Sexual Assault Information
Sexual Harassment means any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive references to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or other conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Toleration of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, professional or student status.
- Toleration of or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, educational experience, or living environment, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, educational or living environment.
- Sexual harassment can be verbal, written, physical or pictorial in nature.
Sexual Assault includes engaging in, or attempting to engage in, oral, vaginal or anal penetration through any means (i.e., penis, tongue, finger, foreign object, etc.) without the consent of the other person (see University Consent Standard below).
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact includes any touching of any sexual body parts (i.e., breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, etc.) or the touching of another with these body parts without consent. It also includes disrobing or exposure of another or to another without consent.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when individuals take non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their 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, invasion of sexual privacy, prostituting another person, non-consensual digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity, unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity, engaging in voyeurism, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex), knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, sexually transmitted disease, or HIV to another person, intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, inducing others to expose their genitals, and inducing incapacitation with intent to take sexual advantage of another person. Sexually-based stalking or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
Coercion which is obtained through the use of fraud or force, whether by physical force, threats or intimidation, coercion invalidates the consent.
University Consent Standard
- Consent is freely given using mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and actions of the parties to have reached an agreement to engage in the particular sexual activity. In the absence of mutually understandable affirmative words or actions, it becomes the responsibility of the initiator (the person who wants to engage in a specific sexual activity) to obtain affirmative consent from the other partner.
- Consent once given, may be withdrawn. If one partner initially offers words or actions that indicate consent, that partner may withdraw consent by indicating with words or actions that consent has been discontinued.
- Consent for one sexual activity does not indicate consent for other forms of sexual activity. Similarly, past sexual consent does not imply future consent.
Capacity for Consent
- Incapacitation is defined as being in a state in which a person sufficiently lacks the cognitive ability to realize that the situation is sexual, or cannot appreciate (rationally and reasonably) the nature or extent of that situation.
- Consent can only be given by those with capacity to consent. Minors younger than 16 do not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity. For adults, capacity to consent is on a case-by-case basis. Mentally disabled persons and physically incapacitated persons may not have the capacity to give consent. One may be incapacitated temporarily as a result of mental illness, unconsciousness or as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption.
- One may not engage in sexual activity with another person when one knows or has reasonable cause to believe that person to be incapacitated due to alcohol or other drug consumption or other reasons. Taken in context, some indicators of possible incapacitation may include, but are not limited to: vomiting, slurred speech, decreased motor coordination, sleeping, unconsciousness, erratic or extreme behavior, knowledge of person’s consumption or bloodshot eyes.
Sexual Violence Statistics, Myths and Facts
Sexual Violence Statistics
- Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.
- One in six women and one in 33 men are victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
- One in six men have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before age 16.
- About 44 percent of rape victims are under age 18, and 80 percent are under age 30.
- One in four college-aged women report experiences that meet the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape.
- 80-90 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by individuals known to the survivor.
- 60 percent of assaults are never reported to the police.
- 50 percent of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within one mile of their home or at their home.
- In 2005, nearly half of all rape victims experienced incapacitated or drug-facilitated rape.
- Victims of rape have a 49 percent chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder and one-third of rape victims experience major depressive disorder.
- Most people tell the truth about rape. Only 2 percent to 8 percent are false reports — same rate as most other felony crimes.
- Rape survivors, who had the assistance of an advocate, were significantly more likely to give a police report, were less likely to be treated negatively by police officers and experienced less distress after contact with the legal system than victims who did not work with an advocate.
Myths vs. Facts
Myth: Men rape women because they cannot control themselves.
- Fact: Rape is an act of violence committed out of desire for power and control. Many rapes are not impulsive acts, but are planned events.
Myth: If a woman is wearing sexy clothing she is partially to blame if she is raped.
- Fact: The rapist does not care what the person is wearing. The rapist is seeking someone they can isolate and make vulnerable. The most common tool they use to do this is alcohol.
Myth: If a woman has been drinking she is partially to blame if she is raped.
- Fact: Alcohol and drugs can render a woman incapable of consent. Drinking doesn't provide a green light.
Myth: If the woman did not put up a fight she was not actually raped.
- Fact: In most cases the victim is unable to fight back due to trauma, impairment, fear or other factors.
Myth: Most college aged women are raped by strangers.
- Fact: 90 percent of college-aged women are raped by someone they know.
Myth: Only women are raped.
- Fact: 1 in 33 men in the United States have experienced sexual assault.