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Health and Safety

Timely health and safety options are important to understand

Experiencing an assault, abuse, or other trauma can feel overwhelming and confusing. It’s important to consider information about all the options available to you, including time-sensitive information regarding your health and safety. The following information may be helpful to you regarding self-care and making informed choices about your next steps.

Medical Care and Emotional Well-being

Consider visiting a health care professional. A health care professional is confidential and can treat trauma or injuries you may have experienced. They can also provide preventative treatment in the case of STI exposure or pregnancy. If you are concerned about pregnancy, it’s important to be seen within 5 days of sexual intercourse. If you are concerned about sexually transmitted infections, it's important to be seen as soon as possible by a medical provider. These services are free at the Student Health Center for students who have experienced sexual assault.

Emergency Contraception

Students who have experienced sexual assault can access free emergency contraception at the Student Health Center without seeing a provider (seeing a medical professional is highly encouraged). Print off this coupon and take it to the front desk at the Student Health Center (open Monday through Friday). They will provide you with emergency contraception.  

PERK (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit)

If you recently (within the past 5 days) experienced an assault or physical violence, consider getting a PERK (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit). A PERK is a special medical exam given to people who have been sexually and/or physically assaulted to collect evidence that may be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of sexual/physical assault. If you think you may want to report the assault for investigation now or in the future, you may want to consider having a PERK administered.

You may have a PERK administered without reporting to the police. This is called an “anonymous report.” PERKs that are collected, but not reported to police, will be stored for 24 months. Samples collected from PERKs that are not reported to the police are not tested until you decide to report. You can decide later if you want to move forward with a report to the police. Generally, a PERK will not be done if more than 5 days have passed since the assault. If you decide you want to get a PERK, consider bringing the clothes you were wearing during the assault with you because they may contain evidence. While at the hospital for a PERK, you will also be offered preventative medication for STIs and pregnancy. You will also be offered support from a trained community advocate.

A PERK is free and can be accessed at Riverside Doctor’s Hospital in Williamsburg. If you were injured other than experiencing sexual assault (slapped, kicked, punched, strangled, or bruised), you can still get evidence collected and photo-documentation of injuries at Riverside Doctor’s Hospital in WilliamsburgWilliam & Mary Police can confidentially transport you to get a PERK (or other forensic exam). 

"I Think Someone Put Something in my Drink"

If you think you may have unknowingly consumed a substance that was intentionally used to incapacitate you, please consider the following information.

  • Symptoms may include the following: nausea, loss of bowel or bladder control, difficulty breathing, feeling "drunk" when you have not consumed any alcohol, sudden dizziness, disorientation, or blurred vision, sudden body temperature change, loss of memory. If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or someone else, immediately reach out to someone you trust or take steps to keep the person safe.
  • Most substances leave your body within hours, so getting medical care as soon as possible is critical.
  • The hospital's routine urine screening will NOT detect common drugs used to incapacitate someone. You must get a drug test called a "Tox Screen." To get a Tox Screen at the hospital you must report to law enforcement that you believe you were unknowingly drugged. Since this is a crime, law enforcement can request the Tox Screen to be conducted at the hospital.
  • For more information about drug facilitated sexual assault please refer to this resource: Drug Facilitated SA Poster.
Download the RAVE Guardian App

Download the free Rave Guardian safety app to check in with family, friends, campus safety or others you trust to help you stay safe both on and off campus. This app allows you to set a timer which automatically notifies friends and family to check in on you. It also provides easy emergency communication to safety officials if you need immediate help. Please click on RAVE Guardian to learn more about this safety tool and to download the app. 

Emotional Well-being

Consider visiting the Counseling Center. If you’ve recently experienced a trauma you can walk-in during business hours without an appointment and be seen immediately by a confidential mental health professional.

Consider visiting The Haven. The Haven provides confidential trauma-informed support and advocacy. This includes information on resources, sexual misconduct policies and procedures, reporting options and investigation, criminal and civil legal options, and modifications related to academics, housing, and campus living, including no-contact orders.

If you do not feel safe at your current residence (or returning to your residence) an on-campus temporary room will be provided that is in a confidential location. Please contact The Haven if you would like to discuss this option.

More information is provided in the Rights and Options document and on the William & Mary sexual violence website