Sexual Misconduct Policy Definitions

The following are definitions for this college policy and may differ from  legal definitions.  Sexual offenses may occur along a continuum that includes verbal statements which create a hostile environment through physical acts such as unwanted and/or forced sexual contact. It is impossible for a policy to depict all circumstances of sexual offenses.  Thus, a sexual offense at Keene State College includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Coercion - to compel someone into an act by force or threat including intimidation; may include other methods intended to persuade a person into compliance (plying with alcohol or other drugs, threatening one’s reputation, etc.)

Confidential – a communication made between parties who stand in a confidential relation to each other, and therefore privileged in law such as medical staff and counselors.

Consent – voluntary agreement; (should be expressed affirmation)

Incapacitated Sex – sexual contact that occurs when one or both parties are unable to act or respond coherently due to intoxication, illness, physical or mental limitation or disability or any condition that inhibits a person’s ability to actively and affirmatively consent to sexual contact.

Intimate Partner Sexual Assault – sexual assault that occurs within the context of a dating or other intimate relationship.

Rape - sexual intercourse with a person without her or his permission, either by force or threat of force or with someone who is unable to give consent. Sexual intercourse may be vaginal, anal, or oral, and may involve the use of a body part or an object. (NIH definition)

Sexual Assault - the intentional touching of the victim’s sexual or intimate parts, including breasts and buttocks, and the intentional touching of the victim’s clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s sexual or intimate parts. Sexual contact includes only that conduct which can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

Sexual Exploitation - use or utilization of a sexual nature of another person either for profit, to advance one’s own position or power or in an effort to defame or otherwise embarrass another. Exploitation may take the form of slandering another’s reputation regarding sexual activity whether actual or fabricated, recording in any form the sexual activity of another without their knowledge and consent, transmitting such recording of sexual activity via verbal, written or electronic format or any other manner without the knowledge and consent of the participants.

Sexual Harassment - sexual harassment may take the form of unwelcome sexual advances, graffiti, jokes, pranks, slurs, insults, threats, vandalism, assignment of unpleasant duties, or even physical assault which serves to interfere with a person’s work or academic life.

Federal and state laws define harassing behavior as occurring when:

  • Such contact has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating a hostile or offensive working or academic environment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic work.

Stalking - repeated unwanted attention that would create fear in a reasonable person where the intent is to force him/herself into the life/consciousness of the victim through harassing, threatening or frightening behavior(s).

Behaviors may include: phone calls; electronic communication such as texting, emails, social networking, etc.; letters and notes; surveillance; entering home/apartment; assault.