Whether you live on or off-campus, living in the greater Boston area can be a fun and rewarding experience. With this, however, comes the responsibility to protect yourself and others from crime. The best weapon against criminal intent is knowledge.
Elements necessary for a crime to occur:
- Desire or motivation on the part of the criminal.
- The Ability to commit the crime.
Criminals have the desire to commit crimes, don't give them the opportunity.
Crime Prevention Resources
Over consumption of alcohol among college students is a serious problem. Students generally do not fully understand the effects of alcohol - they succumb easily to peer-pressure, and are unable to handle the new freedom living away from home brings.
Alcohol is a drug that acts as a depressant on the central nervous and respiratory systems. Approximately 9,000,000 Americans are addicted to alcohol, making it the most serious drug problem in the United States.
SIGNS OF ALCOHOL ABUSE:
- Use of alcohol during the class day
- Missed course work because of drinking
- Drinking when there is an important reason not to
- Significant changes in mood or behavior
- Becoming violent when drinking
- Drinking more than friends
- Drinking alone
- Drinking to intoxication
- Trouble with police or university officials because of drinking
- Drinking to escape
- Expressed concern about drinking from others (often met with denial of an alcohol problem)
- Blackouts and/or loss of memory while drinking
- Drinking is the primary reason for getting together
WHAT TO DO:
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a friend, you should try to get help. This can be very difficult, but it is necessary if they are to control their problem.
- Select an appropriate time and place
- Let them know you are genuinely concerned
- Be direct, don't beat around the bush
- Describe specific behaviors, don't evaluate
- Offer to accompany them to an appropriate office so they can discuss their alcohol use and get assistance
- Be prepared to encounter excuses, broken promises, challenges, attempts to redirect the conversation, and passing the behavior off as no big deal
- Always leave them with a telephone number to call for assistance.
PROTECT YOURSELF IN YOUR ROOM OR APARTMENT:
- Lock your doors and windows even when you intend to come right back. It only takes 10 seconds for someone to enter your room and steal your property.
- Keep a list of emergency phone contacts by or on your phone.
- Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away, or when you will be back.
- Do not tell others the combination to your room, or provide extra keys.
- Do not prop open exterior doors. All exterior building doors are alarmed and will cause BC Police to respond
- Get to know your neighbors. Report all strangers in your residence hall to the BC Police (617-552-4444) or to your RA right away. All delivery people are required to meet in the lobby or at the front door of your building. They are not permitted to walk around in the building.
- Do not keep large sums of cash on your person or in your room. Use ATM or credit cards when you can.
- Keep ATM and Credit Cards in a safe place. Remember to keep your pin numbers to yourself. Avoid using ATM's at night.
- All BC employees are required to have a BC ID visible. Report any suspicious person to the BC Police.
PROTECT YOURSELF BOTH ON AND OFF CAMPUS:
- Avoid walking alone at night. Use the BC Eagle Escort Service (617) 552-8888, which operates from 7 p.m.-3 a.m., 7 days a week during the academic year.
- Do not take shortcuts through dark and isolated areas. Keep to well-lit, commonly used areas.
- Report any on campus areas where lights are not functioning to the Work Order Center (617) 552-3048.
- Walk purposely, know where you are going, and project a look of self-assurance.
- Have your door, car keys, and BC ID ready so that you may enter a building without delay.
- Make yourself aware of where you can get help should you need it, such as emergency phones, residence hall call box, and pay phones. Elevators have emergency phones, and dining halls are open late.
- Make yourself aware of the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program, for women's self defense.
- The drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. Drinking and safety do not go hand-in-hand.
Protect Your Wallet/Purse. Never leave them unattended.
Shred All Paperwork with any personal identifying information, especially documents with your social security number and/or date of birth. Shred all receipts containing credit card numbers, banking information, credit card offers or any other financial information.
Carefully Review your monthly statements for irregularities or fraudulent activity.
Ensure That Purchases Made over the Internet are through a secure site.
Don't Give Out Personal Information in response to unsolicited offers by phone, mail, Internet or in person.
Order Your Credit Reports and review them carefully. (Free for Massachusetts residence).
Keep Your Computer's virus and spyware software updated.
Close The Accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
When You Open New Accounts, use new PINs and passwords, not your mother's maiden name.
Ask Each Company for the appropriate forms to dispute fraudulent charges and/or debits.
Provide Detailed Information regarding the specifics of the loss of fraudulent charges to the Boston College Police Detectives.
File A Report with the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-ID-THEFT)
Keep Detailed Chronological Records of all correspondence and conversations with creditors, the FTC and local police departments. Update the FTC and police detectives with any new information as you receive it.
Obtain And Review Your Credit Reports for fraudulent home addresses or other information.
If You Think You May Be The Victim of identity theft, the Boston College Police Department seeks to assist you in every way possible. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States.
Place An Initial Fraud Alert on your credit reports. You need to contact only of the three consumer reporting companies. The company you call is required to contact the other two.
Relationship Violence is defined as intentional violent or controlling behavior by a person who is, or was, in a relationship with the victim. It can include such behavior as actual or threatened physical injury, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic control, and/or progressive social isolation.
Relationship Violence cuts across all lines including race, age, sexual orientation, and social-economic class. It is rarely isolated and almost always escalates in severity over time. Relationship Violence can be stopped. Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.
Emotional abuse is controlling behavior through degradation and fear. The abuser's actions often work toward his/her dependency on the abuser so that the manifestation of control over him/her can escalate and become endless. Emotional abuse covers a wide range of potentially damaging and dangerous behavior:
- Diminishing his/her self-esteem by calling him/her names and insisting that she/he does not look desirable and is inadequate as a person.
- Threatening to leave him/her or cause harm to themselves or to him/her and intimidating and ordering him/her to do things that she is not comfortable doing.
- Controlling him/her economically.
- Isolating her/him from his/her family, friends, and roommates.
- Emotional/Psychological Abuse can lead and usually does lead to physical abuse.
The Battering Cycle
For many people living in a violent environment abuse occurs in cycles. For each situation the cycle varies in time, intensity and in the form of abuse.
Tension Building - Victim senses abuser's edginess and begins to feel that abuse is deserved.
Violent Episode - Victim is battered, yet denies severity of the issues.
Loving Stage - Abuser and victim believe it will never happen again but it almost always does.
What to do:
- Get medical attention
- Get counseling
- Find support while learning to change, deal with, or leave the violent environment
- Go to a safe place and call for advice/help. No one deserves to be abused
- Press criminal charges: you have the right to file assault and batter charges against your abuser
- Abuse Prevention Act: under this law you may obtain a restraining and vacate order from the court if you are threatened with abuse or have been abused
- Family Support: find those friends or relatives who support you and will offer you shelter if needed
Your Legal Rights
No one deserves to be threatened, hit or beaten. Violence against another person is a crime. The Abuse Prevention Act was created to protect people who are battered. A restraining order can be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, with the assistance of the police and an on-call judge.
A restraining order directs the alleged abuser to cease abusing the victim, to stay away from the victim and to have no contact with the victim. Violation of such orders is a criminal offense and violators are subject to mandatory arrest by the police.
Any person who has been abused physically or sexually, even by members of the same sex, or threatened with abuse may obtain a temporary restraining order.
The Boston College Police will assist you in obtaining a restraining order. There is no cost to the victim.
In Massachusetts a stalking law is in effect. This new law aims at halting a pattern of threats and harassment.
The Boston College Police offer the assistance of specially trained officers to victims of relationship violence. We also recommend that victims of abuse seek counseling services available on campus.
BC Women's Center
The Women's Center (WC) is an advocacy collaborative focused on women and gender issues. It provides the Boston College community with a forum to discuss contemporary social topics through empowering educational programs; nurturing peer-to-peer support groups; and outreach awareness campaigns.
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
As the second oldest rape crisis center in the United States, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) has been highly visible locally and nationally in the fight against violence against women.
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
617-338-2355 (Boston, MA)
Issues literature in various Asian languages for abused women, support groups, advocacy, referrals.
Casa Myrna Vazquez
SafeLink Hotline: 877-785-2020 (Boston, MA)
Emergency Shelter for battered women, support services, hotline, Spanish.
Counseling and Education to Stop Domestic Violence.
For people who batter.
The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities.
Gay Mens Domestic Violence Project
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project is a grassroots, non-profit organization founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence and developed through the strength, contributions and participation of the community.
Fenway Community Health Center
Toll free: 888-242-0900
Greater Boston Legal Services
Boston Office: 617-371-1234
Cambridge Office: 617-603-2700
Jane Doe, INC.
Brighton District Court
Newton District Court
Immediate Emergency Actions
If you see a person acting suspiciously, someone violently threatening/injuring someone or a person with a weapon…
- Do not physically confront the person and do not block the person’s access to an exit.
- Do not let anyone into a locked building/office.
- Keep away from the area and alert others to the danger.
- Call BC Police at 617-552-4444. Provide as much information as possible about the person and his or her direction of travel.
- Follow instructions of emergency personnel.
- If told to seek safe shelter, get inside immediately and lock doors.
For More Information on Violent Acts, Threats, and Preparedness
Rape Is A Sexual Assault Which Includes:
- Lack of consent
- The threat or use of force
- Penetration (this includes oral, vaginal and or anal penetration by either a body part or an object).
Rape Also Includes:
- Alcohol or Drug Intoxicated
- Mentally Impaired
- Under the age of 16
Incdecent Assault and Battery is a sexual assualt that includes intentional touching of the breast, inner thighs, groin/vaginal area, and buttocks without the victim's consent.
Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape is STILL RAPE. Rape is rape whether you know the person or not.
Date Rape Drugs Are drugs that may be used to make a person unconscious or unable to remember what happened during an assault.
Anyone Can Be Impacted by a sexual assault---regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, education, occupation, socioeconomic background, or race.
If You Report a sexual assault to the police, you will not be forced to prosecute. Your name is kept confidential, as is the nature of the crime. No one will see your name in a police blotter.
The Police Will Give You the information you need to make an educated and informed decision about what you want to do.
If You Seek Medical Attention, the exam, which includes evidence collection, medications, and discharge instructions, takes approximately 3-4 hour. If there are medical issues such as extensive physical injuries, the need to stay at the hospital may be longer.
You Never Have To Go Through This Alone. A sexual assault advocate is a phone call away through the resources listed.
You Will Not Get In Trouble if you admit that you were drinking or doing drugs at the time of the sexual assault.
It Is NOT Your Fault. No matter how you were dressed or what you were doing. It is NEVER your fault.
Many Of The Sexual Assaults experienced by college students occur in situations involving alcohol use by the victim, the assailant, or both.
Often, Victims Who Had Been Drinking and or using drugs at the time of the assault have feelings of guild and self blame. It is important to remember that a victim is NEVER responsible for a sexual assault. No one has a right to have sex with you without your consent. If a person has sex with you when you are unable to give consent, or are prevented from resisting due to the effects of alcohol or drugs, it is considered rape or sexual assault, if the person knew or should have reasonably known that you were mentally or physically incapacitated. Even if the person who assaulted you had been drinking, he/she is still responsible for his/her behavior. Being drunk is not an excuse for committing any criminal act, including sexual assault.
In Most Sexual Assaults of college students, the victim knew, was friends with, or is part of a network of friends with the assailant. He or she may not want to report the sexual assault for fear that it will change the relationships they have formed with people, or for fear of embarrassment, or that they will be blamed for "ruining the assailant's life". Using resources on campus such as BC Police, SAnet, or Counseling Services can help minimize those feeling and help a victim make informed decisions.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED...
Get To A Safe Place. If an emergency exists, call the Police immediately.
Seek Medical Attention at an emergency room; preferably at a SANE Site (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) even if you do not want to report the assault. You need to make sure you have no physical injuries and that you receive appropriate medications.
Do Not bathe, shower, douche, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, gargle, change your clothes, brush or comb your hair, eat, drink, or smoke until after you have gone to the emergency room and spoke with a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
If You Choose, you may have forensic evidence collected at the emergency room.
If You Believe you were drugged, you may choose to have a Toxicology kit done, but you must do this soon after the assault as some drugs leave your system quickly. If you were drinking alcohol, you may choose to have your blood alcohol level documented.
If You Decide To Report the assault to the police, remember that the sooner you report to the police, the greater the chances that the police will be able to proceed with an investigation, and that the person will be caught.
Boston College Police Department
University Health Services
A.M. 617-552-2225 P.M. 617-552-3227
University Counseling Services
A.M. 617-552-3310 P.M. 617-552-3227
Fenway Health: Violence Recovery Program
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
617-492-8306 or 800-841-8371
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston MA 02115
Rape Crisis Center 617-667-8141
Brigham & Women's Hospital SANE Site
75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115
Questions about Sexual Assault
Test Your Street Sense..
Do you jog by yourself early in the morning or late at night, when it's quiet and lonely?
Do you carry all your possessions----cash, keys, credit cards, check book---in a beloved but tattered backpack every place you go, then leave it lying around?
When you work late at the computer center or library, do you think it's wimpy to call the Eagle Escort Service at 2 a.m.?
Do you put personal information on social network sites?
If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, you need to change a few habits. Even if your score was a perfect "No, Never!" read on. A few minutes now might prevent trouble later.
Street Sense 101: The Basic Mindset
- Wherever you are----walking between classes, in the library, shopping, driving---stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.
- Walk with confidence---show that you're aware and in control. Body language works.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, get out or away.
Street Sense 201: The Practical Advice
- Walk with a friend, whenever possible.
- Don't fumble in your pocket or purse for your door key or ID Card---have it in your hand before you reach your home or car.
- Stick to well-lighted, well traveled areas. No shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Avoid jogging or biking alone. If you must go by yourself, stay clear of isolated or poorly-lighted areas.
- Don't tempt fate by flashing large amounts of cash or other valuable objects.
- Out late studying? Call a friend or the BC Eagle Escort Services (617-552-8888) when you're ready to leave.
- Watch you purse, backpack, briefcase, cellular phone, laptop and iPod.
- If you think someone is following you, abruptly switch directions or cross the street. If you're still being followed, go to a public place and ask for help.
Street Sense: Public Transportation
- Use well-lighted, busy stops.
- Sit near the driver, and don't doze off!
- If someone harasses you, don't be embarrassed. Just say---loudly---"Leave me alone!"
- Watch who gets off the bus or subway with you. If you feel uneasy, go where there are other people---a residence hall, or business.
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