Rape Crisis and Sexual Violence Prevention Program

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, acts to traffic, or other activities directed against a person using coercion by any person, regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work. The ability to give consent is an important consideration in any sexual act. A person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act in order to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of illness, disability, age or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or due to intimidation or pressure, is unable to give consent.

Mission of the NYSDOH Rape Crisis and Sexual Violence Prevention Program

The goal of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Rape Crisis and Sexual Violence Prevention Program is to improve societal response to rape, provide supports and services to victims of rape and sexual assault and to promote primary prevention efforts that reduce the incidence of rape, victimization and sexual violence. The Department approaches sexual violence from a public health perspective, recognizing that primary prevention, including efforts to change cultural norms, behaviors and practices, is essential to create a community climate free from sexual violence.