Boston University’s Failure to Provide Support for Victims of Sexual Assault
After hearing Boston University’s attempts to distance itself and its hockey team from the two separate incidents of rape and sexual assault that have come up in the past two months, I wanted to see what resources were available for victims and survivors.
I called the number listed on BU’s student health website, where it says “Crisis Intervention Counselors can be reached 24/7” [617-353-3569]. After going through an automated menu and opting for the emergency operator, this is how the conversation went. [2/22 at 11:36 pm].
Me: Hi, what resources are available in terms of rape and sexual assault?
Operator: What? We don’t have anything like that here.
Me: I’m looking at the BU student health website and this is the number listed for students with sexual assault emergencies.
Operator: You’re going to have to look into medical, or something.
Me: Excuse me?
Operator: This is behavioral medicine. We don’t have anything about sexual assault here. You can call the BU medical hotline.
Me: Okay, can I please have that number?
He gave it to me — without asking if I was okay, in an emergency situation, or anything like that — and I called that number. For reference: 617-353-3575.
The BU medical hotline led me to another automated menu. There was a menu item for an immediate emergency of sexual assault, which I selected. This transferred me back to the first number I called: BU’s Student Health Service’s Behavioral Medicine. It is a useless loop of automated menus that provide no real resources or response to sexual assault.
Boston University has neither an emergency support system for victims of sexual assault nor staff members trained in responding to rape crisis situations.