What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is sexual contact or behavior without consent. This includes, but is not limited to, harassment, stalking, voyeurism, indecent contact, exposing/flashing, intimate partner abuse, molestation, sexual assault, and rape.

Defining the Terms Associated with Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Violence - a physical act perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol, age or intellectual or other disability.

Sexual Harassment - is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment or education, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.

Sexual Assault - is the imposition of non-consensual sexual conduct. It includes, but is not limited to, caressing, fondling, or touching a person’s genitalia, buttocks, or breasts. It shall also be considered sexual assault when the victim is compelled to caress, fondle, or touch the assailant’s genitalia, buttocks, or breasts (SU Code of Conduct).

Rape - (date, acquaintance, and stranger) includes all acts of non-consensual sexual intercourse involving any penetration of a bodily cavity with a foreign object, tongue, digit, or genitalia. Rape incorporates any or all of the following, the use of force, threat, intimidation, coercion, duress, violence, or by causing a reasonable fear of harm (SU Code of Conduct).

A rape occurs when imposed under any of the following circumstances:

  • When the complainant is incapable of giving legal consent for mental, developmental, or physical reasons and this fact is known or reasonably should have been known by the person committing the act.
  • When the act is committed without the person’s explicit consent or is against the person’s wishes.
  • When the complainant is prevented from consenting or resisting because of intoxication or unconsciousness at the time of the act.

Consent - means explicit cooperation, both verbally and behaviorally. It must be voluntary and with full knowledge concerning the nature of the interaction/encounter. Previous sexual interactions shall not be considered implied consent. Silence or passivity shall not constitute consent (SU Code of Conduct).

Exploitation - actual or attempted abuse of a position based on vulnerability or a differential in power or authority for sexual purposes.

Intimate Partner Abuse (IPA) - is physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner.  This type of abuse can occur between heterosexual or homosexual couples.

Stalking - a pattern of conduct directed towards another person with the intent to place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to the person.

Intimidation - intentional behavior that threatens another person in an effort to manipulate and control their actions.

Bullying - unwanted, aggressive conduct between persons that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

Threats - a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course.

Force - strength or power exercised upon another person in an effort to manipulate or control his/her actions.

Coercion - the practice of gaining compliance from another person through the use of force or the power to use force. This may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm and can include extortion, blackmail and torture.