Defining Sexual Misconduct
Shenandoah University defines sexual misconduct as any form of sex discrimination and includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. With respect to sexual encounters, Shenandoah wants all sex to be wanted sex. Any sexual activity that takes place without consent, by force or threat of force, or with a minor or someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated is a violation of Shenandoah’s policies on sexual misconduct..
To constitute sexual misconduct, the sexual behavior must meet any one of the following criteria:
The sexual behavior is not consensual.
The sexual behavior includes force, threat(s) or intimidation.
The sexual behavior occurs when one person is a minor or is mentally or physically helpless, including but not limited to being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
What is consent?
Consent is defined as clear, knowing, voluntary words or actions that give permission for specific sexual activity. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given. Silence does not imply consent. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. Consent to one form of sexual activity [like kissing] does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity [like sex]. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or other drugs, both voluntarily or involuntarily consumed, may not give consent. Past consent of sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.
What is incapacitation?
Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational decisions. Such inability voids an individual’s capacity to give consent. Incapacitation may be caused by a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment. Incapacitation may also result from the consumption of alcohol or the use of either illegal and/or prescribed substances.
What is coercion?
Coercion is defined as an unreasonable amount of pressure to engage in sexual activity. Coercive behavior is not the same as seduction.
What is force?
Force is defined as the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force can include but is not limited to threats, intimidation, implied threats and coercion that overcomes resistance or produces consent.
What is Sexual Harassment?
- an employee of Shenandoah,
- conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the university,
- on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
- unwelcome conduct,
- determined by a reasonable person,
- to be so severe, and
- pervasive, and
- objectively offensive,
- that it effectively denies a person equal access to Shenandoah’s education program or activity.
What is Sexual assault?
- Sex Offenses, Forcible:
- Any sexual act directed against another person,
- without the consent of the Complainant,
- including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
- Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
- between persons who are related to each other,
- within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Virginia law.
- Statutory Rape:
- with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of Virginia.
What is Dating Violence?
- on the basis of sex,
- committed by a person,
- who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
- The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’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. For the purposes of this definition—
- Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
What is Domestic Violence?
- on the basis of sex,
- committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
- by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or
- by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or
- by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Virginia, or
- by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Virginia.
What is Stalking?
- engaging in a course of conduct,
- on the basis of sex,
- directed at a specific person, that
- would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or
- the safety of others; or
- suffer substantial emotional distress.