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Definition of Various Terms of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Assault

  • The nonconsensual sexual contact with the accuser by the accused, or the accused by the accuser when force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, the sexual contact is accomplished without consent of the accuser, and the accused knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the accuser did not or could not consent.  Sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching of the accuser’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the accuser’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

Intimate Partner Violence

  • This term is defined to mean any physical, sexual, or psychological harm against an individual by a current or former partner or spouse of the individual.  It would include rape, acquaintance rape, stalking, dating violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence.

Stalking 

  • Stalking is a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the accuser to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.  Harassment means conduct directed toward the accuser that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes the accuser to suffer emotional distress.  Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.  

Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.  Sexual harassment has two key categories: quid pro quo (loosely translated as “this for that”) and hostile environment.  Often sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power and contains elements of coercion, as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a criterion for granting work, study, or grading benefits.  However, sexual harassment may also involve relationships among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning verbal behaviors have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study or work in an academic setting. 

In compliance with federal and state law, APSU defines sexual harassment as follows:

Sexual Harassment

  • Generally, sexual harassment may be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met:
    • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual's employment or of the individual's status in a program, course, or activity;
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, a criterion for evaluation, or a basis for academic or other decisions affecting such individual; or
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or educational experience or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive workplace or educational environment.

Sexual Exploitation

  • Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual, unfair, or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. This behavior must not otherwise constitute a violation of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostituting another student, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity, presentation or unauthorized viewing of such recordings, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends watch you having consensual sex without the knowledge or consent of your sexual partner), engaging in peeping tommery, and knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another student.

Consent

  • An informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or, is under duress, threat, coercion, or force.  Past consent does not imply future consent.  Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent.  Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Sexual Violence

  • A term that is used to refer to 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.

Stranger Rape

  • Rape perpetrated by someone unknown.

Acquaintance Rape

  • The most prevalent form of sexual assault on a university campus is between two people who know each other. The acquaintance may be a date, partner, or someone known casually from a residence hall, class, club, or through mutual friends.

Bystander Intervention

  • A course of action that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene where there is a risk or an act of violence.
Domestic Violence
  • Violence against a person when the accuser and accused; (1) are current or former spouses; (2) live together or have lived together; (3) are related by blood or adoption; (4) are related or were formally related by marriage; or, (5) are adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above. 

    Domestic violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to, (1) inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means; (2) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm; (3) physical restraint; (4) malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or, (5) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. 

Dating Violence
  • Violence against a person when the accuser and accused are dating, or who have dated, or who have or had a sexual relationship.  “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals solely in a business or non-romantic social context.  Violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to, (1) inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means, (2) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm, (3) physical restraint, (4) malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or, (5) placing a victim in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser.