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Human Resources
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Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) Leave

The Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) provides an employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or who has a family or household member (spouse, parent, child and persons jointly residing in same household) who is a victim of such violence, to take up to 12 weeks of leave per any 12 month period to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning, and other assistance. Employees can use vacation or sick leave, if applicable during this leave. Otherwise, leave is unpaid. An employee may take VESSA leave to:

  1. Seek medical attention for, or recovery from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence to the employee or employee’s family or household member;
  2. Obtain victim services for the employee or employee’s family or household member;
  3. Obtain psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee’s family or household member;
  4. Participate in safety planning, including temporary or permanent relocation or other actions to increase the safety of the victim from future domestic or sexual violence; or
  5. Seek legal assistance to ensure the health and safety of the victim, including participating in court proceedings related to the violence.

There is no length of service requirement for an employee to take VESSA leave. VESSA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule. The employee must provide at least 48 hours advance notice of the need to take leave unless it is not practicable to provide such notice. This leave is granted in accordance with State Law and University procedures.

Employees need to submit documentation that VESSA leave is to be taken for one of the purposes listed above and that the employee or employee’s family or household member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Documentation includes a sworn statement by the employee and one of the following: 

  • Documentation from a victim services organization, attorney, member of the clergy or medical or other professional from whom the employee or the employee’s family or household member has sought assistance; or
  • A police or court record; or
  • Other corroborating evidence.


Support organizations and local services:

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Victim Services - 314-622-4373
Domestic Violence & Rape Hotline - 314-531-2003
RAINN (Rape & Abuse Hotline) - 800-656-4673
St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Center Hotline - 314-531-7273 (RAPE)

YWCA Woman's Place - 314-645-4848
Safe Connections (24-hour hotline) - 314-646-7500
The Angel Band - 314-240-5525

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service (SACIS)

YWCA Metro St. Louis - Women's Resource Center

Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA)

Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR)

Illinois Sexual Abuse Support Groups

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