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Get To a Safe Place - If you or a friend is in danger, call 911 immediately

This quick reference guide will provide you with the steps to take if you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Keep in mind that there are many different resources available to you and you may use as many or as few as you would like.

Make sure you are in a place where you are comfortable and safe. If it is an emergency or someone is in danger, call the ODU Police immediately at 757-683-4000. You can also call the Norfolk Police Department at 911. Both the Norfolk Police Department and ODU Police Department can provide you with protection, document the incident, and initiate an investigation.

If you are uncomfortable with contacting law enforcement, you may contact the ODU Women's Center (M-F, 8a.m.-5p.m.) at 757-683-4109. To reach the Women's Center after hours, call 757-683-4000. You may also call the YWCA Sexual & Domestic Violence Services 24/7 hotline at 757-251-0144.

Why should I go to the emergency room or student health services after a sexual assault?

Health concerns after an assault include:

  • Internal injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

Emergency contraception is available for $16, over-the-counter at Student Health Services. A medical practitioner can prescribe antibiotics for infections and treat injuries after giving you an exam (charges apply).

Should you wish to have evidence of a recent assault collected (within 72 hours), with or without reporting the incident to the police, the YWCA's Response Program, 757-625-4248 (main office) or 757-251-0144 (hotline), will accompany you to the emergency room. A Forensic Nurse Examiner can collect evidence from your body that can be held for up to six months while you decide whether or not you want to press charges. In order to preserve evidence that can be used in a court case, try not to eat, urinate, shower, change clothes or brush your hair. If you do change clothes, bring the clothes you were wearing as evidence in a paper bag (not plastic).

For more information about the Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) exam, visit the RAINN Network website.

If you are in need of immediate medical attention, call 911, or ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000. For non-emergencies, you may contact ODU Student Health Services at 757-683-3132. Student Health Services can treat internal injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy.

While it is recommended you have evidence collected should you decide at some point to press charges, you do not need to have evidence collected if you do not want to. The exam has no bearing on your right to contact law enforcement, report the incident, or file charges when you are ready. Evidence collected can be held without processing for 6 months.

For confidential support in assisting you to set up an exam, you may contact the following resources:

  • YWCA Sexual & Domestic Violence Services 757-251-0144 (hotline) or 757-625-4248 (main office)
  • ODU Victim Advocate at 757-683-4110
  • ODU Student Health Services: 757-683-3132
  • Chesapeake Forensics: 757-436-4111 or 911

Sexual and relationship violence, which are forms of sexual harrassment, are violations of ODU's discrimination policy. You have many options for reporting. You may contact one of the following offices to file a report, once you are comfortable doing so:

  • Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity/Title IX Coordinator: 757-683-3141
  • ODU Police Department: 757-683-4000
  • Norfolk Police Department: 911
  • ODU Women's Center: 757-683-4109

Below are the confidential support services available to students who wish to utilize them.

ODU Counseling Services at 757-683-4401

YWCA Sexual & Domestic Violence Services 24/7 hotline at 757-251-0144.

Department of Defense (DoD) Safe 24/7 Helpline at 877-995-5247

ODU Victim Advocate 757-683-4111

Responding to a Victim

Help for You

You need to feel safe after an incident of Interpersonal Violence: safe in your residence, safe walking on campus, and safe at work. Here are some resources and options to consider:

I don't feel safe in my room on campus. What can I do?
Contact an ODU Victim Advocate: 757-683-4110 ,walk in M-F 8am-5pm, after hours call 757-683-4000.

I don't feel safe in my apartment off campus. What can I do?
Contact the YWCA Sexual & Domestic Violence Hotline: 757-251-0144.

I need distance from the person who hurt me. What are my options?
For a Campus No Contact Order, you can report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct here: Incident Report form

I need a Protective Order issued by a judge.
The Women's Center can connect you to the ODU Police Department. A representative from the Women's Center can join you in person or on the phone when meeting with the police.

I work with the person who hurt me and I don't feel safe. How can I keep my job?
Contact an ODU Victim Advocate:757-683-4110, walk in M-F 8a.m. -5 p.m., for after hours call 757-683-4000.

I have missed classes. What can I do?
Contact the Student Outreach & Support for assistance to stay on track with your studies. 757-683-3442

Help for a Friend

Remain calm: you may feel shock or anger, or want to retaliate, but expressing this will not be helpful.

Believe them: survivors often tell no one because they are afraid no one will believe them or they will be blamed. False reports of assault are extremely rare.

Don't blame them: survivors often blame themselves and anticipate being blamed by others. No matter what they did or did not do, it is not their fault. They cannot be responsible for someone else's behavior. Survivors need to know they are not to blame.

Listen: allow them to talk but do not push for details. Listen in a nonjudgmental way.

Be patient: recovery takes time. You may think they should be "over it" by now, but for many people the effects of an assault will last over their lifetime. You can help find them support to positively cope and heal from the assault.

Allow the survivor to make decisions about what to do. Supporting their choices helps to re-establish their sense of control.

Encourage follow-up: encourage your friend to get medical attention and other needed services. Make them aware of resources, offer help in accessing services. Actively encourage your friend to seek help and offer to accompany them.