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Domestic Violence Resource Guide

For any on-campus emergency, dial ‘0’ or x7291 for the Security Department.
From a cell phone dial 413-528-7291.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence in Massachusetts is defined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

  • attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
  • placing another in fear of imminent physical harm;
  • causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress.

"Family or Household Members" are persons who:

  • are or were married to one another; are or were residing together in the same household;
  • are or were related by blood or marriage;
  • have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together;
  • or are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship - this includes same sex relationships.

I experience domestic violence off-campus; How can I protect myself here on-campus?

Speak to someone from the Security Department or Student Affairs department about your needs. Consider before you arrive the answers to the following questions:

  • Does my abuser know where I am? Or, do others s/he knows know where I am?
  • Has s/he threatened to find me here?
  • If it likely s/he will come here?
  • Has s/he presented a continued threat to me?

If you obtained a restraining order from any court, bring it with you. Massachusetts has a reciprocal agreement with most states which allows local police officers to make an arrest based on a violation of an out-of-state restraining order.

I experience domestic violence on-campus - how do I get help?

BEFORE AN INCIDENT

Take any threats seriously, especially if you have previous experience or knowledge that the other party has a history that includes the use of violence. If you are uncertain about your safety around your abuser, avoid contact and seek assistance from Student Affairs or Security. Alert friends to your concerns, and develop a plan to signal them if you are in danger. Ask them to call for help if they have any concerns about your safety.

DURING AN INCIDENT

Alert others, if possible to your danger. If you are in a residence hall, make noise to alert neighbors. Try to get to safety and call the Security Department as soon as possible. The Security officer will use all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further abuse. The officer shall take, but is not limited to the following action:

  • Request assistance from on-call residence directors.
  • Request assistance from local emergency response services.
  • Inform the Administrator on-call of the need for a ‘No Contact Order’ stipulated that neither victim nor abuser have any contact with each other – verbal, electronic, written, or through an intermediary.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN INCIDENT

Get somewhere safe and report your situation to the Security Department yourself or with assistance from others around you. Inform Security if your attacker is still nearby and provide them with a description.

Officers will assist you in obtaining medical treatment for injuries. They will also assist you in finding a safe place to stay, if needed, whether that is a different location on campus, or elsewhere.

Options Available to Victims

The Security Department can make recommendations based on your situation that can help ensure your safety:

  • Relocation
    If appropriate for the situations, inform the Administrator on-call of the need for alternative temporary campus housing.
  • No Contact Orders
    When a victim reports a past domestic violence situation victims can choose to seek a restraining order from the local court. Residence Directors can provide support and guidance with court officials as third party even though they cannot act as a direct agent in such a court order.
  • Trespass Notice
    When a victim does not feel that s/he wants, or cannot obtain, a restraining order based on circumstances, s/he may request a trespass notice be issued. Officers will take information on your case and will be able to let you know if a trespass notice is appropriate. Standards for a campus trespass notice are less strict than those for a restraining order; if a restraining order is not issued by the courts, a trespass notice may still be possible.
  • Other Options
    The Security Department can act as a liaison to other departments on campus to assist you such as arranging for health care, mental health counseling, informing Academic Affairs of your situation, etc.

Campus Resources
Security Department x7291
Residential Life x7693
Emergencies 9-911
Health and Counseling Services x7353

Information About Bard College at Simon’s Rock Trespass Notices

Online Resources