Clery CrimesSkip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College Policy Library
Owner: Public Safety
Crimes and Offenses Reportable Under the Campus Security Act (Clery).
The Clery Act uses the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook (UCR) for most crimes, the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for Sex Offenses, and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Guide for Hate Crime Data Collection for Hate Crimes. Rules for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) published in the Federal Register on October 20, 2014, includes definitions for the additional VAWA crimes. The following definitions are drawn from these sources and from the most recent U.S. Department of Education Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (2011). New York State law has varying definitions of many sex and gender-related crimes and bias crimes. In accordance with New York Education Law Article 129A and VAWA, these definitions are available as “New York Sex Crimes and Bias Crimes” at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/office-of-student-affairs/consumer-information/ .
- Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter: The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
- Manslaughter by Negligence: The killing of another person through gross negligence.
Definitions effective until July 1, 2015: Under prior Department of Education guidance, sex offenses were divided into “forcible” and “non-forcible” sex offenses as follows:
- Forcible Sex Offense: Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Forcible Rape: The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of his/her youth).
- Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual Assault With An Object: The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or, not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Non Forcible Sex Offense: Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.
- Incest: Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Definitions effective as of July 1, 2015: Under the new Department of Education regulations, the distinction between forcible and non-forcible sex offenses are eliminated and tbe following definitions apply:
- Sex Offense: Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. (In New York, the age of consent is 17.)
Robbery: The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. (It is not necessary that injury result from an aggravated assault when a gun, knife, or other weapon is used which could and probably would result in serious personal injury if the crime were successfully completed.)
Burglary: The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes this definition includes: unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of these offenses.
Motor Vehicle Theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (Incidents are classified as motor vehicle theft in all cases where automobiles are taken by persons not having lawful access even though the vehicles are later abandoned including joyriding.)
Arson: Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.
New VAWA crimes: dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking: The crimes were added to those that must be reported under Clery by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013:
- Dating violence. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
- Domestic violence. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by
- a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
- a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
- a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner
- a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred, or
- 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 the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred.
Note that New York State treats both domestic violence and dating violence as domestic violence. In addition to the major crimes identified by Clery, domestic violence may include acts which would constitute disorderly conduct harassment in the first or second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree, criminal mischief, menacing in the first, second or third degree, reckless endangerment, assault in the second or third degree, attempted assault, and violations of protective orders.
New York’s domestic violence laws (“family offenses”) cover persons who are related by blood; persons who are married or formerly; persons a child in common; intimate partners who live together (or used to); and those who are or have been in an “intimate relationship.” (regardless whether sexual). In determining whether a relationship is an "intimate relationship" New York looks to factors similar to those of Clery’s definition of dating violence.” Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts constitutes an "intimate relationship"
- Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—
- fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
- suffer substantial emotional distress
For purposes of the definition of “stalking,”
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Under New York law, stalking in the fourth degree (Penal Law §120.45) takes place when a person “intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or reasonably should know that such conduct:
- 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
- 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, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct; or
- is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear that his or her 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.
Responsible Office: Office of Public Safety
Last modified: November 9, 2017