Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board

Meredith Harper Bonham
Senior Associate Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator

Sexual Assault: What should I do if this happens to me?

  • Professional help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A member of the Hamilton College Counseling Center is on-call at all times. The Counselor On-Call (COC) can provide immediate crisis support and information about resources for survivors on and off campus. Contact the COC by calling 315-859-4340 during normal business hours. (315-859-4000 after hours). This is a completely confidential service. Upon request, the COC will come to campus immediately.
  • Immediate help is also available through YWCA Rape Crisis Services by calling 315- 797-7740. Rape Crisis volunteers are trained and available by phone or to accompany survivors to the hospital or the police. This service is also confidential and is not connected with the College.
  • Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible following a sexual assault or rape. Not all injuries are immediately apparent. Contact the Hamilton Student Health Service (8:30-4:30 M-F), Hamilton's Emergency Medical Technicians (315-859-4000), or go to the hospital Emergency Room for medical services. Transportation to the hospital can be arranged by request through the Office of Campus Safety or Student Health Service.
  • For any major injuries, as well as a rape examination (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit), go to the emergency room of Oneida Healthcare Center. The rape examination allows evidence to be collected in case prosecution is desired at a later time. The examination should be conducted within 96 hours of the incident. It includes a pelvic examination and semen analysis; sexually transmitted disease testing; and treatment for possible infection, which may include taking an antibiotic. Do not bathe, shower, change or wash clothes, or douche – important evidence may be lost. You may wish to take a change of clothes with you to the hospital. Upon request, a volunteer from the YWCA Rape Crisis Service (315- 797-7740) will accompany you and will assist in managing the process. The evidence kit can be kept secure at the hospital for 30 days while you decide whether or not you wish to prosecute. The police will be called only if you wish to seek prosecution.
  • The hospital will never refuse services, but is required to bill your insurance company. The New York State Crime Victims Board will reimburse medical expenses, counseling services, and damage to personal property if you choose to pursue criminal prosecution.
  • Reporting to police is your choice. While you may not be certain now that you wish to press charges, failure to involve police at an early stage may limit later choices. Contact Campus Safety (315-859-4000) to request that the police come to campus to take a report. You may wish to request that a Rape Crisis advocate be present in order to provide support through the process.
  • Police will ask questions to establish facts and, if possible, to apprehend the suspect. Police or Rape Crisis Services staff can explain your legal options and provide information about likely consequences of legal actions.
  • If the assailant is a Hamilton College student, you may choose to file a complaint with the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board Chair, Professor Vivyan Adair (315-859-4330) or Meredith Bonham, Senior Associate Dean of Students (315-859-4020). This can be done in conjunction with criminal prosecution or instead of it. The Chair, a Board member, or Dean Bonham will explain the various options for on-campus follow-up. If you choose to file a formal complaint, Dean Bonham and the Chair will meet with you to discuss the complaint and explain the process. If the respondent is found responsible for having violated the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy, the Committee will recommend a sanction that could range from a warning to permanent separation from the College.
  • Counseling is available on a free and confidential basis through Hamilton's Counseling and Psychological Services (315-859-4340).
  •  Incidents of sexual misconduct reported to any College employee, with the exception of Counseling Center and Health Center personnel, will be anonymously reported to the College and included in the College's annual crime statistics.
  • If the incident represents a serious threat to the community at large, the Dean of Students will issue a warning to the campus community, preserving the survivor's anonymity.