1. Applicable Terms Used in the Policy
A person who alleges that sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy has been committed against them or against another individual.
A person who is alleged to have engaged in one or more acts of sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy.
2. Prohibited Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that includes, but is not limited to, dating violence, domestic violence, sex-based discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, and/or other prohibited sexual misconduct. The College understands that definitions may overlap and will examine individual incidents where sexual misconduct is alleged.
Sexual misconduct may take many forms and is defined by Federal and state laws, and College community standards. Below are specific definitions used by the College.
a. Dating Violence
Dating violence refers to violence committed by a person who is, or who has been, in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant.
The existence of the relationship is based on: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
b. Domestic Violence
Domestic violence may also be known as domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, domestic assault, spousal abuse, etc. Domestic violence occurs within different-sex relationships as well as same-sex relationships, between intimate partners who are married, divorced, living together, dating, or who were previously in a relationship. Anyone can be a perpetrator or survivor. It is important to note that “[d]omestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large” (OVW, 2008).
Generally, domestic violence involves a pattern of coercive, dominant, or isolating behavior that is used by one person to gain power and control over another. It may include:
• Physical and sexual violence including pushing, shoving, slapping punching, restraining, forced sexual activities, sexual abuse, pressure to have sex, rape, use of weapons, threats and coercion, etc.
• Physical intimidation
• Emotional and verbal abuse including name-calling, yelling, undermining a person’s self-esteem, humiliating the person
• Isolating the person from family or friends
• Blaming the abuse on the person
• Threatening harm to the person, to pets, or to others
• Economic abuse including making the person economically dependent on the perpetrator
• Controlling the person’s actions including preventing the person from going to work or school, preventing the person from visiting people, preventing the person from going out alone, etc.
In Minnesota, domestic violence occurs when a family/household member physically harms, injures, or assaults someone; inflicts fear of imminent physical harm, injury, or assault; makes terroristic threats; commits criminal sexual conduct; or interferes with a 911 call.
c. Sex-Based Discrimination
Sex-Based Discrimination refers to sexual harassment, sexual violence, differential treatment, and gender-based harassment because of a person’s perceived sex. This occurs because someone is or is perceived to be male, female, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or because of their gender identity or gender expression. This discrimination may include treating someone less favorably because that person does not conform with perceived sex-stereotypes.
d. Sexual Assault
Sexual assault refers to both forcible sex offenses and non-forcible sex offenses.
Forcible sex offenses include any sexual act directed at another person that is forcible and/or against that person’s will. Force includes physical force, violence, threat, intimidation, or coercion. This also includes situations where the other person is incapable of giving consent regardless of whether the act was forcible or against the person’s will. A person may be incapable of giving consent due to the person’s temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of the person’s youth or minor status. Furthermore, a forcible sex offense includes the forcing or otherwise requiring another person to perform one of the acts listed below, using objects, or fondling someone against the person’s will.
Non-forcible sex offenses include unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse. This includes incest (sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law) and statutory rape (intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent).
Non-consensual sexual contact
• the deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas), or using force to cause a person to touch their own or another person’s intimate parts
Non-consensual sexual intercourse
• penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object
Sexual abuse is a term commonly used when discussing sexual assault, and refers to a series of repeated acts.
e. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is harassing someone because of that person’s perceived sex. It includes but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature when:
• submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an academic status/decision or an individual’s employment; or
• submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic and/or employment decisions affecting such individuals; or
• such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature; however, unwelcome conduct may include offensive remarks about a person’s perceived sex. For example, it is inappropriate to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Hostile Environment Caused by Sexual Harassment
A hostile environment caused by sexual harassment refers to situation where a person is subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from another person(s). Examples of a hostile environment include:
• posting pictures of pornography
• consistently telling sexual jokes or stories where it can be overheard by others
• tolerating people who make sexually suggestive remarks about people within ear shot of others
• allowing others to persist in unwanted attention
• allowing the use of derogatory terms with a sexual connotation
• allowing frequent physical contact, even when not sexual.
Recognizing Sexual Harassment
A person commits sexual harassment when they:
• subject a subordinate or student to unwanted sexual attention, or
• attempt to coerce a co-worker or student into a sexual relationship, or
• threaten to punish a subordinate or student for refusal to comply with sexual demands, or
• make sexual favors conditions of participation in a class or work environment, or
• indicate that sexual favors are a basis for a grade or performance evaluation, or
• engage in conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment
Examples of Behavior that may be prohibited by this Policy
(Within the context of academic freedom around teaching and research)
Verbal or Written
• Use of offensive terms with sexual meaning, including mean-spirited jokes and unwelcome repeated teasing
• Referring to a person with sexual connotations (i.e. hunk, sexy, babe, doll, etc.)
• Making sexual comments about a person’s body or clothing
• Sexual jokes, stories, or history told in person or through an electronic device
• Sexual innuendoes, language or images made verbally or sent through texts, instant messages, email, social media posts, or by letter
• A pattern of bullying based on perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation
• Stalking or blocking a person’s path
• Giving unwanted personal gifts
• Leering, staring, or looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion
• Displaying sexually suggestive visual materials
• Making expressions such as blowing kisses or licking lips or making hand gestures
• Giving an unwanted massage to a person or brushing up against them
• Unwanted touching or a person’s clothing, hair, or body
• Touching and/or rubbing oneself sexually against another person
f. Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is any sexual act that is committed against someone’s will. Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act (e.g., rape), an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (e.g., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment). All types involve individuals who do not consent or who are unable to consent.
Stalking refers to a person engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for their safety or the safety of others or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking requires a pattern of conduct—though any single incident may constitute a separate crime. Stalking may occur regardless of the relationship between the perpetrator and the other person. Stalking is not simply annoying behavior, but repeated behavior (not necessarily the same act each time) that causes fear or emotional distress.
Stalking may include but it not limited to:
• Unwanted phone calls
• Unwanted postal mail
• Unwanted electronic communications including electronic mail (e-mail), text messaging, instant messaging (IM), contact through social networking sites, etc.
• Unwanted sending or leaving of gifts or other items
Physical Acts of Stalking
• Following someone
• Tracking an individual by GPS or other means
• Spying or peeping
• Appearing at a person’s home, business, or favored social location
• Leaving written messages or objects
• Vandalizing property
• Harming a Pet
h. Other Prohibited Sexual Misconduct
Date Rape Drugs
The use of date rape drugs involves the surreptitious and non-consensual administration of an illegal and/or prescription drug (for example GHB, Rohypnol, etc.) to an individual with the intent to, and for the purpose of, lowering the person’s inhibitions and induce an unconscious or sedated state in order to engage in sexual acts with the person.
Sexual victimization may include:
Exhibitionism refers to the compulsion to reveal a body part, in particular one’s genitals, to an unsuspecting stranger. The compulsion may not be illegal, but the exposure would be.
Voyeurism refers to a sexual interest in spying on people who are engaged in private behaviors including, for example, undressing, urinating, bathing, or engaging in sexual activity. The voyeuristic interest may not be illegal, but voyeuristic acts would be.
• Revenge Porn
Revenge porn refers to sexually explicit media that is publicly shared by electronic means without the consent of the individual pictured in the media with the intent to harass, embarrass, or humiliate the pictured individual or to extort that individual. Revenge Porn may be disseminated by ex-partners, hackers, or other individuals. The media may include pictures taken by the pictured individual (e.g. “selfies”). The media may be accompanied by personally identifying information. Consent to engage in sexual activity does not necessarily mean consent to be recorded engaging in that activity.
• Sexual Photography and Videography
Sexual photography and videography refers to taking photographs or video of another individual(s) without their consent. This may include public display of images taken in private with the pictured individual’s consent but subsequently displayed publicly without the pictured individual’s consent, and, depending on the circumstances, this may also constitute revenge porn.
Other Inappropriate Misconduct not Defined Herein
Augsburg College has listed specific definitions regarding prohibited sexual conduct. The College will consider violations of any Federal, State, or local law that relate to sexual misconduct. Furthermore, any conduct or action that relates to sexual misconduct, sexual impropriety, or other sexual misdeed will be examined to determine if it falls within the scope of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and if any further action is necessary regardless of whether it is specifically defined herein.