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Options After An Assault

All Pathways counseling services are Free and Confidential. After sexual violence, there are options. Call our hotlines (voice 800-870-5905 or Video Phone 508-502-7681) to learn more about 24/7/365 accompaniment.

Medical Accompaniment

Going To Hospital

  • 24/7/365 Support at the emergency room (ER)
  • Provide support to Survivors before, during and after the visit to the ER
  • Work closely with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or assigned nurse for support when consenting to the forensic evidence collection
  • Provide support to Secondary Survivors (family, friends, partners, etc.)
  • Resources
  • Followup Support

For support right after an assault, and/or for accompaniment at the emergency room, call the 24 hour voice hotline at 1-800-870-5905 or for American Sign Language, call the 24 hour Video Phone hotline at 508-502-7681

Going to see your doctor or dentist

  • Provide support to Survivors before, during and after the visit to the doctor or dentist
  • Provide support to Secondary Survivors (family, friends, partners, etc.)
  • Resources
  • Followup Support

For more information, about accompaniment to the doctors or dentist, please call the main office monday -Friday 9a-5p and ask to speak to a counselor or click here.

Legal Accompaniment

Reporting to the Police

  • 24/7/365 Support when reporting the crime to the police
  • Support when seeking an emergency protection order
  • Provide support to Survivors before, during and after filing a report
  • Provide support to Secondary Survivors (family, friends, partners, etc.)
  • Resources
  • Followup Support

For support right after an assault, and/or for accompaniment at the police station, call the 24 hour voice hotline at 1-800-870-5905 or for American Sign Language, call the 24 hour Video Phone hotline at 508-502-7681.

Court Proceedings

  • Support in the legal setting for protection orders, meetings with the District Attorney’s Office, and pretrial and trial proceedings
  • Provide support to Survivors before, during and after legal proceedings
  • Provide support to Secondary Survivors (family, friends, partners, etc.)
  • Resources
  • Followup Support

For more information, about support at court or for protection orders, please call the main office Monday – Friday 9a-5p and ask to speak to a counselor or click here.

Going to the Hospital

If you have just been sexually assaulted, you deserve support and peace of mind.  At Pathways for Change we know visiting the emergency room (ER) after an assault can be confusing and stressful.  You may not remember or understand all of the information that was given to you during your visit.  A Pathways for Change advocate can help you understand all the choices you have and be with you to provide support, information and resources.

Hospitals & SANE

SANE is a specially trained forensic nurse working for the Department of Public Health to provide you with one on one specialty nursing care and a medical/legal examination. She responds to the ER specifically and solely to care for you.  Her job is to collect evidence and collaborate with the ER staff on your medical care and follow up plan. SANE works closely with Pathways for Change to ensure you receive the best care possible and the tools in which you may need to begin the healing process.  It’s important to know, not all Central Massachusetts hospitals are contracted SANE sites, so calling our hotline can help provide you the information as to which hospitals work with SANE, however Pathways for Change advocates provide support in all Central Massachusetts hospitals.

SANE designated hospitals

If going to the hospital is an option, try to go to one that is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) designated site. They work very closely with Pathways for Change advocates as you may be faced with confusing medical and legal decisions, and the Pathways for Change advocate and SANE can work as a team to help you through the process.

SANE hospitals in the Pathways for Change area are:

Harrington Memorial (Southbridge)

UMass Memorial- Memorial Campus (Worcester)

UMass Memorial – University Campus (Worcester)

St Vincent Hospital (Worcester)

Non-SANE Hospitals

If you go to an emergency room that is not part of the SANE program, a Pathways for Change advocate can still meet you at a hospital within the Pathways for Change Central Massachusetts area. You can call the hotline at any time for more information or to request an advocate.

Non-SANE hospitals in the Pathways for Change area are:

Clinton Hospital

Heywood Hospital (Gardner)

Hubbard Regional (Webster)

Leominster Hospital

Nashoba Valley Medical Center (Ayer)

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.

Police & Court Advocacy

For more information, or to request a Counselor meet you at a Police Station, please contact our 24 hour Hotline at 800-870-5905. To request a Counselor meet you at a Court, please contact Linda Rutherford at 508-852-7600 x113

“…[we] truly felt lost and confused at times as to what should be the next
step to help support our [loved one]… but your informational packet and
experienced words of guidance proved indispensable in giving us some
direction as to where to find the resources and answers…”

With the Police: Far too many individuals feel like they have no options, rights or choices after sexual assault. Pathways for change Advocates can help you better understand your options about reporting. For instance, did you know that reporting to the police is your choice? We can also help you understand your options for staying safe. Advocates can meet you at the police station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as well as provide legal referrals to ensure you have as many supports in place as possible.

Within the Court: Advocates can provide accompaniment, support, information and referrals through the criminal justice systems. Court advocacy requires a 5 day advanced notice prior to the court date. At Pathways for Change we provide options, but if at any point you need legal advice, contact Victim Rights Law Center 617-399-6720 (www.victimrights.org). This is a group of lawyers who provide FREE legal consultation to survivors in order to help
protect your rights.

If you would like to learn more about your legal options, please call our toll free
24/7/365 hotline. A counselor is always available to offer you; support, information and
assistance in getting connected with an advocate.

  • 24/7/365 Hotline: 1-800-870-5905
  • Deaf & HOH individuals can access the hotline 24/7 via
    • MassRelay (711) or
    • Video Relay: 866-327-8877
  • En Español: 800-223-5001 (24/7)
  • Voice: 508-852-7600 (Weekdays 9am-5pm)
  • Video Phone: 508-502-7681 (Weekdays 9am-5pm)
  • TTY: 888-887-7130 (Weekdays 9am-5pm)
Want to Schedule an Appointment?

Our confidential contact form. Or feel free to contact us directly 1-800-870-5905.

To protect your confidentiality, please so not include details of your assault on this form.

We Are Here To Help

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To connect with a counselor please call our 24 Hour Hotline at 1(800) 870-5905.

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Video Phone (508) 502-7681 (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm).

Walk-ins are welcome during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Volunteer

become a volunteer

Are you interested in becoming a Pathways for Change volunteer? For more information email info@pathwaysforchange.help.

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Join our growing team! Pathways is currently hiring for several positions. Click here for more information

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