VCU Alert

On-campus emergency: 828-1234
Off-campus emergency: 911
Text a tip to 274637
Keyword: VCUtip

Current advisory

Notice of Sexual Assaults – Off Campus

10/28/2014

In compliance with the provisions of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1988, Virginia Commonwealth University is giving notice of three sexual assaults.

On October 26, 2014 at approximately 9:30 PM, the VCU Police Department was notified of three reported sexual assaults.  The assaults occurred during the early morning hours of October 26th during an off campus party at a private residence in the 1100 block of West Main Street.  The survivors reported being provided with a beverage that caused them to become incapacitated.  The suspects are known to the survivors.  The VCU Police Department is currently investigating the incident.

VCU Police remind members of the community of the following:

·        Alcohol and drugs may impair judgment, making it difficult to notice unsafe situations and intervene to help others. If either party is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consent cannot be given.

·        Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse which can include sexual contact with someone who is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant that impairs their judgment.

·        Be on the lookout for suspicious people who may attempt to isolate someone who is intoxicated or has been drinking.  Bystander intervention is a known tool to help to prevent campus sexual assault. Get involved if it's safe to do so, or go to a safe area and call for help.

·        Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is sexual assault.

·        Always seek verbal, sober, clear consent. Immediately stop sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say "no". Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another.  The absence of a “no” does not mean “yes.”

·        Never pressure or coerce someone into engaging in sexual activity.

·        Approximately 75% of rapes are committed by acquaintances (www.rainn.org).

·        If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure or scared call VCU Police immediately.

·        If you witness a situation that appears unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, intervene if it's safe to do so or go to a safe area and call for help.

Be aware of tactics used:

Tactics used to commit sexual assault include intruding into someone’s personal space physically, isolation and “feeding” or encouraging alcohol and/or other drug consumption.

Although alcohol is the most commonly used drug to facilitate sexual assault, other tactics include adding drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, or Rohypnol, to a person’s drink to incapacitate them. GHB, also known as Liquid Ecstasy, relaxes a person’s inhibitions, causes drowsiness, and may result in a loss of consciousness. Ketamine, also known as Special K, makes a person feel as if they are separated from their body and detached from reality. Rohypnol causes a person to become drowsy, dizzy, and lack motor control and coordination. Prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety medications, are also sometimes used to incapacitate an individual.

Using or requesting the use of birth control is not the same as consenting to sexual activity.

Develop a safety plan with friends.  Help each other to stay safe by sticking together and making sure someone does not become isolated.  Use safety apps, such as Circle of 6 and Live Safe to notify others if you feel unsafe, isolated or need assistance.

 ·        Be alert and aware at all times when you are with acquaintances.

 ·        Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

 ·        Report all suspicious people and circumstances to the VCU Police Department.

 VCU’s policies on sexual misconduct:

Amnesty from Student Conduct for the Reporting Party- It is not the practice of the University to pursue disciplinary action against an accuser or witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking), provided that such student is acting in good faith as a complainant or witness to the events of the alleged sexual misconduct.

VCU is obligated under federal law (Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)) to investigate reports of sexual misconduct, to take action to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault, prevent its reoccurrence and its adverse effects. Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination. The University will take measures in order to protect students' rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of VCU living arrangements, academic accommodations, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the local police.  

If you are the victim of a sexual assault many options are available to you; Retaliation for reporting is strictly prohibited.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not alone. There are people at VCU, and in the Richmond community, who are here to support you. We encourage you to report it to VCU Police. After speaking with a specially trained officer, a criminal investigation can begin with your consent.  VCU will also vigorously address sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct when committed by a VCU student or employee.

Reporting/Support Resources:

For more information on filing a Title IX complaint, visit www.titleix.saf.vcu.edu or contact Dr. Reuban Rodriguez, (804) 366-1643 rbrodriguez@vcu.edu

VCU Office of Institutional Equity:                                         (804) 828-1347

http://equity.vcu.edu/complaint/index.html

VCU Helpline:                                                                                     888-242-6022 (toll free)

VCU Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services             804-828-9355

http://www.thewell.vcu.edu/

VCU Counseling Services                                                        804-828-6200 (Monroe Park Campus

                                                                                             804-828-3964 (MCV Campus)

http://www.students.vcu.edu/counseling/

University Safety Case Manager                                                          804-837-8753

http://www.threat.vcu.edu/

Title IX Coordinator for students, Dr. Reuben Rodriguez                    804-828-8940

http://www.students.vcu.edu/docs/sexual_misconduct.pdf

VCU Police

http://www.vcu.edu/police/

Emergency #                                                                            828-1234

Non-Emergency #                                                                    828-1196

VCU Police Victim-Witness Specialist                                             828-6356

Officer Tricia Mozingo- tlmozingo@vcu.edu

 

If you are not ready to report, or are unsure, please consider contacting a confidential counselor or victim advocate for yourself or a friend: own situation or someone you know:

VCU Counseling Services: 804-828-6200 (to speak with a counselor after hours, call 828-1234 and ask to be connected to an on call counselor).

The Greater Richmond Regional Hotline: 804-612-6126

LGBTQ Partner Abuse & Sexual Assault Helpline: 866-356-6998 (M-F, 8am-8pm)

To explore your options for reporting, counseling, support groups and other resources, please contact The Wellness Resource Center, to speak with an advocate: 804-828-2085

YWCA of Richmond                                                               804-612-6126

www.ywcarichmond.org/

 

If you have general questions about the criminal justice process, even if you are not ready to report, you may contact Cynthia Micklem, Commonwealth’s Attorney at: 804-646-8685

Get involved in ending violence and supporting students who have been impacted by violence.

VCU Student Groups

            -Sexual Assault & Violence Education-Students (SAVES)     804-828-9355

- Men Against Violence (MAV)                                               804-828-9355

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share this information with other members of the community, and are asked to be aware of their surroundings, report suspicious activity to police and use the campus RamSafe transportation service by calling 804-828-SAFE (7233).

Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1234 or text VCUTIP to 274637 anonymously.

You can also download the Live Safe mobile safety application for free and submit information directly to VCU Police.

Virginia Commonwealth University is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting. This notification is part of our efforts to prevent and solve crimes. To report a crime in progress or an emergency on campus, call 804 828-1234.  For off campus emergencies, dial 911. VCU's annual safety report is available at: http://www.vcu.edu/police/2011_safetyreport.pdf. Maps of the core campus and VCU Police jurisdiction for each campus are available for review. View the Monroe Park Campus at: http://www.police.vcu.edu/docs/MonroeParkMap.pdf and the MCV campus at:  http://www.police.vcu.edu/docs/MCVCampusMap.pdf.

 

 

 

Preparedness

It is essential to be prepared for emergency situations and to be cognizant of ways to prevent crime and avoid dangerous situations.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of as residents of an urban environment, as crimes may occur in our community.

The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, walk with a friend and make use of RamSafe, VCU’s security escort service. For additional safety tips from the VCU Police, please see www.police.vcu.edu and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read VCU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Get Adobe Reader and to share this information with other members of the community.

VCU is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting.