Sexual assault, sexual violence & sexual harassment FAQs
- What is sex discrimination?
Sex discrimination includes all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or third parties. Students, employees, and third parties are prohibited from harassing others whether or not the harassment occurs on campus or whether it occurs during work hours. Sex discrimination can be carried out by other students, college employees, or third parties. All acts of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, are prohibited by Title IX.
Sex discrimination may be acts committed by an individual or collective actions committed by members of a group or organization. These acts may be committed against an individual or against a group or organization. These acts may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the victim has a social, romantic, or intimate relationship with. These acts may be committed by or against any individual, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
- What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving affirmative consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by other students, College employees, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
- What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is a physical sexual act or acts committed against another person without affirmative consent. Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes what is commonly known as “rape” (including what is commonly called “date rape” and “acquaintance rape”), fondling, statutory rape and incest. For statutory rape, the age of consent in New York State is 17 years old.
- What is a sexual act, sexual contact or sexual activity?
Sexual activity includes sexual acts and sexual contacts.
A sexual act means (A) contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; (B) contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; (C) the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or (D) the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Sexual contact means the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
- What is consent?
Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
- Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
- Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
- Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
- Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
- When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
This definition has been translated into more than 100 languages, including American Sign Language. You can access the complete list of languages into which it has been translated by visiting:
- What is dating violence?
Dating violence is any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim/survivor. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the victim’s/survivor’s statement and with consideration of the type and length of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Two people may be in a romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; however, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context shall constitute a romantic or intimate relationship. This definition does not include acts covered under domestic violence.
- What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is any violent felony or misdemeanor crime committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim/survivor, a person sharing a child with the victim/survivor, or a person cohabitating with the victim/survivor as a spouse or intimate partner.
- What is stalking?
The term stalking means intentionally engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, repeatedly following such person(s), repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy such other person(s) and that serve no legitimate purpose, and repeatedly communicating by any means, including electronic means, with such person(s) in a manner likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm him or her.
- What are my rights as a reporting individual of sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking?
Rockland Community College students and employees have the right to make a report to Public Safety, local law enforcement, and/or the State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to your college; to be protected by the college from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your college.
For information you can use to seek resources and support, and to report the crime to law enforcement and the campus, go to www.suny.edu/violence-response/.
For information about your rights as a reporting individual when disclosing sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, visit Sexual Violence Victim/Survivor Bill of Rights.
The Student Bill of Rights has been translated into more than 100 languages, including American Sign Language. You can access the complete list of languages into which it has been translated by visiting:
- Who may I speak to confidentially about any type of sexual violence?
For information about how to reach confidential, supportive resources on and off campus, visit Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence.
- What are the roles of the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators?
Collectively, the Title IX Coordinators are responsible for the College’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In this role, the Title IX Coordinators administer the review, investigation, and resolution procedures for reports of sex discrimination. The Title IX Coordinators shall be notified of all sex discrimination complaints by the College employee who took the complaint in order for the Title IX Coordinators to oversee the complaint processes and accommodations for the victim/survivor.
- What evidentiary standard is used in institutional, student disciplinary and employee disciplinary complaints?
The standard of proof in sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault and other sexual violence, cases is preponderance of the evidence, which asks whether it is “more likely than not” that the sex discrimination occurred
- Can I get in trouble for reporting sex discrimination?
The College is firmly committed to a policy that encourages timely disclosure of sex discrimination. Any person, who, in good faith, reports sex discrimination will be protected from retaliation (defined as an adverse action taken because an individual has engaged in protected activities), threats of retaliation, suspension or discharge from an educational opportunity or employment, or any other forms or means of discrimination because this person reported alleged sex discrimination.
- What should you do if you have been sexually harassed or assaulted?
A student may file a complaint with one or more Offices, and each Office is prepared to assist the student with deciding on where complaints may be filed, if any, and the processes associated with each Office’s complaint procedures. In addition, each Office is able to refer a student for academic accommodations ,and health care services.
- Notify the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators at 845-574-4758, 4729, 4280
- Notify Public Safety at 845-574-4211, 4217
- Call 911
- Call Student Development Counseling Services at 845-574-4306
- What steps should you take immediately after an assault?
- Get away from the attacker to a SAFE PLACE as fast as you can.
- Do NOT wash, comb or clean any part of your body. Do not eat, brush your teeth or smoke.
- Do NOT change clothes so that the hospital staff can collect evidence. (In the event that changing clothes is necessary put the clothes worn in a brown paper bag, not plastic.)
- Do NOT touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
- Seek medical attention. You may have injuries that are not present yet. Even if you have no physical injuries, medical care is important to reduce risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. To preserve evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a sexual assault kit exam.
- Should you decide to report later, it is possible that physical evidence can be collected for up to 5 days.
- If ON CAMPUS, call Public Safety or 911 immediately.
- If OFF CAMPUS, call 911.
- If you do not want to report the assault to Public Safety or local law enforcement, you may contact confidentially Student Development Counseling Services at 845-574-4304 or 4306.
- What can you do to stay safe?
For more information about crime prevention initiatives on our campus and tips to increase your personal safety, visit http://www.sunyrockland.edu/campus-life/public-safety/crime-prevention.
- What accommodations are available?
The College, when requested by the victim, will make every possible effort to provide reasonable accommodations regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to Public Safety or local law enforcement.
The following are examples of available accommodations:
- Change their class schedule, when additional sections of a course are available;
- Withdraw from or retake a class without penalty or receive a tuition reimbursement, if student withdraws from classes;
- Extensions on exams and assignments;
- Access to academic support such as tutoring services;
- Transfer to another SUNY community college with a similar academic program; and
- Modify work schedule or location.
In situations where it is necessary, the College will take immediate steps to protect victims pending the final outcome of an investigation. These steps include the accommodations listed above in addition to issuing no contact orders. Pending resolution of the complaint, the accused may be prohibited from contacting the victim and may be placed on suspension or denied access to campus. Also, the College may change the course schedule of the accused.
- What medical services are available for victims/survivors of sexual or relationship violence?
Medical assistance (first aid, CPR, emergency oxygen and automated external defibrillation) is available 24 hours per day/7 days per week by calling Public Safety at 845-574-4911. Every victim has the option to seek treatment for injuries sustained during an incident of sexual or relationship violence, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and other health services. A medical exam is also an important way for a health provider to properly collect and preserve evidence. In cases where necessary, rape kits are provided at Nyack Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. By calling the Center for Safety & Change’s 24-hour hotline at 845-634-3344, victims can be assisted by a Rape Crisis Counselor, who can meet you at the hospital or police station. At the hospital Emergency Department, the Rape Crisis Counselor and the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) will explain your rights and your choices. For more information about available services at local hospitals, the Center for Safety & Change and the Spirit of Rockland Special Victim Center, go to confidential off-campus resources.