Reporting an Incident

Individuals are encouraged to report all incidents of sexual violence to the police or a member of the college to receive help in accessing support services and in referring the perpetrator, if a student, to the on-campus student-conduct system. The decision to report must be made by the victim and shall be respected by all members of the college.
 

Report to University Police 

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted or are in immediate danger, get to a safe place and call University Police immediately at 718-409-7311.

You may report an assault to University Police 24 hours a day. 

If you choose to report the assault and pursue legal options, evidence preservation and prompt forensic examination can be crucial.

In New York State, the cost of a forensic rape exam can be billed directly to the state Office of Victim Services or, if the victim chooses, to their private insurance. No cost is incurred if the bill is directly submitted to OVS. Additional compensation may be available through OVS compensation program or the New York State Crime Victims Board.

 

What to do After a Rape or Sexual Assault

  1. Call the police. 
    Get to a safe place and 911 or University Police at 718-409-7311.

  2. Do not clean up.
    To preserve as much DNA as possible, do not shower, use the bathroom or wash your clothes before you go to the emergency room. 

  3. Seek medical attention.
    Seek medical treatment as soon as possible to get tested for HIV post-exposure, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, and receive treatment options at the nearest emergency department.
    HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be initiated as soon as possible for all HIV post-exposure, ideally within two hours. Decisions regarding initiation of PEP beyond 36 hours post-exposure should be made on a case-by-case basis.
    Upon arrival, the hospital will offer assistance from a local rape-crisis advocate. The advocate will be able to answer any of your questions about a forensic exam, accompany you through the entire examination, and provide follow-up resources. A forensic exam, also known as a rape kit, is the collection of evidence in the emergency department after a sexual assault occurred or within 96 hours.
    If you are uncomfortable with any part of the exam, you do not have to consent.

  4. For more information about what to do after an assault, please contact the New York State Sexual Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 to be connected with your local rape crisis center, available 24-7.
    Or you may visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

 

Evidence Preservation

Preserve any evidence

  • Evidence of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking should be preserved as soon as possible, even if you are unsure about reporting to the college or filing criminal charges. Preservation of evidence is essential for both law enforcement and campus disciplinary investigations.

  • Write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident, including a physical description of the assailant. You should attempt to do this even if you are unsure about reporting the incident in the future.

Steps to preserve forensic evidence

  • Avoid drinking, showering, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, or combing your hair.

  • Do not change clothes. If you have already changed clothes, place your clothing and other items (sheets, blankets) in a brown paper bag (a plastic bag may destroy evidence). Do not move anything touched by the offender. Do not clean the crime scene.

  • Go to a hospital emergency department, such as Jacobi Medical Center, which can provide a sexual assault forensic exam, also known as a rape kit, and medical care for victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. A sexual assault nurse examiner, who is trained to provide comprehensive care, can collect forensic evidence.

  • A rape kit should be completed within 96 hours of the assault. You have the right to refuse the entire exam or any part of it at any time.

  • If you suspect you are the victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample. Drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB are more likely to be detected in urine than in blood. Rohypnol stays in the body for several hours, and can be detected in the urine for up to 72 hours after taking it. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours.

  • Consider bringing someone to the hospital with you for support.

  • The hospital may call a rape crisis/victim assistance advocate to be available anytime someone comes in for a rape kit. You can decide whether or not you want to speak with the advocate. The advocate is a confidential resource who is not affiliated with the college. They can provide you with confidential support and talk with you about your options.

  • If you need a ride to or from the hospital, please contact University Police at 718-409-7311 

Physical evidence

  • Physical evidence should be preserved even if you choose not to go to the hospital for a forensic exam. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Put each item in a separate paper bag (do not use plastic bags). Save all bedding (blankets, sheets) and put each in a separate paper bag. Take photographs of any visible physical injuries (bruising, scratches) for use as evidence. If you report to law enforcement, they may want to take their own photos as evidence.

Electronic evidence

  • Evidence such as texts, emails. Facebook posts, Snapchats, pictures, videos or other forms of electronic communication can be helpful in a college or criminal investigation. Download, save to a PDF, take screenshots or use other methods to preserve electronic evidence.

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