Definitions

Sexual misconduct is a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

  • Consent
  • Incapacitation

    Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments that prevents an individual from giving valid consent. Incapacitation may be caused by a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment. Incapacitation may also result from the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.

    The use of alcohol or drugs may, but does not automatically, affect a person’s ability to consent to sexual contact. The consumption of alcohol or drugs may result in incapacitation if the nature and degree of the intoxication go beyond the stage of drunkenness, intoxication, or reduced inhibition to the point where the individual is unable to make knowing, informed decisions or to understand the nature and consequences of the sexual act. In such case, the person cannot consent to sexual activity, regardless of their words or actions.

    A person violates the sexual misconduct policy if they have sexual contact with someone they know or should know is incapacitated or has reached the degree of intoxication that results in incapacitation. The test of whether an individual should know about another’s incapacitation is whether a reasonable, sober person would know about the incapacitation. A Respondent cannot rebut a sexual misconduct charge merely by arguing that they were drunk or otherwise impaired and, as a result did not know that the other person was incapacitated.

    A person who is passed out or unconscious is incapacitated and, therefore, is not able to consent.

  • Coercion

    Coercion is unreasonable, inappropriate pressure to engage in sexual activity. Coercive behavior is different than romantic or seductive behavior because coercive behavior involves inappropriate or unreasonable pressure to obtain consent from another person for sexual activity. Continued pressure to engage in sexual activity after the other person makes it clear that they do not want to engage in, want to stop, or do not want to go further with sexual activity can be coercion.

  • Physical Force

    Physically restraining a person against their will, using violence or the threat of violence, or using a weapon or threatening to use a weapon constitutes physical force. An example of physical force includes using bodyweight to hold someone in place.

  • Threats

    Threats cause a person to do something that they would not have done without the threat. Examples of threats include, but are not limited to:

    • If you do not have sex with me, I will harm someone close to you.
    • If you do not do what I want, I will tell people that you are gay.
    • If you do not hook up with me, I will tell people you are a whore.
    • If you stop hooking up with me, I will kill myself.
  • Intimidation

    Intimidation is defined as an implied threat. Examples of intimidation include use of body size to block an exit, breaking or smashing items, or using looks or gestures to create fear.

  • Sexual Misconduct

    Sexual misconduct is a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

    Conduct prohibited as sexual misconduct under this policy may also violate criminal law. As a result, in addition to any investigation and conduct proceeding by the University, such conduct may be investigated by the police and prosecuted in a court of law.

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
    Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any sexual contact that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual contact. Sexual contact means physical contact committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse or gratify any person, where one person intentionally touches another’s intimate parts or clothing directly covering such intimate parts or causes a person to touch their own intimate parts or clothing directly covering such intimate parts. Examples of sexual contact include, but are not limited to, the intentional touching of a person’s genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks or the clothing covering any of those areas, or using force to cause the person to touch their own genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact may also be referenced as fondling. Non-consensual sexual contact is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
    Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is the act of sexual intercourse that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is defined by penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object. Non-consensual sexual intercourse may also be referred to as rape. Non-consensual sexual intercourse may also constitute statutory rape or incest as defined by the Virginia state law. Non-consensual sexual intercourse is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.
  • Sexual Exploitation

    Taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent constitutes sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation is distinct from non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse, which constitute separate violations of this Policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to causing the incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose; causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person, including images of someone undressed or partially undressed; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection to another person. Sexual exploitation is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

  • Stalking

    Stalking is engaging in a course of unwanted conduct toward a specific person (including surveillance, repeated phone calls, emails, text messages, social media messages or in-person contact) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

    A course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, another person, or interferes with another person’s property.

    Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

    Any act that constitutes stalking under Virginia law is also prohibited under this policy. Stalking is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

  • Dating Violence

    Dating or relationship violence is any type of violence, including sexual or physical assault or abuse, or the threat of such assault or abuse, between adults who are in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    Dating/relationship violence is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

  • Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence is an act of violence committed: (a) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (b) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (c) by a person who is cohabitating or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (d) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under Virginia law; or (e) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under Virginia law. Domestic violence is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

  • Sexual Violence

    Sexual violence is any physical sexual act or acts perpetrated against a person’s will or against a person incapable of giving consent. Examples of sexual violence include non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse. Depending upon the circumstances, sexual violence may also include dating violence or domestic violence. Sexual violence is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

  • Sexual Harassment - Title IX
    Sexual Harassment under Title IX is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
    1. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature as determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive AND objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature can be severe, pervasive and objectively offensive by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe. The more serve the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents, particularly if the conduct is physical.
    2. A University employee conditions the granting of University aid, benefit or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
    3. Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking as defined in the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct.
    Sexual Harassment under Title IX is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University
  • Sexual Harassment - Non-Title IX
    Sexual harassment (Non-Title IX) is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
    1. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature as determined by a reasonable person to be sufficiently severe, persistent, OR pervasive such that it limits or denies an individual’s employment, academic performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities. Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents, particularly if the conduct is physical.
    2. Submission to unwanted sexual conduct is an implicit or explicit term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any University programs and/ or activities, or is used as the basis for University decisions regarding the individual who is the subject of the unwanted sexual conduct.

    Sexual Harassment (non-Title IX) is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University
  • Retaliation

    Retaliation is retribution in any form against: (a) an individual who reports, in good faith, an actual, potential, or suspected violation of applicable laws, regulations, or University policies, including this Policy; or (b) an individual participating in the investigation of a sexual misconduct report. Retaliation is misconduct prohibited by the University. Retaliation includes both direct conduct and indirection conduct by a third party on behalf of the individual charged with retaliation.

  • The Complainant

    The term “Complainant” as used in this policy and in the University’s Standards of Student Conduct refers to the individual who is the subject of an act or incident of alleged sexual misconduct. The Complainant may or may not be the individual who makes the report of sexual misconduct.

    A Complainant can be a person of any gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. A Complainant need not be a University student, faculty, or staff member, but, in such case, the administrative response and investigation described in this policy will apply only if the Respondent is a University student, staff, or faculty member. The University Police Department will respond to reports of crimes within the Department’s jurisdiction regardless of the status of the Complainant and Respondent.

  • The Respondent

    The term “Respondent” as used in this policy and in the University’s Standards of Student Conduct refers to the person who is alleged to have violated the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    A Respondent can be a person of any gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. A Respondent need not be a University student, faculty, or staff member. If the Complainant is a member of the University community, the University’s Title IX Coordinator will respond and, to the extent possible, investigate a report of sexual misconduct involving a Respondent who is not a University student, faculty, or staff member. The University Police Department will respond to reports of crimes within the Department’s jurisdiction regardless of the status of the Complainant and Respondent.

  • Responsible Employee

    The term “Responsible Employee” as used in this policy and as defined by Virginia law refers to an employee of the University who has the authority to take action to redress alleged sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, who has been given the duty of reporting acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, to the Title IX Coordinators, or is a person whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or responsibility.

    The following University employees are Responsible Employees because they have the authority to take action to redress alleged sexual misconduct, including sexual violence:

    • The Title IX Coordinators;
    • The Vice President for Student Development;
    • The Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans of Westhampton College and Richmond College, the Law School’s Associate Dean for Student Services & Administration, the Law School Dean’s Office, the Program Coordinator for Graduate Studies in Business, and the Associate Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies;
    • The University’s Conduct Officers;
    • The Associate Vice President for Human Resources; and
    • The sworn officers of the University of Richmond Police Department.

    Other than individuals designated as confidential resources, the following University employees are Responsible Employees because they have a duty to report acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator:

    • All faculty members;
    • All University employees with the title of Assistant Director, Associate Dean or above;
    • Residence Life staff including Resident Assistants and Area Coordinators;
    • All employees engaged in academic advising;
    • University staff accompanying students on off-campus programs or other University-related trips, within and outside the United States;
    • All employees identified as Campus Security Authorities;
    • All employees in the following divisions, departments, or offices:
      • Academic Deans;
      • Academic Skills Center;
      • Admissions;
      • Athletics;
      • Bursar;
      • Events, Conferences and Support Services;
      • Career Services;
      • Chaplaincy;
      • Financial Aid;
      • Human Resources;
      • International Education;
      • President’s Office;
      • Provost’s Office;
      • Registrar;
      • Student Development; and
      • University of Richmond Public Safety Department.
  • Discrimination

    Discrimination is inequitable treatment by the University or its Affiliates based on an individual’s Protected Status, as defined in this policy, that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment or limits or denies an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity.

  • Harassment

    Harassment is unwelcome conduct directed against an individual, based on that individual’s Protected Status, as defined in this policy, that is sufficiently severe, persistent OR pervasive such that it limits or denies an individual’s employment, academic performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities.