Legal & Educational Resources

Legal & Social Assistance

Suffolk County District Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Program

The Victim Witness Assistance Program of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office provides information, support, and assistance to witnesses, crime victims, and their family members. Victim Witness Advocates are located in each of the district courts in the county and the Boston Municipal Court, in the superior court, and in specialized units. Call 617-619-4200.

Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA)

The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) is an independent state agency devoted to upholding and advancing the rights of crime victims. Call 617-727-5200.

Victim Rights Law Center

Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) was established in 2003 as the first nonprofit law center in the nation solely dedicated to serving the needs of rape and sexual assault victims. Through direct legal services, VRLC’s staff and pro bono attorneys help restore victims’ lives after an attack, ensuring that they may stay in school; protecting their privileged and confidential mental health, medical and education records; preserving their employment; maintaining safe housing; securing or maintaining their immigration status; and swiftly accessing victim compensation and other benefits. Call 617-399-6720.

Boston Police Department Sexual Assault Unit

The goal of the Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) is to provide the best police and social services available to the victims of sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Unit will accomplish this task by conducting thorough and detailed follow-up investigations of all sexual assaults reported to and under the jurisdiction of the City of Boston. Understanding the difficulty and trauma placed upon the victims of sexual assault, SAU’s approach mandates sensitivity to victims’ needs. SAU encourages the victims to use the services provided for them through its many partners located at the Family Justice Center as well as those in the social services, medical, and legal community. Call 617-343-4400.

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

As the only rape crisis center in the Boston area and the largest center in Massachusetts, BARCC provides services to thousands of sexual violence survivors and their families and friends, regardless of sex, gender identity, race, disabilities, income, ethnicity, class, religion or sexual orientation. BARCC’s services are provided in a variety of languages.

Prevention & Education

BU provides a variety of educational programs designed to promote awareness and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training

The Boston University Police Department offers RAD training several times during the year, and can schedule additional sessions on request.

Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP)

In cooperation with BU’s Student Health Services, SARP provides a variety of services, including:

  • Step Up. Step In. (bystander training)
  • health services
  • mental health counseling
  • violence prevention workshops during the academic year and upon request

Be Safe@BU

The Dean of Students provides programming at student orientation and beyond to educate the BU community on a variety of safety measures, including assault prevention.

Wellness & Prevention Services

Wellness & Prevention Services provides programming and resources to Boston University students on topics that include sexual health, consent, and interpersonal violence.

New Federal Resource For Handling College Sexual Assaults

As part of a comprehensive federal report on sexual assault on college campuses, the Obama administration has released guidelines designed to help colleges and universities combat the issue. Called “Not Alone,” the report also includes a “road map” for victims to file civil rights complaints against institutions that fall short in their responses to reported cases of sexual assault.