Reporting an Assault

Make a Report to NOVA's Title IX Office

This report can be submitted anonymously. We will respond to reports as promptly, thoroughly, and impartially as possible, so we encourage all reporters, anonymous or disclosed, to provide as much information about the report they are submitting as possible.


Other Reporting Options

NOVA Police Department

If an incident occurs on campus: 703.764.5000

Local Police Department

If incident occurs on or off campus: 911

Office for Civil Rights, District of Columbia Office

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-1475
Phone: 202.453.6020
Fax: 202.453.6021

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted

  • Make sure you are in a safe place.
  • Call someone -- you should not be alone. Call a trusted friend, family member, trained counselor or medical professional, NOVA Police or 911.
  • Get medical help right away. You need to be examined for injury, physical evidence, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours after the assault. A specially trained sexual assault nurse examiner will perform DNA collection (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit - PERK), injury assessment, documentation, preventive medications and referrals to legal and support services. Going to the hospital to seek medical attention does not obligate you to report the crime.
  • In order to preserve evidence, do not change your clothes, wash, shower, douche, eat, drink, brush your teeth or use the bathroom. If you must change your clothes, place the items in a paper bag – not plastic – and take them with you to the emergency room. This is very important if you decide to file a report later. Bring a change of clothes with you.
  • Consider reporting the assault. You are encouraged to report the assault to the NOVA police or the local police.

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse who has received special training so that he/she can provide comprehensive care to sexual assault victims. In addition, he/she is able to conduct a forensic exam and may provide expert testimony if a case goes to trial. These exams are also known as Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK).

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital (forensic evidence collection available)
    3300 Gallows Road
    Falls Church, VA 22042
  • Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (forensic evidence collection available)
    2300 Opitz Boulevard
    Woodbridge, VA 22191

Resources at NOVA

  • Laura Buchs, Title IX Coordinator,
  • NOVA Police: 703.764.5000
  • Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer: Dr. Nathan Carter 
    at or 703.323.2262
  • NOVA Human Resources: 703.323.3110

Resources in the Community

Safe houses for victims of domestic violence

Legal Resources

Formal Complaints

A formal complaint is required to begin an investigation. It must be completed and signed by the Complainant or by the Title IX Coordinator on behalf of the College.

Interim Actions

The Title IX Office can assist in arranging academic accommodations (course schedule adjustments, extension of assignments, alternative class or work arrangements), changing work arrangements, and may issue No Contact Orders as well as interim suspension and disciplinary or administrative leave.

Complainant’s Rights

A person who is the victim of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking is referred to as the complainant.

Respondent’s Rights

A person who has been accused of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, or stalking is referred to as the respondent. 


An individual who may have information relevant to a report of sexual misconduct. Witness participation in the College’s Title IX Resolution process is voluntary.

Steps in an Investigation

  • Title IX Coordinator receives a report of an incident; contacts Complainant to discuss investigation and support services.
  • Title IX Coordinator or designee conducts an evaluation - interviewing parties and reviewing documentation.
  • Process can take up to 120 business days to complete, at the end of which an administrative determination will be made.
  • Both parties will be informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
  • Both parties will be given an opportunity to review all information used to make the determination.
  • Both parties have the right to appeal a final decision.
  • If the complaint proceeds to a hearing, all attendees must adhere to the Rules of Decorum.

Identifying information of a complainant will be protected as much as possible. This means that a complainant’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without permission. When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not they participate in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible.

A Responsible Employee is required by law to report any incidents of sexual misconduct to NOVA’s Title IX Office. Responsible employees (or Persons with Authority) at NOVA include all employees except those with privileged communication, per VCCS instruction. As a Responsible Employee, employees must report any incidents of sexual harassment that they become aware of to the Title IX Coordinator. 

Responsible Employee Handout