The purpose of the following section on sexual abuse is to educate,
illustrate, aid in the prevention of and assist in the treatment of
sex abuse in the St. John's community.
St. John's University will not tolerate or condone any instance of
rape, acquaintance rape, other forcible or non-forcible sex
offences or harassment within its community. Complaints filed with
the University are subject to adjudication as outlined in the
Student Handbook. The Student Handbook also delineates the rights
of both the accuser and the accused. Anyone ultimately found guilty
of these charges will be subject to appropriate sanctions ranging
from suspension to expulsion. In addition, the University will
assist in the prosecution of criminal actions filed against alleged
The University will change the victim of a sex offense's academic
and living situations if changes are requested and are reasonably
What is Unlawful Sexual Abuse?
Section 130 of the New York Penal Law sets forth all sex offense
crimes punishable by law, which includes rape, sodomy, sexual
assault, forcible touching and facilitating a sex offense with a
If a person engages in non-consensual sexual intercourse due to
physical force, coercion or threat actual or implied, the act is
considered rape in New York State. Sexual intercourse is any
vaginal penetration, however slight. A person who is mentally
incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless due to alcohol or drug
consumption or under the age of 17 is unable to consent. If
intercourse takes place without consent, it is considered rape.
Regardless of the circumstances, sexual intercourse following a
spoken no or any other expression of refusal or hesitation, even
without further resistance of any kind, is rape, a felony crime in
New York State.
Rape occurs most frequently between acquaintances or friends,
and in group settings. Alcohol and drugs contribute to and
exacerbate situations where rape can occur. Individuals who would
never attack on their own may be pressured by peers to participate
in group violation of an intoxicated victim.
Other Sex Offenses
Generally, a sexual offense, including sexual assault, is committed
when a man or woman is forced or coerced, either through physical
or psychological means, to engage in any form of sexual contact. It
is also a sexual assault when one participant is unable to consent
to the sexual conduct, due to intoxication, unconsciousness or
other disabling condition, or age. If such contact includes
penetration other than vaginal penetration the sexual assault
constitutes sodomy. The Penal Law also makes it a crime to forcibly
touch or grab the sexual parts of another, or to administer a
controlled substance to a person with the intent of committing
certain sexual offenses against them.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs in
relationships of power and control (faculty/student, staff/student,
employer/employee) and arises in either of two ways:
1. In quid pro quo situations, the aggressor uses his/her position
as leverage to extort sexual contact from the victim in return for
a promotion, a good grade, or even job security.
2. In hostile environment claims, the victim is subjected to
unwelcome sexual advances that are so severe or pervasive that they
create a hostile, offensive working or learning environment.
Sexual harassment also exists between peers (student/student,
faculty/faculty). Acts of harassment can range from verbal
suggestion or innuendo to offensive physical contact. This includes
sexual remarks, joking, sexual propositioning, pinching, grabbing,
or fondling. Where physical abuse is involved, victims may pursue
the aggressor in a criminal action. Victims of sexual harassment
can take civil actions against employers and/or educational
institutions, which may result in money damages.
Rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment are against the law and
against St. John's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Individuals found guilty of violating these policies will be
suspended or expelled from this institution.
The rapist is always responsible for having committed the rape.
Regardless of the victims' appearance, behavior, judgment or
previous actions, the victim is not responsible for the rape or
Forced sexual intercourse, whether by a friend or a stranger, is
rape. Studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of college women who
are raped know their assailant(s). Rape by someone the victim knows
is particularly traumatic because their trust in others and in
their own judgment may have been shattered.
Do not make assumptions. Do not assume that the way a person
dresses or acts is an invitation for sexual advances. A person may
welcome some forms of sexual contact and be opposed to others. Do
not assume that an individual's prior consent to some form of
sexual contact in the past opens the door to any sexual contact in
Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is not an
excuse for abusive behavior. This includes rape or sexual
A Clear Understanding of Consent is
Lack of consent to a sexual act results from:
• Forced compulsion including the use of physical force or threat
(expressed or implied) which places the person in fear of immediate
death or physical injury to self or another.
• Incapacity to consent.
A person is deemed incapable of giving consent if they are:
• Under the age of 17
• Mentally incapacitated (temporarily incapable of controlling
their own conduct owing to the influence of a narcotic or
• Physically disabled
• Physically helpless (Unconscious or for any other reason
physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act.)
Trust your feelings. If you feel you are being pressured into
unwanted sexual activity, or if you feel you are pressuring someone
else, stop it.
Sexual abuse happens by the choice of the abuser. Perpetrators must
understand that their actions are destroying the dignity of another
person. Such violations can and must be prevented through
individual awareness and definitive campus community action.
Keep in mind:
• Control: Meet new acquaintances in public
places; always have alternative transportation to and from your
destination. Be aware of alcohol consumption yours and
theirs. Trust your instincts; and try to identify the reason for
feeling uneasy about a person or situation.
• Communicate: Make your sexual limits known. If
someone starts to offend you, be direct. Passivity may be wrongly
interpreted as permission. Partners should be in touch with their
feelings and be able to discuss those feelings with each other
openly and clearly.
• Concern: If you see a situation where an
individual is either incapable of making a decision on their own or
apparently being forced to do something, act to stop it.
Skits, which include examples of stalking, harassment, and
acquaintance rape, are performed by upperclassmen during the Summer
Freshman Orientation Program. A question and answer period follows
the performance of the skits.
Victims: What to Do
After an attack it is natural for a person to be confused,
frightened and angry. Emotions will run high and thinking will be
at best confused. For your own sake, try to remain as calm as
possible so as to think more clearly. Naturally you should try to
get to a safe place and get help as soon as possible. Having
insured your own safety, you should immediately contact Public
Safety, a friend or loved one, and call the police or a rape crisis
Although you may feel like burning or destroying your clothing and
washing yourself, you must remember that rape is a criminal attack
and changing your physical condition may hurt the state's case for
prosecution. This means not changing, washing, or destroying any
clothing or washing any part of the body, not douching and not even
combing your hair.
You may feel numb as to the goings on about you, but it is
important to receive medical aid promptly. Emergency rooms and
emergency medical personnel have been trained to secure evidence in
the proper fashion. Not only can internal and external injuries be
treated, but measures can be taken to combat possibilities of
venereal disease and pregnancy.
If possible, the victim should try to write down all the recalled
details about the incident. The following facts are often helpful
for police investigations:
Who, What, When, Where and How
• What the rapist or assailant looked like and any vehicles
• What kind of force or coercion was used;
• Any objects touched, taken or left by the rapist or
• If the rapist or assailant said anything, try to remember the
words, the grammar, any accents or speech defects;
• If there were possible witnesses, who and where might they
It is important that you seek emotional support and professional
counseling as well as medical attention. As in any crisis, the
stress that the victim has endured will exhaust the ability to
cope, and the aftereffects of this violation often develop later on
in what has been termed a rape trauma syndrome. This syndrome
includes a variety of debilitating difficulties commonly
experienced by victims, which may not be evident until a point much
later than the actual crime. Dealing with the battered victim's
emotions is as important as any medical attention, which the victim
may require, and the sooner the victim gets help, the better that
individual will be able to cope and survive.
Helping a Friend
How to help a Friend Who Has Been Sexually Abused
• Believe your friend. Many people who have been sexually abused
fear that no one will believe them or that their experience will be
• Let your friend be in control of the situation, i.e., deciding
who is informed of the incident. Trust and control over your
friend's life has been disturbed. She/he needs to regain control
and needs to be able to trust you. Respect confidentiality.
• Reassure your friend that she/he is not to blame.
• Let your friend know you care. This may be the first time your
friend has talked about the abuse.
• Get help for yourself. You may feel the need to talk with someone
about your own feelings and concerns.
Criminal sex offenses are classified in degree according to the
seriousness of the sexual activity, the degree of force used, the
age of the victim, and the physical and mental capacity of the
offender and victim. Criminal sex offenses range from Class A
Misdemeanors, which are punishable by imprisonment of up to 6
months, to Class B Felonies which are punishable by imprisonment of
up to 25 years. Monetary fines also may be imposed.
Anyone who has been raped, sexually abused, or harassed or has been
the victim of any crime should consider discussing the incident
with a professional staff person listed below. This confidential
discussion will give the opportunity to recount to a trained
support person what has taken place and to discuss how best to
proceed. This support person will discuss options for formal
reporting procedures and available medical and counseling
|Associate Vice President|
and Dean of Students
| ||Assistant Director,|
Staten Island Campus
|Director of Student Life|
|Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student
• Queens General Hospital (718) 883-3000
• 107th Precinct (718) 969-5100
• Victims Services (718) 291-2555
• Services for Rape Victims (516) 222-2293
• 120th Precinct (718) 876-8500
• St. Vincent's Hospital (718) 876-1234
• Victim Services (718) 447-5454
• 1st Precinct (718) 334-0611
• NYU Downtown Hospital (212) 312-5070
• St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital - Crime Victim's Treatment
Center (212) 523-4728
• Victim Services Hotline (212) 577-7777
• Sex Crimes Report Line (NYCPD) (212) 267-7273
• 5th Precinct (631) 854-8500
• Southside Hospital (631) 968-3000