Preserving Evidence

Forensic Evidence
We encourage you to seek immediate medical attention, even if you’re not sure if you have any physical injuries. The medical staffs at Parton Center for Health and Wellness on the Middlebury campus (students) and Porter Medical Center adjacent to the Middlebury campus (all individuals) can provide care for any physical injuries you may have sustained, can test for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy, and can provide an examination by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).

A SANE is a nurse who is specially trained to collect forensic evidence. This evidence may be helpful to you now or in the future if you choose to file a complaint. If you wish to have a SANE exam and the incident occurred within the last 24 hours, try if possible, 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 file a complaint with Middlebury or make a report to the police that could lead to criminal prosecution, but preserves this information in the event that you decide to do either of those things, or seek a protection order, at a later date.

You may contact Parton Health Services at 802-443-5135 to request a SANE assessment. If for some reason a Parton SANE is unavailable, students will be directed to Porter Hospital, which has added additional nurses also trained and certified as SANEs. For further information please see Medical Care and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

Other Evidence
In addition to trying to preserve any physical evidence, if possible try to preserve all evidence related to an incident including any electronic information, text messages, social media posts, phone records, emails, clothing, or other documentation or materials. Even if you don’t wish to pursue a complaint with Middlebury or the police or seek an order of protection at this time, it’s a good idea to preserve the evidence in a safe place in case you change your mind at a later date. You may also want to consider writing down all of the details you remember about your experience(s), as well as the names of individuals you believe may possess relevant information and/or evidence.