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Reporting Sexual Misconduct
DEFINITIONS ACCORDING TO NEW YORK STATE PENAL LAW

Domestic Violence

• A felony or misdemeanor crime (punishable by incarceration of 1 year or more) of violence that is committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim
• A person with whom the victim shares a child in common
• A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner
• A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family laws of New York State
• Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of New York State

Dating Violence
• Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and
• The existence of the relationship is determined by the length and type of relationship and how frequently the persons involved interact with each other

Stalking
• To intentionally engage in a course of conduct that that is directed at a specific person and is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety, or property of such person, a member of that person’s family, or a third party with whom the person is acquainted. (NYS Penal Law).
• This pattern of conduct is repeated attempts to initiate unwanted, inappropriate, or threatening interactions against a particular person or group. This includes face to face interactions, phoning, texting, emails, and other forms of social media.  

The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, economic, and/or emotional with the goal of establishing or maintaining power and control over the victim. It can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.

Recognizing Signs of an Abusive Relationships
• Fear of your partner. It involves being fearful of what you say or do when near your partner
• Frequent controlling behavior by your partner
• Partner has a bad temper
• Verbal abuse escalates to physical violence

How to Avoid Potential Attacks
• Contact the domestic violence program in your area
• Consider obtaining an Order of Protection from the local Family/Criminal Court
• Be aware of signs that your partner is getting upset. Be prepared with a reason to leave the house or area
• Be careful what is texted or emailed as your partner may be able to access the information

"HELPGUIDE Helps You Help Yourself and Others." Domestic Violence and Abuse. N.p., 21 Sept. 2014. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

Safe and Positive Options for Bystander Intervention
• If someone suspects that there is a risk of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against another person they should:
• Notice the event
• Understand that this is a risky situation
• Feel a responsibility to act
• Choose how to act
• When intervening be respectful but direct
• Carry out the chosen action
• If you do not feel safe, call security or 911
"A Checklist for Title IX Employee Training | Campus Clarity Blog." Campus Clarity Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

There is no legal obligation in New York State for a bystander of a potentially violent situation or crime to intervene or act. The College’s mission commits us to our obligations to each other and a deep respect for human dignity. Therefore, bystanders are encouraged to act if there are safe and reasonable ways to intervene and/or discourage people from being uncivil towards each other in an effort to foster a safer environment for everyone.

The College will be contracting with Campus Clarity during the 2014 fall semester, with the online Think About It program that will be available to all students. The course will provide students with information regarding sexual misconduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1974 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

The program will promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The program will also provide information on positive options for bystander intervention, risk reduction information regarding abusive behavior, possible sanctions and protective measures regarding rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The online course will also cover procedures a victim should follow in the event of a sexual assault.

Sexual Misconduct
Initial Meeting
Alleged violations of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy are to be reported to the Title lX Coordinators. These individuals will provide an understanding of this policy and identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to the accuser, including referrals to appropriate law enforcement agencies, referrals for medical treatment, the College’s Counseling Center and other on and off campus resources.

When possible the initial meeting may include a discussion of any accommodations that may be appropriate for the accuser’s academic schedule, College housing, and/or College employment arrangements. If such a discussion is not possible or appropriate during the initial meeting it will follow as soon thereafter that is possible and appropriate.

At the initial meeting, or as soon as is possible and appropriate, the accuser will be asked to decide how he/she wants to proceed. The options include pursuing the complaint within the College’s Student Conduct Process, and/or with local law enforcement or requesting the complaint remain confidential.
 
Interim Measures
In all cases of alleged Sexual Misconduct, regardless of how the accuser wishes to proceed, the College will undertake a prompt, reliable and impartial investigation.  At the same time, the College will take immediate and effective action to support and protect the accuser pending the final outcome of the investigation and hearing. Accordingly, the College may impose a no-contact order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation and, if applicable, the hearing.

The College also may take any further protective action if deemed appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties including providing escorts for the accused to and from College locations, directing appropriate College officials to alter the students' academic schedules, provide a Leave of Absence or arrange for the accuser to be away from campus for a few days, provide assistance with College housing, and/or alter College employment arrangements.

Title IX requires that when taking such steps to separate the accuser and the accused, the College must minimize the burden on the accuser and thus should not remove the accuser from his/her classes or housing while allowing the accused to remain. Violation(s) of the College's directives regarding the protective actions may lead to additional disciplinary proceedings as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Accuser Requests Confidentiality
If the accuser requests confidentiality, under Title IX, the College is still required to investigate and take reasonable action in response to the accuser's request.  The accuser should be informed that in such situations that the College's ability to respond is likely to be limited.

In such cases, Title IX requires the College to evaluate the accuser's request(s) that the complaint not be adjudicated or remain confidential due to the College's legal and moral obligation to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students. In order to make such an evaluation, the College may conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged Sexual Misconduct and will weigh the accuser's request(s) for confidentiality against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Misconduct, whether there have been other complaints of Sexual Misconduct against the same individual, and the accused’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an educational record under FERPA.

The College will inform the accuser if the College cannot ensure confidentiality. Even if the College cannot take disciplinary action against the accused because the accuser insists on confidentiality or that the complaint not be adjudicated, Title IX requires the College to take prompt and effective action to limit the effects of the alleged Sexual Misconduct and to prevent its recurrence. The College reserves the authority to issue a no-contact order and other interim measures as indicated in this policy.