There are a variety of resources and spaces across campus that can provide support to any member of the community who has experienced or caused relationship, gender-based, and/or sexual harm. These resources are available regardless of whether an investigation is led. 

We strongly encourage any individuals who have recently experienced sexual harm or are dealing with being accused of causing sexual harm to review the below information with a trusted friend, peer, or family member.


What to Do Immediately After a Violent Experience

First and foremost, make sure you are safe from any further harm. If you feel that you are in an unsafe situation, contact Police Services at 911 or (802) 656-3473, and they will be able to assist you. Get to a safe place if you can. Once there, you may want to contact HOPE Works at (802) 863-1236 or another trusted friend, peer, or family member.

Immediate Steps

Preserve Evidence and Seek Medical Attention

Preserve any potential evidence.
Consider going to the UVM Medical Center or nearby emergency room to see a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). While it may be exactly what you want to do, it's important that you do not bathe or use douche devices. If oral contact took place, try not to eat or brush your teeth. Even if you have done these things, you can still get a SANE examination. If you haven’t changed clothes, keep the original garments on, and bring an extra set with you to the hospital if you will be seeking medical attention. The police may need to keep your clothes as evidence if you file a report. If you have changed clothes, place the clothes in a paper bag (plastic can destroy evidence).

Save any text messages, social media messages or other communications that relate to the incident.

Seek medical attention.
Medical attention is very important, as you may have obtained injuries during the assault. Go to the closest emergency room (in Burlington, this is the UVM Medical Center). HOPE Works is a community agency that offers 24/7 crisis support who may be able to meet you at the hospital to provide support and information—simply call (802) 863-1236.

At the hospital, you can be tested for sexually transmitted infections and receive emergency contraception, if needed. If you think you may have been drugged as part of the assault, you may ask a health professional to perform a test to verify.

You can file a report

You may file a report at any point following an assault. Individuals may choose to file a report with law enforcement, with Equal Opportunity, with both, or neither. You are not required to file a report in order to receive medical attention or assistance from campus and community resources.

Learn more about the types of reports and investigations available to you.

File a report with EO here.

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

Learn more about the resources available to students through the Title IX team in the Office of Equal Opportunity (EO).


Support Resources for Peers, Friends, and Families


Be Transparent.

If you have an obligation as UVM Reporter to share any information someone discloses to you about their experiences with gender-based, sexual or relationship violence, let the person know right away, and remind them they can always seek support from a confidential resource (listed below). Learn more about UVM reporters and your obligations.


Not every person who experiences violence will come forward to disclose or share their story. If you start seeing changes in behavior from a friend, colleague, or peer such as difficulty concentrating, frequent absences from classes or work, and/or a decline in academic or work performance, consider whether it might be related to sexual violence, relationship violence, and/or harassment. You should encourage them to contact HOPE Works, the Title IX Coordinator in EO, and/or Police Services. EO's Intake and Outreach Coordinator is available to provide support information and reporting options too.

Some survivors will want to talk about their experiences. If so, keep their privacy. It is a survivor's decision when and whether to tell others about what happened. Don’t push them to reveal details about the incident or ask questions, even if you're curious. Sexual misconduct occurs against people of all genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds.


Acknowledge their sadness, anger, fear, or confusion. Let them know that all of these feelings are normal after experiencing sexual violence. Assure them that they aren't alone.

  • If a survivor was impaired during the assault, assure them that they aren't to blame for what happened.
  • If a survivor feels guilty because they didn't fight back, assure them that fear sometimes inhibits us.
  • Tell them that they did the best they could to survive the situation and that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted.
  • Don’t blame survivors for what happened by asking them things like why they were drinking, why they didn't fight back, what they were wearing, or by telling them what you would have done.


If you learn that a friend or colleague has caused sexual harm, you should strongly encourage the individual to engage with any of the support resources (see below), including counseling for emotional support.

  • It's incredibly important to be informed about UVM policies. This is a key component of prevention.
  • Engage with the Center for Health and Wellbeing for opportunities to learn about bystander intervention and healthy relationships. Visit Living Well in the Davis Center to get started.
  • Reach out to EO staff members who are available for questions about UVM resources and procedures.



Care and Support Resources for Students

CONFIDENTIALPRIVATE (information shared on need-to-know basis)
Hope Works: At UVM we partner with Hope Works, an organization dedicated to ending sexual violence, for confidential crisis response and advocacy services.The Office of Equal Opportunity may provide supportive measures (shared on a “need-to-know” basis only), including assistance with academic accommodations after an experience with sexual misconduct. EO also offers Process Advisors to support individuals involved in the EO process. Support measures are available to all. 
Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS): CAPS offers confidential support to any student who has experienced sexual or relationship harm

Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator
Elliot Ruggles, LICSW, PhD
Email | (802) 656-4643

Student Health Services offers 24/7 medical advice for all students, including medical options counseling after experiencing a non-consensual sexual event.The UVM Care Team provides support for those impacted by violence from a multidisciplinary team perspective.
The UVM Medical Center has specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (S.A.N.E. nurses) who can provide confidential medical examinations at no cost to individuals who have been sexually assaulted. Phone: 802-847-0000

The UVM Identity Centers are a great way to connect to non-confidential support. The P rism Center, Women and Gender Equity Center, Interfaith Center, and MOSAIC Center for Students of Color are all spaces where you can learn more about your options and find support.


For Employees

CONFIDENTIALPRIVATE (information shared on need-to-know basis)

The Employee Assistance Program offers free and confidential services to all university employees.
Phone: 1-866-660-9533

The Equal Opportunity Office is available to provide information about
university policies and procedures, and available options for
addressing policy violations. AAEO also may provide supportive measures, including assistance with work accommodations.


Additional Support Resources

Survivor Support SpaceA student-generated drop-in space supported by the university's Counseling and Psychiatry Services program that welcomes all genders, sexualities, and identities.

Men's Outreach CoordinatorKeith E. Smith, MS, LCMHC, NCC
Support, education and outreach relating to male identity. | 802-656-3340

LiveSafe App: Request immediate help from anywhere. Anonymously report incidents. Walk home safely by inviting contacts to digitally follow you on a real-time map.

Campus Police: Call for assistance or to report any non-emergency crime. All UVM police officers are specially trained in best practices for first responders to sexual misconduct. UVM Police Services also conducts individualized safety planning upon requests. Safety escorts are available from one campus building to another when you are concerned for your personal safety. Call 802-656-3473 (or 6-3473 from a campus landline).