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 pharmacist at the Student Health Center. The pharmacist 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). 

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