Sex Offenses - If you have been sexually assaulted - Immediate Safety and Support
- Go to a safe place—your own room, a friend’s room, a CRA's apartment, or anywhere you will feel safe.
- Call someone you trust. No matter how late it is, you should not be alone. Call a close friend, your roommate, your residential life staff or CRA, or the WomenSafe Hotline (1-800-388-4205).
- You can also contact a counselor. Counselors are a confidential resources who can help you sort through your immediate needs, provide emotional support, and help you to connect with other emergency resources. There is always a counselor on call through Public Safety, (802) 443-5911. You don't need to disclose the nature of your emergency to Public Safety; you just need to provide a phone number at which you can be reached. If you already have a relationship with a member of Middlebury's counseling staff, an effort will be made to connect you with that individual if possible. If that person is not available, or you have not worked with one of Middlebury's counselors before, you will be connected with a counselor from the Counseling Service of Addison County, which partners with the College for after-hours care.
- Please seek immediate medical care. If you may be injured, and/or if you would like to collect possible evidence of an assault, please seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel physical pain, you may have internal injuries that cannot be immediately seen or felt. Men who have been sexually assaulted may be more likely to sustain injuries when assaulted by another man, so you are particularly urged to seek care in these instances. We encourage you to get medical attention even if you do not want to have evidence collected. Confidential pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and/or testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses for both men and women are services available at Parton Health Center and Porter Medical Center.
- SANE exam. We encourage you to have a sexual trauma exam (or "Rape Kit") done immediately following an experience of sexual trauma, as certain kinds of evidence collection, including rape drug testing, is time sensitive. A sexual trauma exam is conducted by a SANE, or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who is a professional with special training in working with individuals who may have experienced sexual trauma. She can care for injuries, test for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy, and collect evidence (if requested). You do not have to be certain that you were sexually assaulted to request a SANE exam or any other kind of medical or emotional care.
- Considering a SANE exam. Even if you are not sure about reporting your experience or pressing charges, it makes sense to preserve the option of reporting later by having evidence collected. Evidence will be held for six months at the Vermont State Forensics Lab while you decide whether to press charges on campus or with local authorities. If you decide later than 24 hours to report the incident, it will generally not be possible to collect sexual assault exam evidence at that time (although some evidence, such as visible bruising, may still be possible to record). SANE exams are free of charge.
- Arranging to meet with a SANE.
- While Parton Health and Counseling Center is open, please call Parton at 802-443-5135, and the staff will arrange to connect you with the SANE as soon as possible.
- After Parton’s open hours, the SANE is generally on call and may be able to meet you at the Health Center. Call the Counseling Center of Addison County (CSAC) hotline at 802-388-7641 and ask to be connected with the SANE on call.
- If Middlebury's SANE is not available, you will be referred directly to Porter Medical Center's emergency services. It is recommended that you call the emergency room in advance and ask for them to arrange to have a SANE available (802-388-4736).
- A SANE may not be immediately available, and if you prefer not to wait, members of the emergency room medical staff can also provide you with care and services.
- Middlebury's Public Safety staff can transport you to Porter and will not require you to disclose the reason you're seeking care.
- Before a medical exam,try to preserve the evidence. Resist the urge to cleanse yourself before you seek treatment. It may be difficult to keep from washing yourself, but if you do you may destroy evidence that could be useful should you decide to report the experience. Do not wash, change clothes, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, or brush your hair. Bring a change of clothing with you to the exam, since your clothes may be collected as evidence.
Make a Report to Public Safety or to the Police
- We encourage students who have been sexually assaulted to make a timely report to the Department of Public Safety and to seriously consider filing criminal charges with the police. Public Safety can assist a student with contacting the police and making the report. Public Safety can also provide transportation to the police department or provide a location at the Public Safety office for the student to speak with the police.
- Department of Public Safety Business Line: 443-5133
- Emergency line: 443-5911
- Reporting a sexual assault to Public Safety does not commit you to pursuing a judicial complaint. Your report will be shared with your Commons dean, but neither they nor Public Safety will take any action on your behalf without your consent unless your safety or the safety of others is clearly in jeopardy. If the event reported may constitute sexual harassment, the Human Relations Officer (HRO) will also be notified. Please read Middlebury's Anti-harassment/Discrimination Policy, and note that in cases of harassment, once informed, the College is obligated to take action to make the harassment stop.
Police will interview you and take a detailed statement of what occurred. You may choose to have people present with you during the interview to provide emotional support. The police will also interview witnesses, collect any physical evidence, and attempt to interview the assailant.
- Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office 388-7931
The State's Attorney's Office can provide you with more information regarding your rights during a criminal judicial process and the Victim's Advocacy Program and Victim's Compensation Fund.
Sex Offenses - Disciplinary Process and the Sexual Misconduct Policy
The College’s disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Student Handbook – Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policy provides information on the rights of the complainant and the rights of the respondent. It also explains the investigation and hearing process for sexual misconduct cases. Both the victim and the accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found guilty of violating the College’s sexual misconduct policy could be criminally prosecuted in the state courts and may be suspended or expelled from the College. Student victims have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living situations after an alleged sexual assault, if such changes are reasonably available.