Binghamton University Sexual Assault Response Protocol
Assumptions Guiding the Protocol
Binghamton University does not tolerate sexual assault. This protocol defines and coordinates efforts of various on and off campus units and agencies in order to provide a caring and effective uniform response to the student who reports having been sexually violated. Student victims of sexual violence may seek assistance from any University department.
This protocol is based on the following understanding of sexual assault:
- Sexual assault is a broad term that encompasses any sexual activity that occurs without the consent of the student. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, unwanted kissing and fondling; forcible vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse; and forcible penetration with an object or a finger. Both student and alleged perpetrators can be male and female.
- Consent is an agreement reached without force, coercion, or intimidation between persons. Nonconsensual sexual activity occurs when consent is not reached or when the student is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.
- Sexually assaulted students need to know what services are available and what offices provide them. Service providers will recognize their own limitations and make referrals when appropriate.
- Students need clearly defined choices and options because when they were sexually assaulted, they were in a powerless position and denied choice.
- Timely services are of the utmost importance for students as they may be in crisis and there may be time limits associated with the collection of physical evidence of the crime as well as the effectiveness of some medications.
- Confidential services are essential to the recovery of the student. Any limits of confidentiality must be explained to the student.
- You may be a first responder. A first responder is a source of support and referral. Remember, the student may be reporting an old or a new incident, all options should be given no matter what the time frame of the incident.
Binghamton University Sexual Assault Response Protocol
The following procedures have been designed to assist responding staff, faculty, university departments, and community partnered agency personnel in helping the student of sexual violence, assault, rape or attempted rape obtain the support and services needed during the time of crisis. The students’ trauma will be minimized if staff are able to maintain a calm and concerned approach. Remember the staff’s role is to advise students of their options and to assist them in accessing services. You should not be making decisions for students, or trying to counsel students on your own.As every situation is different, staff’s interview may not happen in this specific order. However, all aspects of this procedure should be addressed.
*NOTE: SAFE examinations are available at Lourdes Hospital and UHS Binghamton General Hospital.
- Move to a private, calm, safe location that is comfortable for the student. Should you need assistance ensuring safety, call 911.
- Discuss confidentiality. There are limits to confidentiality, especially if the assailant represents a threat to the University community for safety reasons. However, it is of the utmost importance to maintain the student’s desire for confidentiality whenever possible.
- Assess for immediate needs and physical well-being of the student:
- If emergency health care is needed, call 911
- Medical referrals may be made to the Decker Student Health Services Center or a local hospital emergency department (Lourdes Hospital, UHS Wilson Medical Center* or UHS Binghamton General Hospital)
- If the student does not need medical intervention and wishes to further discuss the situation, listen to the student in a non-judgmental, caring way:
- Give the student the opportunity to speak in their own way and time; do not pressure or confuse them with too many questions
- Primary concern is the student’s emotional state.
- Inform the student of his/her options: Provide the student with the Binghamton University Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights
Explain further options to the student:
- Explain the importance of examination for injury, pregnancy, disease prevention and possible evidence collection (especially if the assault was drug facilitated).
- Tell the student there are trained personnel who can be contacted and will be supportive at the hospital should they choose medical attention.
1) Do not try to convince the student to report the assault; only inform them that a variety of options exist, including criminal and/or judicial action and/or no action at all. For further information, they may consult with University Police.
Counseling and other support
1) Inform the student that University counseling support is available 24 hours a day, either by calling the University Counseling Center or through Crime Victims Assistance Center.
2) Inform the student that crime victim advocates are available by contacting the Crime Victims Assistance Center; Advocates can assist students with obtaining needed information and assistance.
- Inform student of available support personnel, both on and off campus: see the Resources webpage for an updated list and links
- Interpreter services may be obtained through friends of the student. If additional interpreter services are needed, the International Student and Scholar Services Office may be able to provide information on finding an interpreter. Contact the office at 607-777-2510, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Another resource is the American Civic Association in Binghamton at 607-723-9419.