& Suicide Prevention
If you're struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide, help is available:
Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 5 PM
FSU Counseling Center
After hours & on the weekends/holidays:
Suicide Prevention Helpline
Mental Health Screening
Click here to take an online anonymous self-assessment and find out in a few minutes whether counseling might be helpful for you.
1 is 2 Many
Vice President Joe Biden's campaign to reduce violence against women. Click here to go to the website and watch his PSA featuring the President, Vice President, and sports leaders.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact, including touching, kissing, fondling or penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with a finger, penis or object. Assault occurs without consent, often through the use of threat of force, intimidation, humiliation, or through intentionally rendering the victim incapable of consent through the use of alcohol/drugs. Both women and men can be victims and perpetrators of sexual assault.
Consent is a mutual agreement in which both parties are capable of making a decision. A person cannot consent to sexual behavior if they are impaired by drugs/alcohol, are unconscious/asleep, are mentally challenged, or under the age of 16 in Massachusetts.
What to do if you have been sexually assaulted
- As soon as you can, get to a safe place.
- Tell someone you trust.
- Take care of immediate medical and mental health needs.
- Medical care: You can go to the FSU Health Center or the hospital.
Two local hospitals are:
Metro West Medical Center
115 Lincoln St.
24 Washington Street
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) available
- Not all injuries are evident, so for your well-being, it is recommended that you receive a medical exam as soon as possible. Do not shower or brush your teeth. Put clothing you were wearing in a bag and bring with you. This can help with evidence gathering if you choose to pursue legal action. Medical staff can help assess your needs including prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and pregnancy.
- Emotional care: Seek support from trusted friends or family. Go to the Counseling Center and a counselor can talk with you confidentially.
- If you would like to report the assault, you can call FSU Police Department or your local police department. Be aware of your rights to privacy and confidentiality in reporting.
- Other supports on campus include the Dean of Students Office, Resident Life staff, and Campus Ministry. (Note that Campus Ministry staff is not always on campus, but will return messages.)
Common Reactions after an assault
Survivors of sexual assaults may experience some of the following:
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Academic difficulty/difficulty with attention and focus.
- Use of substances to manage painful feelings.
- Survivors have a variety of reactions that might surface at different times following the assault, days, weeks, or months later. Counseling can help survivors address these needs at any time.
How to Help a Friend who has been sexually assaulted
- Offer a safe place to stay.
- Be supportive. Listen carefully, without judgment.
- Let survivor make decisions about next steps.
- Assist in getting the treatment/services they need.
Self-care for Friends and Family of a Survivor
- When someone you care about is assaulted, it is shocking and upsetting for you. You may have a range of reactions including anger, sadness, fear and helplessness.
- It is important to show the survivor that you care and are there to support them.Seek emotional support for yourself when you can.
- Most assaults occur from a known assailant.
- Trust your instincts, if you feel uncomfortable, get out of the situation.
- Be mindful that alcohol and drugs can affect your judgment.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert.
- Walk in groups if possible.
- Watch out for each other. Go to social events with friends and keep track of each other.
- Get involved. If you see someone in trouble, don't be afraid to intervene.
Reduce Risk of Committing an Assault
- Remember that sexual assault is a crime. It is never acceptable to force sexual activity. Without consent, sexual activity is considered criminal behavior. Someone who is intoxicated cannot legally consent to sex.
- Resist peer pressure from friends to behave in ways you feel uncomfortable with.
- Alcohol and drugs can alter your thinking and behavior. You are responsible for the consequences of your behavior.
- Counseling Center: 508-626-4640
- Health Center: 508-626-4900
- Campus Police: 508-626-4911
- Dean of Students: 508-626-4596
- Campus Ministry: 508-626-4610
- Voices Against Violence (VAV): 508-626-8686 or 1-800-593-1125
(VAV can provide advocates to accompany survivors to emergency rooms
or when filing a police report)
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: (24-hour hotline) 1-800- 841-8371
- Fenway Community Health Center (GLBTQ support): 617-267-0900