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Support and Resources

Support Resources for Students

There are many support resources available, both on and off campus, to help you through this time. Many of these resources are available to you regardless of whether you file a Formal Complaint with Randolph or the local Police. Please reach out for support if you need it.

On Campus Resources

Title IX Coordinator
Sharon Saunders, Director of Human Resources
Human Resources Suite, Main Hall, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
434.947.8704  ssaunders@randolphcollege.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Amanda Denny, Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Student Conduct
Dean of Students Office, Main Hall, Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
434.947.8119  adenny@randolphcollege.edu

  • Report sexual misconduct or file a Formal Complaint with the College
  • Either of these offices will provide information about support options, interim measures, and accommodations, as well as information about the College’s grievance procedure 

Department of Campus Safety (mandatory reporter)
Reception and Information Desk 24 hours/day
434.947.8000   Silent Witness: https://www.randolphcollege.edu/silentwitness

  • Can provide an Order of No Contact, or can help you apply for a Protective Order
  • Can respond immediately to an emergency

Counseling Center (confidential)
Terrell Health and Counseling Center (located behind Webb)
Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.   434.947.8158

  • Provides free and confidential counseling services to students, or referrals to off-campus mental health providers including a psychiatrist

Student Health Center (confidential)
Terrell Health and Counseling Center (located behind Webb)
Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.   434.947.8130

  • Provides free* and confidential health services to students (*some tests or labs may have a fee)
  • Can provide information about the Lynchburg Health Department, which offers free and confidential STI testing

Residence Life (mandatory reporter)
DOS Suite, Main Hall, Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   434.947.8119

  • RAs and HRs are trained in response to victims of sexual violence, and can help you connect with resources
  • Can assist with housing accommodations 

College Chaplain (confidential)
Reverend Jennifer Moore
DOS Suite, Main Hall, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.   434.947.8119
jmoore@randolphcollege.edu

  • Provides religious support to students

Office of the Dean of the College (mandatory reporter)
Bunny Goodjohn, Associate Dean of the College
DOC Suite, Main Hall, Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   434.947.8126
bgoodjohn@randolphcollege.edu

  • Can help you with academic accommodation requests

Financial Aid (mandatory reporter)
Admissions House, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.   434-947-8128

  • Can answer questions about your financial aid package, including scholarships

Learning Strategies and Disability Services (mandatory reporter)
Lipscomb Library, Academic Services Center, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   434-947-8132
droy@randolphcollege.edu

  • Can help you connect with a Learning Strategies Tutor
  • Can answer questions about or help you with academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities

Department Websites

Off Campus Resources

Sexual Assault Response Program (SARP) of Central Virginia
1900 Tate Springs Road, Suite 8
Lynchburg, VA 24501

24-Hour Confidential Crisis Hotline: 888.947.7273
Office: 434.947.7422
http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=mkI1L6MPJvE&b=8347927

  • Provides support and advocacy for victims of sexual violence (including friends and family of the victim)
  • Can accompany you to the hospital, or to make a report to the Police. They can also meet with you on campus and accompany you to meetings related to reporting sexual misconduct at the College.
  • Can help you apply for financial compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund

Lynchburg Police Department
905 Court Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Emergencies: 911
Non-emergency Dispatch: 434.847.1602
Complaint Desk: 434.455.6041

  • File a report of sexual violence

Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency Department
1901 Tate Springs Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24501
434.200.3027

  • Provides follow-up medical care for injuries
  • Provides information/medication for pregnancy and STI prevention
  • Provides access to Forensic Nurse Examiners, who can collect a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) and help you make a report to the Police

Protective Orders
During the day, protective orders are issued at Lynchburg General District Court: 905 Court Street Lynchburg, VA 24504
I-CAN! is an online program that will help you fill out paperwork for a protective order:
https://www.vacourtformhelp.courts.state.va.us/
During the evening, emergency protective orders are issued by the Magistrate: 524 9th Street, Lynchburg VA 24504
434-847-1426

Lynchburg Health Department
307 Allegheny Avenue
Lynchburg VA 24501
434.477.5900

  • Provides free and confidential STI testing, by appointment

Domestic Violence Prevention Center
Free confidential crisis hotline: 888.528.1041

http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=mkI1L6MPJvE&b=919459

  • Provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence

Lynchburg Victim Witness Program
Susan Clark, Director
434.455.3790
http://www.ocalynchburg.com/victim_witness/introduction.htm

  • Provides court preparation and assistance filing victim compensation forms for individuals filing criminal charges in Lynchburg.
  • Can answer questions about what to expect when filing a criminal charge or going to court

Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney
901 Church Street, Lynchburg VA 24504
434.455.3760
http://www.ocalynchburg.com/

  • Provides legal representation if you decide to file criminal charges in Lynchburg

Piedmont Psychiatric Center
Provides off campus psychiatric and psychological outpatient care.
3300 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg VA 24503
434.200.5999
http://mentalhealth.centrahealth.com/services/piedmont-psychiatric-center

  • Provides off campus psychiatric and psychological outpatient care
  • Randolph’s Counseling Center can help you with a referral

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network)
Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)   or   https://www.rainn.org/

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233  or  http://www.thehotline.org/

A Guide to Self-Care and Coping

Experiencing any form of sexual misconduct, from harassment to abusive relationships to sexual assault, can be difficult. This period of time can be confusing, emotional, and – sometimes – traumatic. The information below can help you start to cope with what has happened.

Consider trying the following:

  • First and foremost, remember that what happened to you is NOT your fault.
  • Contact people you trust to talk to and provide support. Consider staying with a friend if you live alone, or aren’t close with your roommate.
  • Take extra precautions to help start re-establishing a sense of safety  – for example, you could try locking the door to your room, walking to classes with a friend or requesting an escort from Security (particularly if at night), and carrying your phone with you. Consider apps like “Group of 6” or “Safe Trek,” and remember that you can always use the emergency call phones around campus.
  • Create a safe space to go if you feel anxious or upset. Make it as comforting as possible (for example, use extra blankets on your bed; have soothing lighting and music; keep pictures of loved ones close by, etc.).
  • Make getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods top priorities.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol to excess and avoid all drug use during this time. Definitely don’t rely on drugs or alcohol to help you feel better – it will only make things worse.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, or clothes that make you feel good.
  • You may feel a lot of different and intense emotions. Conversely, you might feel numb or in shock. Remember, all of these feelings are valid, and are very normal reactions to an extremely stressful situation.
  • Try some guided relaxation exercises on YouTube, or download a relaxation app for your phone.
  • Get some form of physical activity.
  • Try journaling about what you are experiencing. Research shows that writing after a traumatic event can help with healing.
  • Try to socialize with friends. You may want to spend time alone, and that is normal and ok. But too much alone time can make you feel worse, so work on a healthy balance. Try socializing in small groups first – build up to bigger activities with more people.
  • Consider meeting with a counselor, even one time. Counseling can help you deal with what’s happened and begin to heal, in a confidential and supportive environment.

Common Reactions to Trauma

Experiencing an unwanted sexual encounter is very stressful, and sometimes it can be traumatic. Everyone reacts differently, and you, too, will have your own unique reaction. Below is a list of some common reactions to a traumatic experience. Some people may experience none of these; others may experience a few; and still others may experience many. It’s important for you to know that you are not “going crazy” if you’re experiencing any of these things – you’re having a very normal reaction to a very abnormal experience. Please seek support to help you through this time.

Emotional

  • sadness, crying, tearfulness
  • anger, irritability, feeling “on edge”
  • guilt, shame, humiliation
  • self-doubt, feelings of insecurity
  • feeling “out of control” of your life
  • feeling dirty or damaged
  • numbness, disconnection, detachment
  • mood swings, being easily upset
  • helplessness, hopelessness
  • anxiety, nervousness, feeling “jumpy”
  • self-blame/feeling like it was your fault
  • feeling that the world is unsafe
  • feeling rejected
  • distrust of others
  • feeling overly-controlling
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Cognitive

  • trouble concentrating or paying attention
  • easily distracted
  • “fuzzy” or absent memories
  • feeling disorganized
  • confusion
  • dissociation or being “spaced out”
  • extremely vivid memories or “flashbacks”
  • nightmares
  • difficulty making decisions

Physical

  • upset stomach/loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • physical aches/pains
  • headaches
  • more easily startled
  • physical signs of anxiety (increased pulse, sweating, feeling shaky, rapid breathing)

Behavioral

  • withdrawing/isolating
  • engaging in more high risk behaviors
  • avoidance of reminders of event
  • hypervigilance
  • increased conflict with others
  • not wanting to leave your room
  • a decrease or increase in sexual activity
  • self-harm (cutting, burning, etc.)

Coping with Flashbacks (works for nightmares, too)

Flashbacks are very vivid memories that feel as though they are happening right now. They can be triggered by different things – sounds, sights, smells, feelings. Other times, they can feel as if they came out of “nowhere.” Below is a guide to coping with them.

  • Name what is happening to you. Tell yourself that you’re having a flashback, and that you can cope with it.
  • Remind yourself that the worst is over. What has happened to you is in the past. The flashback cannot hurt you. Tell yourself, “That was then. This is now.”
  • Be mindful of your breathing. Try to take slow, steady, and deep breaths.
  • Use some Grounding Techniques to help re-orient you to the present:
    • TOUCH. Stand up, jump up and down, stomp your feet, hold a piece of ice, dance, gently pinch yourself, clap your hands, rub your legs and arms, pick up an object and focus on how it feels. Notice anything you may be touching – are you sitting in a chair? Lying on the floor? What does it feel like?
    • SIGHT. Look around the room. Notice objects, colors, people. Make a list of what’s in the room. Keep pictures in your room that can remind you of loved ones and people who support you.
    • SOUND. Really listen to the noises around you – let them remind you that you are here now. Put on some music.
    • SMELL. Focus on the smells around you – what are they? If you have perfume/cologne, lotions, a favorite shampoo or aftershave – anything with a scent – smell it and focus on it.
    • TASTE. Eat a snack. Focus on how it tastes, how it feels when you chew it. Is it juicy? Crunchy? Chewy? Salty? Sweet? Really notice the food you’re eating.
  • Do things to help re-establish a sense of security. This might mean going to your room; wrapping yourself in a blanket; calling a friend. Anything that makes you feel more secure in the moment.
  • Try to identify what kinds of things trigger a flashback. What were you thinking about or feeling right before it happened? Write down what happened and how you got through it. This will help you make a definitive plan for how to cope if you experience another flashback.
  • Seek support when you are ready. Let a few good and trusted friends know that you experience flashbacks, so that they understand what is going on and how to help you.
  • Flashbacks can be emotionally and physically draining. Take care of yourself afterwards.
  • Seek counseling. Flashbacks can get worse if you don’t learn ways to cope with them effectively. A counselor can help you understand why they’re happening, and how to cope with them. If you don’t wish to speak with a counselor, you can speak to someone at the National Sexual Assault Hotline,
    1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

How to Support a Friend Who Has Experienced Sexual Violence

Believe your friend.

Listen to their story, and believe what they say. A friend is often the first person a victim tells about what happened. A supportive and caring response can help ease your friend’s fear and anxiety, and increase their feelings of safety and understanding. Believe your friend’s memory of the circumstances. Do not say things like, “That doesn’t really sound like an assault to me” or “Are you sure that’s what happened?” Let your friend decide for themselves what happened, and believe what they say.

Help your friend get the support they need.

Take time to learn about the various support resources for survivors, both on and off campus, and then help your friend get connected. Pitch in to help find information (websites, office hours, etc.), and offer to go with them to meetings or appointments. If your friend would prefer to go by themselves, or to have someone else go with them, support them in that decision, too. Check out the “Support Resources” tab on the main page for a lot of helpful information.

Let your friend tell the story in their own time.

Sometimes, your friend may want to share information right away. Other times, your friend might not want to talk about what happened until much later. Be supportive of your friend’s decision, and meet them where they are. Never force a friend to talk about what happened until they are ready.

Avoid questions and statements that blame the victim.

Society is full of myths about sexual violence and survivors, many of which blame the victim for what has happened. Avoid making these kinds of statements, and instead focus on how you can help and support your friend.   Survivors – always feel comfortable speaking up if a friend does or says something that you think is insensitive or uninformed.

Examples of blaming questions/statements are things like:

  • Why did you go home with them? Why did you let them into your room?
  • Why did you drink so much? You never should have gotten that drunk.
  • Why did you dress so provocatively?
  • Why were you flirting with them?
  • You were asking for it.
  • What did you think was going to happen?
  • That person is your partner/friend/acquaintance. It couldn’t have been rape.
  • But haven’t you had sex with them before?
  • Didn’t you know about their reputation? Why would you ever hang out with them?
  • You’ve been assaulted before. How could you let it happen again?

Try to ask questions that show your friend you support him or her, and that you understand absolutely that what happened to them was not their fault.

  • How are you doing?
  • Is there anything I can do to help?
  • Are you getting the support you need?  If not – can I help with that?
  • How have you been feeling?
  • We are all here to support you. You can rely on us.
  • Of course I believe you.
  • It’s normal to blame yourself – but this is not your fault.

If you inadvertently find that you say something hurtful, apologize. Convey to them that you understand why what you said was wrong, and how you are going to fix it. Ask for your friend’s forgiveness.

Let your friend heal at their own pace.

Some people recover from incidences of sexual violence fairly quickly; others take more time. There is no “right” or “wrong” length of time for healing. Allow your friend as much time as they need.

Learn about sexual violence.

One of the most supportive things friends can do is to learn about violence and its effects. This helps deepen your understanding of what your friend is going through, so that you can be sensitive and respectful. You can also use that knowledge to help prevent instances of future violence – so you know when and how to speak up if you see something happening that could lead to sexual violence.

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