Support for Survivors
Students may confidentially report to members of the following departments on campus at the time of the assault or after:
- Health Services: 413-585-2800
- Campus Police: Extension 800 or 413-585-2490
- Student Affairs administrator on call/Residence Life: call Campus Police
If you have been sexually assaulted you are likely to experience emotional shock, denial, nightmares, sleeplessness, flashbacks, changes in appetite, difficulty working and concentrating, and feelings of guilt, despair, depression, self-blame or anger. Feeling overwhelmed is a natural response. Survivors may feel ashamed; think that the pain will go away; not be sure if what happened was really rape; believe they are responsible in some way.
This initial stage is followed by a period of recovery, during which you may vacillate between feeling completely recovered and still feeling traumatized.
The most important thing is that you not isolate yourself and that you make a positive choice to spend time with people who believe you and support you. Spend time with people who can assist you and who can help you sort out what you need to do to take care of yourself.
Counseling and Support Groups
Working through and talking about your feelings will be most effective in getting on with your life. Many students find solace with counselors or attending support groups.
Students may be able to change their academic and living situations after a sexual assault. Requests for these changes are coordinated through the Dean of Students Office.
Many students find self-defense classes like Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) reduce feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.
Disciplinary and Legal Action
Survivors have the option of bringing criminal charges against their assailants and/or college disciplinary actions when their assailants are students or employees of Smith College. The reasons for doing so vary. For some survivors pursuing these options helps to restore their sense of personal integrity and power, and fulfills a need to protect others in the community from suffering similar harm.