Sexual Assault is prohibited. Sexual assault is defined as forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual acts, which include but are not limited to, unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person such as a sexual organ, buttocks, or breast; sodomy; oral copulation; and rape by a foreign object. Violations may lead to college disciplinary action and/or arrest.
Rape is prohibited. Rape is defined as sexual intercourse by a friend, acquaintance or stranger:
Sexual Harassment is prohibited. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
Sexual Assault is defined as any touching of a sexual nature that is without the consent of the person touched. Sexual assault may include, but is not limited to, rape, sexual abuse, sodomy (non-consensual) and sexual misconduct as defined by New York State Penal Law. Sexual assault is prohibited.
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with a student's performance or creates an intimidating hostile or offensive environment. Sexual harassment is prohibited.
SUNY Potsdam has a responsibility to inform you of the potential risks of sexual assault. The college believes that you also have a responsibility to learn about sexual assault in an effort to prevent its occurrence and protect yourself.
The college believes that the best approach to sexual assault is prevention. To enhance this concept, the college has put forth considerable resources in the areas of sexual assault education, support services, crime prevention and campus law enforcement. Furthermore, the college believes that all sexual assault incidents are very serious and must be dealt with in a highly sensitive, confidential and professional manner. The college will make every effort to identify persons responsible for sexual assault offenses and will pursue arrest charges as well as campus disciplinary action.
When disciplinary action is taken, both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding, and both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sex offense.
What can you do to avoid sexual assault?
To avoid sexual assault, you need to understand the nature of the crime. Sexual Assault is an all-encompassing term that includes rape and any unwanted sexual activity that involves touching.
The most common assumption regarding rape or sexual assault is that it is perpetrated by the monster who stalks his victim and strikes unexpectedly. This type of rape can and does occur on college campuses, including SUNY Potsdam. It should be noted, however, that the nature of this type of crime has been rare on this campus.
Time and statistics have proven that the common instances of sexual assault on this campus fall into the following categories - Acquaintance Rape and Date Rape.
Acquaintance Rape: a type of sexual assault in which the victim and attacker know one another. Quite often they are only casual acquaintances.
Date Rape: a type of Acquaintance Rape that occurs while the victim and her attacker are on a date. (Experts in the field of sexual assault report that this type of rape is widespread on college campuses and often goes unreported.)
Students are most likely to become victims of sexual assault during their first few weeks at college when they make the transition from the security of their parents’ home to the less-restricted lifestyle of a residence hall. Another time of increased vulnerability is during the first few weeks when many make the transition from residence halls to off-campus apartments, sororities and fraternities.
Other factors which have been found to play a major role where sexual assaults have occurred include:
Knowledge and awareness of the nature and common instances of sexual assaults may assist you in making sound decisions regarding your personal safety.
What if I become a victim of sexual assault?
SUNY Potsdam has enjoyed a relatively low incidence of sexual assaults. This does not mean we can develop a false sense of security. It is imperative that the campus community work together to provide a safe environment for all. If you are a victim of any sexual assault, the following recommendations are presented for your consideration.
- Talk to a friend or roommate.
- Talk to your Resident Assistant or Resident Director.
- Talk with a college counselor.
- Talk with a clergy member.
- Talk with your parents or other family members.
- Talk with a campus law enforcement official.
- Talk with the a member of Renewal House. 315-379-9845
As mentioned earlier, it is important that all sexual assaults are reported. There are options available for reporting. They include:
It is not uncommon for some women to be afraid of reporting a sexual assault. They anticipate embarrassment and shame. A rape victim is treated as a victim of a violent crime with special psychological and emotional needs. The only shame would be if the rapist goes free.
What should I do if I want to press charges?
In order to build a strong case against the perpetrator of a sexual assault, it is important that you take the following steps:
In addition to the above, the following information can greatly assist University Police:
Keep in mind that the college is concerned with your well-being. If you become a victim of a sexual assault, get help immediately from a counselor. If the reporting aspect seems complicated and scary to you, let someone (preferably a counselor or university police officer) assist you in this area by explaining all of your options.
Counselors are special people with enduring sensitivity, trained to respond to crisis situations. Much of that training comes from working with other victims. They can understand, support, advocate, listen and clarify.
You do not bring your best skills to a crisis, but a counselor can bring his/hers.
A counselor will help you sort through all the important issues one step at a time, at a manageable pace with you leading the way. What are the issues anyway?
It is crucial for victims of sexual assault to obtain immediate medical care, not only for their physical well-being but also to collect necessary legal evidence to prosecute the perpetrator. Student Health Services is open to students during regularly scheduled hours. Immediate emergency care is provided directly by a well-trained staff to victims of sexual assault/rape.
However, due to the specific nature of obtaining evidence for use in criminal prosecution, victims of sexual assault/rape are referred to the local hospital emergency departments. There, a thorough physical exam, lab work and photos are obtained by a certified sexual assault nurse and necessary precautions can be taken to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Student Health Services may assist by:
SUNY Potsdam wants to advise you that there are a number of other support services available to victims of sexual assault. They include:
Van Housen Extension
Van Housen Extension
Student Health Services
Van Housen Extension
Reachout (24 hour crisis hotline)
Potsdam Rescue Squad
29 Elm St, Potsdam, NY
Planned Parenthood of NNY
Renewal House (http://www.slvrenewalhouse.org/)
Student Conduct & Community Standards
208 Barrington Student Union
Potsdam Police Department
38 Main St., Potsdam, NY