Sexual Assault

New Jersey law is gender neutral. It defines sexual assault as “vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse; or insertion of a hand, finger or object into the anus mouth or vagina by the actor or upon the actor’s instruction. The depth of insertion is not relevant.” Criminal sexual contact is defined as “intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s or the actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading the victim or arousing or sexually gratifying the actor” NJS2C:14-1d.

These acts become a crime when they are committed without the victim’s freely given consent. Any use of force, threats, mental disability or the intentional use of alcohol or other substances to subdue a victim negates the their ability to give consent, regardless of whether a weapon was used or injuries resulted.

For more information, open or download "What is Sexual Assault?" brochure.

An incident report form can be filed for any on-campus crime. The victim is not named and cannot be required to participate in any investigation. The person completing the form can identify themselves or remain anonymous.

The new Student Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Related Misconduct was created by a standing University-wide Title IX Committee, with representatives from Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and RBHS. This new University-wide policy will help to protect students from sexual violence and which reaffirms Rutgers University's commitment to fostering an environment that is safe, secure, and free from gender-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and all other forms of sexual misconduct. Establishment of this policy complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which requires gender equity in educational institutions that receive federal funds, and with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which requires prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of allegations of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.

Sexual Assault

  1. What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any act of sexual contact or penetration performed by one person on another without freely given mutual consent.

Sexual assault includes penetration of any orifice (vaginal, oral, anal) with any body part or object. The depth of penetration is not relevant.

Sexual assault may also include intentional touching of intimate body parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or gratifying the perpetrator.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone of any age, gender, race, sexual orientation, size, weight, strength, IQ, or socioeconomic status.

  1. What is consent?

Consent is an agreement between people to permit an act or behavior.

The person giving consent must be fully conscious and aware, able to communicate their permission, and able to refuse without fear of consequences. It must be freely given. It cannot be assumed. Consent cannot be given by someone who is drunk or chemically impaired, comatose, a child, or someone who is mentally disabled.

Consent to kissing, touching, or other intimacies does not imply consent to intercourse or other penetrative sex.

  1. What should I do if I have been sexually assaulted?

Go to the nearest emergency room. Your safety and health are the priorities. Please consider an exam to evaluate injuries, and/or collect evidence, and receive medication for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention. These should be provided as soon as possible after an assault, ideally within 72 hours.

Get to a safe place.

Come for help. If you are on campus, during business hours, come to Blumenthal Hall Suite 104 or call Sexual Assault Services/ Health Services (973-353-4357 or 973-353-5232). You will be seen immediately.

If you have been injured, or feel unsafe now, if on campus, call police, 973-353-5581 (x5581); if off-campus dial 911 (emergency) immediately.

Do not: bathe, shower, brush your hair or teeth, use mouthwash, urinate, smoke, change clothes, or do anything that may wash away or destroy evidence that you may decide to have collected. It is normal to want to feel “clean”, but delaying these activities until you are evaluated and treated may help you hold the perpetrator responsible for his/her/their actions.

If you think you were drugged: go to an emergency room immediately. Tell them you were sexually assaulted and think you were drugged. They must collect a urine sample and refrigerate it as soon as possible. Most drugs are not detectable after 12-24 hours. You will need to file a police report to have your urine tested for drugs. The laboratory of the New Jersey State Police is the best resource for conducting this test, and they will only test as part of a criminal investigation.

Getting help does not mean that you must press charges. You have the right to speak with a sexual assault advocate, and to be taken to an emergency room for evaluation and care.

  1. What will happen if I go to an emergency room?

Both New York and New Jersey provide specialized emergency services to survivors of sexual assault. Certain emergency rooms are designated rape care centers, although all will provide treatment. At an emergency room designated as a rape care center, you should expect:

To speak privately with a sexual assault advocate and/or specially trained nurse who will ask you about your health and to describe what happened. He/she will explain your options, and all recommended procedures.

To be examined and have all injuries treated.

To be offered a forensic exam, often called a “rape kit”. This is a complete physical exam and gynecological (pelvic) exam for the purpose of evaluating injuries and collecting evidence. This exam may include wiping your body with cotton swabs, and/ or photographs. You may accept or decline any part of the exam. Evidence that is collected will be held for a period of time if you are not sure you want to press charges today. This exam gives you support if you decide to press charges later. It is not painful, and is done with respect for the survivor’s privacy and dignity. Failure to collect evidence immediately after the assault is likely to impair your ability to press charges at a later date.

To be offered medication to prevent or treat sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy resulting from the assault.

  1. How can I file a complaint or charges?

Report to police in jurisdiction where assault occurred. Consult Rutgers Campus Police or our Sexual Assault Counselor to report the incident, (see incident report) have it investigated, and possibly obtain a restraining order. (campus police website)

If this incident involved another Rutgers student, the Office of Student Conduct will conduct an investigation independent of law enforcement, and determine penalties.

  1. What services should I expect at Rutgers Health Center?

All students will be treated with dignity and respect, and no student should be embarrassed or ashamed to report an incident of sexual assault. All students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, country of origin, will be treated with the same kindness and professionalism.

We are not an emergency room, and do not collect forensic evidence “rape kit.” However, we will treat students for injuries, and provide medical services to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

Our sexual assault counselor will provide support and point you to additional resources, as noted in our resources section below.

  1. What are my rights if I am the victim of a sexual assault?

NEW JERSEY CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM'S BILL OF RIGHTS

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 by applicable state and federal laws and institutional rules and regulations governing interpersonal behavior. Respect for the individual and human dignity is of paramount importance in creating a community free from violence, sexual assault and non-consensual sexual contact.

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 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

ON CAMPUS RESOURCES

Rutgers Counseling center – Blumenthal Hall, Room 101 Tel: 973-353-5805

Campus Police 973-353-5111 (urgent) or ext 80 (urgent) or 973-353-5581

Office of Student Conduct (Judicial Affairs): 973-353-5300

OFF CAMPUS GENERAL RESOURCES

New Jersey

Sexual Assault Violence & Education program (24/7 Hotline)

TEL: 1-877-733-7233 (CARE)

Domestic Violence Hotline: 800- 572-7233

Essex County

New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault by County New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault

800-601-4450

800-601-7200, (24/7 hotline)

NATIONAL

National Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7)

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE

National Women’s Health Information CenterNational Crime Victim’s Center - Lists legal rights and resources for victims of crimes

  1. What if a student presents to a Rutgers Staff or Faculty with claim of sexual assault or intimate partner violence?

Pointers for Staff and Faculty

1) You become a designated "Responsible Employee". Listen sympathetically without being judgemental.

2) For emergency care, call 911 for assistance.

3) For non-emergency care, refer to the following campus resources:

  • Rutgers University Police 973 353 5582
  • Marie Attis (Rutgers University Health Services SexuAL Assault Coordinator for Newark campus) 973 353 1279
  • Rutgers University Health Services-Newark 973 353 5231
  • Rutgers University Counseling Services-Newark 973 353 5805

4) Alternatively, refer to the following Off site resources:

  • SAVE of Essex County (sexual assault advocates)24 hour hotline 877 733 2273
  • Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Special Victim's Unit 973 753 1130

5) Facilitate the victim's pathway to getting help they desire by offering to call ahead in their presence or accompany them to the resources, if on campus.

6) You are required to report the incident to the Associate Chancellor for Student Life and Title 9 Coordinator for Newark Campus 973 353 3339

  1. What is Title IX?

Title IX is a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Higher Education Act of 1965 enacted by the 92nd US Congress. It states that:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

On April 4, 2011, The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued a letter that states:

"The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime."