Monday, April 6, 2009
WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU... WE PRESENT YOU THE SECOND DRAFT OF THE CUNY-WIDE SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY!
The images to the left and right of the screen are the first two pages of the second draft of the CUNY-wide Sexual Assault Policy that will be up for public discussion during upcoming town hall meetings. The document is split into a few pages at a time, with the text indicated below from the first 2 pages. We will post the policy (10 pages total) in increments of two pages per post. Please feel free to pass this post on to others and to comment here!
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING SEXUAL ASSAULT AGAINST STUDENTS
I. POLICY STATEMENT
The City University of New York seeks to create and maintain a safe environment in which all members of the University community—students, faculty and staff—can learn and work free from the fear of sexual violence. The University’s Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures applies to all acts of violence, including sexual violence, that occur in the workplace. This policy is directed toward sexual violence committed against students.
According to a recent national survey, one out of every four college women is raped during her college years. However, for a number of reasons, a large majority of rapes on campuses go unreported. Many students feel ashamed or embarrassed or do not view their assault as a rape or sex offense. In some cases this may be because of the nature of the assault in that it was perpetrated by someone the student knew or that alcohol or drug use was involved. Some students also fear retribution by their assailant or the possibility that their reporting of the assault will lead to their being punished or treated as a social outcast.
CUNY wants all victims of sexual assault to know that the University has professionals and law enforcement officers who are trained in the field to assist student victims in obtaining immediate medical care, counseling and other essential services. If the assailant is also a member of the CUNY community, the college will take prompt action to investigate, and where appropriate, to discipline and sanction the assailant. CUNY urges all victims to seek immediate help in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this policy with the assurance that all information received from a complaint will be handled as confidentially as possible.
A critical factor in eliminating sexual violence and creating a safe college community is providing an appropriate prevention education program and having trained professionals to provide vital supportive services.
Accordingly, CUNY is committed to the following goals:
• Providing clear and concise guidelines for students to follow in the event that they or someone
they know has been the victim of a sexual assault.
• Assisting the sexual assault victim in obtaining necessary medical care and counseling.
• Providing the most informed and up-to-date education and information to its students about
how to identify situations that involve sexual assault and ways to prevent sexual assaults.
• Educating and training all staff members, including public safety, student affairs personnel and
counselors, to assist victims of a sexual attack.
• Ensuring that disciplinary procedures are followed in the event that the assailant is a CUNY
student or staff member.
II. SEXUAL ASSAULT: DEFINITION AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Sexual assault is a crime. Under Article 130 of the New York State Penal Law, it is a sex offense to engage in sexual contact or to engage in sexual intercourse, sodomy or sexual abuse by contact without the consent of the victim or where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Criminal sex offenses are classified in degree according to the seriousness of sexual activity, the degree of force used, the age of the victim and the physical and mental capacity of the offender and victim. See Attachment A for a list of some of the sex offenses and their maximum penalties under New York State Law.
Sexual assault is a crime of aggression and violence. Terms such as “date rape” and “acquaintance rape” tend to minimize the fact that the act of rape, or any sexual assault, is a serious crime. There is never an excuse or a reason for a person to rape, assault or even touch another person’s sexual parts without consent. The impact on survivors of such an attack can cause severe and lasting physical, mental and emotional damage.
• Who is a perpetrator?
Most people think of sexual assaults as being perpetrated by vicious strangers on a dark, deserted street. In fact, studies indicate that between 80 and 90 percent of all people who have been raped know their assailant(s). This is called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape.” “Date rape” is not a legally distinct or lesser category of rape. It refers to a relationship and situational context in which rape occurs on a date. Rape or any sexual offense, whether on a date or not, is the same criminal offense involving the same elements of force, exploited helplessness or underage participation. With sexual assaults where the victim knows the assailant, alcohol use is often involved on the part of both the victim and the assailant. However, a sexual assault is still a crime regardless of the intoxication of the assailant or the victim.
• Who is a victim?
Anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, class or national origin. Though women and girls are primary targets of these crimes, men and boys are sexually victimized too, and have been found to suffer the same aftermath as women. Regardless of whether the victim was abusing alcohol and/or underage, she or he is still the victim of the sex offense.
• When is there lack of consent?
Under New York law, lack of consent to a sexual contact may be demonstrated in the following ways: (1) forcible compulsion including the use of physical force or threat (express or implied) which places the person in fear of physical injury to self or another; (2) incapacity to consent on the part of the victim; (3) circumstances in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor’s conduct; or (4) circumstances in which the victim clearly expressed by words or actions that he or she did not consent to engage in such sexual act and a reasonable person would have understood such person’s words or actions as an expression of lack of consent to such conduct.
Become involved! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We currently have an immediate need for:
* A skilled technician with software to make jpg files to post letters of support on the tracker
* A graphic arts designer to help our website designer
* Skilled media savvy persons to chronicle CUNY's progress for the students on campus blogs, radio and television.
* Organizations and individuals to endorse our cause (willing to sign a letter of support)
* Organizations and individuals to join Students for a Greater CUNY as a member