Campus sexual assaults are in no way unique to Bryant University. According to the April 2014 Not Alone report released by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, “one in five women is sexually assaulted in college.”
The Smithfield Police Department has created this page to provide victims of campus sexual assault with information regarding their options following an assault. While Bryant University provides various services to sexual assault victims, these are not the only services available. If you, or somebody you know, have been sexually assaulted on the campus of Bryant University, then you should contact the Smithfield Police Department to help you cope with this assault, protect you from your attacker, and bring your attacker to justice.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Assault on Campus below to see that the Smithfield Police Department is fully prepared to assist victims of campus sexual assault.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Assault on Campus
If you are in immediate danger, get to a safe location and dial 911.
If you are unable to safely use a telephone or cellular phone to dial 911, use whatever means reasonably necessary for you to alert emergency personnel. (For example, pull the nearest fire alarm.)
Preserve all evidence, if possible. Don’t wash, brush your teeth, or comb your hair. If you are at the scene of the assault, don’t clean or straighten up the area. Do not wash clothes or bedding.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may be at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, and you should seek preventative treatment immediately. If you suspect you have been drugged, it is crucial to get to a hospital right away and provide hospital personnel with this information. The following hospitals are near Smithfield:
- Women & Infants Hospital of RI, 100 Dudley Street #2, Providence, RI 02905 Telephone: (401) 274-1100
- Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903 Telephone: (401) 444-4000
Report the incident to Law Enforcement immediately. The emergency telephone number for the Smithfield Police Department is 231-2500. Our police station is located at 215 Pleasant View Avenue, Smithfield, RI 02917. map & driving directions
Although Bryant University Department of Public Safety Officers provide students with a variety of helpful services, and they may be first to come to your aid, DO NOT ASSUME that the Smithfield Police Department has been contacted and is aware of the crime committed against you.
Know what help is available to you. There are MANY resources available to assist you after a sexual assault. Don’t hesitate to ask the Smithfield Police Department for help. Your options are not limited to the services provided by Bryant University.
The Smithfield Police take very seriously all reports of campus sexual assaults. A police officer will respond to where you are and discuss with you all of your options. [Although police response to your location is preferred, nothing prevents you from responding to the police station. The Smithfield Police Department is less than 3 miles from campus, and is located at 215 Pleasant View Avenue, Smithfield, RI 02917. The police station is open 24/7.] Reporting your assault to the Smithfield Police does not automatically mean you must press criminal charges. The decision on whether to proceed with a criminal investigation will be yours. A Smithfield Police Officer will make you aware of your options, and can also make sure you get needed medical treatment. This officer can also connect you with the Department’s Victim Advocate, who can help you get the services you may need. This includes obtaining a “legally enforceable protection order” against your attacker.
The Smithfield Police Department is a Nationally Accredited Law Enforcement Agency. The Department’s highly professional Patrol Division members are available to assist you immediately following any traumatic incident. If you agree to a complete investigation of your assault, a Detective experienced in investigating this type of crime will be assigned to your case. [Only Detectives with experience investigating sexual assaults will be assigned to your case. If having a female officer available during the investigation makes you more comfortable, arrangements will be made to have a female officer involved in the investigation.] When called to the scene immediately, the Smithfield Police Department can properly secure evidence critical to your case, whether or not you have decided to pursue a criminal complaint. An immediate response to the scene also enables the Smithfield Police Department to speak to witnesses at the time of the crime, while their memories are fresh. If victims do not immediately report their assault to the Smithfield Police, then this DOES NOT preclude victims from coming forward “at any time” after an assault to request a thorough investigation. However, a victim’s immediate report improves the chances of a successful investigation.
Absolutely not! Obviously, underage drinking is unlawful. That being stated, it is not uncommon for underage victims of sexual assault to be intoxicated or under the influence of alcoholic beverages during their assault. While the Smithfield Police Department will certainly be interested in knowing a victim’s level of intoxication, the police will not file charges against a victim for possessing alcohol or being intoxicated.
Additionally, victims should not wait until they have “sobered up” to report the assault to the police. A delay in reporting will likely result in the loss of valuable information and evidence.
For many victims of sexual assault, the mere sight of their attacker can be traumatic. While Bryant University may offer victims a “no-contact order,” it’s important for victims to know that these protection orders issued by campus officials ARE NOT LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE. If your attacker has been given a “no-contact order” by Bryant University, then it’s unlikely that the Smithfield Police Department know that you are a victim, and that there exists a requirement that an individual stay away from you. Additionally, the Smithfield Police are unable to enforce a Bryant University-issued “no-contact order” for any off-campus contact your attacker may have with you.
In cases where an arrest is made, the Rhode Island Court will automatically issue a “no-contact order” to protect the victim. If that person violates the order, an arrest can be made. There are also legally enforceable restraining orders for cases in which no arrest was made. See the Rhode Island General Law listed below.
§ 11-37.2-2 Protective orders – Penalty – Jurisdiction. – (a) A person who is a victim of sexual assault as defined in § 11-37-1, 11-37-2, 11-37-4, 11-37-6, 11-37-8.1, 11-37-8.3 or 11-59-2, may file a complaint in the district court requesting any order which will protect him or her from the future abuse, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Ordering that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street or elsewhere, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;
(2) Upon motion by the plaintiff, his or her address shall be released only at the discretion of the district court judge.
(b) Nothing in this section shall limit a defendant’s right under existing law to petition the court at a later date for modification of the order.
(c) Any violation of the aforementioned protective order shall subject the defendant to being found in contempt of court.
(d) The contempt order shall not be exclusive and shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. Any relief granted by the court shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed three (3) years, at the expiration of which time the court may extend any order upon motion by the plaintiff for such additional time as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse. The court may modify its order at any time upon motion of either party.
(e) Any violation of a protective order under this chapter of which the defendant has actual notice shall be a misdemeanor which shall be punished by a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(f) “Actual notice” means that the defendant has received a copy of the order by service thereof or by being handed a copy of the order by a police officer pursuant to § 8-8.1-7.
Smithfield Police and the Department’s Victim Advocate are available to assist you in obtaining restraining orders through the Rhode Island Courts. By contacting the Smithfield Police Department at (401) 231-2500, you can speak to an officer about restraining order information or the Department can make arrangements for its Victim Advocate to speak with you directly.
Most students are aware that there are services available to them through Bryant University. However, victims may be reluctant to seek the assistance they need from within this close knit campus community. Victims may be more comfortable seeking assistance from services that are available off-campus.
The Smithfield Police Department is partnered with Day One to provide sexual assault victims with the help they need. Visit www.dayoneri.org for more information about treatment, counseling, legal assistance, and advocacy. If you are in crisis right now and need to speak to an advocate immediately, call the Helpline at 1-800-494-8100. You may contact Day One directly. You do not need to go through the Smithfield Police Department or Bryant University to take advantage of Day One services.
Additionally, services provided by the Smithfield Police Department’s Victim Advocate are not limited to assistance with restraining orders. By contacting the Smithfield Police Department at (401) 231-2500, you can asked to be put in contact with the Department’s Victim Advocate for help coping with a sexual assault. Asking the Smithfield Police Department to make arrangements for the Victim Advocate to speak with you directly does not mean the Smithfield Police will automatically launch an investigation. However, after speaking with the Victim Advocate, you may decide that you want your assault to be investigated.
It is not uncommon for a person to be unsure if what happened to them is legally considered to be a sexual assault. If you (or a friend) believe you have been violated in any way, you can call the Smithfield Police Department at (401) 231-2500, and a police officer can help make that determination. Even if the incident into which you are inquiring does not qualify as a criminal sexual assault, you can still take advantage of the advice and services that the Smithfield Police Department can offer.
For your convenience, links to Rhode Island General Laws regarding sexual assault are available below.
- § 11-37-1 Definitions
- § 11-37-2 First degree sexual assault
- § 11-37-4 Second degree sexual assault
- § 11-37-6 Third degree sexual assault
Yes. Anytime you know of a person who is in a dangerous situation you should immediately call the Smithfield Police Department at (401) 231-2500. This is particularly true if you suspect that an assault is taking place or has just taken place. In some situations, the law requires you to act. See the law below.
§ 11-1-5.1 Reports of crimes to law enforcement officials. – A person who knows that another person is a victim of sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, or armed robbery and who is at the scene of the crime shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger of peril to the person or others, report the crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable.
If a person confides in you about a sexual assault at a later date, you can offer support by encouraging them to learn about all of the options listed on this Smithfield Police Department web page.