Sexual Assault
If you have experienced a sexual assault, please go to the University’s sexual assault resources page or call our Counseling Line at 434-982-2252. The Sexual Assault Resource Agency, a non-profit agency in Chalottesville also offers emergency services and information, 24 hours a day.


Definition of gender violence

Rape; verbal abuse; forced sexual acts of any kind; emotional, physical, economic, and sexual violence in a relationship; stalking; cyber-stalking; posting sexually exploitative images online of someone without her or his permission; murder of an intimate partner.

The GVSC Mission

The Gender Violence and Social Change program works to build a University community free of violence and abuse. We do this by:

  • providing advocacy to survivors of gender violence at the University (students, staff, faculty);
  • building a supportive environment for faculty and graduate students engaged in scholarship and research on these issues;
  • training University employees on their roles as mandated reporters and allies to students who are victims of sexual misconduct;
  • teaching academic courses, such as Gender Violence and Social Justice, independent studies and advising student-led research;
  • engaging men as agents of change in the Men’s Leadership Project.

We collaborate with students, faculty, administrators, staff and organizations, as we believe that it will take an entire community to foster non-violent, healthy relationships across Grounds.

For extensive information about the many forms of sexual misconduct (including rape, sexual assault, domestic and intimate partner violence and stalking) as well as the numerous resources available at the University and in the local community, please consult the University’s Sexual Violence Education and Resources website.

GVSC Interns:

These students are: independent thinkers and workers, organized, dependable, meets deadlines, not committed to too many other activities. They should show knowledge and/or interest in gender-based violence issues.

Typical activities for GVSC interns include: organizing public events, educating peers, writing and working with the Survivor Support Network.

Education & Outreach:

Men’s Leadership Project: U.Va. men are Big Brothers in the Men’s Leadership Project, which combines mentoring at-risk middle school boys with in-class study of adolescent boys and the construction of masculinity.

Take Back the Night: We collaborate with student activists to educate the public, supports survivors and call for an end to gender violence.

Academic Courses: Gender Violence and Social Justice is a three-credit WGS/EDHS course that explores social and cultural underpinnings of gender violence and theories of prevention.

Rape Aggression Defense Training: Empowerment-based course counters the stereotype that women are defenseless, by teaching physical and verbal defensive strategies for disabling an attacker and escaping to safety.

Post-Assault Advocacy: GVSC staff work closely with our trauma specialist in Counseling Services to ensure that all survivors receive the services they need.

Training Workshops: Workshops, courses, programs, training sessions and one-on-one hours educate students, staff and faculty about intimate violence and resources for change.

Survivor Support Network Training:
Become an Effective Ally to Survivors of Gender Violence 

SSNHave you encountered students or co-workers whose academic or work performance was impacted by a history of victimization? Become an ally to survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and child sexual abuse by training as a member of U.Va.’s Survivor Support Network. During the course of this 2-1/2 hour program, you will learn effective strategies to support your students and colleagues, learn about local resources and become part of an on-Grounds network that is designed to make visible the dedicated support for victims that exists at the University. We will provide you with the resources and ongoing support you will need.

Individual faculty and staff members can find scheduled training sessions to join on our calendar. Departments, units or schools interested in scheduling a session for a larger group should contact Claire Kaplan at 982-2774 or email

The Women’s Center would like to recognize the following schools/departments at U.Va. who have participated, or who have signed up to participate, in large group sessions for SSN Training in the 2014-2015 school year: School of Engineering and Applied Science, U.Va. Library, Department of Psychology, Curry School of EducationDepartment of Media Studies.

 Listen to this recent podcast with the director of Gender Violence and Social Change talking about sexual assault on college campuses.

Email Claire Kaplan at for more information regarding GVSC.