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CONTACT INFORMATION

Ramapo

Counseling Services (Confidential Resource)
(201) 684-7522

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

When contacting Counseling Services please request a confidential counselor.

Ramapo

Public Safety (Non-Confidential Resource)
(201) 684-6666

Public Safety is open 24 hours. Please call Public Safety to speak with an emergency counselor after regular business hours.

Support is always available for sexual assault survivors.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted it’s important to know there are many options for crisis response, support, medical treatment, advocacy, and reporting.

Confidential resources allow you to explore your options without making a report to the College. Confidential, survivor-centered help is always available:

  1. Please call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday) to request a confidential counselor. After business hours, please call Public Safety and request to speak with an emergency counselor.
  2. Survivors may also call the Bergen County healingSPACE Sexual Violence Resource Center at (201) 487-2227 to speak with a confidential advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Facts about Sexual Assault

What is sexual assault?
In New Jersey, sexual assault is the legal term to define what is most commonly referred to as rape. Sexual assault is defined as any act of penetration by a penis, hand, finger or other object (vaginal, oral or anal) performed or perpetrated by another without mutual consent or with the inability of one party to consent due to age, mental or physical incapacitation.

Sexual assault, as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Sexual activities that fall under this definition include forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.

How prevalent is sexual assault on college campuses?
A 2007 campus sexual assault study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that around 1 in 5 women are targets of attempted or completed sexual assault while they are college students, compared to about 1 in 16 college men. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network reports that college-aged women are four times more likely than any other age group to face sexual assault.

Each year schools disclose the number of sexual assaults reported on campus in their annual security reports, and to the U.S. Department of Education. In 2013, the requirements for schools were updated as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Colleges and universities will now also disclose the annual number of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents reported.

Who are the perpetrators of sexual assault?
According to a 2000 report funded by the National Institute of Justice, the vast majority of campus sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim — in 90 percent of the reported cases, the victim knew her or his attacker.

How often is rape reported?
Less than 5 percent of rapes and attempted rapes of college students are reported to campus authorities or law enforcement.

What role does alcohol play in campus sexual assault?
Alcohol is the most widely used date-rape drug; 89 percent of assaults occur when the survivor is incapacitated due to alcohol. Sexual assault is never the fault of survivors, regardless of whether they were using drugs or alcohol (voluntarily or against their will). Use of alcohol or drugs by perpetrators is no excuse for their actions.

What role does federal law play?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits the sexual harassment of college and university students. Sexual assault, an extreme form of sexual harassment, “denies or limits, on the basis of sex, a student’s ability to participate in or receive benefits, services, or opportunities at the institution.” When it affects the survivor’s or other students’ educational opportunities, sexual assault creates what the legal system identifies as a hostile environment. In April 2011, the DOE issued guidance on the responsibilities of colleges and universities under Title IX. The 2011 guidance requires colleges and universities to:

  • Define sex discrimination (including sexual violence) and publish a policy stating that the school does not discriminate on the basis of sex
  • Have and distribute procedures for students to file complaints when sexual harassment, discrimination, or violence takes place
  • Appoint a Title IX coordinator to oversee these activities, review complaints, and deal with patterns or systemic problems (even when there are no formal complaints) and distribute the Title IX coordinator’s name to students

Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act) institutions of higher education must also notify students about crime on campuses, publicize their prevention and response policies, publish their crime statistics, and advise victims of their basic rights.

In 2013, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act and included provisions to improve campus safety. Colleges and universities will now have to report the number of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents that occur on campus every year in addition to the longstanding requirement to disclose sexual assault incidents, along with other crimes. They will also have to update their annual security reports to include the institution’s programs (available to all students and employees) to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition, students will now be provided with clear options and support when they report an incident of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. These new requirements are in addition to the longstanding obligations under Title IX and the Clery Act.

(Source: Adapted from the AAWU Sexual Assault Resource Page)

Campus Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights

New Jersey Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights

Pursuant to NJSA 18A, Chapter 61E

A college or university in a free society must be devoted to the pursuit of truth and knowledge through reason and open communication among its members. Academic communities acknowledge the necessity of being intellectually stimulating where the diversity of ideas is valued. Its rules must be conceived for the purpose of furthering and protecting the rights of all members of the college community in achieving these ends. The boundaries of personal freedom are limited to applicable state and federal laws and  institutional rules and regulations governing interpersonal behavior. In creating a community free from violence, sexual assault and non­consensual sexual contact, respect for the individual and human dignity are of paramount importance. The state of New Jersey recognizes that the impact of violence on its victims and the surrounding community can be severe and long lasting. Thus, it has established this Bill of Rights to articulate requirements for policies, procedures and services designed to insure that the needs of  victims are met and that the colleges and universities in New Jersey create and maintain communities that support human dignity.

Bill of Rights 
The following Rights shall be accorded to victims of sexual assault that occur:

  • on the campus of any public or independent institution of higher education in the state of New Jersey, and
  • where the victim or alleged perpetrator is a student at that institution, and/or
  • when the victim is a student involved in an off­ campus sexual assault.

Human Dignity Rights

  • To be free from any suggestion that victims must report the crimes to be assured of any other right guaranteed under this policy.
  • To have any allegations of sexual assault treated seriously; the right to be treated with dignity.
  • To be free from any suggestion that victims are responsible for the commission of crimes against them.
  • To be free from any pressure from campus personnel to:
    • report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so
    • report crimes as lesser offenses than the victim perceives the crime to be
    • refrain from reporting crimes
    • refrain from reporting crimes to avoid unwanted personal publicity.

Rights to Resources On and Off Campus 

  • To be notified of existing campus and community based medical, counseling, mental health and student services for victims of sexual assault whether or not the crime is formally reported to campus or civil authorities.
  • To have access to campus counseling under the same terms and conditions as apply to other students in their institution seeking such counseling.
  • To be informed of and assisted in exercising:
    • any rights to confidential or anonymous testing for sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency  virus, and/or pregnancy
    • any rights that may be provided by law to compel and disclose the results of testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases.

Campus Judicial Rights

  • To be afforded the same access to legal assistance as the accused.
  • To be afforded the same opportunity to have others present during any campus disciplinary proceeding that is allowed the
    accused.
  • To be notified of the outcome of the sexual assault disciplinary proceeding against the accused.

Legal Rights 

  • To have any allegation of sexual assault investigated and adjudicated by the appropriate criminal and civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which the sexual assault is reported.
  • To receive full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities.
  • To receive full, prompt, and victim­ sensitive cooperation of campus personnel with regard to obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence, including a medical examination when it is necessary to preserve evidence of the assault.
  • To be free from any suggestion that victims were contributory negligent or assumed the risk of being assaulted.

Campus Intervention Rights 

  • To require campus personnel to take reasonable and necessary actions to prevent further unwanted contact of victims by their alleged assailants.
  • To be notified of the options for and provided assistance in changing academic and living situations if such changes are reasonably available.

Statutory Mandates 
Each campus must guarantee that this Bill of Rights is implemented. It is the obligation of the individual campus governing board to examine resources dedicated to services required to implement the Bill of Rights and to make appropriate requests to increase or reallocate resources where necessary to ensure implementation. Each campus shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that every student at that institution receives a copy of this document.
Nothing in this act or in any “Campus Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights” developed in accordance with the provisions of this act, shall be construed to preclude or in any way restrict any public or independent institution of higher education in the State from reporting  any suspected crime or offense to the appropriate law enforcement authorities

NEW JERSEY VICTIM’S BILL OF RIGHTS (PDF)

What are my resources for support?

ON-CAMPUS RESOURCES:

Counseling Services (Confidential Resource) 

Location: Room D-216 (entrance behind stairwell on left)
Phone Number: (201) 684-7522

Professional counselors are available in Counseling Services to provide victim-centered services and resources for survivors of sexual assault.

All interactions with Counseling Services, including scheduling of appointments, sessions, and student records are confidential. To learn more please click here.

A counselor will:

  • Listen and provide sensitive, nonjudgmental support
  • Review the victim’s rights under the NJ Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights
  • Explain the types of medical care available after an assault
  • Assist in making arrangements for getting medical care if desired
  • Review legal and/or campus adjudication options so that the survivor can make an informed decision about what actions they may take. Getting help does not mean that you must press charges
  • Assist in filing a formal report if the student should decide to do so
  • Review additional resources and options
  • Provide follow-up assistance if desired

Health Services (Confidential Resource) 

Location: Near the campus South Gate entrance at the corner of Route 202 and Hornbeam Road.
Phone Number: (201) 684-7536

Health Services provides emergency contraception, testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), pregnancy testing, and more. These services are provided free of charge for survivors of sexual assault. Health Services is located near the campus South Gate entrance at the corner of Route 202 and Hornbeam Road.

The Women’s Center (NON-Confidential Resource*) 

Location: C-220 (near the Fishbowl)
Phone Number: (201) 684-7468

The Women’s Center advocates for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation. Peer listening is available for survivors of sexual assault. The Women’s Center also offers programs to support survivors and prevent interpersonal violence such as Take Back the Night, The Clothesline Project, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

*Women’s Center staff are required to report incidents of sex and gender-based harassment/violence to the Title IX Coordinator. Public awareness events (such as “Take Back the Night” or other forums in which students, staff, or faculty members disclose incidents of sexual misconduct) are not considered a report of sexual misconduct or notice to the College of sexual misconduct for purposes of reporting to the Title IX Coordinator.

The Office of Violence Prevention (Private, but NON-Confidential Resource*) 

Location: C-216 (near the Fishbowl)
Phone Number: (201) 684-7430

The Office of Violence Prevention houses prevention education programs addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The office also houses the Violence Intervention Prevention (VIP) Peer Educators who teach other students about sexual violence and affirmative consent.

*Office of Violence Prevention staff are required to report incidents of sex and gender-based harassment/violence (including dating violence) without any identifying information to the Public Safety Department for inclusion in the daily crime log and annual statistical report and for issuance of any required timely warning notice. A timely warning will not identify the victim, but may include information such as the location of the incident, a succinct description of the incident, and prevention and reporting strategies. Public awareness events (such as “Take Back the Night” or other forums in which students, staff, or faculty members disclose incidents of sexual misconduct) are not considered a report of sexual misconduct or notice to the College of sexual misconduct for purposes of reporting to the Title IX Coordinator.


 OFF-CAMPUS RESOURCES:

healingSPACE: A Sexual Violence Resource Center:

healingSPACE provides confidential information, support, and victim services. They have trained advocates that provide counseling and medical and legal accompaniments to survivors. HealingSPACE also offers support groups, volunteer training, and educational programs for schools and businesses, as well as sponsors activities to raise community awareness about sexual violence.

The free and confidential 24-hour hotline for healingSPACE is (201) 487-2227.

New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA):

NJCASA is a statewide advocacy and capacity building organization that elevates the voice of sexual violence survivors. Their mission is to promote the compassionate and just treatment of survivors and their loved ones; foster collaborative relationships between community systems; and affect attitudinal and behavioral changes in society as we work toward the elimination of sexual violence against all people.


For more off-campus resources including resources specifically for veterans, LGBTQA+ identified survivors, survivors with disabilities, male survivors and more please visit the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) Resource List. 

What are my options for medical treatment?

IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN ASSAULT:

If the assault has just occurred, the first and most important consideration is your safety. Get to a safe place where you can make arrangements for medical services as soon as possible. Do not wash your hands, shower, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, eat, smoke, or douche. If possible preserve each item of clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault separately in a paper bag. This can be important to preserving evidence should you choose future action.

A counselor is available 24/7 by contacting Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 during regular business hours. After hours please contact the Public Safety Department (201-684-6666) to contact an emergency on-call counselor.

If you are on campus and have been physically injured, call the Public Safety Department. By contacting the Public Safety Department, you are not obligated to file an incident report. At your request, only an anonymous crime report will be completed for statistical purposes.


 IF THE ASSAULT TOOK PLACE WITHIN THE PAST 5 DAYS:

If the assault has taken place within the past five days students have two options for medical treatment: on-campus medical treatment and off-campus medical treatment. Campus counselors are available to provide emotional support regardless of which option a survivor selects.

On-campus Medical Treatment:

Health Services provides emergency contraception, testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), pregnancy testing, and more. These services are provided free of charge for survivors of sexual assault. Health Services is located near the campus South Gate entrance at the corner of Route 202 and Hornbeam Road.

Please visit the Health Services website for hours, services, and contact information.

Off-campus Medical Treatment:

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you can benefit from receiving a specialized medical examination. In addition to the examination, you will also be provided with information regarding your rights and options to ensure your physical and emotional well-being.The medical examination can also provide useful information and evidence if you decide to report the assault. Please use this information to empower yourself to make informed choices and decisions.

Free emergency transportation is available: please contact the Public Safety Department at (201) 684-6666 and request to speak with an Emergency on Call Counselor to request emergency transportation.

Call the free and confidential 24-hour hotline number for the healingSPACE: Sexual Violence Resource Center: (201) 487-2227 for information about the Bergen County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART is a free, coordinated community response to assist a survivor in the aftermath of a recent sexual assault. It has been designed to offer a compassionate, victim-centered approach while collecting evidence that can be vital to the investigation and prosecution of the crime. SART is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

There are three members of the SART team available to a survivor. A survivor has the option to speak with all three SART members, any combination of SART members, or speak with none of the SART members. SART members include:

Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE): A FNE is specially trained in forensic evidence collection. The FNE conducts a head to toe exam and collects evidence to assist in the prosecution of the crime. Medications to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections and pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault are also offered to the survivor. The FNE does not treat injury; anyone needing medical attention will be seen by the attending physician in the local Emergency Department.

Law Enforcement: A local police officer and/or detective from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit are available at the request of the survivor to conduct an investigation. In most cases of sexual assault, the choice to prosecute is left up to the survivor.

Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate (CSVA): Trained healingSPACE advocates are available to assist the survivor throughout the SART process. Advocates keep information confidential and are there to empower the survivor by providing emotional support, information, and referrals. Follow-up with a trained advocate is also available in the days following the SART process.

Students wishing to use any or all of SART services may also still avail themselves of campus services such the Counseling Center.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A SPECIALIZED MEDICAL EXAMINATION FOLLOWING A SEXUAL ASSAULT?

You should have a thorough medical examination immediately after a sexual assault, even if you have no apparent injuries. You may be in shock and have internal injuries. You may also have minor injuries, such as scratches or other marks on your skin. A Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) can give you a thorough physical examination and, if indicated, can provide treatment for injuries that are related to the sexual assault. The examiner can also document any injuries that you have so that if you decide to take any legal action, you will have a record of what happened to you.

Physical evidence can be identified and collected during a sexual assault medical examination. Even if you are undecided about whether you want to make a police report and unsure whether you want your assailant prosecuted, you should have evidence collected as soon as possible after a sexual assault. This is the best way to keep your options open for the future.

A sexual assault can place you at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). A health care provider can help you evaluate your risk of getting various STIs and advise you about ways to protect yourself from these risks. One of the benefits of obtaining medical care as soon as possible after a sexual assault is that immediate evaluation and medication can prevent some STIs.

If you are a female victim, the FNE can help you determine the likelihood that you could become pregnant as a result of the sexual assault and advise you about the alternatives available to you.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE EXAMINATION?

The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) will usually begin by asking questions about your general health. If you are a female victim, you will be asked about your menstrual history and your use of contraception. You will also be asked specific questions about the assault. Although it may be difficult to recall some of the details and it may be emotionally painful to remember and talk about what happened, the answers you provide to these questions will help the doctor or nurse practitioner to conduct a thorough physical examination. This usually includes a pelvic examination but only with the survivor’s consent.

The FNE will look for injuries and other signs that force was used, such as tender areas, marks on your skin and bruises. If you have visible injuries, you may be asked to give consent to have photographs taken of the injured areas. Photographing injuries is important because if you choose to prosecute, by the time you go to court, the injuries may have healed.

In addition to checking you for other injuries, the medical team can look for other evidence of a sexual assault. Depending on the type(s) of sexual contact that occurred, the evidence may include taking samples from your vagina, mouth, and/or rectum to test for sperm cells and semen. Other evidence may be obtained from fingernail scrapings, foreign matter on your body, and the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault.

After the examination is complete, the FNE will document the findings in your medical record. This can be subpoenaed to assist in the legal process.


IF THE ASSAULT TOOK PLACE MORE THAN 5 DAYS AGO:

Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and pregnancy is available from Health Services and other medical providers. After 5 days have passed, evidence that is able to be processed from a medical exam is unlikely to be collected.

Please see the “What are my resources for support?” section of this website for ongoing support including options for counseling, peer listening in the Women’s Center, and community resources.


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED MEDICAL QUESTIONS:

Q: Can I contract an STI as a result of a sexual assault?

A: The likelihood of contracting an sexually transmitted infection (STI) as a result of a sexual assault depends on various factors including the type of sexual contact that occurred, the number of assailants, and whether or not an assailant was infected with an STI at the time of the assault.

There are several STIs that can be contracted during sexual contact including Hepatitis B, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, or vaginitis. There are immediate and effective treatment choices for some of these STIs.

A survivor may choose to reduce the risk of contracting certain STIs (Hepatitis B, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, or vaginitis) by taking medication immediately as a preventive measure. The survivor may also opt to wait to see if any disease(s) are contracted before taking medications.

Q: Am I at risk for getting HIV if I have been sexually assaulted?

A: The probability of contracting HIV through a single sexual contact is very low. He or she should consult with a physician or nurse regarding how to access risk factors and what do to deal in the unlikely event of contracting HIV as a result of a sexual assault.

For peace of mind and the protection of a survivors’ sexual partner(s), it is recommended that survivors be tested for HIV. The doctor or nurse will explain where and when to be tested and what precautions should be taken to protect the survivors’ sexual partner(s).

There are laws in some states that permit a criminal court judge to order a sexual assault suspect to be tested for HIV and other communicable diseases and to inform the victim of the test results. Speak to the police investigator or prosecutor for further information.

Q: What is the risk of pregnancy as a result of sexual assault?

A: A survivors’ risk of getting pregnant from a sexual assault depends on many factors including the survivor’s menstrual cycle, current use of contraceptives, fertility, the fertility of the assailant, and whether or not the assailant ejaculated are all factors involved. The physician or nurse can help the survivor evaluate personal risk for pregnancy.

If a survivor is at risk for becoming pregnant as a result of a sexual assault, a medical care provider can explain the various treatment options available. If a survivor chooses to have immediate treatment to prevent risk of a pregnancy, the options are most effective if care is sought within 72 hours after the assault. Immediate treatment options may prevent conception, however, they will not interrupt a pregnancy once it has begun.

A survivor may decide to wait and see if pregnancy occurs as a result of the assault. If so, a health care provider can discuss pregnancy options with the survivor.

Q: What if I wake up and can’t remember what happened?

A: If a survivor wakes up and cannot remember what has happened–if the last thing he or she remembers was being with friends or anywhere other than where he or she work up, the survivor may have been the victim of date rape drugs. Even if he or she was drinking a lot, and it therefore may be an alcohol “blackout,” it is important to find out what happened.

If someone wasn’t drinking much or not drinking alcohol at all, and has significant memory loss and unexplained whereabouts, he or she needs to get medical help immediately.

Signs that a person may have been drugged:

  • If the person sees indications that he or she may have had sexual relations but cannot remember anything taking place.
  • If the person has a bad hangover, but wasn’t drinking
  • If the person has unexplained memory loss
  • If the person feels any of the following symptoms: headache, muscle aches, hallucinations, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, slowed heart rate.

Date rape drugs often have no smell or taste; they can begin to work as quickly as 10-30 minutes, and after effects can last as long as 4-24 hours. Some drugs, if given in high enough quantities, can cause coma and death.

How can I report an incident of sexual assault?

You have several options with respect to reporting. Never, at any time, can your decision to report or not report be made a condition of receiving other services.


 

ONLINE REPORTING (INCLUDING ANONYMOUS REPORTING)

An online Report Form for Sexual Misconduct is available. The form may be filled out anonymously, or the survivor may choose to include identifying information.

Submissions are read and responded to during regular business hours. This form is not to be used for emergencies that require an immediate response. If there is an imminent danger to a student, or to the community, contact the Public Safety Department at (201) 684-6666.

 


 

REPORTING TO THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR

What is the role of the Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing and resolving all Title IX reports of sexual misconduct and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such reports. The Coordinator’s responsibilities include oversight of a prompt, fair, equitable investigation and resolution process for reports of sexual misconduct at the College. The Title IX Coordinator also evaluates trends on campus by using information reported to him or her and makes recommendations for campus wide training and education programs.

Is my Title IX complaint confidential?

If the complainant reports to the College and requests confidentiality or asks that the report not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his/her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the respondent, the College’s ability to respond may be limited. If the complainant continues to ask that his or her name not be revealed, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the respondent’s request as long as doing so does not prevent the College from responding effectively to the harassment and preventing harassment of other members of the College community. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the confidentiality request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all persons. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that circumstances do not allow a request for confidentiality to be granted the college will take action as appropriate. It is a violation of the College policy to retaliate against an individual making a report or providing information for an investigation.

Additionally, personal identifiable information will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons who have a specific need to know and who are investigating/adjudicating the report or delivering resources or support services. Further, the College will maintain as confidential, any accommodations or protective measures provided to the complainant to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the College’s ability to provide such accommodations or protective measures.

How do I contact the Title IX Coordinator at Ramapo College?

Kat McGee
Title IX Coordinator
E-mail: kmcgee@ramapo.edu
Phone: (201) 684-7220
Office: Anisfield School of Business, Room 017

Please visit the Affirmative Action and Workplace Compliance website for more information.


 

REPORTING TO THE PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT

Office Location: C-102
Phone: (201) 684-6666

The Public Safety Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. By contacting the Public Safety Department, you are not obligated to file an incident report. At your request, only an anonymous crime report will be completed for statistical purposes. Even if you do not want to make a formal incident report or file charges, you still have the right to other victims’ services.

Members of this department are trained to gather information on your complaint. Public Safety Department Officers must provide notice of your complaint to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.

Q: What will happen once I file an incident report with the Public Safety Department?

A: If the survivor is injured and requires immediate medical attention:

The Public Safety Department will call the Mahwah Police Department to request an ambulance to transport him or her to the hospital. The survivor will be offered the option to speak with a counselor about his or her support options.

The Mahwah Police Department will activate the Bergen County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART is a free, coordinated community response to assist a survivor in the aftermath of a recent sexual assault. It has been designed to offer a compassionate, victim-centered approach while collecting evidence that can be vital to the investigation and prosecution of the crime. SART is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

There are three members of the SART team available to a survivor. A survivor has the option to speak with all three SART members, any combination of SART members, or speak with none of the SART members. SART members include:

Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE): A FNE is specially trained in forensic evidence collection. The FNE conducts a head to toe exam and collects evidence to assist in the prosecution of the crime. Medications to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections and pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault are also offered to the survivor. The FNE does not treat injury; anyone needing medical attention will be seen by the attending physician in the local Emergency Department.

Law Enforcement: A local police officer and/or detective from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit are available at the request of the survivor to conduct an investigation. In most cases of sexual assault, the choice to prosecute is left up to the survivor.

Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate (CSVA): Trained healingSPACE advocates are available to assist the survivor throughout the SART process. Advocates keep information confidential and are there to empower the survivor by providing emotional support, information, and referrals. Follow-up with a trained advocate is also available in the days following the SART process.

If the survivor does not require immediate medical attention (or once medical treatment has been completed):

The survivor will be offered the option to speak with a counselor about his or her support options.

The survivor will be asked to give a statement to the Public Safety Department. The survivor can request to speak with a female officer if one is available. The survivor also has the right to have a friend or other advocate present.

The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of the report. The Coordinator will assess the report to determine if a possible violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students may have occurred. If so, the Title IX Coordinator will invite the reporting party to participate in a Title IX Investigation. (For more information see Section X. “INVESTIGATION & RESOLUTION” of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.) NOTE: This does not preclude a survivor from also pursuing a criminal investigation.

The survivor will be asked whether he or she wishes to press criminal charges. If so, his or her statement is given to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, who decides whether to pursue a criminal investigation. Evidence from the crime scene will be collected (including the victim’s clothing, if applicable); evidence from the hospital (if taken) will also be received by the prosecutor’s office. Eventually there may be a warrant, an arrest, a grand jury, and a trial. The Bergen County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy can review these steps in detail and make sure that a victim’s rights are protected.

Q: What’s the difference between filing a complaint on campus and filing criminal charges?

A. Campus complaints are governed by the Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students. This policy includes actions which may also constitute criminal violations such as sexual assault. In all campus violations a “preponderance of the credible evidence” standard is used to determination whether it is more likely than not a student has or has not violated provision(s) of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. This is a lower standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard employed in criminal prosecutions within the court system.

Criminal charges in the court system will be handled by the Prosecutor’s office in the county in which the assault took place. A police detective from the municipality in which the assault took place will conduct an investigation, and the prosecutor decides whether or not to move forward with charges. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office works in conjunction with the Bergen County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy. Victims can contact this office for a variety of services, including an orientation to the criminal justice system, information on the status of their case, court accompaniment, child care, transportation, and referrals. This office can also inform the victim about filing civil charges.

More information about reporting a crime or violation of campus policies is available here.


 

REPORTING TO THE MAHWAH POLICE DEPARTMENT

The Mahwah Police Department can be reached directly by calling (201) 529-1000 or by calling 911. If the assault took place within the past 5 days the responding officer will activate the Bergen County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Please see above for detailed information about SART.

 

How can I help a friend who has been assaulted?

If a friend discloses to you that they have been assaulted, the first thing to do is believe them. Often a victim’s worst fear is that the person they tell will not believe them.

Ask them if they need medical help, and if they do, offer them options for medical treatment detailed under the “What are my options for medical treatment” section of this website. If he or she does not want to go to a hospital, do not insist unless it is a true medical emergency. When a person is assaulted, they can feel a loss of control over their body and their life. If you push them to tell you more than they volunteer, to report the assault, or to submit to a medical exam, you can unintentionally perpetuate that loss of control.

Perpetrators violate victims at a very deep and personal level during an act of interpersonal violence and abuse. Oftentimes, survivors must then come to terms with their own vulnerability and begin to establish a new sense of normalcy. As a friend, you might notice the survivor experiencing a wide range of emotional, physical, and behavioral reactions. While there is no “typical” response, some reactions may include: anger, anxiety, depression, fear, self-blame, numbness, increased vigilance, low self-esteem, appetite changes, suicidal thoughts, withdrawn social behaviors, lack of trust, and/or increased alcohol or drug consumption.

If you notice any of these behaviors, or hear that your friend has experienced an act of interpersonal violence, you have the opportunity to be a key player in your friend’s healing process.


 

Supportive Acts

  • Believe your friend. Listen to your friend. Let your friend know that you are available to listen when they are ready to talk.
  • Use active listening skills to let your friend tell the story in his/her own way at a comfortable pace. Give your friend your patience and undivided attention.
  • Be non-judgmental and supportive. Make sure your friend knows how much you support him/her.
  • Assure your friend that the act of violence was not his/her fault. Your friend is not to blame for what happened to him/her.
  • Offer options. Help your friend to understand what options are available to him/her and encourage he/she speak with a trained professional. Offer to accompany your friend or support/help through the process.
  • Respect your friend’s right to make his/her own choices.
  • Use this website to learn the resources available on our campus and help your friend connect with those resources. Remember that he or she must be the one in control of the decision to seek support.

 

Self-Care

It is natural that you want the best for your friend. In your concern, remember to take care of yourself too. Providing support for a victim/survivor is important work. If that support extends over a prolonged period of time or is particularly intense, you may find it difficult to provide high-level care that matches your desire to help. Be sure to pay attention to your own emotional cues, engage in activities (i.e. writing, exercising, socializing with friends, enjoying a hobby) that make you feel good, and seek outside support to help you and your friend. Remember you do not have to support them alone.

 (Adapted from Princeton University


 

*A note on language: Throughout this website the words “victim” and “survivor” are used interchangeably. We respect the decision of those who have experienced violence to identify as a victim or a survivor. We recognize that choosing to identify as a survivor is an important part of the healing process for some who have experienced sexual violence.

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