If You Have Experienced Sexual Assault
- You may pursue a criminal complaint with law enforcement.
- You may pursue student disciplinary charges against the perpetrator.
- You may file a report of discrimination with the Title IX coordinator.
- You may pursue more than one option at the same time.
- You may choose not to pursue a complaint or report, and still obtain assistance and accommodations.
To review these options in more detail, please visit the Purchase College Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy.
Getting Help (overview)
What if I need help? Whatever the first step is, we hope you will take it. You are not alone. The assault was not your fault. Qualified staff can help you sort through your emotions and options so you can make the decision that is right for you. It is a victim’s absolute right to choose what to do, if anything.
- Intervention and Support The Speak Out Program provides onsite intervention to all students who disclose any form of domestic violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault. This intervention may include crisis intervention, follow-up mental health care, assisting with medical and/or legal choices, and referrals to community resources. Email the Speak Out program advocate at email@example.com, or you may call (914) 251-6390 and request to speak with the victim advocate.
- Emotional Support Some victims—in the hours and days immediately following an incident—choose to seek counseling and supportive services first to help them decide what to do next, if anything at all. The Counseling Center is free and confidential for all students: (914) 251-6390.
- Medical Attention Health Services provides treatment for STDs, gynecological care, and “the morning after” pill, as well as assistance in receiving hospital services, such as HIV testing/emergency treatment, all on a completely confidential basis: (914) 251-6380. Some victims go immediately to the hospital for a sexual assault nurse exam (SANE). A SANE exam is conducted by a trained health care practitioner, and the goals are to provide victim-centered care, including assessment, evaluation, and quality evidence collection, and to provide expert witness testimony IF the victim chooses to pursue a criminal prosecution.
- Criminal Prosecution Sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking are all crimes, and victims/survivors are encouraged to report the crime immediately to the University Police. The University Police at Purchase College have been trained in victim-centered investigation techniques that are respectful to victims/survivors. The University Police will assist in obtaining a court order of protection; assure that each victim is referred to specially trained counselors and victim advocates; and make sure that evidence is collected in a way which is respectful of the victim and his/her right to privacy and confidentiality and at the same time permits successful prosecution under the laws of the State of New York: (914) 251-6900.
- Campus Disciplinary Charges In addition to being a crime, sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking are violations of college policy, and victims/survivors are encouraged to report the crime immediately to University Police and/or to the Office of Community Standards. The conduct officer in the Office of Community Standards will assure that each victim is referred to specially trained counselors and victim advocates, and that the victim is aware of all accommodations and options regarding the campus discipline process. For more information, visit or call the Office of Community Standards, (914) 251-6033 or (914) 251-6027.
- Purchase College Community Partners Some survivors prefer to seek assistance initially from an off-campus agency. Either of our community partners, My Sisters Place, (914) 683-1333, or Victims Assistance Services, (914) 345-3113, are ready to help.
How can victims hold perpetrators responsible?
Victims can hold perpetrators responsible by seeking support from those in the college and in the community who are experienced with providing victim assistance and emotional support while at the same time pursuing whatever enforcement—criminal or college—the victim chooses.
Through the work of the Speak out! Program, the college is committed to supporting victims while pursuing perpetrators to the full extent of college policy and/or the law as chosen by the victim. College disciplinary actions are confidential and are less lengthy than criminal proceedings, but they must be pursued with full understanding that the due process rights of perpetrators will be protected. The college is committed to working with our community partners in the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney and to doing everything we can support victims who choose to pursue criminal prosecution