Woman sexually assaulted from behind near VCU never saw attacker

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police are investigating a report of sexual battery that occurred near the Monroe Park campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

VCU Police were notified within an hour of the reported crime, which occurred at approximately 3:40 a.m. in the 100 block of North Morris Street, between Floyd and Grove Avenue.

The survivor was approached from behind and never saw the suspect.  She was pulled to the ground and assaulted, but the suspect fled in an unknown direction when the survivor called for help, according to Richmond Police.  RPD officials said major crimes detectives are investigating the incident.

Just over a month ago a woman also reported an attack in the same block.  She also said a man approached her from behind and grabbed her.

The victim resisted and police said the suspect threatened her with a knife. She managed to break away and her attacker fled on foot.

Richmond Police said it is too early in the investigation to comment on whether to two incidents are related.

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.