Definitions of Abuse and Penalties

Definitions of Crimes that Must Be Reported Pursuant to VAWA

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), added additional categories of crimes to the Clery Act that CUNY’s schools are now required to report.

Domestic Violence: According to federal statute,” domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of [New York], or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of[New York].” 42 U.S.C. § 13925(a).

Intimate partner includes persons legally married to one another, persons formerly married to one another, persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons are married or have lived together any time, couples who live together or have lived together, or persons who are dating or who have dated in the past, including same sex couples.

Dating Violence: According to federal statute, “dating violence “means violence committed by a person-
(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
(B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors
i) The length of the relationship
ii) The type of relationship
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

CUNY further defines Dating, Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence as:
A pattern of coercive behavior that can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an intimate partner. Such violence may occur in all kinds of intimate relationships, including married couples, people who are dating, couples who live together, people with children in common, same- sex partners, and people who were formerly in a relationship with the person abusing them.

Stalking: According to federal statute, stalking is “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to--
(A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or
(B) suffer substantial emotional distress.”

CUNY’s Sexual Misconduct Policy further defines Stalking as:
Intentionally engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that:
(1) Is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person’s immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted; or
(2) Causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of following, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person’s immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted; or
(3) Is likely to cause such person to reasonable fear that her/his employment, business or career is threatened, where such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at such person’s place of employment or business, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct.

Please refer to the Clery Report for more detailed information about these topics.

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