Disciplinary and Legal Action
Taking action against your assailant takes a great deal of courage. Although the decision to proceed has to be made by you, this does not mean that you have to go through the decision-making process alone. Campus Police and other college officials will provide support for students filing a complaint.
If legal action is a consideration, the following steps should be taken to preserve evidence:
- Do not change out of the clothing you were wearing at the time of your assault. If you must change, place your old clothes in a paper bag and do not wash it.
- As much as you may want to, do not shower, bathe or clean up in any way.
- Do not apply medication or cosmetics.
- Pack a change of clothes to bring to Health Services or the hospital. Health Services will refer victims to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for a physical examination.
College Judicial Board
Assault Committed by a Student
Sexual assaults or rapes allegedly committed by a Smith College student can be reported and adjudicated by the college Judicial Board.
During a college disciplinary case, the survivor is not required to directly confront the alleged assailant or be physically present during the proceedings, and interim safeguards (such as no contact orders) may be implemented while the disciplinary process is pending. Both parties are informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding. Sanctions arising from a campus disciplinary proceeding alleging a rape (including acquaintance rape) or other sex offense (forcible or nonforcible) include, but are not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the college.
Assault Committed by an Employee
Sexual assaults allegedly committed by a Smith College employee will be reviewed under the college's Human Resources disciplinary policies. The college may take disciplinary action to protect the college, regardless of the outcome of any criminal case. Sanctions arising from an employee disciplinary proceeding alleging a rape (including acquaintance rape) or other sex offense (forcible or nonforcible) include but are not limited to termination of employment.
See the Smith College Staff Handbook for more information.
Civil and Criminal Complaints
A student who is the victim of a crime on campus will be given information about off-campus resources and procedures for filing a civil or criminal complaint in a court of law. Students are strongly encouraged to consider and investigate this option.
Victim/Witness Assistance Unit
The Victim/Witness Assistance unit of the Northwestern District Attorney's (D.A.'s) office provides guidance to victims throughout the investigation and complaint process.
The D.A.'s office will provide information about the court process, survivor's rights, restraining orders and social service referrals. They will also facilitate consultation with an attorney to discuss the viability of a case.