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Sexual Misconduct Resources

Meredith Harper Bonham
315-859-4020
Senior Associate Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

Sexual Assault

Hamilton College is committed to the personal safety of members and guests of the Hamilton community. Hamilton College informs incoming students about sexual assault prevention measures through campus programs that include workshops, discussion groups, and on-going orientation seminars. The purpose of these programs is to disseminate information about sexual assault, promote discussion, encourage reporting of incidents of sexual assault, and facilitate prevention of such incidents.


Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

College students are vulnerable to sexual violence. They are typically in a new setting with a variety of environmental stressors, and away from direct parental supervision and past support systems. They are under peer pressure, their identities are not yet established, and they live among others who are experimenting with new freedoms.

The most prevalent form of rape on college campuses is acquaintance rape. The acquaintance may be a date or friend, or someone the survivor knows only casually, from a residence hall, a class, or through mutual friends. Regardless of the relationship, if one person uses force to coerce another into submitting to sexual behaviors, or if the other party does not give consent, the act violates Hamilton College policy. Criminal laws and penalties also may apply in cases of acquaintance rape and other forms of sexual assaults.

Many acquaintance rapes involving college students follow similar patterns. Acquaintance rapes often occur at parties or in residential settings. Frequently, the students involved in these assaults have been drinking heavily or using drugs. Detailed crime reports and prevention information can be obtained from the Office of Campus Safety.


Prevention

There are things you can do to reduce your chances of being assaulted:

  • When you go out, do so with people that you trust to look out for your safety. Be a good friend—keep an eye on your friends to make sure they are safe.
  • When you are at a party, make sure that someone knows where you are at all times. Check on your friends to make sure they are safe too.
  • Get your own drinks. Only accept beverages from people you trust and never drink out of a cup that has been left unattended.
  • Never walk home alone from bars or parties. Have a friend walk with you, call Campus Safety for an escort, or let the Events Staff know that you need an escort.
  • Always lock your residence hall room door.
  • You have a right to say 'no' to any unwanted sexual contact, at any point. Know your sexual desires and limits.
  • Since alcohol and drugs interfere with clear thinking and effective communication, avoid excessive use of these substances. It may not be safe to be intimate with someone if you or they have been drinking or using other substances.
  • If you do not feel well and need to lie down, make sure that a friend stays with you to check on you.
  • If you want to be intimate with someone, remember that you can still change your mind.
  • If you find yourself alone or in an unfamiliar place:
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Be assertive — don't let anyone violate your space.
    • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave.
  • Don't prop open self-locking doors.
  • Lock your door, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
  • Watch your keys and your HillCard. Don't lend them. Don't leave them. Don't lose them. And don't put your name and address on them.
  • Be cautious when walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.

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