Emergency Medical Procedures

Even if you choose not to have a hospital exam, it is still important to get medical attention.  An exam, in these instances, will include treatment of any physical problems and lab tests for sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy.  Any non-emergency treatment can be arranged on campus by calling the Student Health Center at (804) 289-8064 and making an appointment.