Sexual Misconduct Terms and Definitions

Definitions you should know

Sexual Misconduct
Includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.
Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual acts or favors, and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grades;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grading decisions affecting that individual;
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment; or
Such conduct denies or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the College’s educational programs or activities or the individual’s employment access, benefits or opportunities.

Examples of conduct of a sexual nature include:

  • Verbal: Specific demands for sexual favors, sexual innuendos, sexually suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, or sexual threats.
  • Non-Verbal: Sexually suggestive emails, other writings, articles or documents, objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures.
  • Physical: Touching, pinching, brushing the body, or any unwelcome or coerced sexual activity, including sexual assault.
Sexual Violence
Includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual coercion

Other Important Definitions

Consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or a lack of verbal or physical resistance. A person’s manner of dress does not constitute consent.
Past consent to sexual activities, or a current or previous dating relationship, does not imply ongoing or future consent. Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another person. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
A person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including without limitation the following:
  1. the person is incapacitated due to the use or influence of alcohol or drugs;
  2. the person is asleep or unconscious;
  3. the person is under age; or
  4. the person is incapacitated due to a mental disability. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred. Coercion, force, or the threat of either invalidates consent.
When a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability which prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent.
Bystander Intervention
The act of challenging the social norms that support, condone, or permit sexual discrimination, harassment and/or misconduct. A bystander is anyone who observes an emergency or a situation that looks like someone could use some help. They must then decide if they are comfortable stepping in and offering assistance.