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Title IX

Definitions

Sexual misconduct includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Sexual assault

Sexual Assault is engaging or attempting to engage in non-consensual bodily contact of a sexual nature. It includes sexual contact or sexual intercourse or penetration achieved by the use of physical force, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion or when an individual is incapacitated. Sexual Assault is:

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any touching or attempted touching of a sexual nature. Non-consensual sexual contact includes, but is not limited to: any touching or attempted touching of a person’s genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or the clothing covering any of these areas without consent; any touching or attempted touching of another with any of these body parts without consent; making another person touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts without consent; or any bodily contact or attempted bodily contact of a sexual nature, though not involving contact with/of/by a person’s genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks without consent.
  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse or penetration is any penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) or attempted penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object (finger, tongue, penis, inanimate object, etc.) without consent or forcing someone to penetrate himself or herself with any object, however slight, without consent.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone's advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not meet the definition of sexual assault. Sexual exploitation includes, but is not limited to: prostituting another person, non-consensual visual or audio recording of sexual activity, nonconsensual distribution of photos or other images of an individual's sexual activity or intimate body parts with an intent to embarrass such individual, non-consensual voyeurism, knowingly transmitting HIV or an STD to another, causing the incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose, or exposing one's genitals to another in non-consensual circumstances.

Dating violence

Dating Violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. A social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature means a relationship that is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a 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 can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical assault or abuse or the threat of such assault or abuse. Dating Violence can include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic violence

Domestic Violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: (i) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (ii) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (iii) by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (iv) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia; or (v) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Domestic violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse. Domestic Violence can include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Stalking

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (i) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress, meaning significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. A "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, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent including the criminal acts of rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual coercion as found under Virginia law (Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2).

Consent

Consent is given by voluntary words or actions that communicate a willingness to engage in a specific sexual activity. The existence of consent will be inferred from all of the facts and circumstances. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Silence, in and of itself, is not consent. Lack of protest or resistance is not consent. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. A previous or current relationship does not imply consent to sexual activity. Past consent does not imply future consent.

  • Consent cannot be obtained by the use of force to include physical violence, threats, intimidating behavior, and/or coercion.
    • Physical violence means that a person is exerting control over another person through the use of physical force. Examples of physical violence include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking, strangulation, and brandishing or using any object as a weapon.
    • Threats are words or actions that would compel a reasonable person to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Examples include threats to harm a person physically, to reveal private information to harm a person's reputation, or to cause a person academic or economic harm.
    • Intimidation is an implied threat that menaces or causes reasonable fear in another person. A person's size, alone, does not constitute intimidation; however, a person can use their size or physical power in a manner that constitutes intimidation (e.g., by blocking access to an exit).
    • Coercion is the use of an unreasonable amount of pressure to gain sexual access. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade, entice or attract another person to engage in sexual activity. When a person makes clear that they do not want to participate in a particular form of sexual contact or sexual intercourse, that they want to stop or that they do not want to go beyond a certain sexual activity, continued pressure can be coercive. In evaluating whether coercion was used, the frequency of the application of pressure, the intensity of the pressure, the degree of isolation of the person being pressured, and the duration of the pressure are all relevant factors.
  • If an individual knows or reasonably should know someone is incapable of giving consent, it is a violation of this policy to engage in sexual activity with that person.
  • Consent cannot be given by the following individuals:
    • Individuals who are asleep or unconscious
    • Individuals who are incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, medication, or other substances
    • Individuals who are unable to consent due to a mental or physical condition
    • Individuals who are minors
  • Incapacitation: An incapacitated person is incapable of giving consent. Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to make informed, reasonable judgments about whether or not to engage in sexual activity. An incapacitated person lacks the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why and/or how of the sexual interaction. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of consuming alcohol, drugs, medications and/or other substances. The impact of alcohol, drugs, medications and/or other substances varies from person to person.
  • Alcohol, medications and other drugs: The use of alcohol, medications and other drugs by the responding party is not an excuse for being unable to assess if the reporting party gave consent.

Complicity

Complicity is any act taken with the purpose of aiding, facilitating, promoting or encouraging the commission of a violation of this policy by another person. Complicity is prohibited by this policy.

Retaliation

Retaliation is intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action taken or threatened against (1) any reporting party or person reporting or filing a complaint alleging prohibited conduct or (2) any person cooperating in the investigation of an allegation of prohibited conduct to include: testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation pursuant to this policy. Action is generally deemed adverse if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy. Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of prohibited conduct.

Prohibited conduct

Prohibited conduct includes the following behavior as defined in Section D of the policy: discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct (sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking), complicity and retaliation.


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