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What If You Are Assaulted?

  • Students sitting in front of window

Get Help

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.

Where to get help

Hospitals that perform SANE exams:

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

Advocacy and Support Resources

Resources at NOVA

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

Resources in the Community

Safe houses for victims of domestic violence

Legal Resources