Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network 1.800.656.4673
RAINN can connect you immediately to local medical and counseling services.
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) 1.800.841.8371
BARCC can provide immediate mental health support and practical guidance, as well as counseling about next steps and options going forward.
Safe Place 512.267.7233
Safe Place can provide emergency mental health support and focuses their programming for queer survivors.
- Harvard's Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 617.495.9100
OSAPR can offer immediate practical guidance and can provide an escort to the hospital.
Reporting and Immediate Safety
- Cambridge Police Department 911
- HUPD 617.495.1212
Note that calling 911 from an on-campus phone may direct you to HUPD. HUPD can also provide an escort to the hospital. Remember that Harvard’s amnesty policy means that this resource is available even if alcohol was involved. You may request a plainclothes officer instead of a uniformed officer, and you may request an escort without disclosing anything that has happened. Reporting an assault to the Cambridge Police or to HUPD does not obligate you to file civil or criminal charges later.
What To Do Immediately Following an Assault
- Go to a safe place. Call a trusted friend or ally who can provide emotional and physical support.
- If you choose to, report the assault. Reporting does not commit you to pursuing charges.
- Even if there are no obvious physical injuries, get a medical exam. We recommend Beth Israel Hospital's emergency room. HUPD or OSAPR can escort you to Beth Israel if you request it.
Can attend to physical safety and injuries
Cannot collect a rape kit
- Do not remove clothing, shower, bathe, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush teeth until after the medical exam.
- As soon as you feel you can, write down everything you can remember about the assault. Your safety and security should come before everything else.
After you have reached a safe place and received the medical attention and emotional support you need, you man want to begin to consider options going forward.
- There are many options in addition to MHS for mental health support going forward.
- There are several local and national resources to help explain your legal rights and options.
Harvard’s college Title IX coordinators, Will Cooper and Emily Miller, and OSAPR director Alicia Oeser can advise on disciplinary and accommodations options at the College. Federal law guarantees that the college has the obligation to support you. It is useful to know your rights under Title IX going into these conversations.