WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
While the College attempts through its programs and policies to prevent sexual assault from occurring, it recognizes that significant numbers of women throughout the nation are sexually assaulted while they are college students. The College is committed to helping any of its students who have experienced sexual assault. Counselors, health center personnel, residential life staff, public safety officers, and deans will support a student as she goes through the recovery process.
The College is also committed to investigating all reported cases of sexual assault; assisting a student in lodging charges with local police, if she so desires; holding disciplinary hearings to adjudicate formal accusations; and disciplining any student or guest found to have violated the policy concerning sexual assault.
The College also recognizes that most campus sexual assaults involve people who are acquainted with one another. Coercive or violent acts between people who, because of their membership in the College community, must continue to interact with each other are particularly traumatic to the victim and violate the trust that is essential to the College’s mission and sense of community. Therefore, should a sexual assault be reported, the College shall take reasonable action to protect
the accusing student from any unnecessary or unwanted contact with the accused.
Options for Students Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted
Any student who is sexually assaulted is strongly encouraged to seek help either from resources available through the College or from outside sources. The following is a short list of options available to students seeking help at Bryn Mawr. More detailed information about each option is provided below.
• You may contact the Bryn Mawr College Health Center (x7360) to receive medical care, to speak to a counselor, and/or to discuss other options confidentially.
• You may go to Bryn Mawr Hospital to receive a medical examination, which is admissible in court as evidence of an assault.
• You may call Bryn Mawr College Public Safety (x7911, 911 in emergencies) to arrange for transportation to the Health Center or to Bryn Mawr Hospital, and/or to report that a sexual assault has taken place.
• You may call Lower Merion Township Police (610-642-4200) to arrange transportation to Bryn Mawr Hospital, to report a sexual assault or to request emergency medical assistance.
Medical Care: You are strongly encouraged to receive some type of medical care after an assault. Because sexual assault can be physically and emotionally traumatic, you may not know whether or not you have been injured. Medical personnel at the Health Center or the hospital can answer questions you may have about health concerns. A follow-up exam is recommended to retest for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to be sure that no other injuries were sustained during the assault.
The Health Center is able to counsel you on your options for medical care after an assault. An examination done at the Health Center is NOT admissible in court as evidence that an assault has taken place. If you think you may wish to press charges at any time, the Health Center personnel will recommend that you go to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where medical evidence can be preserved for the police.
The Health Center is able to check for internal injuries, test for pregnancy and STDs and provide someone with whom you can talk. The Health Center can also provide information and testing for HIV (HIV testing at the Health Center is confidential.). The Health Center can provide medication to help prevent STDs. In addition, emergency contraception is available to prevent pregnancy if you go to the Health Center within 72 hours of the assault.
The Health Center will keep all information confidential; the assault will not be reported to the police, Public Safety, parents or other College personnel without your permission. If it is determined that you or another member of the College community is in danger, necessary information will be released to the appropriate administrators without revealing your identity.
The Health Center can assist you in finding any medical or emotional support that you need, including counseling on- or off-campus.
Bryn Mawr Hospital is able to provide medical services that fulfill legal standards of evidence — a “rape-kit” examination. The rape-kit examination preserves medical evidence that can be used in court. Having a rape kit done does not require you to press charges. It merely gathers evidence should you wish to prosecute at some time. It is recommended that you do not shower, bathe, douche or change clothes if you want to preserve evidence. You may want to bring a change of clothes to the hospital in case you are needed by the police.
Bryn Mawr Hospital will test for pregnancy and STDs, offer medication to prevent STDs, and prescribe emergency contraception. The hospital is required to notify the police that a sexual assault may have occurred.
Montgomery County Victim Services (610-277-5200) has crisis-intervention counselors who are able to explain procedures and answer questions you may have. A 24-hour hotline is available for anyone with questions or concerns about sexual assault, or who would like to speak to a crisis counselor.
Legal Aspects: You are not required to report a sexual assault. If you do talk to the police and/or Public Safety, they may be able to take steps to protect others from experiencing sexual assault. In addition, the police can inform you of your legal rights and options should you decide to prosecute. The College is strongly committed to providing medical and emotional support to victims/survivors of sexual assault regardless of whether they decide to take legal action.
Bryn Mawr College Public Safety can provide transportation to the Health Center or to Bryn Mawr Hospital. You may wish to notify Public Safety that a sexual assault has occurred. If you do choose to make a report, the Department and you will then determine whether the assistance and/or intervention of the police is necessary to protect other members of the community and/or to arrest the assailant.
Public Safety will inform the Dean of the College that an assault has occurred. If it is necessary to alert the community at large that an assault has taken place, both the Department of Public Safety and the Dean’s Office will make every effort to protect your privacy. If it is necessary to disclose confidential information (in cases involving legal requirements, requirements of the College policy on sexual assault, or if personal safety is at issue), the College will inform you that this is taking place.
Lower Merion Township Police can provide transportation to Bryn Mawr Hospital and emergency medical care if necessary. If you do decide to report the assault to the police, the College will make every effort to provide a support person if you would like help through the process. Making a police report concerning the assault does not mean that you must prosecute the assailant.
• If you are assaulted or need help in Philadelphia, call Women Organized Against Rape at 215-985- 3333.
• If you are assaulted or need help at Haverford or Swarthmore, call Delaware County Women Against Rape at 610-566-4342.
Further Assistance: If you have any questions about the College’s procedures for dealing with a rape or sexual assault, you should consult your hall adviser, dean or any other college official (such as the Dean of the Undergraduate College, the Medical Director of Health Services, the Administrator of Counseling Services, or the Director of Public Safety). If you have any questions or concerns about a particular incident, you should also discuss them with your hall adviser, dean or any of the college officials mentioned above. Such a discussion will be strictly confidential unless
you request otherwise.
Bryn Mawr College (What to do in the event of sexual assault)
published in the 2008-09 Undergraduate Student Handbook, page 138
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