Edit Console for Seeking care and seeking action (185161)

  | Try the new Edit Console



Seeking care and seeking action

There is no one correct way to care for yourself or to take action after being sexually assaulted or having an upsetting sexual encounter. Middlebury offers a variety of resources and options in the belief that survivors benefit from having many choices available to them to seek the support and resolution they need. Choose whichever options feel most helpful to you. The only thing we ask is that you tell someone who can help you to find care for yourself.

Resources for care on campus

If you are in distress, you deserve compassionate care. Please take advantage of any of the resources below to receive the support you may need.

Confidential Campus Resources*

Non-confidential Campus Resources**

Center for Counseling and Human Relations Commons Deans
Parton Health Center Residential Life Staff

Chaplain's Office

Office of Health and Wellness Education
Chellis House/Women's Resource Center

*Confidential campus resources can maintain your confidentiality, except in cases where your safety or the safety of others is in immediate danger, or upon learning of the sexual assault of a minor.

**In some situations, the individuals listed as "non-confidential campus resources" will be able to maintain your confidentiality. However, the State of Vermont dictates that any of these staff members must share with the Human Relations Officer any information that suggests that harassment may have occurred. For more information about harassment, see Relevant polices and laws. The Human Relations Officer will attempt to handle your case with sensitivity and respect for your privacy, and will work closely with other staff as appropriate to investigate the situation and to ensure that if harassment is found, neither it, nor retaliation against the victim, continues.

Confidential Campus Resources

Center for Counseling and Human Relations 443-5141
Short-term and crisis counseling is available for students who have been sexually assaulted or have had an upsetting sexual encounter. To speak with a counselor after 5:00 p.m. or on a weekend, call Public Safety at 443-5911 they will call a counselor for you. These services are confidential, except in cases involving the sexual assault of a person under the age of 18, or where there is risk of immediate danger to self, others, or property. If you have had an experience you do not think meets the official definition of sexual assault or sexual harassment, talking with a counselor can still be very beneficial; please do seek help.

Chaplain's Office 443-5626
The College chaplains are available to provide supportive confidential counseling of all kinds, faith-based or otherwise.

Parton Health Center 443-5135; to contact a SANE after hours, call 802-388-7641 and ask to speak to the SANE on call; see If you have been sexually assaulted for more information.
Trained nurses and a physician are available to provide you with confidential medical care, information, and support. Middlebury College also has a SANE, or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, on staff and on call. A SANE is a specially trained nurse who can provide female and male sexual assault survivors with compassionate care and collect forensic evidence using a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit, also called a Rape Kit. SANE nurses conduct medical treatment and evidence collection in a manner designed to preserve survivor dignity and reduce additional trauma. As noted earlier under If you have been sexually assaulted, having evidence collected does not commit you to filing charges with Middlebury College or with the police. It will allow you to preserve evidence while you take time to decide if you want to report the sexual assault and press charges. Additional services, including pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted disease (STD) testing are also available. You may request that lab tests or medical care at the Health Center or at outside agencies be paid for by the Vermont State Victim's Compensation Fund; in these cases, all services, including testing and preventative medications, are provided at no cost to you. Services are confidential and information is not shared without your written permission, unless there is an immediate threat to a person's life or safety, or if you are under the age of 18.

Non-confidential Campus Resources

Commons Deans 443-
Atwater Commons Dean Scott Barnicle: x3310
Brainerd Commons Dean Natasha Chang: x3320
Cook Commons Dean Karl Lindholm: x3330
Ross Commons Dean Janine Clookey: x3340
Wonnacott Commons Dean Matt Longman: x3350

The Commons deans are available to support you in a variety of ways:

  • Helping you to access immediate physical and emotional care as needed
  • Sharing information with you about support services
  • Arranging extensions on academic assignments and helping you to consider course load changes if appropriate
  • Provide new housing options when necessary and possible
  • Advising you of your options for filing a report on or off campus

You do not have to file a formal report in order to receive help and support from any of the deans. You do not need to go to the dean of your own Commons; choose any dean you feel comfortable talking with. Although Commons deans can provide support and information, they may be obligated by state law to consult with Middlebury's Human Relations Officer if the information you share may constitute harassment.

Residential Life Staff

Student residential life staff and CRAs are trained in responding to students who have been sexually assaulted or who have experienced a distressing sexual encounter. They can provide you with a safe space, can help you to access immediate care, and can refer you to appropriate resources. Student residential life staff, and CRAs, are all trained to share with the dean of their Commons any particularly concerning situations, so they cannot guarantee confidentiality. They can, however, respond to your needs with sensitivity, and help you to find the care you may need.

Chellis House/Women's Resource Center

Middlebury's Women's Resource Center, Chellis House, provides a physical space and a wide array of resources that are dedicated to advance women's and gender issues. These include a vast library; a meeting space for groups like Students Against Violence, Women of Color, Feminist Action at Middlebury and MOQA; and provocative and inspiring year-round programming. While neither these groups nor the Chellis House staff are confidential resources, you may find a supportive environment and informed, welcoming groups and individuals who are committed to eradicating violence.

Office of Health and Wellness Education

Middlebury's Office of Health and Wellness Education provides educational programming designed to improve the emotional and physical well-being of our students. As such, its student and professional staff are non-confidential resources for students who are dealing with health challenges of any kind, including sexual, domestic, or emotional violence.

Resources for action on campus

Department of Public Safety Business Line: 443-5133: Emergency line: 443-5911
The Department of Public Safety encourages any student who has been sexually assaulted to report this incident. From a safety and investigatory standpoint, the sooner a sexual assault is reported, the better; even so, reports that are given in the weeks or months following an assault can be helpful too. Public Safety can help you to attend to your immediate needs, including transportation to Parton Center for Health and Wellness or the Porter Medical Center Emergency Room.

If you report a sexual assault to Public Safety, after your immediate needs have been attended to, you can relate your experience to a member of the staff. You may indicate a gender preference of the staff member you speak with, and we will accommodate you if at all possible. You may choose to ask someone you trust to be present with you during this conversation; although reporting your experience can be empowering, it can also be difficult and upsetting. Your conversation with Public Safety can take place in their office at 125 South Main Street, or a member of their staff may be willing to meet you in another space on campus that feels more comfortable to you.

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.

Commons Deans 443-
Atwater Commons Dean Scott Barnicle: x3310
Brainerd Commons Dean Ann Hanson: x3320
Cook Commons Dean Ian Sutherland: x3330
Ross Commons Dean Janine Clookey: x3340
Wonnacott Commons Dean Matt Longman: x3350

As noted in Resources for care on campus, the Commons deans can provide an array of responses that can help you to restore a sense of safety and balance after a sexual assault. The dean will not take any action on your behalf without your consent unless your safety or the safety of others is deemed to be in jeopardy. But as noted above, if the actions you report constitute harassment, the HRO will be notified and the College is obligated to take action to make harassment stop. As you consider filing a report, you may also find it helpful to learn more about our Sexual Misconduct Policy and the care with which complaints are handled--and to note that this process does not involve a hearing before a judicial board. Any of the deans can provide this information. You do not need to go to the dean of your own Commons; choose any dean you feel comfortable talking with.

Human Relations Officer 443-3289 (summer)
If you think you may be experiencing sexual harassment rather than sexual assault (see Terminology), you may talk with the Human Relations Officer, Sue Ritter. She can provide information about immediate support, sexual harassment, filing a report, and the options available to you for addressing your situation. Please note that Vermont state law dictates that upon being notified that harassment is taking place, or has taken place, the College is obligated to take action to make it stop.

Judicial Affairs Officer 443-2024
Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs and Student Life Karen Guttentag is available to advise you about Middlebury's Sexual Misconduct Policy and process, and about your rights. She is available to meet with students who wish to better understand this process and/or consider filing a complaint; however, this meeting does not obligate you to pursue a complaint.

Resources for care off campus

There are a number of local and national agencies that can provide you with support in person or over the phone. Consider reaching out to any of the following resources:

Private Local Counselors
There are a number of counselors in Addison County with experience working with survivors of sexual assault. For assistance choosing a counselor, you can talk with any member of the Middlebury counseling staff, deans, or other individuals with whom you feel comfortable.

Porter Medical Center 802-388-4701
If the Health Center is closed, or if you prefer to seek treatment off campus, you may receive care at Porter Medical Center Emergency Room. The Department of Public Safety can provide transportation.

The Porter Medical Center staff offers medical treatment and can collect physical evidence. There may be a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner available, but this is not guaranteed. You may want to call in advance to request that a SANE be summoned if possible before you come in.

WomenSafe 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-388-4205; Office: 388-4205
WomenSafe is a local non-profit organization providing crisis intervention, problem-solving assistance, safety planning and emotional support to survivors of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse, including female and male members of the Middlebury College community. They also provide medical and legal advocacy, and support groups for female survivors.

SafeSpace Vermont 866-869-7341
SafeSpace, a service of the RU12? Community Center, provides information, support, referrals, and advocacy to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning survivors of violence and offers education and outreach programs in the wider community. Support services include a hotline during established hours, direct advocacy, one-on-one support, and support groups.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) 1.800.656.HOPE
[for men as well as women])
This comprehensive national resource includes a telephone and on-line hotline, and may be particularly helpful for male survivors of sexual assault.


Resources for action off campus

We encourage students who have been sexually assaulted to seriously consider filing criminal charges. The state agencies below oversee this process.

Middlebury Police Department 388-3191
Vermont State Police 388-4919
If the incident took place here in Middlebury and you wish to file charges off campus, you can contact the Middlebury Police Department. If it took place elsewhere in Vermont, you should contact the Vermont State Police. In Vermont, reporting the assault to the police will result in an investigation of the crime. 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.