What is Sexual Misconduct? | Thomas Nelson Community College

What is Sexual Misconduct?

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05/28/2020 - 10:49am

Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Sexual Misconduct Definitions

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or written communication of a sexual nature which is intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Sexual harassment shall be considered to have occurred when:

  • Accepting or tolerating such conduct is made a term or condition of a student’s status or an individual’s employment either explicitly or implicitly
  • Accepting or rejecting such conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the student or employee; or
  • Such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment that substantially interferes with an employee’s work performance or a student’s academic performance.

Sexual Assault: Sexual Assault is defined as sexual intercourse without consent, including rape (whether by acquaintance or stranger), sodomy, or other forms of sexual penetration. To constitute lack of consent, the acts must be committed either by force, threat of force, intimidation, or through use of victim’s mental helplessness of which the accused was aware of should have been aware.

  • Mental helplessness includes incapacitation by alcohol or other drugs. Sexual assault also includes intentionally touching, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s genitals, breasts, thighs, or buttocks without the victim’s consent, as well as touching or fondling of the accused by the victim when the victim is forced to do so against his or her will.
  • Verbal misconduct, without accompanying physical contact as described above, is not defined as sexual assault. Verbal misconduct may constitute sexual harassment, which is also prohibited under Thomas Nelson regulations and is specifically addressed elsewhere in the college’s policy.

Sexual Violence: Sexual violence is defined as 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. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.

Stalking: Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress. Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Non-consensual (unwanted) communication or contact (face-to-face, telephone, touching, electronic mail, instant messaging, texts, written letters, unwanted gifts, etc.)
  • Harassment, either by the individual or through a third party
  • Use of threatening gestures
  • Pursuing or following
  • Surveillance or other types of observation

Dating Violence: Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, or who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.