Safety Planning

The VSU Advocates are available to assist students who would like to explore options for increasing their personal safety on and off campus. A safety plan may be helpful to map out your support system and resources in the event you find yourself in danger or fear of danger.

If I am starting to feel unsafe with my partner(s), I can:

  • Ask my partner(s) to leave. If they refuse, I can get help from my Resident Assistant, Residence Hall Director, Apartment Manager or someone in my building, or I can call the police (9-1-1)
  • Make sure that I have a ready excuse for why I need to leave
  • Have a code word or phrase that lets my friends know I need help. I will discuss with friends and family what they should do if i use a code word or phrase.
    • Example 1: My code word is … When I say this word that means I need you to [insert action that you want the person to take]
    • Example 2: My code phrase is … When I say this phrase that means I need you [insert action that you want the person to take]
    • Some examples of actions to take include, but not limited to
      • Come get me
      • Call 9-1-1
      • Call me back in 5 minutes
      • Call my mom
      • Go get help
  • Pre-program 911 into my cell phone or download Circle of 6 app
    • Circle of 6: Need help getting home? Need an interruption? Two taps lets your circle know where you are and how they can help. Circle of 6 app for iPhone and Android makes it quick and easy to reach the 6 people you choose.
  • Move to a room with easy access to an exit and avoid rooms like the kitchen or bathroom or anywhere with weapons and/or hard surfaces.

If I need a safe place to go, I can:

  • Contact _________to see if I can stay with them
  • Arrange with friends ahead of time to stay at their place if necessary
  • Contact the local police department for an escort to a safe place
  • Call 804-481-5738 for help in arranging an emergency place to stay

Once my partner(s) has left, I can do the following to help keep myself safe:

  • Contact the Title IX Coordinator, Resident Advisor, campus and/or local police department to report any crime that may have occurred. (i.e. grabbing, hitting, threatening, harassment)
  • Contact the police and/or VSU Advocate to obtain a protective order.
  • Talk with my friends and other people in my building about ways to help me stay safe, including not propping the door open, and letting me know if my partner(s)/abuser(s) is in the building
  • Email “Ask the Advocate” for information and support regarding my options on what to do next
  • Make sure that any broken locks or windows are replaced. Work with your landlord or Resident Hall Director to change or add locks, if necessary.
    • The Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow the changing of locks when the partner(s)/abuser(s) reside in the home. Please speak with a VSU Advocate or VSU Police about options for securing your home.

If I am injured as a result of my partner’s abuse, I can:

  • Seek emergency medical assistance by dialing 911
  • Contact my Residence Hall Director or the VSU Police to arrange transportation to VCU Health
  • Have my injuries checked at Student Health Services

A VSU Advocate can accompany you to your medical appointment, pending availability.

For more long term help, I can:

  • Contact a VSU Advocate for additional support and options regarding:
    • Learning about my academic options if I find that my academic work is being impacted by this situation
    • Deciding if and how my parents should be notified
    • Requesting that disciplinary action be taken against my partner/abuser if my abuser is also a VSU student.
    • Having a better understanding of my feelings about what has happened by getting help at University Counseling Center or off-campus counselors