Sexual Assault Prevention
Sexual Assaults on College Campuses
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. As a community, we can work together to protect students from sexual violence and encourage peers to respect one another.
There are things that all members of the Hamilton Community can do to reduce the rate of sexual violence on campus. As a Hamilton student, please be aware of the following suggestions:
- When you go out, do so with people that you trust to look out for your safety and the safety of others. Be a good friend—keep an eye on your friends to make sure they are safe and hold your friends responsible for treating others with respect.
- If you want to be intimate with someone, remember to get that person’s consent and communicate your boundaries actively. You and the other person(s) have the right to withdraw consent at any time.
- Since alcohol and drugs interfere with 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.
- When you are at a party, make sure that someone knows where you are. 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.
- Know your sexual desires and limits and choose a partner or partners who respect them. Make sure you understand and respect your partner(s)’s desires and limits.
- Try to avoid walking home alone from bars or parties. Have a friend walk with you, call Campus Safety at 315-859-4141 for an escort, or let the Events Staff know that you need an escort. If you see someone walking alone at night, make sure they are safe; call Campus Safety if you are concerned for them.
- Lock your residence hall room door. Do not let people you have not invited over into residence hall buildings.
- If you find yourself locked out of your residence hall, call Campus Safety to let you in.
- 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 see someone who is sick or unconscious, make sure they are safe and call the EMTs through Campus Safety’s emergency number at 315-859-4000.
- If you find yourself alone or in an unfamiliar place, be aware of your surroundings. Call Campus Safety (emergency: 315-859-4000), nonemergency: (315-859-4141) if you feel unsafe. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings for any reason, you have the right to leave.
- Communicate clearly and honestly with your sexual partner(s) and respect their boundaries.