2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

Appendices I-III: UVA (Proposed Base Document) Student Sexual Misconduct Policy (Public Comment Period Nov. 19 – Dec. 5)

[continued from UVA (Proposed Base Document) Student Sexual Misconduct Policy: Public Comment Period Nov. 19 – Dec. 5]

Appendix I: Obtaining A Forensic Exam at the University Medical Center

What is a Forensic Exam?

A forensic exam is an exam performed by a specially-trained forensic nurse, called a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (or "SANE Nurse"). SANE Nurses work with physicians in the Emergency Department. The University Medical Center is the only local hospital that employs SANE Nurses.

The purpose of a forensic exam is to (1) assess the patient for injuries that need treatment, (2) provide medical care (including medications to prevent infections and pregnancy), and (3) document and collect evidence of sexual contact or physical trauma (including injuries on the body and genitals), trace evidence, and identifiable DNA from the perpetrator of a sexual assault. When there is suspicion or concern that a victim may have been incapacitated by drugs or alcohol during a sexual assault,1 the forensic exam may include the collection of urine and/or blood samples for toxicology testing.

Evidence recovered from a forensic exam can be used to support a subsequent University or criminal complaint; however, having a forensic exam performed does not mean you must report the incident to Police or to the University. A forensic exam must be completed within 72 hours of an assault in most cases. The exam is conducted in a confidential health care setting. You may elect to have the exam performed and decide later whether you want to report the assault to the Police and/or to the University. That decision is entirely yours to make.

What Should I Do/Not Do Before Obtaining a Forensic Exam?

If possible, do not brush your teeth, bathe/shower, change your clothes, or use the bathroom. This is to ensure any/all available forensic evidence is preserved for collection. If you have already done some/all of these things, it is still worth obtaining a forensic exam. Forensic evidence may still be present for collection; regardless, it is also important to seek health care treatment (described below). You may wish to bring a change of clothes with you to the Emergency Department.

What Should I Expect During a Forensic Exam?

You will first be seen by a physician in the Emergency Department; the physician will assess whether you have any life-threatening or urgent medical needs. The physician will ask you basic questions about your health history, the general nature of the assault, and any current pain or other symptoms to help understand what care you need. You do not have to share details of the assault with the physician.

You will next be seen by the SANE Nurse. The SANE Nurse will ask you about:

  • your medical history,
  • any current medications your are taking,
  • your most recent consensual sexual contact,
  • if you are female, the dates of your last menstrual period, and
  • any current contraceptive methods

The SANE Nurse will also ask you details about the assault to help determine how best to perform the forensic exam. In order to determine where to look for forensic evidence, the SANE Nurse will ask about the types of conduct that occurred and where (in or on the body) sexual contact was made. This information will be documented in the medical record. After obtaining all this information, the SANE Nurse will usually ask you to disrobe so the forensic exam may be performed. Your physical privacy will be respected throughout the forensic exam. The evidence that is collected is guided by the information you provided about the assault. The evidence may include:

  • Clothing worn at the time of the assault, including underwear. If your clothing is collected and you did not bring other clothing with you, you will be provided clothing (such as sweatpants and a t-shirt) to wear home.
  • Swabs for possible DNA evidence taken from areas of the body where you reported sexual contact occurred.
  • Hair samples.
  • Blood and/or urine samples (particularly if there is concern of drug-facilitated assault).
  • Any external injuries or areas of pain and discomfort. Any injuries will be documented and often photographed. (Photographs become part of the medical record.)
  • Injuries to the genital and rectal areas.

You control the scope and duration of the forensic exam. You may refuse any part of the forensic exam, even after giving full consent at the start. You may elect to stop the forensic exam before it is completed or you may ask to take a break. The medical staff cannot examine you or collect physical evidence without your permission. They need your signed consent to administer the forensic exam and/or to provide any forensic evidence that is collected to Police. You may ask any questions that you have about the forensic exam or any aspect of your care. All forensic exam procedures should be explained so that you understand why and how they are done; if you have any questions, you should ask the SANE Nurse or the doctor to explain what they are doing.

Support Before, During and After the Forensic Exam

The Emergency Department will call an advocate from the Sexual Assault Resource Agency ("SARA") for any patient reporting sexual assault. You do not have to speak to the SARA advocate, but one will be available to you. You may also contact SARA yourself ((434) 295-7273) before coming to the University Medical Center. Your interaction with SARA counselors and Medical Center employees will be kept confidential. No reports or actions will be taken without your permission.

A SARA advocate can provide emotional support during the forensic exam and any related report-taking. The advocate can help explain medical procedures and the process of evidence collection. The advocate may also counsel friends or family members who may be at the Medical Center with you. The SARA advocate may also assist you with follow-up medical and counseling appointments and may provide support throughout any subsequent criminal process.

You may also have your own support person (e.g., a friend) present with you before, during and after the forensic exam. You may request to see or speak with a hospital chaplain, other clergy, or your own private therapist (if you are currently seeing one). Current University students may receive follow-up care at Student Health or through their own care providers.

Do I Have to Report the Incident of Sexual Assault?

You may decide whether you wish to report the sexual assault to Police and/or the University. You do not have to make a report to the Police, the University or to any other agency if you choose to have forensic evidence collected. If you decide not to report to Police at the time the forensic exam is performed, the evidence will typically be stored for at least 120 days. An officer will make a brief anonymous report without your name explaining why they are holding the evidence. They will then wait for your decision.
If you are under the age of 18, state law may require Medical Center employees to report the assault to Child Protective Services. Such reports are made when there is evidence of child abuse.

Medical Center employees are also required to report information when they:

  • note that a patient has been injured by certain weapons, such as guns or knives, and/or
  • believe that a patient is a threat to themselves or others

Who Pays for the Forensic Exam and/or Related Treatment?

The Commonwealth of Virginia will pay for

  • Evidence collection after a sexual assault;
  • STI and HIV prevention medications; and
  • Emergency contraception

Additional medical services, if needed, are typically covered by private insurance. If you are a dependent on your parents' health insurance plan, your parents may learn about your visit to the emergency room through their insurance company. You may discuss your payment options with the hospital accounting department. The Department of Student Health recognizes that there can be financial barriers to obtaining appropriate care and will assist you in obtaining the care that you need.

Release of Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence collected at the Medical Center may be released to Police only with your written consent or if an authorized third party provides consent on your behalf. This forensic evidence may be used to support any subsequent criminal and/or University disciplinary complaint. The Medical Center will only release information at the student's written request or with his or her written permission.

Follow-Up Care

It is important to have follow-up tests and an exam within 2-4 weeks after the Emergency Department visit. You may be seen by your private clinician. If you are a current University student, you may also be seen at Student Health. Professional services at Student Health are covered by your prepaid Student Health Fee. Student Health charges for lab tests and medications, if needed. It is best to call Gynecology ((434) 924-2773) or, if you are a male survivor, General Medicine ((434) 982-3915), as soon as possible to make a follow-up appointment at Student Health. This is especially important if you started medications to prevent HIV.

Transportation to and from the University Medical Center

If you do not have a ride, and if you do not need to accompany a law enforcement officer for further questioning, transportation home or to a safe place may be arranged with a family member, friend, victim advocate, or the Police. The SANE Nurse, SARA advocate, or hospital social worker can help you arrange transportation.

1 Causing or attempting to cause the Incapacitation of another person in order to gain sexual advantage is prohibited by University Policy and also constitutes a crime under various state and federal criminal statutes.

Appendix II: Confidential Resources

On-Grounds/Confidential Employees

The University has a policy requiring most University employees to report any information disclosed by students regarding alleged acts of sexual misconduct to the University's Title IX Coordinator. Certain University employees are exempt from this reporting requirement. These employees are involved in the provision of medical and mental health services on Grounds; they are designated as "Confidential Employees." Any disclosures made to Confidential Employees are protected under federal and/or state health care privacy laws. Confidential Employees will not disclose identifiable information to the University's Title IX Coordinator or to any other person/entity without consent, unless a legal exception applies. Exceptions to health care privacy include:

  • Communications with family members, law enforcement, or others when a patient, as a result of mental illness, will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others
  • Notification of law enforcement when a patient has communicated a specific, immediate and credible threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to a third party
  • Legal reporting obligations, e.g., reports of child abuse or neglect
  • Providing information in a lawsuit in which a patient's condition is at issue or a judge orders disclosure
  • Sharing information with health care providers and others, as needed, for the patient's treatment or for billing a patient's insurance, and for other administrative operations (these recipients of health care information are themselves generally required by law not to further disclose such information).

The chart below identifies where "Confidential Employees" are located on Grounds.

On-Grounds/Confidential Employees

U.Va. Medical Center & Emergency Department*

(434) 924-2231

Student Health: Counseling & Psychological Services

(434) 243-5150
(434) 972-7004 (after hours)

Student Health: Gynecology

(434) 924-2773

Student Health: General Medicine

(434) 982-3915
(434) 972-7004 (after hours)

Student Health: Psychologists in the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC)


The Women's Center: Counseling Staff

(434) 982-2252

The McCue Center: Sports Medicine and Sports Psychology Clinical Staff**

(434) 982-5450

U.Va. Teen and Young Adult Health Center***

(434) 982-0090

Mary D. Ainsworth Psychological Clinic****

(434) 982-4737

Shiela C. Johnson Center for Human Services****

(434) 924-7034

*The University's Emergency Department is the only local facility with nurses who are specially trained to collect evidence for victims of sexual assault; that evidence collection must occur within 72 hours of the assault.
**The McCue Center serves student athletes
***Provides health care for ages 12 to 26
****These clinics are designed as clinical training programs and do not generally see students in crisis


There are a number of local and national resource agencies that provide support and assistance to victims of sexual misconduct. These agencies are not subject to the University's reporting policy. They will not disclose identifiable information to the University'sTitle IX Coordinator.

The chart below identifies several of these agencies.

Local Resources

Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA)

(434) 295-7273

Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE)

(434) 293-6155

Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline of VA

1 (800) 838-8238

Martha Jefferson Hospital & Emergency Department

(434) 982-7150

Planned Parenthood

(434) 296-1000

National Resources

Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) Online Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1 (800) 656-4673

Appendix III: University Education & Prevention Programs

The University provides students with numerous prevention and education programs on sexual violence, intimate partner violence (often referred to as relationship or dating violence), domestic violence, and stalking. These programs include (1) annual awareness programs; (2) annual bystander intervention programs; (3) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns; (4) primary prevention programs; and (5) programs aimed at risk reduction. Descriptions of the specific programs the University offers in each of these areas are referenced below.

1. Annual University Awareness Programs

Awareness programs consist of community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration. The University provides the following awareness programs for students each year:

  • Alcohol-wise & Sexual Misconduct Education Module: Each year, prior to matriculation, all students are asked to take an alcohol education and awareness program called Alcohol-wise. Prior to the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, student were also asked to take a corollary program called Consent & Respect, which educates students about consent, sexual misconduct, and the importance of being an active bystander in preventing sexual misconduct. Beginning in 2015, Consent & Respect will be replaced with a U.Va.-specific educational module.
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Each year, the University participates in Domestic Violence Awareness month with a week of programming around sexual violence awareness and prevention. The programming includes speakers, panel discussions and participation in the Red Flag Campaign, a media campaign that raises awareness about sexual and intimate partner violence. The Red Flag Campaign, a public awareness campaign about the "red flags" of abusive relationships, is the centerpiece of the month. Posters and flags are distributed to residence halls and Greek houses and also placed on departmental and library boards and other student centers.
  • Halloween Safety: ADAPT members label candy with one of five alcohol safety messages which are distributed to student through a "reverse trick or treating" campaign. In addition, they engage in a health promotions outreach campaign to encourage students to be active bystanders during the Halloween holiday. The primary audience is first-year students.
  • National Hazing Prevention Week/National Gordie Day: A committee of ADAPT members and other interested students coordinates NHPW each year. The focus is on understanding the many forms of hazing, knowing the signs of alcohol overdose and empowering students to become active bystanders in situations specific to potential hazing incidents.
  • Take Back the Night Week: In April, the University holds another week of programming to raise awareness about sexual assault and sexual violence. The week culminates in a rally, march and speak out for survivors of sexual violence. The week routinely includes a mock hearing of the Sexual Misconduct Board where community members can see a simulation of a hearing followed by a question and answer session.
  • Advisory Committee on Alcohol and Substance Abuse: This University–wide committee considers effective ways to promote short and long-term programs that minimize drinking and substance abuse among underage students and tackles abuse among students of legal age. The committee is proactive in identifying key issues that should be of institutional priority including those that overlap with sexual misconduct prevention and the promotion of bystander intervention.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Week: ADAPT, PHEs, SAMs and the Fourth-Year Class Trustees coordinate a week of events, including a pledge drive against participation in the fourth-year fifth (attempting to consume a fifth of liquor before the last home football game), the Susan Grossman Memorial Speaker, a panel discussion by students in recovery from substance abuse and the 4th Year 5K. Events raise awareness of normative healthy behaviors and recognize the hazards of celebratory drinking including the risk of being targeted for sexual violence.
  • Residence Staff Training: All students who are part of residence staff receive training regarding alcohol, emotional well-being and recognizing signs of sexual assault and/or sexual violence as well as tools and resources for supporting survivors. Staffers are also provided training on the University's sexual misconduct policy in addition to other avenues for reporting sexual violence.

2. Annual University Bystander Intervention Programs

Bystander intervention consists of safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. It also includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene. The University provides the following bystander intervention programs for students each year:

  • Bystander Intervention Presentation & Facilitation for First Year Students: First year students receive an annual keynote address from an expert in bystander education as part of the first year orientation series. The address, "My Moment…My Legacy," was developed in 2014 and given to help students understand their role in maintaining a community of care and trust and to also introduce them to the importance of being an active bystander in furthering that goal. Students also hear from Deans who provide information about the sexual misconduct policy and reporting incidents. Residence Staff are provided with a debrief discussion and activity guide to process this session in the residence halls following these sessions.
  • Green Dot at U.Va. : The Green Dot bystander intervention education program engages faculty, staff and students as leaders and presenters on safe strategies for intervention around power-based interpersonal violence with the goal of reducing sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking. The program engages all communities at the University for a unified effort to prevention. The training focuses on three primary categories of intervention strategy: distract, delegate and direct. In addition to training, the Green Dot strategy also includes social norming campaigns and community mobilization efforts.
  • Step UP!: Step Up! Is a bystander intervention program – Peer educators including ADAPT, the PHEs and Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) are trained in the Step UP! model. All first-year and new transfer student-athletes attend Step UP! training as part of their orientation. Scenarios include alcohol use and sexual misconduct issues.

3. Ongoing University Prevention and Awareness Campaigns

Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns consist of programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to, and skills for addressing, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the University. The University provides the following ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns:

  • Greek Member Education Programming: In order to maintain status as a Fraternal Organization, the University requires all Greek letter organizations to complete certain programming requirements for their chapters. At least one program per year must be about alcohol and another about sexual assault/violence. Most chapters request a presentation from one of the many peer advocacy organizations on Grounds. The most common presentations are referenced below.
    • There are multiple annual screenings of the documentary HAZE marketed specifically to Greek chapters. HAZE tells Gordie Bailey's death as a result of hazing-related alcohol overdose to motivate audience members to intervene in an alcohol emergency. Several chapters watched the documentary HAZE to discuss hazing issues, signs of alcohol overdose and the importance of peer intervention.
    • ADAPT gives presentations to fraternities and sororities focused on alcohol safety, caring for an intoxicated friend, and social norms.
    • PHEs gives two main presentations to fraternities & sororities. The program "Sexfest" focuses on sexual health, birth control, STIs, and consent. "Buzzed" focuses on alcohol and other drugs.
    • One In Four gives the presentation "How to Help a Sexual Assault Survivor: What Men Can Do," which focuses on empathy building, consent, and survivor support.
  • One Less provides an educational presentation about sexual assault and dating violence focusing on understanding consent, how to obtain "effective consent," how to spot unhealthy behaviors in relationships and how to support a survivor.
  • Attendance at Take Back the Night events, including, (a) the mock Sexual Misconduct Board hearing; (b) a vigil for survivors; and/or (3) a panel discussion on how to support sexual assault survivors.
  • All IFC fraternities complete an education program during recruitment and prior to bid day that includes a presentation from One-in-Four that focuses on consent and prevention, particularly around the use of alcohol and men's Bid Night activities.
  • All ISC new members attend a bystander intervention workshop the week before men's Bid Night activities as part of their new member orientation and education with ISC.
  • Not on Our Grounds/#HoosGotYourBack: The University opens the fall semester with a media and awareness campaign, called Not On Our Grounds, to help students better understand the issue of sexual misconduct on college campuses and the Red Zone – the period in the first three months of the semester where students are the most vulnerable to sexual assault. A component of the program, #HoosGotYourBack, was developed in 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of active bystanders in preventing sexual violence and provides basic tools for intervening in potentially dangerous or high risk situations.
  • Stall Seat Journal: The Stall Seat Journal program uses social norms theory to educate and create behavior change around health behaviors, targeting all first year students. Monthly posters are placed in bathroom stalls of first year residence hall bathrooms, as well as common area bathrooms around Grounds (ie, Newcomb Hall, Student Health, the Women's Center, etc). Posters consists of data on student health behaviors, beliefs, and bystander intentions, as well as general education and resources for college health issues such as substance abuse, sexual assault, bystander theory/intervention, healthy relationships, disordered eating, sexual health, etc.
  • The Women's Center: Gender Violence & Social Change: The Women's Center offers open Survivor Support Network trainings each year for faculty, staff and students, as well as requested trainings. Trainings focus on understanding different forms of gender-based violence, recognizing trauma in others, and acting as a supportive peer to someone who has been assaulted. Participants receive manuals and other materials to assist them in supporting survivors in the future.

4. University Primary Prevention Programs

Primary prevention programs consist of programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions. The University provides the following primary prevention programs:

  • Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition (SVPC): The Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition (SVPC) is an umbrella organization that helps bring together the various groups invested in sexual assault prevention and education. SVPC consists of One in Four, One Less, Feminism Is For Everyone, ADAPT, and Peer Health Educators. SVPC works with these groups as well as University officials to shape student response to sexual violence on Grounds.
  • ADAPT (Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team): Promotes awareness, provides educational outreach, and serves as accessible resources for students. Their primary purpose is to minimize the abuse of alcohol and other drugs to promote a healthier environment. They coordinate marketing campaigns to reduce negative consequences during Halloween, the last home football game, spring break and the Foxfield Races.
  • One Less: An organization of students trained to advocate for survivors who provide informational presentations to student groups on a range of topics relating to sexual violence. The group has a wide range of presentations regarding sexual assault including one on consent, domestic/intimate partner violence, consent, and issues of intersectionality. These presentations are oriented towards both male and female audiences. The group also seeks to promote a culture of support for sexual assault survivors at the University through presentations to groups and advocacy on behalf of survivors in the community.
  • One in Four: A group of male peer educators whose name comes from the statistic that one-in-four college women have survived rape or attempted rape since their fourteenth birthday. Their mission is to spread awareness of the prevalence of violence against women—specifically sexual assault and rape—and the pain that it causes. The group presents to all-male groups to inform other men how to help survivors recover from a rape experience.
  • Peer Health Educators: A diverse group of students trained to educate their peers about college health and wellness issues (substance use, nutrition, sexual health, mental health/wellness) in a positive, interactive, fun, and nonjudgmental manner. PHEs provide confidential patient education sessions; facilitate dynamic outreach programs; encourage physical, mental, and spiritual health; create informative awareness events; and promote community support to create a healthy campus culture.
  • Student-Athlete Mentors (SAMs): The Department of Athletics & the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention train members of each athletic team to serve as SAMs, who coordinate alcohol education programs and community service opportunities for their teams & serve as internal resources on health and wellness issues.

5. Risk Reduction

Risk reduction consists of options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction and to increase empowerment for victims to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence. The University Police Department provides the following self-defense classes each year:

  • UPD Self-Defense: The University of Virginia Police Department offers two types of self-defense classes to the UVA community. The first is the R.A.D. women's self-defense course. This is a 12-hour course that they break into several sessions. There is no cost to attend. They also offer a one-time, two hour basic self-defense course. There is also no cost to attend this one as well. To organize a class, sign up for a class, or to receive more information, contact Officer Rexrode at or 434-924-8845.

    In addition, many of the University's campaigns and programs described elsewhere in this Appendix are designed, at least in part, to provide students with risk reduction strategies. In no case are risk reduction strategies intended to place blame or responsibility on a victim for an act of violence committed against him or her. The University recognizes that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions.

  • Risk Reduction Tips: These tips may help reduce the risk of experiencing sexual assault, intimate partner violence (dating or relationship violence), domestic violence or stalking. Safety tips, if you experience any of these crimes, are also described, as well as suggestions for healthy sexual encounters to avoid perpetrating a non-consensual sexual act. All tips are adapted from Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) and from ATIXA.

Risk Reduction Tips for Sexual Violence

In A Social Situation:

  1. When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
  3. Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you've left your drink alone, don't drink from it again.
  4. Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink, go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. At parties, don't drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
  5. Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they've had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place immediately. Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
  6. If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.). Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).
  7. If someone asks for your number, take his/her number instead of giving out yours. Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.) .

If Someone Is Pressuring You:

If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:

  1. Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong, it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame.
  2. Make your limits known. If your partner is pushing those limits, say no as clearly as possible. You have the right to leave or stop a sexual encounter at any point.
  3. Be true to yourself. Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do. "I don't want to" is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
  4. Have a code word with your friends or family so that if you don't feel comfortable you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.
  5. Lie. If you don't want to hurt the person's feelings it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Some excuses you could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, having somewhere else that you need to be, etc.
  6. Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
  7. Find someone nearby and ask for help. As another person at the party or someone walking by, or text a friend to help you leave the situation
  8. If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.

If you are initiating sexual contact with someone

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  1. Understand and respect personal boundaries. Continuing to pressure someone to go farther than they have said they wanted to go can be coercive.
  2. Don't make assumptions about consent; about someone's sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you do not have consent—when in doubt, just ask.
  3. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  4. Don't take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  5. Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don't abuse that power.
  6. Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  7. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

If you have been sexually assaulted there are some additional steps you can take to help feel safer:

Responding to a perpetrator:

  • Be conscious of places the perpetrator frequents (work schedule, class schedule, where s/he likes to eat, what club meetings s/he has, what sports practices s/he has, etc.)
  • Know which people the perpetrator usually hangs out with and what social events s/he likes to attend
  • Plan what you would say and do if you came into contact with him or her, and communicate with your friends about

General Tips:

  • Use the resources that your campus offers (ODOS, CAPS, Student Health, The Women's Center, UPD, Charlottesville Police)
  • If you are concerned about anonymity, use any resources that the neighboring community provides (like SARA or SHE)
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, leave the situation and go to a safe place


Remember: it is not your fault.

Risk Reduction & Safety Planning Tips for Dating Violence and Stalking

How to get away in an emergency

  • Be conscious of exits or other escape routes
  • Think about options for transportation (car, bus, train, etc.)

Who Can Help

  • Friends, family
  • Support centers such as the Shelter for Help in Emergency
  • The University Police Department or the Charlottesville Police Department
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673), the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, or if you are in a dating or domestic violence, situation the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE(7233)

Where To Go

  • Friend's dorm room or apartment
  • Relative's house
  • A domestic violence or homeless shelter (if there are not any domestic violence shelters in your area, and you are contemplating leaving the town, you may want to consider going to a homeless shelter)
  • The Emergency Department at U.Va. hospital—hospitals will allow you to take temporary shelter
  • The police or campus safety (even if campus safety knows both you and the perpetrator—they are still responsible for doing their job to protect you)
  • Important Safety Note: If the dangerous situation involves a partner go to the police or a shelter first.

What To Bring

  • Important papers and documents: birth certificate, social security card, license, passport, medical records, bills, etc.
  • House or dorm room keys, car keys, cash, credit cards, medicine, important numbers, cell phone
  • Keep all of these things in an emergency bag
  • Hide the bag—best if not in house or car

Walking Around Grounds & Charlottesville

  • Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged
  • Be familiar with where emergency blue phones are installed on the campus
  • Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone
  • Keep some change accessible just in case you need to use a pay phone
  • Take major, public paths rather than less populated shortcuts
  • Avoid dimly lit places and talk to campus services if lights need to be installed in an area
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
  • Walking back from the library very late at night is sometimes unavoidable, so try to walk with a friend
  • Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) on your keychain
  • Carry a small flashlight on your keychain
  • If walking feels unsafe, call Safe Ride

Taking the Bus

  • Be alert at bus stops when waiting for the bus to arrive
  • Use the bus schedule to avoid waiting for a long time at a stop
  • Plan your route to use the busiest, best-lighted stop possible
  • If someone is bothering you on the bus, tell the driver
  • If you feel uneasy about getting off at your usual stop, stay on the bus until the next stop or wait until the bus goes around to your usual stop the second time

Dorm and apartment safety

  • Lock your door when you go to sleep and when you are not in the room
  • Keep your window locked (especially if it is easy to enter from the ground)
  • Don't allow tailgating into your building
  • If your building has an elevator, try to stay near the button dashboard when you are riding in it so that you have easy access to the emergency button. Also, if you feel threatened, you can push the button for the next floor and leave immediately instead of waiting for the elevator to reach the floor where you live
  • Avoid isolated areas (stairways, laundry rooms, basement, etc.) when you are alone

DMU Timestamp: November 11, 2014 20:35

0 comments, 0 areas
add area
add comment
change display
add comment

Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

Logging in, please wait... Blue_on_grey_spinner