Definition of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is when an individual engages in sexual activity without the explicit consent of the other individual. Sexual assault is a general term which covers a range of crimes ranging from Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Abuse, Rape and Forcible Touching.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities. Forms of such discrimination include sexual harassment and sexual violence. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence refers to sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will and without consent. This would include situations where a person is incapacitated and incapable of giving consent. Categories of sexual violence include Rape and Sexual Abuse. Title IX protects students in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the school, whether those programs take place in a school's facility, at a class or training program sponsored by the school at another location, or elsewhere.
Any student or employee who believes a sexual offense may have occurred is strongly encouraged to report the matter promptly.
- Find a safe place. Your safety is top priority. Find someone you can trust (a friend, Resident Assistant, or Police Officer).
- Don't: Bathe, shower, brush your teeth, douche, use the bathroom, eat, drink or change your clothes if possible. This is an attempt to preserve any remaining physical evidence. If you have done any of these, physical evidence may still be present.
- Seek Medical Attention. You may have injuries that are not present yet. Even if you have no physical injuries, medical care is important to reduce risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. To preserve evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a sexual assault kit exam.
- Report the Assault. If you would like college or legal action to be taken, you are urged to report it to University Police. You can report the assault to the University Police Department 24 hours a day at (845) 257-2222 or 911. If you live off campus in the Town of New Paltz and the assault occurred off campus, call 911 or the New Paltz Police Department at (845) 255-1323. The Police will fully investigate the crime and assist the victim with obtaining support services. Talking with University Police or other college officials about your options can help you to make an informed decision about what action, if any, you choose to take. Filing a police report does not necessarily mean that you have to press criminal charges. You may choose other options, including campus judicial action.
- Get Professional Help. There are numerous resources for victims of sexual assaults. Getting help does not mean you have to prosecute. Professionals trained in crisis intervention are available to students to assist them through this ordeal.
Men or women who wish to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment, those wishing to confidentially discuss an incident, those who may be undecided about proceeding with criminal or campus charges, or individuals who may not label a given experience as rape but who have questions or concerns about unwanted sexual experiences or aggressive relations, may contact the following persons or offices for advice and assistance:
Police Actions and Criminal Information
New Paltz Police: 83 South Putt Corners Road, Suite 1, New Paltz, NY 12561
NYSP (Highland): 212 Rt. 299, Highland, NY 12528
Emotional Support and Advice
Judicial Action and Administrative Support
Administrative Support and Action
Harassment/ Discrimination Issues
St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie
Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie
Crime Victims Assistance Program
Preventing Sexual Assault
Practice good personal safety habits. Don't walk alone. Don't let anyone you don't know into your residence hall. Report any suspicious persons/activity to University Police x2222.
When going out, go with friends and stay together. Don't leave by yourself and be sure to watch out for your friends who may have had too much to drink. Don't leave your drink unattended and don't take a drink from anyone you don't know.
Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel a situation isn't right, leave and seek help.
Carry a cell phone and have the University Police Dept's phone number: (845) 257-2222 programmed into your phone. If you dial 911 from a cell phone, the call goes to Ulster County 911 Communications who then redirect it to the University Police.
Take advantage of the programs that University Police provide:
257-3338, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. when school is in session.
R.A.D.: Rape Aggression Defense: highly intense self-defense course is offered 3-4 times during the semester to students and community members. It is a 15- hour class that runs for 4 weeks in any given month
Resident Hall Programs Offered by our Crime Prevention Officers:
S.A.F.E. (Self-defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange) This program is a teaser program for the R.A.D. women's self-defense program. The topics of self-defense and sexual assault are discussed with some brief hands-on physical self-defense techniques introduced.
Sexual Assault/Rape Awareness
With the cooperation of the Residence Life staff, New Student Programs and the Counseling Center, these programs are offered to provide personal safety tips and help educate students on dating violence. Health and crisis counseling services are available from all of the aforementioned resources.
*Our Crime Prevention Officers also conduct other programs on crime prevention besides sexual assaults.
To learn more: www.newpaltz.edu/police/programs.html
Other Informational Links:
SUNY New Paltz Annual Security and Fire Report:
SUNY New Paltz Title IX Coordinator/Campus Climate and Compliance: http://www.newpaltz.edu/titleix/
NYSCASA: New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault:
NYS Office of Victim Services:
NYS Sex Offender Registry