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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.

You have a right to confidentiality. The Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality offers a confidential victim advocate for your support. This individual is not a mandated reporter, which means your conversation will stay between the two of you. It is your right to decide the best option for you. The advocate can help you make this decision.

It is your right to decide what to do. It is your right to decide whether to tell someone, who to tell, and what resources to use. You may choose to speak with someone or not. If you are unsure what to do, the confidential victim advocate can help you make this decision. In private, you may ask questions, determine whether or not to report, and seek help in accessing campus and/or community resources for support. Note: In the case of sexual assault, if you do feel you will likely want to report, a prompt report to the Department of Public Safety is critical to gather any time-sensitive information and evidence. See below.

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.

Amnesty protocol

If the person who has been victimized and who is or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or in violation of any other Code of Conduct violation at either the time of the incident or at the time s/he makes the report, s/he will not be charged with an alcohol or drug violation (unless involving distribution) either through the criminal or University Student Conduct Process.

Leave Site Now Anonymous Report

The Anonymous Report Form is intended for the anonymous and confidential reporting of rape and sexual assault—it is NOT a police report. To file a police report, contact UMass Dartmouth Police Department at 508.999.9191.


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