Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 120 hours (5 days)…

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.

  • 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 (ER) 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 be 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.

If the assault was more than 120 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.
  • Talley Center for Counseling Services (540-654-1053) is located on the first floor of Lee Hall. A team of Counselors 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.
  • Empowerhouse also provides individual and group counseling services. Counselors at the counseling center can help link you with a counselor at the counseling center or in the community.  Please remember, if this happens to you, you are NOT alone and consider seeking out appropriate supports at this time.
  • Consider filing a report with The Office of Title IX. You can reach them at (540) 654-1166. Within the University community, people who are sexually assaulted are encouraged to report any violations of UMW’s Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. Offenders are in violation of UMW’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. You can meet with Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility to discuss your options.

Remember your information will be kept confidential in seeking support from RCASA, Empowerhouse, the Talley Center for Counseling, or the Student Health Center.   It is up to you if and when you may choose to “make a report.”  You are in control of whether or not you choose to make a report to the police, or The Office of Title IX.  However, if you choose to do this, we would be happy to assist you in this process.