Sexual Misconduct: Definitions
Sexual misconduct offenses include but are not limited to sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit same), non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same), and sexual exploitation.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive; that unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program and/or activities; and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Examples include an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sex-based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; and gender-based bullying.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, that is without consent or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner even though not involving contact with or by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, that is without consent or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact); no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Sexual Exploitation: Any time that a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, when the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another person; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in a room in order to watch you having sex that is otherwise consensual); voyeurism; knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student; exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals; and sexually-based stalking or bullying.
Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary agreement to and permission for an activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence per se cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear, mutually understandable conditions for, permission for, and willingness to engage in sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other form of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts. In order to give valid consent, one must be of legal age.
Force is the use of physical violence or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent; e.g., "have sex with me or I'll hit you"/ "okay I'll do what you want if you won't hit me."
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior in the kind of pressure used to get consent. When someone makes it clear that he or she does not want sex, wants to stop sexual activity, or does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure past that point may be coercive. NOTE: There is no requirement that a person resist sexual advances or requests, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
Incapacitation is a state in which a person cannot make rational, reasonable decisions or give knowing consent because he or she lacks the capacity to understand the parameters (who, what, when, where, why, or how) of a sexual interaction. Sexual activity with a person who one knows to be (or should reasonably have known to be) incapacitated – mentally or physically, by alcohol or other drug use, unconscious, or "blacked out" – constitutes a violation of this plan. This plan also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of so-called "rape" drugs. Possession, use, or distribution of any of these drugs (Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, and others) is prohibited, as is the administering of any of these drugs to another person.
Dating Violence can be violence or abusive behavior used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another partner. It can be violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social, romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined by factors such as the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved.
Domestic Violence may include violent acts by a current or former spouse; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse; by a person similarly situated to a spouse; between a parent and child; between members of the same household in an intimate relationship; or by any other person similarly situated. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional or economic in nature.
Sexual Exploitation is any time that a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, when the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- invasion of sexual privacy;
- prostituting another person;
- non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
- going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in a room in order to watch you having sex that is otherwise consensual);
- knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another student;
- exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals; and
- sexually-based stalking or bullying.
Stalking is engaging in a pattern of unwanted conduct directed at another person that threatens or endangers the safety, physical or mental health, or life or property of that person, or creates a reasonable fear of such a threat or action; including cyber stalking.