Department of Public Safety
Sexual Violence Prevention & Resources
Forcing someone to have sexual intercourse or engage in sexual contact is against the law. According to New York State law, rape occurs when a person is forced to have sexual intercourse or if she or he is nonconsenting, unable to consent, or fearful for life and safety. The force can be any amount, real or threatened, that places a person in fear of injury or fear for her or his life. A perpetrator does not have to use a weapon or cause physical harm to make the victim fear for her or his safety.
A person is legally unable to consent if incapacitated due to drug or alcohol consumption, or being physically helpless, mentally incompetent, asleep, unconscious, or less than 17 years old. Depending on the age of those involved, amount of force used, type of sexual contact, and other factors, a perpetrator may be charged with sexual misconduct, rape, sodomy, and/or sexual abuse. These are crimes with varying degrees of penalties.
Against your will is Against the Law! REPORT Sexual Violence to the Department of Public Safety
Sexual violence is a very serious concern on College Campuses in this Country, including the University of Rochester. The University of Rochester's Department of Public Safety wants you to report the crime. We Pledge the following in exchange:
- We will meet with you privately, at a time and campus location of your choice, to take your report. We will treat you and your situation with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding, and professionalism. We will have a female officer available to assist with the investigation.
- We will not prejudge you, and you will not be blamed for what occurred, the various options available to you will be explained by our highly trained investigators. We will provide you with sufficient information on which to base your decision on how you wish to handle this matter. You are not obligated to proceed with criminal charges against your assailant simply because you have reported it to the Department of Public Safety.
- We will assist you in obtaining hospital treatment or other medical needs. We will assist you in contacting campus counseling services and arrange for emergency housing if need be.
- We will fully investigate your case and will help you achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible, an internal review at the University level, a report submitted anonymously to document the incident, or any combination of the three. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the investigation.
- We will continue to be available to answer your questions and to explain the system and process involved.
- We pledge a thorough investigation, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, or gender, sexual orientation or status of the suspect.
What men and women can do to prevent sexual assault:
- Get permission. Never assume you know what your partner wants, consent is informed, freely given and mutual. Regardless of how long you have known or dated someone, always get permission before engaging in sexual activity.
- Listen carefully to what the other person is saying they want or don’t want. Be clear with your response.
- Communicate effectively. Talk with your partner about what is mutually enjoyable. Tell your partner what you do or do not want and stick with your decision. Have your words and actions communicate the same message.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and other drugs interfere with clear thinking and communication.
- Challenge myths and stereotypes. Take a stand. Be willing to challenge friends and others who perpetuate myths and stereotypes about sexual behavior.
- Trust your instincts and your intuition. Even if you cannot explain why, you have the right to trust your feelings. If you are feeling uncomfortable, leave the situation, call a friend or call Public Safety. Trust your instincts.
- If you are aiding, facilitating or just an uninvolved bystander your failure to take action to prevent an imminent act when it is reasonably prudent and safe to do so is a violation of the Universities Sexual Misconduct Policy. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling Public Safety, notifying local law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority.
What to do if you are a Victim of Sexual Violence
- Get to a safe place and call UR Dept. of Public Safety, 585-275-3333 or 911. You can notify Public Safety and the police even if you do not wish to file an official report or pursue criminal proceedings. Specially selected University Public Safety staff is available to work with you throughout the process.
- Get medical care as soon as possible, Do not shower, bathe, douche, change your clothes, brush your teeth, or eat until after you have been examined for physical injuries and discussed your medical options.
- Once at the hospital for medical care, you will be given a physical exam, baseline tests for sexually transmitted diseases and antibiotics to prevent bacterial STDs. You may also request Plan B to protect against pregnancy. Even if several days have gone by since the assault, it is still important to get medical care.
- Contact someone for help and support, remember the University Counseling Services (UCS) 585-275-3113, University Health Services, (UHS) 585-275-2662, University Dept. of Public Safety, 585-275-3333, Title IX Coordinator Morgan Levy, 585-275-7814 or RESTORE, (Rape Crisis) 585-546-2777.
- Remember that talking to someone does not commit you to filing a formal complaint, but may increase your understanding of the options available to you and allows you to receive the caring support you need.
- If you decide not to report the incident write down all the details of the assault and save them in case you wish to report the incident at a later time.
- If you decide not to report the incident still consider medical care, you will not have to make a report to authorities, but you will get the care you need and evidence of the assault can be retained by the hospital in case you later want to report the incident.
- Know that it is never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, you can still get help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later. Take advantage of the resources provided to you as a student.
Proxy reports are designed to allow those with knowledge of an incident to report it without disclosing the identity of the victim.