Terminology

Acquaintance Rape

Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual violence committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website.

Coercion

Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes it clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Consent

Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary. Both parties must give consent before engaging in any sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts
  • Mutually understandable consent must be obtained and maintained by both parties throughout the sexual interaction
  • Consent to sexual activity may be revoked at any time, at which point sexual activity must cease immediately
  • In order to give consent, one must be of legal age

Dating Violence

Dating violence is a form of sexual violence, and is abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. This may include someone the victim just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a form of sexual violence and is abuse committed against someone who is a current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, someone with whom the abuser has a child, someone with whom the abuser has or had a dating or engagement relationship, or a person similarly situated under California domestic or family violence law. Cohabitant means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife, (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship.

Emotional Abuse

Psychological or emotional abuse involves trauma to the victim caused by acts, threats of acts, or coercive tactics. Examples of emotional abuse include:

  • Humiliating the victim
  • Controlling what the victim can and cannot do
  • Withholding information from the victim
  • Getting annoyed if the victim disagrees
  • Deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished (e.g., less smart, less attractive)
  • Deliberately doing something that embarrasses the victim
  • Using a victim's money
  • Taking advantage of the victim
  • Disregarding what the victim wants
  • Isolating the victim from friends or family
  • Prohibiting access to transportation or telephone
  • Getting the victim to engage in illegal activities
  • Using the victim’s children to control victim’s behavior
  • Threatening loss of custody of children
  • Smashing objects or destroying property
  • Denying the victim access to money or other resources
  • Disclosing info that would tarnish the victim’s reputation

This list is not exhaustive. Other behaviors may be considered emotionally abusive if they are perceived as such by the victim. Additionally, all victims may not perceive some of the behaviors on the list as psychologically or emotionally abusive.

Force

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. For example: “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you." “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”

There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.

Harassment

Harassment means unwelcome conduct engaged in because of a Protected Status and:

  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is made a term or condition of the complainant’s employment
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by the complainant is used as the basis or threatened to be used as the basis for employment actions or decisions affecting the complainant
  • The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the complainant, and is in fact considered by the complainant, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal harassment (e.g., epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs), physical harassment (e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement), and visual forms of harassment (e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, symbols, or gestures).

This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic and/or social relationships between members of the university community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to charges of sexual harassment or sexual violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, subject to this policy.

Incapacitation

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).

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman 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.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force.

Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, 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.

Protected Status

Protected status means race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.

Rape

Rape is a form of sexual violence, and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical Disability renders the person incapable of giving consent. The accused's relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant. (See consent).

Retaliation

It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of sexual misconduct. For these purposes, retaliation includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against any such complainant or third party. All acts of retaliation should be reported promptly to the Director of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities or Public Safety and may result in conduct actions independent of the sanction(s) or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person's gender or sex. Frequently Asked Questions about Sexual Assault include:

  • I didn’t resist physically — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault? People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn’t resist physically doesn’t mean it wasn’t sexual assault. Many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.
  • I was drunk or they were drunk — does that mean it isn’t assault? Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse – or an alibi. Regardless of whether you were drunk or sober, if the sex is non-consensual, it is sexual assault.
  • I used to date the person who assaulted me — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault? Sexual assault can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship. If it is non-consensual this time, it is sexual assault.
  • I thought “no,” but didn’t say it. Is it still sexual assault? It depends on the circumstances. If you didn’t say "no" because you were legitimately scared for your life or safety, then it may be sexual assault.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a form of sexual violence and is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person's gender or sex.

Sexual Discrimination

Sexual discrimination means an adverse action taken against an individual because of gender or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) as prohibited by Title IX; Title IV; VAWA/Campus SaVE Act; California Education Code § 66250 et seq.; and/or California Government Code § 11135. See also Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Govt. Code § 12940et seq.), and other applicable laws. Both men and women can be victims of sex discrimination.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy
  • Prostituting another student
  • Non-consensual video/audio-taping or streaming of sexual activity
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex)
  • Engaging in voyeurism
  • Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence (domestic violence), stalking; gender-based bullying.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and means physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (when based on gender or sex) perpetrated against an individual against his or her will and without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to that individual's use of drugs or alcohol, status as a minor, or disability.[3]Sexual violence may include physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication).

Stalking

Stalking means a repeated course of conduct directed at a specific person (when based on gender or sex) that places that person in reasonable fear for his/her or others' safety, or causes the victim to suffer substantial emotional distress.Examples of stalking behavior include:

  • Making unwanted telephone calls
  • Waiting inside or outside buildings
  • Watching from afar or following
  • Sending unwanted letters or emails
  • Making unwanted visits
  • Giving unwanted gifts

Stalkers are often a:

  • Current or ex-boy/girlfriend
  • Classmate
  • Acquaintance
  • Friend
  • Coworker

In most situations, stalkers are trying to intimidate, harass, and control their victims. Stalking also often occurs within an abusive relationship in which the abusive partner is trying to track and control the victim’s movements and interactions.

Street Harassment

Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that occurs between strangers in public places. It typically takes the form of actions or comments that are disrespectful, unwanted, threatening and/or harassing, and are motivated by gender, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Street harassment is considered a human rights issue by the U.N. and other global organizations because it limits the victims' ability to enter public places safely and comfortably.

VAWA

VAWA means the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)). It amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Crime Statistics Act (commonly called the Clery Act), under its Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act provision (Campus SaVE Act).