American society has become increasingly aware of issues of personal safety in the college community. College campuses, as part of the greater social environment, are not immune to incidents of sexual harassment and assault. In a recent survey of over 6,000 students from 32 colleges across the country, one out of every six female students reported being a victim of rape or attempted rape during the preceding year. One out of every fifteen male students in the survey reported committing rape or attempting to commit rape during that same period. The FBI estimates that 10% of all sexual assault victims are male. Thus, it is evident that rape and other forms of sexual assault pose a major threat to college students. One of the most tragic outcomes of sexual assault on campus is that most victims do not seek the help they need from family, friends, or authorities. (Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges Can Do, 1988).
SUNY New Paltz has designed this brochure to provide the college community with information regarding Sexual Harassment and Assault. Included are our policies regarding reporting procedures and support services available for victims. Interpersonal violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, sex, age, socioeconomic status, or the length of time that the individuals have known each other. Incidents which have occurred on this campus range in intensity from verbal abuse and threats, to physical assaults with serious injury. Alcohol and other substances are known contributors to episodes of this type of behavior, as is unfamiliarity with knowledge that may protect you from becoming a victim or a perpetrator.
Therefore, this information is provided to you to assist in the prevention of sexual assaults, while also meeting the Personal Safety Law of the State of New York & the Higher Education Amendment of 1992. Please be advised that the material listing New York State penal code regulations is explicit. Our intention is not to frighten you, but to keep you apprised of one of the many issues affecting college students today. College students are more vulnerable to rape than any other age group. We hope this brochure will complement the many sexual assault and rape prevention programs which were provided through your high school, other colleges and your local community. It is also a companion guide to the information which is presented in numerous campus programs.
We encourage you to become familiar with this information and share it with your friends. As the College continues to educate its community, we come closer to maintaining a campus that is more safe and responsive to these issues.