What to Do If You Experience Sexual Misconduct

There are many resources on campus and in the community to help individuals who believe they have been sexually assaulted. Start somewhere--it doesn't matter where. You choose; but if there is physical or emotional trauma, the first stop should be either Student HealthUniversity Counseling Center, or Project Horizon.

Where Do I Begin?

Individuals who experience sexual misconduct should consider the following immediate actions:

Seek medical attention

  • Student Health Center: 540-458-8401
    Lower Level of Davis Residence Hall
    Open 24/7 with a nurse on duty and physician on call
  • Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital: 540-458-3300
    1 Health Cir, Lexington, VA 24450
  • Augusta Health: 540-332-4423
    78 Medical Center Dr, Fishersville, VA 22939
    Closest place a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit is available (transportation is available. A Public Safety Officer or Project Horizon staff member can coordinate)

Medical care can help:

  • Treat any injuries you may have
  • Take precautions to treat sexually transmitted infections or to prevent pregnancy.
  • Collect and preserve evidence in case you decide to proceed with the option of legal action.
    • Note: Evidence is best collected within the first 72 hours of the assault. It is important that you do not shower, eat, drink or change your clothes before evidence is collected. Doing so may destroy important physical evidence that could be used if you decide to prosecute the assailant.
    • If you suspect that you may have been drugged, request that the hospital take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing to be done by your law enforcement agency's crime lab. A special test must be conducted to detect rohypnol or other "date rape" drugs in a urine sample.

Contact a trained, experienced, confidential counselor

  • W&L Counseling Center: 540-458-8590
    Early-Fielding Building, 204 W. Washington St.
    A counselor is on call 24/7
  • Project Horizon: 540-463-2594
    120 Varner Lane, Lexington, VA 24450
    Counselors, legal advocates, and 24 hour crisis hotline
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): 800-992-1931

Counselors can help you understand all of your options.

Contact Law Enforcement

  • W&L Public Safety: 540-458-8999
  • Lexington Police Dept: 540-462-3705
  • Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office: 540-463-7328

Assistance is available from University Public Safety and local law enforcement 24 hours a day, year-round.

The W&L Public Safety will escort any Washington and Lee community member to a safe place, provide transportation to the hospital, assist in coordination with local law enforcement (including filing a crime report or seeking a protective order), and provide information about the University's resources and complaint processes.

Contact parents, relatives or close friends for support

Preserve Evidence

Even if you are unsure about whether or not to pursue criminal charges, consider preserving any evidence.

Explore Your Options

Washington and Lee recognizes that deciding whether to make a report and choosing how to proceed can be difficult decisions. Washington and Lee encourages any individual who has questions or concerns to seek the support of campus and community resources. 

University Counselor or Project Horizon can assist you to determine what's best for you and be with you throughout the decision making process, with the goal of helping you to regain control and make decisions you are comfortable with.

You have both confidential resources and reporting resources.

The Time Period After A Sexual Assault Can Be Very Confusing:

  • You do not have to deal with this alone.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.
  • Remember: it is not your fault.
  • As soon as you have a quiet moment where you feel safe, try to write down everything that you remember happening, with as much detail as possible. This will help in the healing process, identifying the assailant, and in any legal action that may be taken. Consider preserving any evidence, including text messages.
  • All decisions about how to proceed belong to you--you have many resources to help you.
  • For additional, online information, review "Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma: Tips for Healing"