Definitions and behavioral examples of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and other gender-based offenses that are prohibited at Maria College are:
Sexual violence acts are physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons such as, but not limited to, the Victim’s/Survivor’s age, use of drugs or alcohol or inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability. These acts include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
Sexual assault is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as stated in the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sexual coercion is the act of using force, threats, alcohol or drugs and/or using physical, emotional or verbal pressure to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons including, but not limited to, the victim/survivor‘s age, the victim/survivor‘s use of drugs or alcohol or the victim‘s inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability.
Sexual contact includes kissing, patting, fondling, oral sex, genital touching, and any other sexual behavior that makes the victim/survivor feel uncomfortable.
Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute another form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostitution, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual or other private activity, exceeding the boundaries of consent (e.g., permitting others to hide in a closet and observe consensual sexual activity, videotaping of a person using a bathroom), engaging in voyeurism, or engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of such infection.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment occurs when any of the following conditions are present:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in any aspect of a college program or activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’’s work or academic performance, e.g. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both the subjective perspective of the person who experiences such conduct and objective standard of a reasonable person’s perception of such conduct.
A single isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to establish the existence of a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. Conduct which is pervasive or persistent, even if not severe, may also create a hostile environment.
Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
- May be blatant and involve an overt action, a threat or reprisal, or may be subtle and indirect, with a coercive aspect that is unstated.
- May or may not include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
- May be committed by anyone, regardless of gender, age, position or authority. While there is often a power differential between two persons, perhaps due to differences in age, social, educational or employment relationships, harassment can occur in any context.
- May be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the Reporting Party has an intimate or sexual relationship.
- May be committed by or against an individual or group.
- May occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
- May occur in the classroom, in the workplace, in athletic facilities, in residential settings, or in any other setting.
- May be a one-time event or part of a pattern of behavior.
- May be committed in the presence of others, when the parties are alone, or through the use of technology.
- May affect the Reporting Party and or third parties who witness or observe harassment and are affected by it.
Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment as defined above may include a severe, persistent or pervasive pattern of unwelcome conduct that includes one or more of the following:
- Unwelcome touching, sexual/physical assault, impeding, restraining, or blocking movements.
- Unwanted sexual advances.
- Making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs or humor.
- Intentionally using incorrect pronouns or an incorrect name when a person has clearly stated their preferred name and pronouns.
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
- Objectively offensive comments of a sexual nature, including persistent or pervasive sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
- Leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of suggestive or demeaning objects or pictures, cartoon or posters in a public space or forum.
- Severe, persistent, or pervasive visual displays of suggestive, erotic, or degrading images. This example should not be understood to constrain academic freedom in teaching, research, or creative activity, or to limit intellectual and or expressive rights.
- Letters, notes or electronic communications containing comments, words, or images described above.
Quid pro quo conduct:
- Direct propositions of a sexual nature between those for whom a power imbalance or supervisory or other authority relationship exists.
- Offering educational or employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
- Making submission to sexual advances an actual or implied condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation, including subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be repeated requests for private meetings with no academic or work purpose.
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.
Other Gender-Based Offenses
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who (a) 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 these factors: length of the relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim/survivor, by a person with whom the victim/survivor shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim/survivor as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim/survivor under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim/survivor who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.