Understanding Sexual Violence
The University considered the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and for the purposes of the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the various sexual misconduct definitions listed below are by applicable jurisdictions.
Title IX is a federal law intended to protect people from discrimination based on gender or sex in all areas of education. It is the regulatory framework that guides our University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act)
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges to disclose annual campus crime data, provide fire safety information and report incidents, issue safety alerts, provide security policy statements, and more.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
VAWA is a federal law aimed at ending violence against women and protecting victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Consent means cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. A current or previous relationship shall not be sufficient to constitute consent.
Submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent.
Incapacitation is the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or other drugs consumed affect a person’s decision-making capacity; awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish one’s responsibilities to obtain consent. The factors to be considered when determining whether consent was given include whether the accused knew, or whether a reasonable person should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
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. Title IX/SaVE also prohibits gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking. Sexual violence can be carried out by University employees, other students, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
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/Harassment offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
• Prostituting another student
• Non-consensual video or audio recording of sexual activity
• Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex)
• Engaging in voyeurism
• Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student
Domestic violence means an act or threatened act of violence upon a victim with whom the person is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a victim, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a victim with whom the person is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
• The length of the relationship.
• The type of relationship.
• The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another person, the person knowingly:
• Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship.
• Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues.
• Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress.
For purposes of this paragraph, a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.