Sexual Assault Resources

VCU is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment free from sexual violence.  If you have experienced sexual assault or violence, VCU offers resources, care, and support.  We encourage you to seek help as soon as possible.  Seeking care early will also help preserve evidence in case legal action is desired in the future. 

Learn about your Rights & Options and steps for seeking care below:

What should I do immediately?

1.  Contact the VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 or call 911 if you feel unsafe or wish to file a police report.  Even if you do not want to file a report or press charges, we strongly encourage survivors to contact VCU Police to learn about available resources and options.  You will NOT be pressured to pursue criminal investigation if you don't want to.  You can even talk to an officer without meeting in person or giving identifying information. 

VCU Police offers the You Have Options program (YHOP), in which officers are trained to give victims as much control over their reporting and subsequent investigation as the law allows.  Click on the following link for a brief overview of YHOP.  More details are available at the link above.

2.  Seek medical attention.  A health care provider can check for injuries, discuss concerns about STIs and pregnancy, and talk with you about evidence collection, also called a PERK (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit) exam.  A PERK exam is free and does not require a commitment to report or press charges.  PERK exams should be completed within 5 days (the sooner the better) and are available at:

Students also have access to medical care during regular office hours; however, PERK exams are not available through Student Health.

3.  Preserve evidence.  You don't have to make any decisions immediately, but if there is any chance you might press charges, it is important to preserve evidence:

  • Please do not change clothes or shower.  If you do remove clothing, place them in a paper (not plastic) bag.
  • If oral contact took place, try not to eat, drink, smoke, or brush your teeth.

What should I do next?

You are not alone.  Resources are available to support you, listen to you, and believe you.


Local hotlines offer confidential support, crisis intervention, and referrals to local resources for survivors of sexual violence, intimate partner violence and/or stalking.

More local resources include:

  • YWCA of Richmond offers 24-hour hotline services (804-612-6126), free counseling, hospital and court accompaniment, emergency shelter, and more.  Call to see if they are offering their YWCA Support/Empowerment Group for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
  • Hanover Safe Place offers 24-hour hotline services (804-612-6126 or 888-370-SAFE), safety planning, emergency shelter, court advocacy, counseling, support groups, and more.
  • Safe Harbor offers a 24-hour helpline (804-612-6126), emergency shelter, court advocacy, counseling, and other services.