Reporting to police
Reporting a sexual assault to the police is a personal decision. A Pathways for Change counselor will not notify the police without your expressed consent. If a gun or knife were used in the assault, and you go to the hospital for medical attention the hospital is obligated to provide this information to the police, however, you still do not have to speak with or file a formal report. If you decide that you would like to report the crime, Pathways for Change can help you through that process, either now or at a later date.
In the state of Massachusetts, you have 15 years to report a sexual assault as a crime to the police and three years to begin the civil process if you want to sue the assailant (s) for monetary damages.
If you have already made a report to the police, they have your contact information and if you had evidence collected at the hospital; the evidence kit will automatically be processed. The police should call you soon to talk about the next step. You may also contact the police at any time if you have questions regarding your case. Pathways for change can provide an advocate 24/7/365 for emotional support if you decide to go to the police station and report the assault.
Pathways for Change can provide you options. However if at any point you need legal advice, contact Victim Rights Law Center 617-399-6720. This is a group of lawyers who provide FREE legal consultation to survivors in order to help protect your rights.
If you have just been assaulted:
• Call 911 if you feel that you are in danger.
• Contact a trusted friend or loved one to be with you.
• You can go the to the ER for medical attention and evidence collection
• Call Pathways for Change if you have any questions or just want someone to talk to; the 24-hour hotline number is 1-800-870-5905 and the Spanish Language hotline is 1-800-223-5001.
• If you wish to apply for Victim Compensation funds, this program requires that you must file a police report or request a restraining order within five days from the assault, however grace periods are allowed when there is good cause for delay. A Pathways for Change advocate can assist you with the paperwork. You may call the Victim Compensation program at 617-727-2200 for more info.