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Sexual Trauma, Abuse & Rape

** If you have been a victim of rape or abuse or are afraid for your safety, call Campus Police (978-934-2911) or go to the nearest emergency room. **

The fastest growing population of rape victims is among students. Four out of five of all rapes are committed by acquaintances (National Center for Victims of Crime & Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992). Often considered covered-up crimes, rapists on college campuses have rarely been prosecuted. This is because many victims are discouraged by college authorities from reporting crimes to local law enforcement agencies and, instead, are encouraged to file complaints only with the campus justice systems. This practice protects the reputation of the school, but may increase the impact and consequences of the crime on the victim, who is often forced to continue living in the same facility as the perpetrator with little or no sense of justice done or punishment imposed.

Outside sites:

When Students Become Crime Victims

Victims are encouraged to report the crime to authorities for many reasons, including: 

  • Many of the crime victim compensation programs (the governmental agencies that provide financial assistance to victims for aid in their physical and emotional recovery from violent crime) require immediate reporting to police; 
  • Statistics show that crimes reported sooner rather than later have higher arrest rates; and 
  • Authorities may be able to direct victims to further assistance. 

Please note that although all crime victims are encouraged to report the crime, not everyone will feel comfortable entering the criminal justice process. The choice about whether or not to report belongs to the victim. Reporting is not required to receive crisis counseling or medical care. 

Depending on the location of the crime (whether on or off campus), and any special circumstances surrounding the crime, campus crime victims may report an incident of crime to: 

  • Campus police 
  • Local police
  • Resident/hall advisers or, in the case of fraternity/sorority organizations, alumni advisors
  • Crisis or counseling centers
  • Local or state victim assistance programs

Because being a crime victim can be both physically and psychologically traumatic in the short and long term, many victims seek the support of professionals throughout their recovery. Professional assistance, or referrals for assistance, may be available through the following resources: 

  • University Counseling Center
  • Campus/residence hall staff
  • On/off campus crisis centers 
  • Victim assistance programs
  • Community mental health agencies