Sexual Misconduct Terminology


Where to Report Sexual Misconduct | Disciplinary Due Process Brochure


  • Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated.
  • Past consent does not imply current or future consent.
  • Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent.
  • An individual under the age of 17 cannot give consent.


A physically helpless person is considered to be one who is asleep, unconscious or for any other reason unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in any act. A mentally incapacitated person may be one who is under the influence of alcohol or a drug or who is mentally incapable of understanding the implications and consequences of any act.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sexual discrimination. By definition, it is any unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical behavior that is sexual in nature. This can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Males and females may be the victim or the initiator of sexual harassment. The complainant does not have to be of the opposite sex of the initiator.

Hostile Environment Caused by Sexual Harassment 

A hostile environment is created when a person in authority requests sex in exchange for favors and through the presence of demeaning or sexual photographs, jokes or threats that create an intimidating offensive environment.

Sexual Assault 

Sexual physical misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching of another person on any area of the body generally recognized as a sexual or private part of that person’s body. It also includes an individual touching another person’s body with any part of his/her own private body parts. This also include forced oral sex. Sexual physical contact also includes the touching of another person’s body with objects when those objects violate the privacy of another person’s body. Any unwarranted touch may be considered sexual harassment or misconduct. Sexual assault is defined as an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.


Sex Offenses: 

A sexual offense is any sexual act directed against another person, without that person’s consent, including instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent.

Non-consensual Sexual Contact, and Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse:

Rape - The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Fondling - The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

Incest - Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Statutory Rape - Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Domestic Violence 

Domestic Violence is defined as a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by: 

  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • a person who is co-habiting with, or has cohabited with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
  • 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.

Dating Violence 

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is currently in or has been in a social relationship or a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.

  • The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • For the purpose of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  • Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.


Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for that person’s safety or the safety of others or to cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purpose of this definition: Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.


Sexual Exploitation 

Sexual exploitation is defined as occurring when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit or to take advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and such behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Sexual Intimidation 

Sexual intimidation is defined as an implied or actual threat to commit a sex act against another person, or behavior used to coerce participation in a sex act.


Retaliation is defined as conduct intended to interfere, stop or intimidate any person involved with resolution and investigation of a complaint. Retaliation against an employee, student or non-student for filing a sexual discrimination or misconduct complaint, or participation in the investigation of a complaint, is a violation of the law and is strictly prohibited. The College will take appropriate disciplinary action, may file criminal charges, and may invoke academic dismissal if retaliation occurs.