Legal Resources

Laws in New York

Enough is Enough
The new “Enough is Enough” legislation requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy, and expanded access to law enforcement. With this law, we will better protect all of New York’s college students from rape and sexual assault.

Criminal Sexual Abuse
In the state of New York, sexual assault is included in a wide range of conduct constituting "sexual abuse." This is generally defined as subjecting another person to sexual contact without their consent. New York Penal Code Section 130(3) further defines "sexual contact" to include "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party," and touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing.

For more information on what New York defines as consent, visit New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault’s website.

Office of Victim Services (OVS)
In New York State, OVS provides compensation to innocent victims of crime. You can learn more about OVS on their website: http://www.ovs.ny.gov.  

In cases of sexual offense, the Office of Victim Services:

  • Provides direct reimbursement for sexual assault forensic exams (FRE) performed by a hospital, sexual assault examiners program, or licensed health care provider.
  • Requires examiners and facilities to accept the state’s determined reimbursement fee from OVS as payment in full.
  • Is a “payer of last resort” meaning victims of crime can apply for coverage of expenses related to a crime if their insurance carrier or workers compensation does not cover these expenses.
  • Allows a victim to choose not to inform the medical provider of their private insurance if they believe that providing that information would interfere with their personal privacy or safety. However, OVS requires a victim with on-going medical expenses to seek insurance reimbursement if the victim has health insurance coverage.

Sexual assault victims may apply to OVS for compensation related to the incident. The specific expenses OVS may cover include:

  • Follow-up Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medication after the first 7 days of medication (this can be obtained on an emergency, expedited basis)
  • Medical and counseling expenses
  • Loss or damage of essential personal property (up to $500, including $100 for cash)
  • Lost wages or lost support including lost wages of parents if a child victim is hospitalized (up to $30,000)
  • Transportation (necessary court appearances for prosecution)
  • Occupational/vocational rehabilitation
  • Use of domestic violence shelters
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Laws Outside New York

Relevant Laws – By State 

You can search for state-specific laws, policies and definitions related to sexual assault on the RAINN website. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) is the largest national organization dedicated to issues around sexual violence. 

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Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 
Provides legal resources and where to find local legal help.

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
Provides education and resources for victims of crime and crisis. 

Office for Victims of Crime ­
Provides information on next steps and resources for victims of crime.

National Center for Victims of Crime ­
Provides assistance and resources for victims of crimes, including sexual assault.

NotAlone.Gov ­
Government website providing information and support around the goal of creating safe campuses, free from sexual violence around the US.

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