Safety: Prevention & Response


Affirmative 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.

Dating and Domestic Violence

Dating Violence

The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person -

  1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    1. The length of the relationship.
    2. The type of relationship.
    3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by 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 the jurisdiction.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined several ways in the Penal Law of The State of New York. An investigation by law enforcement professionals will determine the specific violations, however here is a brief summary;

Rape is an act of sexual intercourse with a person against his or her will and consent, whether his/her will is overcome by force or fear resulting from the threat of force, or by drugs administered without consent or when, because of mental deficiency he or she is incapable of giving consent or when he or she is below the age of consent.

Note that the threat of force is sufficient - many people report fearing for their safety even when their attacker is not carrying a weapon.

New York State law does recognize that a married person can be raped by their spouse. Marriage does not imply consent.

Rape in the first degree is defined as above, and the age of consent is seventeen (17).

Rape in the second degree is when one person is over 18 and the other is less than 14 years of age, the State defined any sexual intercourse between them as rape.

Rape in the third degree is when one person is over 21 and the other is less than 17 years of age.

Sexual Abuse is also defined in three degrees, according to the same system as rape. The difference is that intercourse is not required- all that is required is "sexual contact" - touching of intimate or sexual parts, either directly or through clothing.

Criminal Sexual Acts are also defined in three degrees. This term is used when the assault involves penetration to areas other than the vagina (e.g. rectum).

Sexual assault of any kind is a felony.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence and misconduct.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • comments or a sexual nature
  • explicit sexual statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes, either in person or sent electronically
  • Propositions of a sexual nature
  • Subtle pressure for sexual activity
  • Touching, patting, hugging, brushing against a person’s body
  • Remarks about sexual activity, experience, or orientation
  • Display of inappropriate sexually oriented materials where others can see it
  • Repeated or unwanted staring


Stalking is defined as unwanted pursuit of another person. By its nature, stalking is not a one-time event. It is repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person, whether that person is a total stranger, acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeated and unsolicited telephone calls, emails or texts
  • Unsolicited letter writing
  • Unwanted notes on car or at residence
  • Unsolicited gifts
  • Surveillance (someone is watching you)
  • Unexpected appearances at places you frequent, such as classrooms
  • Contacting your friends, family or other students about you
  • Searching public and private records to gain personal information
  • vandalism