Police are investigating a report of sexual battery by an Uber driver at VCU

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Posted by Brandon Jarvis

On Feb. 4, 2018 at 3:45am, VCU Police received a report of a sexual battery which occurred in a vehicle between the 1100 block of W. Cary Street and the 1100 block of W. Marshall Street. The survivor reported that a male who was operating as an UBER driver grabbed her hand and forced it down the front of his pants. The male then touched her breast on the outside of her clothing before dropping her off at her destination. The offender is described as a Middle Eastern male who is operating a silver 4 door Toyota sedan with an UBER sticker on the window.

VCU Police remind members of the community of the following:

•    Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the voluntary, informed and active consent of your partner is sexual assault.

•    Always seek verbal, sober, clear consent. Immediately stop sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say “no.” Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another. The absence of a “no” does not mean “yes.”
•    Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse, which can include sexual contact with someone who is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant that impairs the person’s judgment.
•    Alcohol and drugs may impair judgment, making it difficult to notice unsafe situations and intervene to help others. If either party is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, consent cannot be given.
•    Never pressure or coerce someone into engaging in sexual activity.
•    Approximately 75% of rapes are committed by acquaintances (https://rainn.org/).
•    If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure, or scared, call VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 immediately.
•    If you witness a situation that appears unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, intervene if it’s safe to do so or go to a safe area and call for help. Bystander intervention is a known tool to help to prevent campus sexual assault. We encourage the VCU community to download and use the free LiveSafe mobile safety application on iOS and Android smart phones.
•    Be on the lookout for suspicious people who may attempt to isolate someone who is intoxicated or has been drinking.


Be aware of tactics used:

Tactics used to commit sexual assault include intruding into someone’s personal space physically, isolation and “feeding” or encouraging alcohol and/or other drug consumption.

Although alcohol is the most commonly used drug to facilitate sexual assault, other tactics include adding drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, or Rohypnol, to a person’s drink to incapacitate them. GHB, also known as Liquid Ecstasy, relaxes a person’s inhibitions, causes drowsiness, and may result in a loss of consciousness. Ketamine, also known as Special K, makes a person feel as if they are separated from their body and detached from reality. Rohypnol causes a person to become drowsy, dizzy, and lack motor control and coordination. Prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety medications, are also sometimes used to incapacitate an individual.

Using or requesting the use of contraceptives and/or safer sex methods is not the same as consenting to sexual activity.

Develop a safety plan with friends. Help each other to stay safe by sticking together and making sure someone does not become isolated. Use safety apps, such as Circle of 6 or LiveSafe to notify others if you feel unsafe, isolated or need assistance. 

•    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.

VCU’s Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination Policy:

VCU will take prompt and appropriate action to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.  Prohibited Conduct includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, partner or relationship violence (including stalking), other sex or gender-based discrimination, retaliation, and complicity.  For more information on the definition of Prohibited Conduct and the related University procedures, refer to VCU’s Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination Policy.

The University will not pursue disciplinary action based on disclosure of personal consumption of drugs or alcohol where such disclosures are made in connection with a good faith report of prohibited conduct under university policy or an individual’s cooperation in an administrative investigation.  

The University will take remedial and protective measures to protect a Complainant and facilitate the Complainant’s continued access to university employment or education programs and activities.  These measures may include, but are not limited to, no-contact directives, residence modifications, and academic modifications and support.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault many options are available to you; retaliation for reporting is strictly prohibited.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not alone. There are people at VCU, and in the Richmond community, who are here to support you. We encourage you to report to VCU Police and the university’s Title IX office. After speaking with a specially trained VCU Police officer, a criminal investigation can begin; you have the right to participate or decline to participate in a criminal investigation.

Reporting & Support Resources:

VCU Police

Report a sexual assault or sexual crime to the VCU Police Department through the VCU Police You Have Options online portal:  http://www.reportingoptions.org/vcu-pd

Emergency #: (804) 828-1234 (Ext. 8-1234 from a VCU campus phone)
Non-Emergency #: (804) 828-1196

VCUPD Sexual violence resources on the Web: https://police.vcu.edu/sexual_violence/victim_witness_program.html

Det. Morgan Abbate, VCU Police Victim-Witness Specialist

(804) 828-0406
E-mail: mlabbate@vcu.edu

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