Permission that is clear, knowing, voluntary, and expressed prior to engaging in and during an act. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
- Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
- Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts; this includes “blanket” consent (i.e., permission in advance for any/all actions at a later time/place).
- Consent cannot be given by an individual who one knows to be – or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be – substantially impaired (e.g., by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout, etc.).
- Substantial impairment is a state when an individual cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because she/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).
- This also covers individuals whose substantial impairment results from other physical or mental conditions including mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
- Being impaired by alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
An individual cannot consent who has been coerced, including being compelled by force, threat of force, or deception; who is unaware that the act is being committed; or who is coerced by a supervisory or disciplinary authority.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force or coercion.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force or coercion.
Unfairly treating an individual or group of individuals differently than others on the basis of sex or gender. Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination and includes pregnancy and parental status.
Conduct of a sexual nature or conduct based on sex or gender that is non-consensual or has the effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person. Includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination.
Conduct based on sex which meets one of the following conditions: 1) An employee of the institution conditioning the provision of aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcomed sexual conduct (quid pro quo) 2) Unwelcomed conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the institution’s educational program or activity; or 3) Sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or dating violence.
An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in FBI Uniform Reporting System. A sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
Engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Violence committed by a person: 1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and 2) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity such as compelling another person to do something through emotional or physical pressure, threats, or other forms of intimidation. Real or perceived power differentials between individuals also may create an atmosphere of coercion that can significantly impair the ability to consent. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that she/he does not want sex, that she/he wants to stop, or that she/he does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Note: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or requests someone to stop. 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.
Sexual exploitation occurs when one person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/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. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent (e.g., letting others hide in a closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to another;
- Non-consensual pictures, video-, or audio-recording of sexual activity;
- Possession, use, and/or distribution of alcohol or other drug (e.g., Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc.) for the purpose of engaging in or facilitating any activity prohibited under this policy;
- Prostituting another.
Retaliation is any adverse action, taken against a person based on their participation in - or based on the perception that they are participating in, a protected activity such as a complaint or investigation.