Knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. The existence of consent is based on the totality of circumstances, including the context in which the alleged consent occurred. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent and coercion, force, or threat of either party invalidates consent.

  • Consent cannot be given where a person is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol; or where a person has a disability; or is not of legal age to consent as defined by law.
  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

Dating violence

Acts of physical or sexual abuse committed by a person who 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 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.
  • Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, but does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic violence

A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.


Includes, but is not limited to, being asleep, drugged, intoxicated, or unconscious.


It is a violation of Virginia Tech policy to retaliate against any party for participating in a discrimination/harassment investigation (“protected activity”). Retaliation includes any adverse treatment that is reasonably likely to deter the complainant or others from filing a charge of discrimination/harassment or participating in a discrimination or harassment investigation. Retaliation can be verbal, written, graphic, electronic or physical.

Sex discrimination and sexual harassment

Conduct of any type (oral, written, graphic, electronic, or physical) that is based upon a person’s sex (including pregnancy), and unreasonably interferes with the person's work or academic performance or limits participation in university activities, or creates a working or learning environment that a reasonable person would find hostile, threatening or intimidating.

Conduct of a sexual nature, including conduct consisting of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made, explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education, or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting an individual. This policy includes sexual violence, gender- based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as forms of sexual harassment.

Sexual exploitation

An act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. The act or acts of sexual exploitation are prohibited even though the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Sexual violence

Physical sexual acts 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, or is unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

  • Sexual assault - actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person's consent.
  • Sexual battery - intentional touching of another person's intimate parts without the person's consent; or other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person's consent.
  • Sexual coercion - using physical or verbal aggression or pressure to force or attempt to force a person to touch another person's intimate parts without that person's consent.
  • Rape - penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person's consent.


Repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted. Additionally, the contact may cause the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or cause substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. Contact includes but is not limited to communicating with (either in person, by phone, or by computer) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.