What to Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted

These are important steps to take right away after an assault:

  • Protect yourself—get away from the attacker and to a safe place as quickly as you can.
  • Call 911 or the police.
  • Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. Injuries and exposure to disease may not be immediately apparent. A medical examination can provide necessary treatment for any injuries and screening for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy. It is recommended that a physical exam be conducted within 72 hours of the incident. Submitting to a physical exam does not mean that a victim is required to press charges. This action merely preserves the option to do so.
  • Call a friend or family member that you trust. You also can call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional. In Western Massachusetts, contact:

Amherst:    Center for Women & Community, (413) 545-0800 or Hotline, (8880 337-0800
Greenfield: NELCWIT Hotline, (413) 772-0806
Pittsfield:    Elizabeth Freeman Center, (413) 443-0089 or Hotline, (413) 499-2425
Springfield: YWCA, (800) 796-8711
Westfield:   YWCA of Western Mass Hotline, (800) 479-6245

Spanish language assistance is available at the Llámanos Spanish Language 24-hour Helpline at (800) 223-5001.

While at the hospital:

  • If you decide you want to file a police report, you or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room.
  • Ask the hospital staff to connect you with the local rape crisis center.  The center staff can help you make choices about reporting the attack and getting help through counseling and support groups.

- HCC offers free, comprehensive wellness services through the WellConnect Student Assistance Program.  Through WellConnect, students, their families and members of their household have access to one-on-one, 24/7 mental health counseling as well as numerous other resources.

Students can access WellConnect at any time by calling (800) 326-6142 (voice/TTY) or via the WellConnect website at https://wellconnect.cuthrive.com/.  Students in need of support on campus during normal college business hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) should come to the Student Affairs office in FR224 or contact us at (413) 552-2390 for immediate assistance.


The Board of Higher Education/Massachusetts Community Colleges' Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity ("Policy on Affirmative Action") provides information to assist members of the college community with understanding the rights, protections and services available to victims of sexual violence. This information is available in the Sexual Violence - Victim's Rights and Information form. 


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000