There are a variety of resources across campus that can provide support to members of the community who have experienced or caused relationship, gender-based, and/or sexual harm. These resources are available regardless of whether UVM conducts an investigation.  

We strongly encourage any individuals who have experienced sexual harm or who have been accused of causing sexual harm to review the information below with a trusted friend, family member, or support person.

What to Do Immediately After a Violent Experience

First and foremost, make sure you are safe from further harm. If 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 victim advocacy from HOPE Works at (802) 863-1236 or another trusted or support person.

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). SANE nurses are trained to collect evidence and provide medical care. If possible, do not shower, bathe, or use douche products.  If there was oral contact, try not to eat, drink, or brush your teeth.  However, 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. 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.

Consider seeking medical attention if you were injured, exposed to an infection or need emergency contraception.  You can receive medical attention from Student Health Services and the UVM Medical Center.  Additionally, an advocate from HopeWorks may be able to accompany you to the hospital to provide support and information.  HopeWorks also provides 24/7 crisis support.  You can call them at (802) 863-1236.

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.

Consider seeking medical attention if you were injured, exposed to an infection or need emergency contraception.  You can receive medical attention from Student Health Services and the UVM Medical Center. Additionally, an advocate from HOPE Works may be able to accompany you to the hospital to provide support and information.  HopeWorks also provides 24/7 crisis support.  You can call them at (802) 863-1236.

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.

Option to File a Report

You may file a report at any point following an assault. Individuals may choose to file a report with law enforcement, UVM’s Office of Equal Opportunity, with both, or neither. UVM's Office of Equal Opportunity provides options for both investigations and alternative resolutions. 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.

When you file a report, a staff member from the Equal Opportunity Office will reach out with information about support resources and options.

When you file a report with the Office of Equal Opportunity, you have the option of pursuing an investigation or an alternative resolution. An investigation is a disciplinary process. An investigator will interview witnesses and collect evidence. Depending on when and where the conduct occurred, either (1) the investigator will write a report and make a determination as to whether UVM policy was violated or (2) the investigator will provide the information collected to an adjudicator who will hold a hearing and make a determination. An alternative resolution is a restorative process. The parties will create an agreement that seeks to remedy the harm caused and prevent future harm. Terms of the agreement often include education and restorative practices. An alternative resolution is not a disciplinary process and does not result in a determination of a policy violation.

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 a 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. If so, you should encourage them to contact HOPE Works, CAPS, the Title IX Coordinator in EO, and/or Police Services. EO's support coordinators are 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 or other emotions. 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 on campus. On campus office hours are held in Living Learning 215 during the regular academic year.The  Office of Equal Opportunity  provides support measures, including no contact orders, safety planning, academic flexibility and housing changes. EO also offers  Process Advisors  to support individuals involved in the EO process. Support measures are available to students who have experienced harm and have been accused of causing harm. 
Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS): CAPS offers confidential support to any student who has experienced or may have caused sexual or relationship harm.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator
Elliot Ruggles, LICSW, PhD is available for community-based education and consultation around instances of gender and sexual harm.
Email | (802) 656-4643

Student Health Services offers 24/7 medical advice for all students, as well as medical options counseling after experiencing a non-consensual sexual event.The UVM Care Team provides support for students impacted by relationship, gender-based, and/or sexual violence from a multidisciplinary team approach.
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. EO may also provide supportive measures, including assistance with work accommodations.


Additional Support Resources

CAPS Office Hours at WAGE: A CAPS counselor embedded in the Women and Gender Equity Center provides confidential support for any student.

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).