Health Education, Promotion & Wellness


If you've been sexually assaulted or raped:

> It's not your fault.


> Go to a safe place.


> Get support.

You deserve to have all resources available to you. Contact someone who can help you consider your options, obtain medical care, and support you.

On and off-campus resources are listed here.


> Try not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom.

    If possible, do not change your clothes.


If possible, do not shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, or change your clothes. This helps preserve evidence. However, if you have already done any of these things, it is still possible to collect evidence.  Save articles of clothing, bedding, etc. in separate paper bags and bring them to the hospital or give them to the police. (Try not to use plastic bags as they can damage evidence.) Do not disturb anything in the area in which the assault occurred.


> Get medical care.

Go to the hospital emergency department for treatment of injuries, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV--and pregnancy, and crisis intervention and emotional support services.  You may seek medical care without reporting the crime to the police. 

Physical evidence for medical and legal services can also be collected at this time.  If you want evidence collected, you must go to the emergency department within 5 days.  The evidence collection kit will be held anonymously at the state crime lab for 6 months, whether or not you make a police report.  If you make a report within 6 months, the kit is analyzed when it is needed for an investigation. Both the prosecution and the defense have access to the results.

A toxicology kit can be completed that may be able to detect "rape drugs."


> Decide if, how, and when you will report the assault.

There are a number of mechanisms on campus for reporting a sexual assault. Are are described in detail here in the Student Handbook.  The person reporting the assault may use any one or a combination of the options outlined in the Student Handbook. In all cases, the survivor of the assault will decide if, how, and when s/he will report the assault.


> Click here for additional on and off-campus resources.
>
Download "What you need to know about rape and sexual assault".adobe
  (A resource guide from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.)

 



 Last Updated On: 12/18/07

Contact Info:

Beth-Anne Vieira, MPH
Coordinator, Health Education and Promotion
T - 508.910.6965
bvieira@umassd.edu