Definitions

Sexual assault, defined in Massachusetts as Rape, and sexual misconduct, defined in Massachusetts as Indecent Assault and Battery, are both prohibited by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265 and by the Mount Holyoke College Honor Code.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual activity. When any person engages in sexual activity to which they DO NOT or CANNOT consent, that fits the definition of sexual assault.

Massachusetts State Law Definition of Rape (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 265:22)
Rape is defined as "sexual intercourse" (insertion of penis in vagina) or "unnatural sexual intercourse" (insertion of other body part or object into the vagina; insertion of penis, other body part, or object into the rectum; fellatio or cunnilingus) with a person by force and against the will of that person or by threat of bodily injury. Penetration must exist, but may be slight. Rape can be committed by a man against a woman, by a man against a man, by a woman against a man, by a woman against a woman, or by any person against a person who is drugged or unconscious. The crime of rape in the state of Massachusetts has a penalty of up to 20 years in state prison.

Sexual Misconduct:  Sexual misconduct is non-consensual, intentional physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome physical contact with a person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts. Lack of consent may be inferred from the use of force, threat, physical intimidation, or advantage gained by the victim’s mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the perpetrator was aware of or should have been aware.
(Also known as Indecent Assault and Battery; Massachusetts General Law Ch. 265:13H)

Indecent assault and battery is the “intentional, unjustified use of force (touching) upon another person

Sexual Harassment:   Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the provision of the College’s educational benefits, privileges or services or as a basis for the evaluation of academic achievement; or
  2. such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive academic or educational environment. [Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151C ]

Sexual harassment in employment is a form of illegal sex discrimination and is defined as: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment. [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and parallel Massachusetts law]

Sexual harassment policy in student handbook.