What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

Your safety is important. Get to a safe place away from the assailant—a friend’s room, your room, a public place—and call the SARP Crisis Intervention Counselor on call at 617-353-SARP (7277). You can also call BUPD if you are concerned about your safety or to report a crime to be investigated. The Crisis Intervention Counselor can accompany you to the police. You do not have to go through this alone.

The Crisis Intervention Counselor can help you regain control during a time that control of something vital has been taken away. You will not be pressured to make decisions; instead, you will be given information and support to make decisions that benefit you both now and in the future. We are bound by law to maintain your confidentiality. This means that what you tell us stays with us—we do not talk with your friends, professors, or family without your permission. We disclose information with your permission, unless we are concerned about your imminent safety.

We also understand that sometimes students know that they feel violated, or have a bad feeling about what has happened to them, but don’t know what to call it. We can help you sort this out.

The Crisis Intervention Counselor can help you choose among the options you may have and accompany you to go to the police, or to get medical attention, if you chose to do so. You do not have to go through this alone. It is important to realize that at any time, you can say “no” to any or all options.

Some of the options you will have and choices you may face are whether to get medical attention—and if so, where and what type. You may want to get medical attention for several reasons: to treat any injuries that may have occurred during the assault (often not immediately noticeable, especially internal injuries and those that occur if you were forced to have vaginal or anal intercourse); to obtain antibiotics for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and to access emergency contraception; or to provide for the collection of forensic evidence that may be used later if you decide to pursue prosecution.

The emergency room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (617-754-2323) is the best option for medical attention. This is a site where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner can meet you and collect evidence—both physical and by documenting injuries, as well as what occurred—and prescribe needed treatment and/or medications. Evidence can be collected up to five days after the assault.

During the academic year, the medical clinic at Student Health Services (SHS) is open Monday–Wednesday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Friday: 8:30 am– 4:30 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am–1:30 pm, and is available to students. SHS staff can provide a medical examination and consultation, testing for pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases, and follow up as needed. Forensic evidence cannot be collected by the SHS providers.