Sexual Violence

Understanding Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:
“Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.”

Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Domestic and/or Dating Violence
  • Stalking

The University considered the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and for the purposes of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the various sexual misconduct definitions listed below are by applicable jurisdictions. Definitions may vary by state.

Consent is informed, voluntary, and revocable and cannot be given when a person is incapacitated.

Incapacitation is the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX/SaVE.

Sexual Assault
Sexual assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged in without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. The activity or conduct may include physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication).

Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts engaged in without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, battery, and sexual coercion; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking.

Sexual Exploitation
Occurs when 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, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, of former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, or someone with whom the abuser has a child, has an existing dating or engagement relationship, or has had a former dating or engagement relationship.

Dating Violence
Dating violence is abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

Stalking is behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.