Who can I contact if I feel unsafe?
If you can, get to a safe (or safer) place. Consider calling someone that cares about you to talk to you or come be with you. Remember, PARC always has an advocate available to you via our 24/7 hotline: 781-736-3370.
If you feel unsafe and are comfortable doing so, consider contacting Brandeis Police or Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) at (781) 736-3333 for an on-campus emergency, or the Waltham Police at 911 for an off-campus emergency.
What is a safety plan?
Safety planning is a way to think ahead of time about strategies to stay safe-- which can reduce risk-- and get through difficult situations you might encounter. When addressing physical safety, you may think about times or places you might run into your perpetrator and strategies to avoid them, have a friend walk with you so that you don’t have to be alone, or plan to change your living arrangements.
A safety plan is meant to be tailored to your own experience and will look different for everyone depending on what their immediate and future safety concerns are. Think about what works for you and what makes you feel empowered in reclaiming your sense of safety and security. Your plan may shift over time, but overall, the goal of a safety plan is to make you feel as safe as possible, whatever your current circumstances may be. This can be an overwhelming process, so remember to take care of yourself and that it is okay not to have an answer for everything!
If you would like help with safety planning, PARC can help guide you through the process. Our hotline and anonymous chat function can also be used to talk to an advocate about safety planning!
There are many safety plan templates available online. Here is PARC's version as an editable PDF.
What are my options to receive medical attention, including a rape kit, STI prophylaxis, and/or emergency contraception, at a local hospital with a SANE nurse program?
For acute medical attention, Newton Wellesley Hospital is the closest hospital with a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) nurse program. You have the right to receive a SANE exam and related care free of charge by law, but other services (such as care for injuries on other body parts) may be billable.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is another SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)- certified site. SANE-certified nurses are specifically trained to perform exams and collect forensic evidence from those who have experienced sexual assault. For students with concerns about this hospital visit appearing on your insurance, all services provided by the Violence Prevention and Recovery Services program at Beth Israel Deaconness are free, including advocacy, support groups, and SANE exams and related medical care.
What are my options to receive STI testing and/or free emergency contraception on campus?
The Brandeis University Health Center, located at the Stoneman Building and reachable at (781) 736-3677, provides STI testing, free emergency contraception for Brandeis students, pregnancy testing and referral for other support services related to sexual assault, violence and non-consensual contact.
You can also receive emergency contraception, STI testing, and other medical options at the Planned Parenthood/Greater Boston Health Center. The Center is located at 1055 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. You can make an appointment by calling (800) 258-4448 or by visiting their website.
How can I request a temporary or permanent change to my living situation?
The Department of Community Living (DCL), located in Usdan G032, is responsible for all on campus housing. If you already live on campus, they are able to quickly-- often immediately-- move you into a temporary emergency space or move you into a permanent new room based on availability. DCL staff are responsible reporters, however, so sharing that you have experienced violence would require them to share that information with the Office of Equal Opportunity. If you would prefer to not share with them, the professional staff at PARC can arrange the move with DCL on your behalf while keeping all of your information except your identity confidential.
If you live off campus, DCL may be able to temporarily house you in an emergency space. If you live off campus and want to permanently move on campus, this may also be an option based on availability and cost. Please contact PARC professional staff to explore this option.
If you live off campus and want to break your lease because of what you have experienced, there are legal protections for you in Massachusetts. You will need either a police report or a letter from a counselor or advocate; PARC professional staff can help you with this or you can choose to read more about this law and pursue this on your own.
Need help finding new off-campus housing? Our friends in Graduate Student Affairs have a lot of experience and may be able to help!
What are my options if I am feeling unsafe getting to, from, or around campus?
If you are concerned about getting to and from home, school, or work safely, you can contact PARC for support and guidance around safety-planning, which could include altering your route, transportation methods, and/or schedule to help you avoid the person(s) who has harmed you. If you have a car, keeping your gas tank full, and if you rely on public transportation, learning alternative routes that can help you adjust if needed can be good strategies as well. If you need immediate support, contact Public Safety (on-campus) at 781-736-3333 or 911 (off campus).
We recognize that planning for your safety can sometimes mean that you have to make changes in your life, and that can be unfair. PARC advocates are happy to help you explore options and decide what changes, if any, you are willing to make. We will not pressure you to make any changes you are not comfortable with.
How can I get help around adjusting my work or class schedule?
If you are concerned about your safety in the classroom and/or at work and would like to change your schedule, you can contact PARC to make a plan which can include reaching out to your academic advisor and/or Human Resources to request an adjustment your schedule.
If you feel comfortable, you are always welcome and encouraged to communicate with your academic advisor and/or Human Resources directly. Keep in mind that they are responsible reporters, meaning they are required to share what you tell them about violence with the Office of Equal Opportunity. If you don't want that to happen, you can either choose not to share specifics of why you need some flexibility or you can use PARC to protect your privacy.
Speaking with a professional staff member at PARC guarantees that your information will not be shared with the Office of Equal Opportunity (unless you would like it to be!). With your written permission, PARC can reach out to your academic advisor and/or Human Resources to ask for the flexibility you need without sharing any details about what is going on with you.
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