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February 1 - March 14
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Crisis and Emergencies
The Counseling Services staff is available to see students who are experiencing intense emotional distress. Simply come down to Smith House and you will be seen by the counselor who is free at that time. Often it is helpful to have a friend, faculty or Residence Life staff member accompany you.
On weekends or after 4:30 on week days, call 2222 and a member of Public Safety will help you make a plan to get the help you need.
Alcohol and Drugs
It is crucial to get a person who has alcohol poisoning to the hospital as quickly as possible. Someone who has drunk enough to be suffering from alcohol poisoning is not sick. He or she is dying.
Call Public Safety (2222) if you have an alcohol or other drug related emergency. They are trained in first response emergency intervention and can call an ambulance.
Sexual Assault and Rape
This term is used when the sexual contact or assault between the victim and offender is not wanted. It is different from rape or attempted rape and includes things such as fondling. This may or may not involve the use of force but includes the use of verbal threats.
Rape is attempted or forced sexual intercourse including vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s). It may involve verbal threats of rape or the use of a foreign object such as a bottle. ANY sexual contact that occurs without consent is considered rape, even if the victim is unable to give consent due to drugs, alcohol, injury, or other factors. Rape can be heterosexual or homosexual, happen with someone you know, or a stranger. Victims can be male as well as female.
Acquaintance Rape/Date Rape/Non-Stranger Rape
These crimes are defined as forced, unwanted sexual intercourse with someone you know. The person can be someone you have just met, dated a few times or someone you have dated in the past. This crime is a violation of the victims' body and trust. The force involved can include use of physical force, weapons, threats or tone of voice.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT
What to Do
If you are a victim of a sexual assault, here are some very important steps to follow:
1. Go to a safe place.
2. Get help. Contact Public Safety, local police, or a friend or someone you can trust for help.
Contacting Public Safety or police does not mean that a case will go to trial. All information will remain confidential between you and the authorities.
If you are on campus, call Public Safety (x2222).
If you are off campus, dial 911.
Milton Police 617-698-3800
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center 617-492-RAPE (7273)
Norfolk County Sexual Assault Hot Line 781-326-1111
A New Day Emergency Hotline 508-588-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE*
(*free, confidential counseling service, operated by RAINN 24 hours a day, can transfer your call to a local rape crisis center)
Public Safety or police can assist you in obtaining medical help, counseling and other supportive services. On campus, Public Safety can put you in touch with their trained Sexual Assault Investigator. She will assist you through all the decisions that you will have to make while respecting your confidentiality.
Do not go through this alone; tell a friend, a nurse, a family member so they can support you during this crisis. Seek professional counseling.
3. Get medical attention. While you may go to any hospital that you want, it is best to go to a hospital which has a Sexual Assault nurse examiner on staff. These include: Mass General Hospital, Beth Israel, Brigham and Women's, Newton Wellesley and Quincy Medical Center.
4. Preserve physical evidence. The urge to "wash away" what happened will be strong. Don't! Do not eat, drink, shower, bathe, change or clean your clothes, brush your teeth, douche or throw away clothing. Do not move anything in your room or other environment in which the assault occurred. Evidence can help catch the rapist and prevent it from happening to someone else. It is up to you to decide if you tell the police and file a report.
5. If you can, write down everything you can remember about the rape, or have a friend write it for you.
Reporting the assault as soon as possible helps you get the most help and helps evidence get collected and preserved. Reporting early will also strengthen any criminal case that may occur. Reporting will also alert police of a potential danger to other members of the community.
Above all else, remember the sexual assault or rape is not your fault. DO NOT accept the blame for being an innocent victim.
Reasons to Obtain Medical Attention
You may be experiencing a broad range of emotions if you have been raped. Getting definitive information on your physical condition can be helpful and may ease your anxiety level.
You may need medical treatment for injuries, including internal injuries that you may not be aware of. It is important that you receive treatment and testing for sexually transmitted infections. To prevent pregnancy with emergency contraception (a.k.a. the morning after pill), you must be seen within 72 hours of the assault.
Unless you ask them not to, the hospital staff will follow prescribed procedures to collect physical evidence related to the assault, using specific materials from a packet called "the rape kit."
Should you decide to press charges, this evidence can be used in court, and the hospital personnel who care for you may serve as witnesses.
Strict confidentiality will be observed, and information will be released only with your knowledge and/or consent. Legal evidence can be collected only until 5 days after the assault, yet it is still a good idea to go to the hospital even if more than 5 days have elapsed.
The Sexual Assault Investigator will assist you in deciding and negotiating what to do in the ensuing days after the assault.
Common feelings among rape and sexual assault victims may include fear, powerlessness, guilt, shame and anger. Often one's daily life is disturbed with difficulty sleeping, eating and concentrating. It is advisable to get professional support either through the Boston Rape Crisis Center, Curry College Counseling Services, or a therapist of your choosing.
Although it is best to go to the hospital immediately, remember that a late visit is better than no physical check-up.
Reporting the incident to Public Safety or police does not mean that you will have to prosecute; it just gives you the option of doing so. You can make that decision later, with the assistance of a district attorney or your own legal advisor.
Reporting a rape to Public Safety, even anonymously, can help college administrators, counselors, and police in their efforts to make this campus a safe place for women and men (e.g., sexual assault among GLBT men) by looking at any needs for additional security, programming or physical changes to the campus.
You can report a sexual assault without disclosing your name by using the Anonymous Report Form available from Public Safety, Counseling Services, Health Services or Residence Life; asking someone from Counseling Services, Health Services or Residence Life to relay information for you to Public Safety; or sending an unsigned, written account of the assault to Public Safety.
IF A FRIEND HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED OR RAPED
Believe him or her. When you are worried about a friend in distress, it can be tempting to ask questions to help you understand what they are going through, about what happened, with whom or how events unfolded. Do not ask the "why" questions. This inadvertently blames the victim, giving them the message that the rape or assault was his/her fault. Examples of such questions can include:
Why were you there?
Why didn't you.....?
Why didn't you scream/run etc?
Encourage your friend to seek medical attention. Medical exams are important to detect internal injuries, STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and pregnancy. Medical exams collect evidence, should your friend decide to prosecute.
Let your friend make the decisions; do not tell them what to do.
Allow your friend to react to the rape by screaming, yelling or crying, whatever they feel they need to do. Your friend is venting emotions toward the attacker and situation, not at you.
Suggest calling Counseling Services at x2182 to talk with a counselor. If it is after business hours and the Counseling Services Department is closed, you can suggest paging the Counselor-On-Call. By doing so, your friend can get support and information about options for self care.
Let your friend decide who will know about the rape. It is not your place to tell people. Listen. Do not add your opinion. Say you will always be there to listen or just sit silently with your friend. Just be a friend.
Connect with friends on campus. Share schedules, cell phone numbers, and family contact information.
Try to stay in groups at parties and go as a group. Look out for each other and leave together. Create a plan for meeting if one person wants to stay. Have a signal between group members if one of you wants to leave fast. Let someone know where you are and when you will return.
Avoid being alone with someone you do not know. Be familiar with your surroundings. A place is only as safe as the people who are in it.
Never accept beverages from someone you do not know. Do not leave drinks unattended as it provides an opportunity to add drugs or liquor to them.
Be aware of your own limits and do not hesitate to say NO to things you do not want to do. Trust your instincts.