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Definition of Terms
Sex 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 § 12940 et seq.), and other applicable laws. Both men and women can be victims of Sex Discrimination.
Sexual Harassment, a form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to sexual violence, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and indecent exposure, where:
- Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the student, and is in fact considered by the student, as limiting the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
- Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by a University employee is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a term or condition of employment, or an employment decision or action; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the University employee or third party, and is in fact considered by the University employee or third party, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.
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.
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. 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).Men as well as women can be victims of these forms of Sexual Violence. Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (statutory rape) occurs even if the intercourse is consensual when the victim is under 18 years old, because the victim is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
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.
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.
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 the 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 complete definition of Consent below.)
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. (See above for definition of Rape.)
Affirmative Consent means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has the Affirmative Consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent nor does silence mean consent.
- Consent must be voluntary, and given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent requires positive cooperation in a particular sexual act, or expression of intent to engage in that sexual act through the exercise of free will.
- Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity (or other sexual acts). Consent to sexual activity given on one occasion does not constitute consent to sexual activity on another occasion. The fact that two people are or were in a dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity. There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent to a sexual act may be withdrawn or revoked at any time, including after penetration. The victim’s request for the perpetrator to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, constitute consent. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
- Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. For example, a person cannot give consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person is incapacitated if s/he lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments. Examples of incapacitation include unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Whether an intoxicated person (as a result of using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.
- Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish a person’s responsibility to obtain consent from the other party before engaging in sexual activity. Factors to be considered include whether the person knew, or whether a reasonable person in the accused’s position should have known, that the victim did not give, or revoked, consent; was incapacitated; or was otherwise incapable of giving consent.
- Sexual intercourse with a minor is never consensual when the victim is under 18 years old, because the victim is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
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.
Dating Violence is a form of Sexual Violence, and is abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social or dating 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.
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 to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Retaliation means Adverse Action taken against a Student because he/she has or is believed to have:
- Exercised rights under CSU Executive Order 1097;
- Reported or opposed conduct which he/she reasonably and in good faith believes
is Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation;
- Participated in a Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation
- Assisted someone in reporting or opposing Discrimination, Harassment or
Bystander Intervention is the willingness to take action and help someone in time of need.