If you have experienced sexual assault or violence, discussing and/or reporting the incident can be a difficult decision. In contrast, learning that an allegation of sexual assault or violence has been filed against you can be stressful, scary and emotional. Salve Regina provides a range of resources, services and support for students and employees who have experienced sexual violence or who have been accused of perpetrating sexual violence.
After an incident of sexual assault or violence, you have many options when it comes to seeking help, filing a report and accessing resources. Whatever you decide, remember it is your choice how and when to proceed.
Secure Your Safety
If you need emergency assistance, you can contact these 24/7 resources:
- Office of Safety and Security: (401) 341-2325
- Newport Police Department: 911 or (401) 847-1306
Seek Medical Attention
- Newport Hospital: (401) 846-6400 (confidential)
- What will happen at the hospital? Newport Hospital’s frequently asked questions include information about sexual assault nurse examiners, privacy, transportation, costs and other resources.
Find Someone to Talk To
- Health Services: (401) 341-2904 (on campus, confidential)
- Counseling Services: (401) 341-2919 (on campus, confidential)
- Women’s Resource Center: (401) 846-5263 (off campus, confidential)
- Day One: (401) 421-4100 (off campus, confidential)
When it comes to your privacy, some resources have a responsibility to report incidents of sexual assault or violence. These resources are private – your information will remain secure outside of their reporting responsibility. Confidential resources do not have reporting responsibilities, so your information will remain completely confidential.
- Safety and Security: (401) 341-2325
- Residence Life: (401) 341-2210
- Title IX coordinator: (401) 341-2640
- Newport Police Department: 911 or (401) 847-1306
- Health Services: (401) 341-2904
- Counseling Services: (401) 341-2919
- University chaplain: (401) 341-2368
- Women’s Resource Center: (401) 846-5263
- Newport Hospital: (401) 846-6400
- Day One: (401) 421-4100
If applicable, the investigation process can be overwhelming and complicated. There are many people at the University who are available to address your mental, physical, emotional and academic needs, including:
- Provide an opportunity for emotional support and time and space to process after an incident.
- Offer and implement discreet academic accommodations, including course load reductions, excused absences or withdrawals.
- Make requests for flexibility and/or alternative participation to faculty and supervisors.
- Safety planning.
- Housing accommodations or changes.
- Answer questions and concerns about institutional policies and procedures.
The Title IX coordinator can provide this assistance or connect you with others who can. Please contact the Title IX coordinator to be connected to any of these resources. No matter what you decide with regard to reporting or accessing resources, you will be supported.
Additional resources and strategies for coping after sexual assault or violence:
- RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization
- National sexual assault hotline – call (800) 656-4673
- Crisis Text Line – text HOME to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – call (800) 273-8255
- Day One sexual assault and trauma center
- 1 is 2 Many
Salve Regina encourages individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual or relationship violence to report the incident so that the University can respond promptly, effectively and equitably in accordance with Title IX procedures.
There is no time limit for filing a report. However, as time passes, it may be more difficult to thoroughly investigate the report because witnesses may not be available, memories may have faded, respondents may no longer be affiliated with the University, and/or other key information is no longer obtainable. When filing a report, you do not need to know what particular course of action to pursue or how to label what happened.
How to report:
- Contact Salve Regina’s Title IX coordinator
- Call Safety and Security at (401) 341-2325
- Submit the sexual misconduct anonymous reporting form
- Report to a University official with authority to institute corrective measures
You may also choose to file a report off campus with the police department. The decision to file a criminal complaint is a deeply personal choice. Students and employees often make this decision based on the situations surrounding the incident and the circumstances in their life at the time. Some students and employees find that participating in a proceeding to hold the accused accountable helps them to regain some measure of control lost by virtue of the assault, and to protect themselves and others from future harm.
How to report:
- Contact Newport police at 911 or (401) 847-1306
Salve Regina students are subject to the rights and responsibilities set forth in the student handbook. In addition, the University strives to provide equal opportunity in employment and education to all employees, students and applicants. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under both federal and Rhode Island state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 28-51-2 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.
- Non-discrimination statement
- Policy and procedures on unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, gender-based harassment and sexual misconduct
It’s important to provide support to a friend who discloses or shares an experience of sexual violence. This may facilitate survivor healing, empower survivors to report to campus police, or help survivors feel comfortable moving forward with disciplinary procedures against their perpetrator (if they choose to do so).
What to Do
- Listen without judgment or interruptions. Allow the survivor to speak until they are finished.
- Thank the survivor for trusting you with their story and assure them that you are here for them.
- Provide emotional support to the survivor (remind them that they are valued).
- Express non-blame (assure the survivor that this experience was not their fault).
- Provide validation and belief (demonstrate that you believe their experience occurred the way they have presented it and assure them that you do not doubt their story).
- Provide tangible support (offer to help the survivor find counseling services, facilitate the reporting process with the University, locate alternative housing if they are currently living in close proximity to their perpetrator, help the survivor access resources such as a local sexual assault center, support group or off-campus therapist)
- “Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am honored that you would trust me with this, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support you.”
- “I believe you. I believe that your experience happened as you say it did.”
- “I support you and whatever decisions you make.”
- “Would you like a hug? Would you like me to hold your hand?”
- “This was not your fault. You did nothing to deserve what happened to you.”
- “What do you need from me? What can I do to best support you right now?”
- “Are you interested in learning about resources that can help you through this process?”
- “Are you interested in reporting to police or law enforcement?”
What to Avoid Doing
- Blame the survivor or imply that the survivor was in any way responsible for their experience.
- Ask the survivor unnecessary questions or for more details than they have given you. If you are a mandated reporter, the survivor will likely be required to recount their experience, which can be re-traumatizing and stressful. Do not make them do so more than is absolutely necessary for the sake of reporting procedures.
- Treat the survivor differently (as if they are damaged/broken) or act as though they are unable to take care of themselves.
- Respond in an overly emotional, angry or upset way – the survivor is already coping with their own hurt and trauma and should not be required to comfort another person while they process their experience, disclose and heal.
- Assume the survivor will be visibly hurt, upset or reacting to their experience. It is possible that the survivor will appear to be unemotional, display a flat affect or be calm during their disclosure. This does not discount the severity of their experience.
- Distract the survivor or attempt to get them to talk about something else – this may send the message that you do not want to listen to their story, are not taking their pain seriously or do not care about their experience.
- Try to take control of their decision-making process. The survivor is free to make their own choices regarding whether to tell family or friends, confront the perpetrator, seek additional counseling or support, or formally press charges.
Do not Say
- “What were you wearing?”
- “Were you drinking before this happened?”
- “Did you have a sexual history with this person?”
- “Why didn’t you just leave? Why didn’t you fight back?”
- “You have to report this right away.”
- “You have to press charges.”
- “I am so furious at [perpetrator].”
- “I am so devastated.”
- “Let’s talk about something else, it seems like this is upsetting you.”