Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 72 hours …

  • Call the police and report the assault. If you feel uncomfortable involving the police you have the option to not call them.
  • Do not eat, drink, shower, bathe or brush your teeth (it may wash away evidence).
  • Do not change your clothes (they will be kept as evidence).
  • Call a friend for support. Alternatively, call RCASA (Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault) 540-371-1666 and a trained counselor will support and guide you.
  • Go directly to the Mary Washington Hospital Emergency Room with your friend or RCASA counselor.
  • Take extra clothes with you to wear home.
  • Tell the ER check-in staff that you were sexually assaulted. You will be immediately taken to a dedicated exam room. No waiting.
  • YOUR ER VISIT IS FREE. All expenses are paid for by the state of Virginia.
  • You will examined by a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse, the only person in the Fredericksburg area who is qualified and licensed to perform a sexual assault examination. Neither the Student Health Center nor any other medical facility in Fredericksburg can do this specialized forensic exam.
  • The SANE exam takes 3 to 4 hours.
  • If you are unsure if you want to press charges, you have one year to decide.

Don’t let embarrassment, cost or fear keep you from going! A professional counselor will help you, the exam is free, the police don’t have to be involved and you don’t have to press charges. But it is important that the evidence be collected in a timely manner.

If the assault was more than 72 hours ago …

The emergency room will not do a sexual assault exam as it is too late to collect evidence. Come to the Student Health Center and we will guide you to the right resources. These include:

  • POLICE – Report the assault to either the UMW Police 540-654-4444 or the local police where the assault occurred.
  • CAPS – (Counseling and Psychological Services 540-654-1053) is located on the third floor of Mercer Hall. A team of four PhD Clinical Psychologists are trained to help you mentally and emotionally deal with your crisis. This service is free to all students. More information may be found on their website.
  • RCASA – Emotional support and guidance is also available from RCASA (Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault 540-371-1666). Trained assault counselors can meet with you or provide advice over the phone. This service is free. More information may be found on their website.

To learn more about sexual assault go to: