RICHMOND —Two days before classes officially start, VCU students say their phones blew up with a warning from the VCU Police Department about a sexual assault.
"It was crazy," says student Erika Coleman. "We were at the thing for the freshman, and I was like ‘I can't believe this has already happened.'"
"It makes me a bit nervous, I'm not going to lie," says Kevin Manetti. "I don't know if I'm going to go out late at night anymore until things settle down."
VCU students got the text alert Tuesday evening, saying that a sexual assault had been reported but police didn't know any specifics - like where or when exactly it happened.
VCU Police announced a series of new safety precautions, but wouldn't elaborate on the alert.
Besides saying they're not sure whether the assault was on campus or off and whether or not it involved anyone affiliated with the university, drugs may have been involved in the sexual assault.
The alert came just hours after VCU Police discussed new safety initiatives at the school.
Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1234 or text VCUTIP to 274637 anonymously.
For more information, visit the VCU alert website: http://alert.vcu.edu.
From VCU Police--VCU Police remind members of the community of the following:
- Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse.
- Alcohol and drug consumption can impair your judgment and decision making ability.
- When consuming beverages, make or bring your own. Don't accept open beverages or drink beverages that have been mixed by others.
- Never isolate yourself and let a sober friend know where you are and who you are with.
- If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure or scared call VCU Police immediately.
- Be alert and aware at all times when you are with acquaintances.
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
- Report all suspicious people and circumstances to the VCU Police Department.
- It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the community.
If you are the victim of a sexual assault you have options that are available to you:
-- VCU Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services 804-828-9355
-- YWCA of Richmond 804-643-0888
-- University Safety Case Manager 804-837-8753
-- Title IX Coordinator for students, Dr. Reuban Rodriguez 804-828-8940
-- Emergency # 804-828-1234
-- Non-Emergency # 804-828-1196
-- VCU Police Victim-Witness Specialist 804-828-6356
-- Officer Tricia Mozingo- firstname.lastname@example.org
VCU Student Groups
--Sexual Assault & Violence Education-Students (SAVES) 804-828-9355
-- Men Against Violence (MAV) 804-828-9355
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share this information with other members of the community, and are asked to be aware of their surroundings, report suspicious activity to police and use the campus RamSafe transportation service by calling 804-828-SAFE (7233).
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