After an Incident
If you have experienced any act of sexual misconduct, our first concern is for your safety and well-being. Please consider the following:
- Get to a safe place where you feel as physically and emotionally safe as possible.
- If you are not sure what to do or where to start, call a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Advocate. Advocates are trained faculty, administrators, and staff to provide 24-hour support. An advocate can be reached by calling 845-437-7333 and asking for “SART.”
- Seek medical attention for any physical injuries, potential pregnancy, or potential sexually transmitted diseases. You can visit the health center on campus, a local emergency room, or seek off-campus medical assistance.
- If you have experienced behavior that may also be a violation of law, it is important that you consider preserving any evidence, even if you are not sure yet if want to file a formal complaint. This can help you later to prove that a criminal offense occurred, and can also help you in obtaining a civil protection order. This kind of exam can be done at a hospital and involves collecting evidence and photographs. As difficult as it may feel at the time, it is most helpful if you can get evidence collected quickly – before you eat, drink, shower, use the bathroom, etc. The location closest to Vassar where you can obtain an exam like this is Vassar Brother’s Hospital.
- If the College perceives there is an on-going threat to the campus community, a timely warning may be issued. In such a case, your name will be withheld as confidential from such a communication.
- If you would like to learn about your options for, and receive assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, or work situations, contact the Title IX Coordinator. Examples of the kinds of things that can be done include, but are not limited to: changing to a different class section, completing a course via independent study, receiving escort service to your class or vehicle while on campus, and adjusting your work schedule. You can also learn about how to apply for a leave of absence, get questions answered about financial aid, and learn how to request protective measures on campus.
If a friend has experienced sexual assault or other sexual violence, keep these tips in mind:
- Listen. Be there. Do not be judgmental.
- Be patient. It will take some time for your friend to deal with what happened.
- Help empower your friend. Crimes of sexual violence (including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) take away a person’s power. It is important not to pressure your friend to do something they aren’t ready to do yet.
- Encourage your friend to report the crime to law enforcement. If there are questions about the process, you or your friend can call a SART advocate or get assistance from another resource.
- If your friend is interested and willing to get medical attention or report to the police, offer to accompany him/her or find safe transportation.
- Get help for yourself. You can speak with a SART advocate or a confidential counselor and not share your friend’s name if you need help to be a support.
(Source: Adopted from RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, http://www.rainn.org)