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

All forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment are violations of Boston University’s policies, whether they happen on campus or off campus.

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.

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.

Medical Resources

  • 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.

Contact law enforcement.

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.

Report the assault.

The University 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. Read more on how to report and what happens next.

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.

Other resources include: