What to do if you were recently sexually assaulted

Immediate care infographic

  • Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
    • If you are worried about your safety, contact WPI Campus police at 508-831-5555 immediately. If you are on-campus, locate a WPI emergency phone (identified by a blue light) or dial the extension if you are using a WPI phone.
      • Note:  You do not need to make a decision about legal action immediately, but reporting to the police may help preserve your legal options for the future.

      • Note: WPI Campus Police is not a confidential resource. If you report a sexual assault to a WPI police officer, a preliminary investigation will be initiated. If you are confused and need confidential guidance, contact counselors who can help you consider your options. Learn more about confidentiality.

    • Go to a safe place such as your room, to a friend’s room, or to a public place on campus or off-campus. Several local businesses display “Safe Haven” stickers, indicating that they can help students contact WPI police. Identify yourself as a WPI student and ask to be connected with the WPI police.  Learn more about the Safe Haven program.

  • Get medical treatment.
    • Contact medical advocates from Pathways for Change at 800-870-5905 to discuss medical options and request an advocate accompany you to a local area hospital. Ask to speak with a rape crisis counselor.

    • Go to an area hospital for treatment.  Why is this important?
      • It is important to seek medical attention following a sexual assault in order to get any injuries treated, receive antibiotics to prevent sexually transmitted infections, obtain emergency contraception, and enable the collection of  forensic evidence in case you later decide to take legal or criminal action against your assailant.

      • Try not to wash, shower, urinate, eat, drink, smoke, or brush your teeth. If you change your clothes, put all the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault in a paper bag. Even if you are not able to preserve all physical evidence, it may still be valuable to have a nurse collect evidence. View WPI’s guide on What to Expect at a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (PDF), or learn more about getting medical treatment on Surviverape.org.

    • When you arrive at a hospital, ask for a specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse).
      • SANE nurses are available to perform evidence collection for up to five days following a sexual assault. Evidence collection does not require police investigation or legal action.

  • Call someone you trust.

    You are not alone, and it's important to tell someone what has happened. Experiencing sexual violence can be an enormous burden to bear, but there are people who are available to support you. Call a friend, family member, or someone you feel you can talk with.  There are also many confidential resources you can contact.  Learn more about confidentiality   All of the following are confidential resources availabl​e:

    • You can make an appointment to speak with a confidential WPI counselor by calling 508-831-5540 Monday through Thursday, 8am to 7pm, and Friday, 8am to 5pm.  Walk-in hours are Monday – Friday, 2pm to 3pm To meet with a counselor as soon as possible, please indicate that you would like to discuss an urgent matter. Outside those hours, contact WPI police at 508-831-5555 to reach a WPI counselor. Learn more about WPI’s counselors.

    • Other WPI confidential resources include Health Services 508-831-5520 and the Collegiate Center Chaplains.

    • You can also call a number of free and confidential 24-hour hotlines in the community:
    • You may contact one of WPI’s Confidential Resource Advisors, WPI employees trained to work with students, staff, and faculty involved in violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Advisors can provide information about processes and serve as support persons for those involved.  A full list of trained CRAs for the current academic year can be found here.
  • Understanding Reporting Options

    If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, stalking, or dating violence, there are several ways you can report the incident. You are not required to file a report immediately, but you are encouraged to report the incident, seek assistance, and preserve any evidence of the incident. Learn more about reporting options.