SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND ASSAULT INFORMATION
NYGSP is committed to providing a safe environment for its students, staff, faculty, and general public. As a graduate program offering a degree in psychoanalysis, we are mindful that our education admits to the prevalence of sexual and aggressive impulses. Our policies are directed toward behavior and do not purport to regulate beliefs, attitudes, or feelings. This understanding, however, in no way condones behaviors defined by federal and state law to be a crime. In July 2015, New York State passed legislation designed to prevent the occurrence of sexual crimes involving college and university students and to promote policies and procedures that provide an appropriate response should they occur. The following information will help students to recognize acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, potential consequences of engaging in unacceptable behavior and NYGSP’s response to reports of such behavior.
Affirmative Consent to Sexual Activity
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- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.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- When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence
Sexual assault is a crime. Its offenses include rape, sodomy, sexual and aggravated sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment is also a crime and includes, but is not limited to, stalking, unwanted touching, unwanted verbal or physical contact, and adverse conduct based on a person’s sexual orientation. Interpersonal violence includes domestic and dating violence. Sexual assault, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence can occur between persons of the same gender or the opposite gender. It can occur between faculty/administration and student, student and student, and faculty and administration. The penalties for those convicted of such crimes range from a few months for a misdemeanor to twenty-five years for a felony.
Protecting Against Sexual Assault
Sexual violence and rape can happen to anyone at any time. Perpetrators, not survivors, are responsible for sexual violence. Only a perpetrator can prevent a sexual assault or other form of sexual violence, but we can all take steps to reduce the risk. Some prevention strategies for everyone include:
- Respect the rights of others.
- Listen to the messages your partner is giving. Be sensitive to both verbal and nonverbal communication. Ask. Double check that you both are doing what you want.
- The absence of the word “no” does not constitute consent. Make sure you have consent by asking your partner what they want to do. If your partner seems confused or unsure, it’s time to stop.
- Remember that having done something sexual relations previously is not a blanket “yes” for the future.
- Remember that your partner can change “yes” to “no” at any time. Respect their choice.
- Know which behaviors constitute rape and sexual assault, and understand that most incidents happen between people who know each other.
- If you choose to drink, be responsible. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of sexual assault.
- Never slip anyone any type of drug. Not only is this illegal, but you don’t know what effect a drug can have on someone.
- Increase your safety.
- Think about what you really want from a partner before a possibly uncomfortable or dangerous situation occurs.
- Communicate clearly. You have the right to say “no” or “I’m not sure.”
- Go to a party with friends, not alone. Keep track of your friends and leave with them. Don’t leave alone or with someone you don’t know well.
- If you choose to drink, be careful. Offenders often take advantage of people who have been drinking.
- Know what’s in your drink, whether it’s non-alcoholic or contains alcohol. Open the can yourself, make your drink yourself or watch it being made, and don’t leave your drink unattended. Avoid punch bowls– there is no way to know how much alcohol is in them, and since date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless they can be added to punch without anyone knowing. Date rape drugs can cause dizziness, disorientation, loss of inhibition, blackouts, and loss of consciousness. If you feel any strange symptoms, tell someone you trust right away.
- Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault and rape. Understand that most incidents occur between people who know each other.
- If something happens, it wasn’t your fault. You have the right to get anonymous or confidential support from resources on campus and off campus.
- Look out for the safety of friends.
- When going to a party with friends, keep track of each other while you’re there. Plan to leave together and don’t let anyone leave alone.
- If a friend decides to leave a party with someone else, talk to them about their safety. If you are worried about someone, it’s ok to try to protect them from harm.
- Learn more about sexual assault and rape and how to help a friend who may have been assaulted.
- If a friend discloses to you that they have been sexually assaulted, don’t take it all on yourself. Use NYGSP or off campus resources for advice and support for your friend and for yourself.
Additional resources for victims of sexual assault, harassment or interpersonal violence
State-wide Resources: Counseling & Advocacy Hotlines and Law Enforcement
To disclose confidentially the incident and obtain services from the New York State, New York City or county hotlines:
Additional disclosure and assistance options are catalogued by the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and presented in several languages:
http://www.opdv.ny.gov/help/index.html (or by calling 1-800-942-6906).
Assistance can also be obtained through:
The New York State Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline [English & Español/ multi-language accessibility]: 1-800-942-6906
This national resource provides legal assistance to survivors in campus, criminal and civil legal systems. To seek assistance, fill out an inquiry form on the SurvJustice official website.
Legal Momentum: https://www.legalmomentum.org/
The Legal Momentum website provides detailed publications and resources for survivors of sexual, interpersonal, and domestic violence. Additionally, the website has assembled toolkits for survivors on: finding lawyers, sexual harassment laws, stalking, and how to file complaints
NYSCASA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emotional support, technical assistance, and resources for survivors of sexual violence through rape crisis centers and a 24/7 crisis hotline.
If you have been sexually assaulted, call the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: 1-800-942-6906
NYSCADV: http: //www.nyscadv.org/
NYSCADV works to ensure the provision of effective and appropriate services to survivors through community outreach, training, technical assistance, and policy development. The New York State Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline [English & Español/multi- language accessibility]: 1-800-942-6906
The National Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline:
1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Pandora’s Project: http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html
Pandora’s Project aims to provide an inclusive online forum for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, with focused resources for survivors that identify as LGBTQI. This resource is not meant to take the place of a crisis hotline, but is an excellent support community for LGBTQI victims and survivors.
GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project: http://www.glbtqdvp.org/
This national resource supports GLBTQ victims and survivors through a 24-Hour domestic violence hotline, emergency safe home, legal services, crisis intervention and safety planning, housing and employment advocacy, sexual assault case management, and ongoing supportive services.
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with many local rape crisis centers across the country.
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is operated by RAINN and provides 24/7 support for victims and survivors of sexual violence.
National Sexual Assault Online Hotline: https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
Safe Horizon: http://www.safehorizon.org/
Safe Horizon takes action by providing practical services like a new lock, 24-hour hotlines, safe shelter, and food as well as supportive services like mental health counseling.
Safe Horizon domestic violence hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
Note that these hotlines are for crisis intervention, resources, and referrals, and are not reporting mechanisms, meaning that disclosure on a call to a hotline does not provide any information to the campus.
Victims/survivors are encouraged to additionally contact a campus confidential or private resource so that the campus can take appropriate action in these cases.
Additional off-campus resources are listed here: http://nygsp.bgsp.edu/safety/off-campus/