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
- 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