Enough is Enough | Campus Sexual Violence
On July 7, 2015, “Enough is Enough” legislation was signed into law in New York state. It is one of the most aggressive state laws aimed at preventing sexual assault on college campuses. The law protects all students and applies to conduct that has a “reasonable connection” to the institution.
The “Enough is Enough” law has extensive information requirements that cover content, training and distribution of specified information and resources. It is critical to understand all aspects of the legislation in order to comply with New York’s unique requirements.
Check out the webinar we just recorded to learn more about how you can comply with federal regulations as well as New York’s “Enough is Enough” when it comes to sexual violence prevention training.
Five Things You Should Know About “Enough is Enough”.
1. Definition of the“Enough is Enough” law
The definition can be found on the ny.gov website: “Enough is Enough” requires colleges in NYS to adopt a uniform definition of affirmative consent, defined as knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity.
Training is required. This needs to be ongoing and year-round—addressing the topics of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking education and prevention. It also requires Campus Climate Assessments to be conducted every other year at a minimum.
2. Students Have Rights
This law seeks to send a strong message: sexual assault is a serious crime. All students who are assaulted have rights. They have the right to know the crime will be treated seriously, handled as a crime and investigated appropriately.
3. Training Requirements
The law requires higher education institutions to adopt rules, implement the laws and codify those within the Code of Conduct. We recommend that any elearning program that you use be able to deliver those policies in a straightforward manner, and that you be able to track the deployment so that you are confident that you know that each and every student has received that policy and the importance of it has been adequately conveyed to them
4. Affirmative Consent
Enough Is Enough requires adoption of an affirmative consent standard related to sexual activity as part of the Code of Conduct. The language of the law reads: “AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT IS A KNOWING, VOLUNTARY, AND MUTUAL DECISION AMONG ALL PARTICIPANTS TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY. CONSENT CAN BE GIVEN BY WORDS OR ACTIONS, AS LONG AS THOSE WORDS OR ACTIONS CREATE CLEAR PERMISSION REGARDING WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN THE SEXUAL ACTIVITY. SILENCE OR LACK OF RESISTANCE, IN AND OF ITSELF, DOES NOT DEMONSTRATE CONSENT. THE DEFINITION OF CONSENT DOES NOT VARY BASED UPON A PARTICIPANT’S SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR GENDER EXPRESSION.“
The Code of Conduct must reflect the following principles:
Consent to a sexual act, or prior consent, does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
- Consent is required even if initiator is under the influence.
- Consent may be withdrawn any time
- Incapacitated people cannot give legal consent.
5. Student Bill of Rights
The law specifies a student bill of rights, and provides the language and the specific rights. It must be distributed annually, and of course you need to have a method to track that distribution. If you are doing online training, then this can be done very easily as part of your annual training.
Best practice is not only to provide the Bill of Rights, but to train on the critical parts so students can practice the practical applicability of the bill of rights to situations they may encounter.
Comply with New York’s “Enough is Enough” Regulations with Customized Training
Remember that your training and awareness campaigns should cover the impact of violence on victims, survivors and their friends and family. It should cover the fact that certain student groups will have important additional concerns, including international students, queer students, students of color, and student employees. You also need a way to reach your online and distance students – online training is ideal in this scenario.