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Definitions

Title IX Sexual Harassment

Any of the following conduct on the basis of sex:

  • A university employee conditioning an educational benefit or service upon a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e. quid pro quo harassment);
  • Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it would effectively deny a person equal access to a university program or activity; or
  • Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking, as each of those terms are defined below. 

Please see University Policy 1026: Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment and Responsible Employee Reporting for more information.

Complainant

An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment. 

Consent

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 Consent can be withdrawn at any time.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

Violence committed by a person: (a) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Domestic violence

Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by: (a) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (b) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (c) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (d) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Virginia; or (e) any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Virginia.

Incapacitation

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

Respondent

An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Retaliation

Any adverse action taken against a person for making a good faith report of conduct prohibited under this policy or participating in any proceeding under this policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy. The definition of retaliation does not preclude an individual from engaging in good faith actions, lawfully pursued, in response to a report of conduct prohibited under this policy. 

Sexual Assault

Misconduct that meets the definition of Rape, Fondling, Incest, or Statutory Rape, as defined below:

  • Rape means penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus of a person with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • Fondling means the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or temporary or mental incapacity.
  • Incest means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. 
  • Statutory Rape means sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (a) fear for the person’s individual safety or the safety of others; or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Resources

Learn more about the resources available to employees and students.