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Sexual Misconduct

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Sexual Misconduct Policy and Sanctions

The Sexual Misconduct Policy

Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to: force, coercion, non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to do the same), non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same), sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation.

Below are explanations of each of the terms identified in the sexual misconduct policy and possible sanctions.

Sexual Misconduct Definitions

Consent:

Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary.  Consent is active, not passive.  Silence 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 form of sexual activity.  Previous relationship or prior consent cannot imply consent to future acts. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.

Force:

Is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.  Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion to overcome resistance or produce consent. 

  • There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but 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. 
Coercion:

Is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  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 they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is coercive. 

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:

Intentional sexual touching however slight, with any object, by person upon person, which is without consent and/or by force.  Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin or genitals, mouth or other orifice.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse:

Any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a person upon person, which is without consent and/or by force.  Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulations (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Sexual Harassment:

Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it, has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate of benefit from the university’s education program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Stalking:

Repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family or members of the community.

Dating Violence:

Dating violence is violence, including assault, battery or other physical abuse between those in an intimate or dating or romantic relationship with each other between individuals in the following circumstances: The party is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: length of the relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Domestic Violence:

Domestic Violence under university policy means violence, including assault, battery or other physical abuse between those in an intimate or dating or romantic relationship with each other committed by a current or former spouse of the victim; a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse; a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under domestic or family violence laws.

Sexual Exploitation:

Occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or the advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and behavior that does not constitute one of other sexual offenses. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy.
  • Prostituting another student.
  • Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity.
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting friends hide in the closet to watch having consensual sex).
  • Engaging in Voyeurism.
  • Knowingly transmitting sexually transmitted infections (STI) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to another student.
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, inducing another to expose their genitals, and
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

Sexual Misconduct Sanctions

Viterbo University's sanctions for Sexual Misconduct and other Viterbo University Code of Conduction violations can be found in the student handbook.  Sanctions stemming from a violation of the sexual misconduct policy may come as a result of either, or both, the Student Code of Conduct investigation and the Title IX investigation.  Sanctions resulting from a violation of the sexual misconduct policy do not necessarily preclude the pursuit of criminal charges outside of Viterbo University's jurisdiction.