What to Do

If You Are a Relative or Friend of Someone Who Has Experienced Sexual Assault

BU’s Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) has resources for friends and parents of sexual assault survivors.

If you have experienced sexual assault, you may want to consider taking the following steps:

Go to a safe place.

Go to a friend’s room, your room, a public place—anywhere you feel you are safe—as soon as you can. If you are concerned about your safety, you can call the Boston University Police Department 24/7 at 617-353-2121 or local authorities, including the Boston Police Department or Brookline Police Department, at 911.

Seek medical attention.

Medical attention may be necessary to treat the full extent of any injury or trauma and to consider the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. In addition, a medical exam may be necessary to properly preserve evidence in case you decide to prosecute.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has a variety of resources, including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, who can collect evidence and prescribe needed treatment and/or medications.
  • The University’s Student Health Services staff can provide a medical examination and consultation, testing for pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases, and follow up as needed. SHS cannot collect forensic evidence.

Report the incident.

BU strongly encourages you to report any incident of sexual misconduct as soon as possible, even if you are unsure whether you will seek prosecution of the assailant. Your report is not a commitment to prosecute. You may file a report with BOTH on-campus and off-campus authorities.

BU’s Sexual Misconduct website describes how you can make a report and what will happen if you do.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct to Boston University

Reporting Sexual Misconduct to Local Law Enforcement

If you would like assistance making a report, please contact the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) at 617-353-7277 or sarp@bu.edu, or the University’s Title IX Coordinator at 617-353-9286 or krandall@bu.edu. You may decline to notify campus or local authorities.

The Boston University Police Department has officers who are specially trained and certified to investigate sexual assault cases, and who will investigate all sexual assault crimes that occur on Boston University’s campus. The BUPD works cooperatively with local police, who investigate crimes anywhere within their respective cities and towns.

The Boston University Police Department can assist any member of the University community seeking a stay away or restraining order.

Try to preserve physical evidence.

Avoid bathing, brushing teeth, drinking or eating, douching, or changing clothes until physical evidence can be collected. If you change clothes, collect the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault in individual paper bags (not plastic).

Contact an experienced counselor.

The University’s Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center provides rapid, confidential, compassionate counseling and assistance to BU students who have experienced a traumatic event, including sexual assault. Counselors are available 24/7 at 617-353-7277.