Call the police at 911 and call the Middlebury staff, who will support you whether you choose to file a complaint or not.
Immediate Safety and Support
- Go to a safe place: your room/residence, a friend’s room/residence, or anywhere you will feel safe. If your safety is in immediate jeopardy, either call the police at 911 or go directly to the nearest police station (« comisaría») to report a sexual assault incident.
- If you want to be accompanied to the police station and/or the hospital, please call the Middlebury School in Argentina Assistant Director, María Marta Lamoretti, at +54 911 5046 6532 or 11 5046 6532 (cell). We encourage you to contact someone you trust: no matter how late it is, you should not be alone. Call María Marta, a close friend, or someone from your host family.
- In the event of a sexual violence incident report, the police will call a member of the Brigada Móvil de Intervención en Urgencias con Víctimas de Delitos Sexuales. This service is available only in the city of Buenos Aires, and a psychologist/social worker will take you to the hospital and give support at the police station. Still, the Assistant Director will be there for you immediately after you call her.
- We encourage you to seek immediate medical attention, even if you’re not sure if you have any physical injuries. At the emergency room, you may be treated for injuries, tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections, and women may be tested for pregnancy; however, unless you decide to file a report and/or press charges with the police, no rape evidence collection procedure will take place
- If the incident occurred within the last 24 hours, if possible, try to preserve any evidence before your medical exam by not washing or changing clothes, brushing teeth or hair, eating, or taking other actions that might compromise evidence. Even if more time has passed, it may still be possible to collect evidence, and it is certainly possible to receive medical care and testing. Collecting evidence in no way obligates you to Middlebury or file a complaint with local law enforcement authorities, but it preserves this information in the event that you decide to do either of those things, or seek a protection order, at a later date. However, as indicated above, please know that unless you file a complaint with the Argentine police, no rape evidence collection procedure will take place.
- Should you choose not to report the crime to the police, we still highly encourage you to seek medical attention. We recommend going to the Hospital Alemán, which is covered by your health insurance:
Hospital Alemán (Sala de Emergencias): § Beruti 2557
Mental Health Counseling, Advocacy, and Other Support Services
- We encourage you to consider talking with a confidential counselor. You have complete control over what information you do or do not choose to share. You may or may not feel ready to talk about what happened, but in either case, counselors can provide a confidential and safe space to explore any feelings or challenges that have arisen for you after your experience. They can also provide you with information and support as you consider your needs, and can help you to connect with other resources, such as a victim’s advocate or counselor (contact information is below).
- If you are not sure what you need right now, but you would like some confidential information and/or support while exploring your options, call 137 (option 1). A team of psychologists and social workers from the Victims against Violence Program answers your call or WhatsApp message and provides you with support and information about your rights.
- Middlebury School in Argentina can put you in touch with a psychologist/psychiatrist if you feel the need to do so.
- Religious and spiritual advisors are also confidential resources who can provide emotional support and help you to gather additional information and connect to resources.
Sexual Assault Victims’ Assistance in the City of Buenos Aires
With Criminal Complaint
- A criminal complaint in case of sexual assault may be filed exclusively by the victim at the police station nearest the crime scene. It is important not to wash before reporting the crime.
- The police staff will summon the Flying Squad for Urgent Intervention with Sexual Assault Victims (Brigada Móvil de Intervención en Urgencias con Víctimas de Delitos Sexuales). The service is guaranteed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It operates only in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
- A psychologist and a social worker are part of this squad, and they will assist the victim at the police station and later, take them to a hospital.
- There, preventive HIV treatment, antibiotics for sexually transmitted diseases (ETS, for its Spanish achronym) and emergency contraceptive medication will be provided, and a forensic expert will examine the victim.
- Later, the victim will be taken to the Identification Unit (División de Individualización Criminal), where she will be able to identify the assailant through an identikit. She will be accompanied to the Forensic Medical Center as well, in accordance with the provisions of the Judge.
- Once the medical examination is over, the Flying Squad can also take the victim and their relatives home.
- This Team will also be present when supplemental reports or pictures recognition are needed in order to identify the assailant.
Without Criminal Complaint
- In Argentina there is a National Protocol in place to assist victims of rape and sexual assault. This protocol states that the victim’s right to access medical attention and professional support prevails even when the (adult) victim decides not to report the crime.
- In case the victim prefers not to report the incident to the police, they must ask for preventive medication for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases at the Hospital Alemán Emergency Room (at Av. Pueyrredón and Beruti) and, at their own discretion, for contraceptive medication.
In both cases, it is necessary to contact the Middlebury Program staff at once.
- In Argentina, a Protection Order or “restricción de acercamiento” is rendered by Civil judges; its duration is mandated by the judge and can be renewed if necessary. The “restricción de acercamiento” is issued to urgently protect victims of domestic violence who provide evidence establishing the likely nature of the danger and violent behaviors.
- They rarely apply to victims of all forms of interpersonal violence, unless you provide proof of being stalked after the initial incident. To have access to a protection order, it’s mandatory to have reported the sexual violence incident to the police before. A victim of dating violence, and not domestic violence, also has the right to request these measures provided that they can prove that they and the accused party were in a relationship.
- Residential Accommodations: It is sometimes possible to relocate students on a temporary or permanent basis when two students’ residential proximity feels unsafe or disruptive.
Sexual Violence Resources and Information in Argentina for Individuals of All Gender Identities
- The Middlebury School in Argentina team:
- Director of the School in Argentina: Claudio Gonzalez Chiaramonte, (+549) 11 4180 2705
- Assistant Director: Maria Marta Lamoretti, (+549) 11 5046 6532
- Pathways to Safety International: https://pathwaystosafety.org/ for confidential and inclusive sexual assault services (information, support, and referral) through email at email@example.com for people of all genders and sexuality, LGBTQIA inclusive. They will reply to email within 72h.
- GeoBlue, International Health Insurance: https://geobluestudents.com/ for a detailed list of professional resources (psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) in Buenos Aires.
- Victims against Violence Program: call 137 (option 1). A team of psychologists and social workers from the Victims against Violence Program answers your call or WhatsApp message and provides you with support and information about your rights.
There are several additional resources available for female- and/or LGBTQI+- identified individuals:
- Defensoría LGBT (lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y trans) of the City of Buenos Aires : Its main objective is to deal with cases of human rights violations of the LGBT population. It operates as a comprehensive care center that provides free legal advice, consulting services and intervention in situations of discrimination. https://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/guiajuridicagratuita/defensoria-lgbt-lesbianas-gays-bisexuales-y-trans
- Federación Argentina LGTB : https://falgbt.org/
Definitions of Crimes
In Middlebury’s efforts to obtain and provide definitions of the following crimes or terms, e.g., Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Consent in reference to sexual activity, which are prohibited by Middlebury’s Policy and which may also be prohibited by law in Argentina, listed below please find some or all of the crimes or terms as locally defined by Argentina to the extent known by Middlebury on information and belief at this time.
English follows Spanish below.
La ley 26485, Ley de Protección Integral a las Mujeres, establece la definición de violencia doméstica contra las mujeres en su artículo 6. Estableciendo que se entiende por violencia doméstica: aquella ejercida contra las mujeres por un integrante del grupo familiar, independientemente del espacio físico donde esta ocurra, que dañe la dignidad, el bienestar, la integridad física, psicológica, sexual, económica o patrimonial, la libertad, comprendiendo la libertad reproductiva y el derecho al pleno desarrollo de las mujeres. Se entiende por grupo familiar el originado en el parentesco sea por consanguinidad o por afinidad, el matrimonio, las uniones de hecho y las parejas o noviazgos. Incluye las relaciones vigentes o finalizadas, no siendo requisito la convivencia.
Law 26485, the Law on the Comprehensive Protection of Women, defines domestic violence against women in Article 6, Establishing What Is Understood by Domestic Violence: “That which is committed against a woman by a member of the family group, regardless of the physical space where it occurs, in a manner that harms the woman’s dignity; well-being; physical, psychological, sexual, or financial integrity; the integrity of her assets; or her liberty, including her reproductive freedom and her right to develop her full potential. Family group is understood to mean that which is created by a relationship of consanguinity, affinity, matrimony, common-law union, domestic partnership or romance. It includes current and past relationships, and does not require cohabitation.”
Crimes Against Sexual Integrity
- For Argentinean law, sexual abuse consists of “making bodily contact of sexual significance between one’s own body and that of another person, or by means of an instrument, without the consent of the passive subject”. In order to constitute the crime of sexual abuse, there must be violence, threat, coercion or intimidation in a relationship of dependence, authority or power, or take advantage of the fact that the victim, for whatever reason, has not been able to freely consent to the action.
- Sexual abuse can be simple, seriously outrageous (aggravated by virtue of the “duration or circumstances of its commission”), or sexual abuse with carnal access (rape).
- In Argentine criminal law, sexual abuse does not consist of words alone, no matter how obscene they may be.
- Given that complaints for this type of crime are a private matter, it must be the victim themself who reports any sexual assault to the nearest police station.