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Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

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Sexual Assault

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How To Get Help And What To Expect When Reporting An Incident

Campus Resources
The University has a number of resources available to assist in the aftermath of a sexual assault. You can report a sexual assault and get help by contacting any of the following:

  • Resident Advisors/Resident Directors/House Advisors
  • Student Health Center – 315.268.6633, weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Counseling Center – 315.268.2327, weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Campus Safety & Security – 315.268.6666, 24/7. When calling weeknights and weekends, an Officer will answer on a portable cell phone. Do not share confidential or sensitive information! Ask the Officer to phone you from the office or come to your room. An Officer can call in other emergency resources as necessary.
  • Potsdam Police – 315.265.2121
  • Renewal House - 315.379.9845

In addition to following established procedures, the above resources will automatically call in a Counselor to assist you. The Counselor will explain your options; assist in obtaining additional services and in deciding how you would like to proceed.

We strongly advise a medical exam at Canton-Potsdam Hospital with a S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) volunteer. You can always decide not to prosecute later, but if no evidence is collected it is very difficult to prosecute an assailant. Having the rape exam leaves your option open.

DO NOT bathe, douche or wash your clothes. Bring a change of clothes with you. If a rape examination is appropriate, it allows for evidence collection. This examination must be done within 72 hours of the assault. The examination will include: Pelvic exam, semen analysis, STD testing and treatment for possible infection, which may involve an antibiotic. It is important for this examination to take place, even if you are unsure you wish to prosecute. Should you eventually decide criminal prosecution is appropriate for you, the examination and evidence collection will be essential. Should you wish evidence to be collected, the Police will be contacted to secure the evidence. You still maintain the right to decide whether or not you want to pursue criminal prosecution.

NOTE: New York State law ensures the privacy of sexual assault victims. All Counselor contact with victims is confidential, however; all other employees are required by law to report the incident.

Counseling 315.268.2327
A Counselor can provide invaluable assistance in helping you work through the myriad, and sometimes conflicting, feelings typical for a victim of sexual assault. Even if you don't feel like you want help in getting through the experience initially, you may contact a Counselor at any time after the fact. ALL contact with the Counselor is confidential. Should you wish to report the incident, the Counselor can support you through the process.

Campus Safety & Security 315.268.6666
Call Campus Safety & Security if an assault occurred, or Central Dispatch (911) or Potsdam Police (315.265.2121).

DO NOT change your clothes, bathe, or shower, brush your teeth, eat or drink. These activities could destroy evidence in the event that you decide to prosecute the assailant later.

Campus Safety & Security can provide transportation to the emergency room without with disclosure as to why you are seeking treatment. At the emergency you will receive a rape examination to collect evidence and be given the necessary medical treatment. You will also have the option of meeting a Renewal House advocate and SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) or contact a Clarkson University counselor to serve as an advocate. 

If you decide not to contact the police or to forgo a rape exam, you may go to the Student Health Center to be checked, during regular business hours. You may have injuries of which you are unaware. You may want to discuss pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases with a medical professional.

If the assailant is a Clarkson University student, you may wish to report the incident for action through the University's judicial process. An Officer can assist you in contacting the appropriate Dean of Students staff member. You may choose to request University intervention, in conjunction with, a criminal investigation by the Police, or instead of it. 

Medical Examination
When reporting a sexual assault, you will be asked if you wish to receive medical attention. Victims are encouraged to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not all injuries are obvious. A medical examination is necessary to assess possible internal injuries, sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy. A medical exam can be performed at any time, day or night.


If you are an innocent victim of a crime within New York State you may be eligible to receive benefits from OVS (NYS Office of Victim Services)

Since its establishment in 1966, this agency has provided substantial financial relief to victims of crime and their families by paying unreimbursed crime-related expenses, including but not limited to: medical and burial expenses, loss of earnings or support, counseling costs, crime scene clean-up expenses, the cost to repair or replace items of essential personal property, reasonable court transportation expenses, assistance to crime victims acting as a good Samaritan, the cost of residing at or utilizing the services of a domestic violence shelter, and limited attorney fees.

For further details go to the NYS Office of Victim Services located here.

Criminal Prosecution
If you wish to advocate criminal prosecution, you will be asked to accompany the investigator to the Police station to give a statement. You may request that a Counselor or other support person accompany you. The Police will also want to interview any other possible witness(es).

At any time after the report is made to the Police, you may decide to withdraw from active participation in the criminal follow-up. If am arrest has not been made, you simply need to notify the investigator in charge of the case and make a sworn statement affirming your decision not to prosecute. If an assailant has been arrested, you must contact the District Attorney's Office and make a sworn statement indicating your wish to decline prosecution.

Clarkson University is committed to creating an environment that is supportive of its
primary educational mission, free from ALL exploitation and intimidation. The University
will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity.


  • To have all incident and medical records kept confidential.
  • To be treated without prejudice regarding race, class, lifestyle, sex, age, occupation, or religious beliefs.
  • To receive private and confidential treatment and be examined for personal injury, sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy.
  • To receive the same credibility as a person reporting any other crime.
  • To be made aware of the options available.
  • To receive emotional and psychological support and advocacy.
  • To prosecute or not to prosecute.
  • To have the option, at any time, to withdraw from any legal proceeding.
  • To decide what services to utilize.
  • To answer only those questions relevant to the crime.
  • To freedom from harassment.

Fall 2015