Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Prevention of Sexual Offenses 
All students should be aware of behaviors that constitute a sexual offense, steps to protect themselves, and procedures to report an incident.

• Trust your instincts: Honor your gut reaction even if you don’t know why you feel unsafe.
If you are uncomfortable in a situation, leave immediately and seek help.
• Be alert: Being aware of people, surroundings, and situations is the first step in preventing
a sexual offense. Become familiar with your surroundings. Know how to contact
police or campus public safety, and learn locations of public telephones and campus
emergency phones.
• Think ahead: Become familiar with safety and prevention techniques, the University’s
Policy on Sexual Offense, and the procedure for reporting these incidents.
• Reduce your risk: Review the prevention techniques in this brochure. For example:
• Become familiar with the neighborhood.
• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and plan with friends to look out for one another.
• The majority of sexual offenses are committed by someone the victim knows, so it is
important to spend time with people you know well and trust.
• Do what is right for you when it comes to sexual activity and let people know your
limits as clearly as possible.
• Silence does not mean “yes.” If a person is afraid to say “no”, physically immobilized
as a result of coercion, or he or she is incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol consumption
or a mental disability, he or she is unable to consent to sexual activity.
• Sexual offenses cross the boundaries of gender, age, class, race, and sexual orientation.
While the majority of victims are presumably female (an estimated 1 in 4 women will
be sexually abused and 1 in 8 will be raped in their lifetime), there is a high prevalence
of sexual assault among men as well. Men are increasingly coming forward with sexual
abuse histories.

• The assailant and/or the victim are intoxicated in the majority of sexual offenses on
college campuses. Avoid excessive alcohol and other drug use. Alcohol and drug use can
blunt your alertness and impair your ability to understand and respond to feelings and
situations, making it more difficult to resist peer pressure to engage in behaviors that put
you at risk or, conversely, might lead you to commit a sexual offense.

When you are going out for the evening
• Tell someone you trust where and with whom you’re going and when you will return.
• Go out with friends you trust and agree to look out for one another. Leave with a friend
rather than alone or with someone you do not know very well.
• Do not leave beverages unattended; always keep your drinks in sight.
• Pay attention to your friends’ behavior. Discourage friends from leaving with someone
they don’t know well—even if this person is an acquaintance.
• Share this information with friends and talk about ways to look out for each other.

Home and Residence Hall
• Never open your door to strangers. If you are not expecting anyone, use the peephole
(if one is available) to ask for identification and the reason for their visit. Do not be
afraid to ask questions or to call police or the Department of Public Safety to report
suspicious people.
• Never let someone into your building unless you know that person lives there.
• Do not prop open any doors to your building. This is an easy way for a person to gain
entry without anyone noticing.


• Constantly be aware of your surroundings—people, lighting, and situations.
• Do not walk while wearing headphones or earbuds; it dulls your hearing and makes you
less aware of what is happening around you.
• Avoid walking alone at night. Call Public Safety for the nearest van to off-campus
locations or back to campus.
• Walk close to the curb to avoid shrubs, dark doorways, and other places people can hide.
• Do not take shortcuts through dark and isolated places.
• Have your keys in your hand so that you do not spend time looking for them.
• Blue light emergency phones are available at various locations on campus and are
useful in calling for assistance.

Public Transportation
• Wait for trains in the off-hours waiting areas designated at each station.
• Do not ride in empty subway cars; ride in the conductor’s car.
• Use station exits with the most activity.
• Use only licensed yellow cabs. Do not use livery/gypsy cabs.

• Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up while driving or parking your car.
• If you feel threatened at a red light or stop sign, sound your horn and drive away.
• Park your car in a place that is well lit at night.
• Keep your car in good condition and filled with enough gas to make it to your
• Always know where you are going and how to get there.
• Store valuables out of sight in your locked trunk.
Date/Acquaintance Rape • Gang/Group Rape

Date/Acquaintance Rape
Date/acquaintance rape occurs when you are forced or manipulated into having sex
against your will by someone you know, whether that person is your date, a boyfriend,
a girlfriend, a significant other, an acquaintance, a friend, a neighbor, a classmate, a
co-worker, or a teammate. This is the most common form of sexual assault.

Gang/Group Rape
Gang/group rape is defined as a sexual offense by more than one perpetrator.
Peer pressure to participate in the sexual offense is a key factor in gang/group rape.
Be aware that use of alcohol and/or drugs contributes to instances of such rape.
Preventing Date/Acquaintance Rape and Gang/Group Rape

Communicate your expectations and limits, and demand that they be respected.

• If you feel that you are being pressured into an unwanted situation, communicate your
limits. If your partner does not listen to you, leave immediately.
• Say “no” to any unwanted sexual contact.
• Even if you are in a long-term relationship, you have the right to refuse sexual activity with
your partner. Prior consent to sexual contact does not compel consent.
• If you are uncertain about what you want, ask your partner to respect your uncertainty.
• If you agree to go to a place where intimacy may be expected (e.g., bedroom or secluded
area), both parties should state their limitations and/or expectations clearly.
• Do not be embarrassed to do what is right for you. Do not hesitate to raise your voice,
stand up abruptly, scream or shout, or leave if you feel the situation warrants it.
• Trust your instincts. Leave a situation immediately and go to a safe place if you think you
are in danger.
• Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can increase your vulnerability
by lowering your alertness and ability to react quickly. Conversely, they can impair your
ability to understand and respond appropriately to feelings and situations.
• Arrange to meet new friends in public places, and when possible, go with good friends.
• Tell someone you trust where and with whom you are going and when you will return.
• Leave social events with your close friends instead of walking alone or with someone you
don’t know very well.
• Always have money for transportation in case you must leave a situation abruptly, and
have your cell phone on and charged.
• Respect a person’s expectations and limits. If you do not know what they are, it is your
responsibility to ask.
• When a person says “no,” he/she is communicating their limits, not rejecting you as a
• Do not assume that a person’s past behavior applies to the present. People have the
right to make different choices about their sexual activity and level of desired intimacy
at all times.
• An absence of “no” does not equal “yes.” Silence could mean many things other than “yes.”
It could mean fear to say “no.” If someone is afraid to resist or fight back, they are unable
to give consent.
• You are responsible for your actions. Your attraction to someone does not give you the
right to ignore that person’s expectations and limits.
• Listen carefully. Take the time to hear what a person is saying. If you feel he/she is not
being direct or is giving you mixed messages, ask the individual to be clearer.
• Remember that date rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations,
no matter what the circumstance. This applies whether the person is a date, a girlfriend or
boyfriend, an acquaintance, a spouse, or a significant other.
• Having sex with a person who is mentally or physically incapable of consenting is rape.
If you have sex with a person who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, incapable of saying
“no,” or otherwise unaware of what is happening around him/her, you may be guilty of
• Be especially careful in group situations. Be prepared to resist pressure to participate in
exploitive, violent, or criminal acts, and clearly communicate your disapproval.
• If you see someone in trouble or observe a friend trying to force or pressure someone into
an unwanted situation, intervene. You may save the person from the trauma of a sexual
assault or your friend from criminal prosecution.

Substance-related Rape

Substance-related rape has been occurring more frequently in recent years. When secretly
slipped into a beverage, even a glass of lemonade, sedating substances can leave anyone
vulnerable to sexual assault. You may not be able to see it, smell it, or taste it. You don’t have
to be at a bar or club; it could happen in any social setting. If an individual appears extremely
intoxicated after consuming a non-alcoholic beverage, or only a small amount of alcohol, he/
she may have unknowingly ingested one of a number of substances.

Although the often-tasteless drugs are hard to detect, there are precautionary steps one can
take to reduce the risk of falling prey to this criminal conduct. For example:

• Do not leave beverages unattended; always keep your drinks in sight.
• Do not take any beverages, including alcohol, from someone you do not know very well
and trust.
• At a bar or club, accept drinks only from the bartender or server.
• At parties, do not accept open-container drinks from anyone.
• Be alert to the behavior of friends. Anyone appearing disproportionately inebriated in
relation to the amount they consumed may be in danger.
• Share this information with friends and talk about ways to look out for one another when
you are at parties and social events.
• Anyone who believes that they have consumed a sedative-like substance (symptoms
include low inhibition, confusion, impaired judgment, dizziness, extreme drowsiness,
or other sudden and unexplained symptoms) should be driven to a hospital emergency
room or should call 911 for an ambulance as soon as possible. Bodily fluids can be
examined for traces of these substances within hours of ingesting. Try to keep a sample
of the beverage for analysis. If you or someone you know believes they have consumed
a sedative-like substance, please contact your resident assistant, resident director, or
the Department of Public Safety as soon as possible so they can assist you.

What if I am a bystander and see something is wrong?
If anyone suspects a friend, acquaintance, or stranger may be in a high risk situation for
becoming a victim, is being victimized, or has been victimized of any form of sexual offense,
stalking, and/or domestic or dating violence, it is important to decide as a bystander whether
there is a safe and reasonable way to intervene effectively, and to act in a way to assist a person
whether it is before, during, or after an incident takes place. Bystanders are also encouraged
to contact the appropriate person listed in the Title IX Grievance Procedures in the Student
Handbook and/or the Fordham University Department of Public Safety at 718-817-2222;
if someone is in immediate danger, please notify the Fordham University Department of
Public Safety at 718-817-2222 immediately. There is no legal obligation for a bystander to act
or intervene.

The following are suggestions for safe and positive bystander actions:

• Take the initiative to help friends who aren’t thinking clearly from becoming targets of
violence (or) take steps to stop a friend who chooses to use violence.
• Prevent an intoxicated friend/person from going to a private location with an acquaintance
or friend.
• Ask a friend, acquaintance, or stranger who is attempting to take sexual advantage of
another to stop and leave the location.
• Recognize dating or domestic partners who cause fear or physical pain to their partner
and voice your concerns where appropriate (i.e. one suggestion is referring the person to
the counseling center).
• Contact Fordham University Department of Public Safety 718-817-2222, the Dean of
Students or another person of authority who can assist.

• Don’t walk/run alone in secluded areas or at night.
• Avoid situations where intoxicated people (victims, perpetrators, or both) may be unable
to consent.
• Don’t leave a friend or acquaintance alone at a party or bar.

Am I required to intervene and act as a bystander?
No, there is no legal obligation in New York state for a bystander of a potentially violent
situation or crime to intervene or act.

Help create a safer campus environment.
Fordham University educates students in the Jesuit tradition which includes promoting
deep respect for individuals and others and strives for a community of responsible citizens.
Bystanders are encouraged to act if there are safe and reasonable ways to intervene and/
or discourage people from being uncivil toward each other in an effort to foster a safer
environment for everyone. People who are designated as Campus Public Safety Authorities
are required to act in certain circumstances and must report all incidents immediately.

Rape Survivors: What You Can Do
The University seeks to make sure survivors of rape are cared for physically, psychologically,
emotionally, and spiritually. Survivors have many decisions to make after an assault,
including whether to tell anyone, whether to go to the hospital, and/or whether to file a
public safety report and/or police report. It can be difficult to make these decisions after
having endured a trauma. At Fordham, trained professionals are standing by to offer
support and guidance to survivors.

1) Remain calm and call for help. After an attack, the rape survivor should try to remain as
calm as possible in order to think clearly. Find a safe place and get help from someone
you trust. Any of the following resources can be called upon for assistance: the Fordham
University Department of Public Safety, a resident director, a resident assistant, a
commuter assistant, the health center, and/or the counseling center, A staff member of the
same gender will be available to respond at all times, if that is the preference of the rape
survivor. Please refer to the resource list in this brochure for important telephone numbers.

2) Do not change, shower, or destroy any clothing. A rape survivor should remain in the
same condition as when the attacker left. This means: not changing, washing, or destroying
any clothing; not washing any part of the body; not douching; and not combing one’s hair.
The survivor should also leave the crime scene exactly as it is, not touching anything and/
or not cleaning up or throwing anything away. The reason this is advisable is that the
survivor may wish to prosecute the perpetrator at a later time. While this may be difficult
to do emotionally, sometimes survivors later wish that they had this critical evidence to
admit in court.

3) Seek immediate medical attention.
It is strongly recommended that the rape survivor get
medical attention as soon as possible using the resources listed in the back of this brochure.
At Rose Hill, the Fordham University Emergency Medical Service (FUEMS) is available
24 hours a day and can be contacted by calling the Department of Public Safety at
718-817-2222. Ambulance services at Lincoln Center are provided by FASTcare, and can be
secured by contacting the Department of Public Safety at 212-636-6076.
At Rose Hill, the Fordham University Emergency Medical Service (FUEMS) is available
24 hours a day and can be contacted by calling the Department of Public Safety at
718-817-2222. An emergency medical technician (EMT) will be on duty along with other
student volunteers who will transport and accompany the survivor to the hospital. They will
also explain and assist the rape survivor through the initial medical treatment procedures.
If necessary and requested by the survivor, alternate arrangements can be made through
the Fordham University Department of Public Safety. At the survivor’s request, a friend, a
member of the residential life staff, a nurse from the health center or another staff member
may also accompany him or her to the hospital.
At Lincoln Center, ambulance services are provided by FASTcare, which can be secured by
contacting the Department of Public Safety at 212-636-6076.
At the Westchester campus, ambulance services can be secured by contacting the
Department of Public Safety at 914-367-3333.

At the hospital, internal and external injuries will be treated, and measures can be taken to test
for and deal with the possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. A hospital
visit is necessary to collect evidence, through a rape examination, in the event that criminal
charges will be filed. A rape survivor can request a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to
be present; these nurses are specially trained to treat survivors of sexual assault and, if desired,
to collect evidence through a rape examination. A victim advocate can also be called upon to
support the survivor and assist in making decisions.

A rape examination allows evidence to be collected in case a rape survivor wishes to prosecute,
even at a later time. The examination, however, must be conducted within 72 hours of the
incident and includes: pelvic examination and testing for the presence of semen; sexually
transmitted disease testing; and treatment for possible infection, which may involve antibiotics.
In order for medical treatment to be provided, the survivor need only consent to the medical
examination. In most cases, the hospital will document and store evidence for a specified time
period. The survivor is not required to report the incident to the police. However, depending
on the hospital you go to, the hospital may be required to report an incident of sexual assault
to the local police agency. In certain cases, the University must notify local law enforcement
as required by New York state law. The police will respond and investigate the allegation.
The rape survivor makes the decision on whether or not they wish to bring criminal charges
against the offender. The hospital never refuses services, but they are required to bill your
insurance company. The survivor should bring his/her student ID.

4) Document details about the incident.
It is advisable for the rape survivor to write down
every detail about the incident that they can remember. Not only can this assist in filing
student conduct or criminal charges (even at a later time), but it can also aid in recollection
that may assist in the healing process. The survivor should note:
• The “who, what, when, where, and how” of the incident.
• What the perpetrator looks like, any identifying marks or scars and any vehicle used.
• What kind of force or coercion was used.
• Any objects touched, taken, or left by the perpetrator.
• If the perpetrator said anything, the survivor should try to remember the words,
the grammar, any accents, or speech defects.
• If there were possible witnesses, document who and where they may be.
The rape survivor is encouraged to bring this information to the attention of the safety and
security office and/or the dean of students who can help ensure survivor and community
safety, connect the rape survivor with care, and assist in the process of filing a judicial or
police report. If the New York City or Harrison Police Departments are to be involved and
criminal charges filed, the above information is crucial.

5) Follow-up treatment. For many rape survivors, the time following the rape or any sexual
trauma is painful and confusing. Psychological and/or spiritual counseling can assist with
coping in the aftermath of an assault. Even after the actual incident, survivors may suffer
from acute stress that may include a range of difficulties such as nightmares, flashbacks,
numbness, and withdrawal from friends and family. In addition, survivors sometimes
blame themselves; feel upset about the reactions of their friends or family; feel ashamed,
confused, and/or angry about what has happened; and/or question their core beliefs. While
these responses are normal and understandable, they can be difficult for some survivors to
manage alone. Many find solace in sharing their story in a supportive and private context.
It is also possible to learn new coping skills to facilitate a return to activities that the person
finds meaningful and important.

Counseling and Psychological Services has mental health professionals available to assist
survivors of sexual assault. All services are confidential. The resident directors and resident
assistants are also available to provide follow-up referral information and support. Chaplains
at the Office of Campus Ministry are also available to speak to survivors.

Updated on August 2014

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