24/7 Hotline Number: (413) 597-3000
What is SASS?
Sexual Assault Survivor Services (SASS) is a 24/7, confidential helpline available to students in the Williams community. The SASS line operates out of SAPR and is answered by trained Williams staff members. SASS offers support to survivors (and those who care about them) in a number of ways:
- Immediate safety assessment and support: For those who have had a recent experience of intimate violence, we can assess your safety and help you access immediate safety resources, like medical care, no-contact orders, safe housing, etc.
- Medical support: If you have questions about your health related to an experience of intimate violence, SASS advocates can provide information about STI and/or pregnancy testing and prophylaxis, reproductive healthcare, and emergency services.
SASS advocates can also provide information about SANE examinations (also known as “rape kits”) done at the nearest hospital. We provide accompaniment for survivors going through this process.
- Supportive counseling: If you’re working through the emotional effects of an experience of intimate violence, regardless of how long ago the violence happened, SASS is here to listen and offer support. If you’re not currently connected to ongoing emotional support through SAPR or IWS, SASS can help connect you.
- Navigating the reporting process: If you’re thinking about reporting an experience of intimate violence to the college for formal adjudication or the the criminal legal system, SASS advocates can explain the process and connect you with the first steps in those processes. Because SASS is a confidential resource, these conversations are not considered an official report to the institution.
- Connecting you with supportive accommodations and resources: There are many accommodations available, regardless of whether or not you want to pursue formal disciplinary action. These include housing changes, no-contact orders, and adjustments to class schedules. SASS advocates can help connect you with the right ones for you.
Who is SASS?
The members of SASS include Meg Bossong (Director of Sexual Assault Response and Health Education), Allison Jasso (Violence Prevention Coordinator), Mike Evans (Associate Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives), Alice Lee (Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach), Emery Shriver (Reference and Web Development Librarian), Carolina Echenique (Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment), and Seth Wax (Jewish Chaplain).
What happens when I call SASS?
Like many of the on-call systems on campus, the hotline is answered by a confidential operator, who forwards your phone number to the on-call advocate. You’ll receive a return phone call from the SASS advocate within 15 minutes.
Is SASS only trained to talk about sexual assault?
No, SASS is trained to respond to many kinds of intimate violence, including sexual assault, relationship abuse, stalking, and sexual harassment.
Is SASS only for survivors?
SASS is available to all Williams students. We can provide support, resources, and information to survivors and those who have directly experienced intimate violence, as well as their friends, teammates, entrymates, and more. We are trained to support students of all genders and sexual orientations.
If you are concerned that you may have harmed someone else, SASS can help you get established with appropriate resources on and off-campus.
Does calling SASS count as an official report? Will it trigger disciplinary action?
SASS is a confidential resource in the Williams system, so conversations are not considered formal notice (or a “report”) to the institution. There are two exceptions to this. The first is that the Jeanne Cleary Campus Safety Act requires that Williams keep an accurate annual count of any Title IX/Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) crimes, which include dating a domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and stalking. SASS and SAPR provide these counts in an anonymized, aggregated form. The second is if there is an imminent threat to an individual’s safety or an ongoing threat to the community. In these cases, a SASS advocate would have to alert a Title IX administrator, who would make all efforts to ensure survivors are consulted about their wishes and follow these wishes to all degrees possible.
Are there any other limits to confidentiality?
Like other confidential resources on campus, SASS advocates have to break confidentiality if we believe that there is an imminent threat of dangerous physical harm, including homicidality and suicidality.