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Sexual Violence and Related Terms

Consent:  Consent exists only when both parties in any sexual activity are 17 years of age or older and agree freely to participate in that activity.  Consent is mutual, equal, respectful, and freely given agreement to participate.   Consent does not exist when there is the presence of threat or consequence. 
By law, it is impossible for the following to give consent:  individuals who are under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances; who are physically helpless (including sleeping); who are under the age of 17; who are mentally incapacitated; and/or who are mentally disabled. 

Criminal Sexual Assault:  Criminal sexual assault is a crime which may include the following conduct:
     - Penetration or attempted penetration of the vagina by penis,
        finger, or object
     - Penetration or attempted penetration of the anus by penis,
        finger, or object
     - Penetration or attempted penetration of the mouth by penis,
        finger, or object
     - Nonconsensual touching of intimate body parts
Men and women, irrespective of sexual orientation, may be either perpetrators or victims.

Harass:  To irritate or torment persistently.

Intimidate:  To fill with fear.  To coerce, inhibit, or discourage by or with threats.

Rape:  Rape is a crime which is a form of criminal sexual assault.  Every state has its own definitions of rape (please see criminal sexual assault).  For a definition of New York State law, please see NYS penal law article 130.  In general, rape is actual or attempted penetration accomplished by threats, coercion, or physical force.  It includes nonconsensual vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by penis, finger, or any object.  In the following circumstances, actual or attempted penetration is rape, because under NYS law, it is impossible for the following to give consent:  individuals who are under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances; who are physically helpless (including sleeping); who are under the age of 17; who are mentally incapacitated; and/or who are mentally disabled.  Men and women, irrespective of sexual orientation, may be either perpetrators or victims.  

Relationship violence:  Relationship violence is violence that occurs between people who know each other: boyfriends and girlfriends or same sex partners whether or not they live together.  The violence may be physical, but it can also include threats, enforced social isolation and/or humiliation, intimidation, harassment, emotional mistreatment, financial control, forced sex or making threats with regard to family, friends, and/or children.   Some of the common terms used to describe relationship violence are courtship violence, battering, intimate partner violence, and date rape. 

Sexual Assault:  Any act of violence, either physical or verbal, in which sex is used as a weapon.  At its most basic level, sexual assault refers to any form of nonconsensual sexual activity, which encompasses all unwanted sexual acts from intimidation to touching to penetration.  Sexual assault is an act of aggression designed to humiliate, intimidate, control, or instill fear. 

Sexual Violence:  Sexual violence is a broad term that encompasses sexual assault, ranging from verbal harassment to sexual assault or abuse to rape and sexual homicide.   The perpetrator of sexual violence may be a stranger, friend, family member, or intimate partner.  It is important to note that 90% of college rape victims know their offenders.

Stalking:  Stalking is defined as non-consensual communication with, and/or harassment of another person.   It is the willful, malicious and repeated harassing or threatening  of another person which, as a pattern, tends to escalate in both intensity and frequency over time and can last for many years.   Stalking includes a direct or implied threat, and victims often report fear for their safety.  Stalking is about power and control.  Stalkers control the time, type, amount, and place of contact.   No matter what the motivation for stalking, the unwanted behaviors are the same and may include, but are not limited to: repeated following, repeated telephone calls and hang-ups; letters; unwanted gifts and packages; spreading harmful gossip about victims; breaking-and-entering that can include vandalism, theft, or even simply rearranging objects so that victims know the stalker was there.  Stalkers may also enlist their friends or associates to help them stalk or have their associates speak with friends of the victim to obtain information. 

Threaten:  To express an intention to inflict pain, injury, or harm.

Victim, Survivor, Victim/Survivor:  “Terms used interchangeably by people who have experienced sexual assault and by the professionals who interact with them.  ‘Victim’ is often associated with the early trauma following a rape of sexual assault and emphasizes the fact that a crime has been committed.  The terms ‘survivor’ and ‘victim/survivor’ emerged as part of the sexual assault victim’s rights movement to describe individuals who have experienced a violent incident, but no longer want any association with the perpetrator or the stigma of being viewed as remaining under the rapist’s influence and control.  In other words, the victim is now dealing with the trauma of the crime, which has been put into a perspective that allows her, as a survivor, to go on with life without the extensive, negative disruption created by the assault.”

Date Rape Drugs

Fry Cigarettes-aka: Wet, drank, and wet daddy.
Fry cigarettes are the most recent drug used in drug-facilitated sexual assaults.  They consist of tobacco, marijuana, and are coated with embalming fluid.
Fry cigarettes are incredibly dangerous, creating psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and loss of consciousness.
Fry cigarettes taste like rubbing alcohol and smell like gasoline when lit.

GHB-(gamma-hydorxybutyrate) aka: Liquid X etc.
GHB is a powerful synthetic drug that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system which metabolizes within 15 minutes of ingestion.
GHB can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion seizures, respiratory depression, intense drowsiness, unconsciousness, coma, and sometimes memory loss.
GHB is ingested with alcohol and other drugs, and is colorless and odorless.

Rohypnol-aka: roofies, roach etc.
Rohypnol is a medication that is prescribed by physicians in more than 64 countries for people with severe and debilitating sleep disorders and sometimes as a preanesthetic before surgery or other medical procedures.
Rohypnol comes in tablet form and dissolves instantly when mixed with any liquid, including sodas, water and alcohol.
As a sleeping medication, Rohypnol produces sedating effects.  Generally, Rohypnol’s effects begin within 20-30 minutes of ingestion.  The medication’s strongest effects occur within 1-2 hours.  Rohypnol’s overall sedating effects usually last 6-8 hours.  When mixed with alcohol it causes blackouts for 8-24 hours giving the victim temporary amnesia, disinhibition, impaired motor skills and sleep thus creating the perfect victim. 

Campus Disciplinary Terms - Office of Community Standards

Accommodations -   Certain accommodations may be made by the College in order to eliminate or control contact between the victim/survivor and the accused.  For example, one or both individuals may be reassigned to a different housing unit, or class schedules may be adjusted.

Administrative Hearing:  A hearing conducted by an administrator or administrator(s).  (See hearing). 

Administrative Hearing Officer:  An College faculty/staff member who has been trained to conduct disciplinary hearings.

Appeals Board:  A committee consisting of College faculty, staff, and students who have been trained to consider appeals filed by students who wish to contest a finding of an Administrative Hearing Officer or Hearing Committee.  The Board acts as a safe guard to assure due process for students.

Committee hearing:  A hearing conducted by a panel including student(s) and faculty/staff members to obtain all information on a given discipline case and to make appropriate decisions based on the information obtained (See hearing). 

Confidentiality:  Confidentiality is a guarantee that no information will be shared with third parties without the reporter’s permission.  Licensed mental or physical health workers are held to standards of confidentiality as prescribed by their professions.  The only exception to confidentiality by those licensed workers is if there is an imminent danger of harm to self or others, in which cases these professionals are required by law to notify the police of that danger.   University Police take confidential police reports.  However, they have a legal obligation to investigate any report of a crime or safety issue.  Confidential University Police reports are investigated utilizing any investigative techniques that are indicated for the particular case, including interviewing the suspect(s). However, the reporting party information (i.e., name, address, etc.) are kept confidential. 

Hearing:  A formal meeting during which an accused student has a right to hear all information, to present rebuttal information, and to present witnesses related to pending charges.  Hearings are conducted by either an Administrative Hearing Officer(s) or a Hearing Committee.

Hearing Committee:  A committee consisting of College faculty/staff, and students who have been trained to conduct disciplinary hearings.

Initial conference:  An individual meeting with a campus official during which an accused student has access to any written reports containing information used for the judicial action.  Depending on choices made by the accused student, the Initial Conference may result in a resolution of the charges.  Alternatively, the accused student may choose to have the charges resolved by either an Administrative Hearing Officer or a Hearing Committee.

No Contact Order- Issued through the Campus Judicial Officer or Residence Life Professional Staff members, these can be put into effect immediately.  This prohibits interaction between students.  Any violation of a No Contact Order should be reported immediately to University Police and to the Campus Judicial Officer.

Non-actionable Incident Report (NA): This is a written report of an incident involving sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking. A verbal report of an incident of sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking to any college staff member with the exception of University Police and the staff of Health Services and the Counseling Center will result in the filing of a NA. The victim may choose to write the NA, or to have the staff member write it on their behalf. In either case, the NA is forwarded to the Violence Against Women Grant Coordinator, and no further action is taken unless the victim requests either criminal or campus disciplinary action. The purpose of the NA is to document that an incident occurred in the event that the victim chooses to pursue action at a later point in time. The NA is filed in a secure location and is not part of the victim’s or the accused student’s files.

Order of Protection - In some instances, a victim/survivor seeks a court issued Order of Protection, which can have effect both on and off the campus and formally restrict another individual from contact with the victim/survivor.  

Persona Non Grata Status (PNG) - Issued through University Police or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, this formal legal status prohibits access to the entire campus or to portions of the campus (i.e., residential environments). A violation of the PNG status can result in an arrest for criminal trespass. 

Privacy:  Information contained in a student’s educational record is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).  In general, FERPA guarantees privacy of records for all students.  FERPA assures that only individuals at any college who have a “legitimate educational need to know” may access a student’s record.  Click here for more information on FERPA.

Victim/survivor impact statement:  A written or oral communication provided by a victim during a judicial hearing.  The victim impact statement describes the effect that the alleged behavior has had on the physical, emotional, social, and educational dimensions of the victim’s life.