If you experience sexual misconduct, you are likely to have many concerns, including about your physical health and safety, emotional and mental well-being, such medical issues as sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, the potential impact of your experience on how you relate with friends or family members, and about understanding the disciplinary or legal options available to you for responding to the act.
As you think about how you want to respond, it is most important to do what is right for you. Friends, loved ones and family members may have strong feelings about what you should do. But every person must make the decisions that are best for himself or herself. The information below and elsewhere on this website is meant to provide you resources and information so you can determine what is right for you.
Immediate actions to consider
Students who experience an incident of sexual misconduct should consider the following immediate actions:
- Contact law enforcement
- Seek medical attention
- The medical exam has two goals: first, to treat any injury or physical trauma and to consider the possibilities of sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy and, second, to preserve evidence in case you decide to prosecute.
- IMPORTANT: Do not bathe, douche, brush your teeth, drink or change your clothing, as you may be destroying evidence you will need if you decide to prosecute.
- Emergency contraception reduces the risk of pregnancy after unprotected sex or a sexual assault. The most common form is Plan B, a pill that is available without a prescription from a pharmacist. Amherst College's Health Services has Plan B available at a reduced cost to students. Plan B is free to students who have high financial need or utilize the school insurance plan. The pharmacy at University Health Services at UMass Amherst provides emergency contraception for $25 without a prescription during walk-in hours. (This is less expensive than the cost at other pharmacies.) Emergency contraception is most effective when taken within 72 hours of a sexual assault; it is best to take it as soon as possible.
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections is available at no charge for all Amherst College students at the College's Health Services Center. Pregnancy testing is also available at no charge to students at the College's Health Services Center.
- Contact a trained, experienced counselor
- Contact parents, relatives or close friends for support
Amherst College Police will assist you in obtaining medical treatment, counseling support and police services.
- Amherst College Police 413-542-2111
- Town of Amherst Police 413-259-3000
- Cooley Dickinson Hospital 413-582-2000
- Amherst College Health Services 413-542-2266 (available during regular office hours)