Definition of Terms
Sexual Assault consists of a range of behaviors from nonconsensual sexual contact to nonconsensual sexual intercourse and is a violation of the University’s code of conduct.
1. Non Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by any person(s) upon any other person(s) that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
2. Non Consensual Sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by any person(s) upon any other person(s) that is without consent and/or by force. Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact. For further information on sexual assault crimes under Connecticut Law, see Connecticut General Statues, Sections 53a-65 through 53a-73a.
3. Sexual Exploitation is taking nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive advantage of another in a sexual or intimate context. Sexual exploitation includes, but is not limited to, prostituting another person; engaging in permitting, reproducing, or facilitating nonconsensual viewing, videotaping, photographing, or audio taping of sexual or intimate activity (such as dressing, showering, toileting, or similar activity); knowingly infecting another person with a sexually transmitted infection.
4. Sexual Harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s academic standing or employment or receiving any other benefit or privilege they are entitled to.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting such person; or receiving any other benefit or privilege they are entitled to.
- Such conduct has the effect of substantially interfering with a person’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic working, educational, or living environment.
- Promising, directly or indirectly, a person a reward, if they comply with a sexually oriented request.
- Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against a person if they refuse to comply with a sexually oriented request.
- Denying, directly or indirectly, a person an employment or education related opportunity, if the person refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
- Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation or physical contact or touching another person.
- Displaying pornographic or sexually oriented materials.
- Engaging in indecent exposure
- Making sexual or romantic advances toward a person and persisting despite the person’s rejection of the advances.
- Physical conduct such as assault, touching, or blocking normal movement.
- Retaliation for making harassment reports or threatening to report harassment.
- Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by members of either sex. Although sexual harassment sometimes involves a person in a greater position of authority as the harasser, individuals in positions of lesser or equal authority also can be found responsible for engaging in prohibited harassment.
- Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents, considered separately would not rise to the level of harassment.
- Sexual harassment may occur in a single episode as well as in repetitive behavior. Acts of sexual harassment can be perpetrated by one person or by a group of people.
5. 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 that overcome resistance or produce consent (ATIXA Model Policy).
6. Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
- Consent must be informed, freely and actively given.
- It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement.
- The lack of a negative response—either verbal or physical—is not consent.
- Past consent to sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.
- Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time by communicating the lack of consent to the other person. Once withdrawal of consent is communicated, all sexual activity must cease. In other words, a simple “no” or its verbal or nonverbal equivalent means withdrawal of consent.
- In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
- Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
- Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
- This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org (ATIXA Model Policy).
When a person is subjected to either mental or physical coercion—be it subtle or overt—there is no effective consent. To coerce means to compel or force one to act based on pressure, harassment, threats, or intimidation.
7. Relationship Abuse. The use of physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual or economic abuse used to control a partner in an intimate relationship constitute intimate partner violence. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Intimate partner violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships. Intimate partner relationships are defined as short or long-term relationships (current or former) between persons intended to provide some emotional/romantic and/or physical intimacy.
8. Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her or his safety, for the safety of a third person, or to feel extreme emotional distress. Stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to: non-consensual communication by any means, use of surveillance(in person or via electronic means, collecting information about a person’s routine, friends, family, or coworkers, uninvited visits to a residence, workplace, classroom, worship location, or other locations where an individual is commonly found.
- “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, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
- “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances.