Definitions

Sexual Misconduct

For the purposes of all policies, sexual misconduct is to be understood as encompassing the following behaviors: 

  • Sexual Assault
  • Rape
  • Indecent assault and battery
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Coercion
  • any form of unwanted sexual advances or contact

Sexual Assault

Any unwanted, coerced, or forced sexual contact or intercourse OR sexual contact or intercourse with someone who is not able to give consent (e.g. under the influence of alcohol or drugs or asleep). Sexual assault can involve the sexual penetration of a bodily orifice, but also include other unwanted sexual contact.

Relationship (Dating) Violence

Intentionally violent or controlling behavior by a person who is currently or was previously in a relationship with the victim. Relationship violence includes actual or threatened physical injury, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic control and/or progressive social isolation.

Stalking

A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances which interfere with an individual's work, academic, residential or co-curricular environment, or coercive behavior which threatens employment or academic reprisal or promises reward contingent upon obtainment of sexual favors.

Sexual Coercion

Using pressure, force, alcohol or drugs to have sex with someone against his or her will.

Domestic Violence

Includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

Consent

The act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behavior. Consent requires that a person be able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. A person is incapable of giving consent if s/he is asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. No one who has been threatened, coerced or drugged can consent. A person is unable to give consent when s/he is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or is not competent to give consent due to mental illness. A current or prior sexual or dating relationship does not constitute consent.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A serious, potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events. Most people who experience such events recover from them, but people with PTSD continue to be severely depressed and anxious for months or even years following the event.

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