Stephen F. Austin State University

Definitions

This page includes a number of definitions outlined in the Sexual Misconduct policy (2.13).

Sexual Misconduct Definitions/Overview

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing a range of non-consensual sexual activity or unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, strangers or acquaintances, and can occur between or among people of the same or opposite sex. Sexual Violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. The term includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, indecency with a child, and/or aggravated sexual assault. The Sexual Misconduct policy (2.13) considers all of the following to be forms of sexual misconduct:

Consent

A voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity. Consent to one act does not imply consent to another. Past consent does not imply future consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Any expression of an unwillingness to engage in any instance of sexual activity establishes a presumptive lack of consent.

Consent is not effective if it results from:

A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be a voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity.

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Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is 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 by the complainant with consideration of the following factors:

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

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Domestic (Family) Violence

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, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas.

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Hostile Environment

Exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the university's programs or activities or an employee's terms and conditions of employment. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a university's program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and university visitors).

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Sexual Assault

An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape:

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Sexual Exploitation

Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

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Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's student status, employment, or participation in university activities; such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual's education, employment, or participation in university activities, or creates an objectively hostile environment; or such conduct is intentionally directed towards a specific individual and has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual's education, employment, or participation in university activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that includes:

a) Sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence as defined herein.

b) Physical conduct, depending on the totality of the circumstances present, including frequency and severity, including but not limited to unwelcome intentional touching or deliberate physical interference with or restriction of movement.

c) Verbal conduct not necessary to an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea, including oral, written, or symbolic expression, including but not limited to:

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Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct (two or more 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) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person (a person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant) to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.

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If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault or other violation of sexual misconduct listed on this page and would like to report the violation, you may do so on the Report Sexual Misconduct page.

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