Sexual Violence Awareness

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If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual violence

It is not your fault. If you’ve experienced sexual assault and/or sexual violence, please know that what has happened is not your fault.

Go to a safe place. You deserve to feel safe at this time.

Your feelings are valid. You may be experiencing a wide range of emotions, such as anger, confusion, disbelief, despair, fear, outrage, recurring memories, sadness, and shock. Any and all of these feelings are appropriate.

Your decision. Whether to tell someone, who to tell, and how you tell your story is your decision. No matter what you decide, there are many people at UMass Dartmouth and in the community who are committed to helping you. To report an incident

You deserve support. Contact someone who can support you, help you obtain medical care, and consider your options for reporting the incident. On-campus and off-campus support services are available.

Preserve evidence, if possible—before you report the incident and/or seek medical care. Do not shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, or throw away any clothing that might contain evidence of the assault. 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, because they can damage evidence.) Do not disturb anything in the area in which the assault occurred.

Seek medical care within 72 hours. You may seek medical care without reporting the crime to the police. 

  • 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.
  • Physical evidence for medical and legal services can also be collected at this time. A toxicology kit can be completed that may be able to detect "rape drugs." If you want evidence collected, you must go to the emergency department within 5 days of the incident.

 

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