Definitions

Examples of Conduct Prohibited Under the Sexual Violence Policy

  • Sexual Assault
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Statutory Rape
  • Fondling
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Dating/Intimate Partner Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation 

Definitions of Conduct Prohibited 

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. Sexual assault includes rape, incest, fondling and statutory rape. 

Rape (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265, s.22) is defined as "sexual intercourse" (insertion of penis in vagina) or (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.

Incest: Incest is sexual intercourse, sexual activity or marriage of persons within degrees of consanguinity (MGL c.272, s.17)

Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the legal age to give consent. Massachusetts General Law (MGL c.265, s.23a) defines statutory rape as sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years of age.

Fondling:  Fondling, defined as Indecent Assault and Battery in Massachusetts (Massachusetts General Law Ch. 265, s.13H) 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.

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

  • submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition to the provision of the College’s educational benefits, privileges or services or as a basis for the evaluation of academic achievement
  • 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:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual
  • 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 Massachusetts General Law 151C]

Stalking: Stalking (MGL c.265, s43.) is the willful and malicious pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time that:

  • is directed at a specific person
  • causes a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress
  • makes a threat with the intent ti place a person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury

Stalking includes unwanted and repeated harassing behavior, such as: following a person; appearing at a person’s home/residence hall, class or work; making frequent phone calls, emails, text messages, etc.; continuing to contact a person after receiving requests not to; leaving written messages, objects or unwanted gifts; vandalizing a person’s property; and threatening, intimidating or intrusive behavior.  Stalking includes cyber stalking which is the use of internet, social networks, anonymous blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person.

Dating/ Intimate Partner Violence: Dating/Intimate partner violence includes sexual assault, physical abuse, or threats of such violence and abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by consideration of both the reporting party's characterization of the relationship and the following factors:

  • the length of the relationship
  • the type of relationship
  • the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Dating/intimate partner violence does not include the behaviors prohibited under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence:  Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior by a partner or family household member to gain or maintain power and control over another.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

  • Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc. are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
  • Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
  • Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
  • Economic Abuse: Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
  • Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

Family or household member is defined as persons who

  • are or were married to one another
  • are or were residing together in the same household
  • are or were related by blood or marriage
  • have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together
  • are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship

Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Prostituting another student
  • Non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity
  • Distribution of consensual recordings, photos or other images without the knowledge or permission of the other parties involved
  • Letting others hide to watch one have consensual sex
  • Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV
  • Inducing incapacitation to make another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances
  • Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography