The following definitions are included in the FCC Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
Sexual Harassment means: (a) unwelcome sexual advances; (b) unwelcome requests for sexual favors; or (c) other behavior of a sexual or gender-based nature where: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in a College-sponsored educational program or activity; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an academic, employment, or activity or program participation decision affecting that individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, i.e., it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning or sexually offensive working, academic, or social environment.
Sexual Assault is a form of sexual violence toward another individual without their consent. Maryland criminalizes both rape and “sexual offenses,” which some states call sexual assault. Rape has two degrees or levels of offenses, while sexual offenses are divided into four degrees of offensive sexual activity. In general, criminal penalties in Maryland vary by degree based on “aggravating” factors (showing maliciousness and increasing guilt and punishment). Some of the aggravating factors are using force or violence, displaying weapons to a victim, or if the victim is particularly young or elderly.
Sexual Exploitation is defined as taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person without consent. Sexual exploitation can include (but is not limited to) sexual voyeurism (watching someone), taking photos, and audio or videotaping someone.
Sexual Intimidation means threatening behavior of a sexual nature directed at another person, such as threatening to sexually assault another person or engaging in indecent exposure.
Dating, domestic, or intimate partner violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior against another person.
Stalking means repeated, unwanted attention; physical, verbal, or electronic contact; or any other course of conduct directed at an individual that is sufficiently serious to cause physical, emotional, or psychological fear or to create a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment for a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities. Stalking may involve individuals who are known to one another or who have a current or previous relationship or may involve individuals who are strangers.
Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or College policy relating to sexual misconduct, or because an individual has made a report, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding related to sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes retaliatory harassment.
Consent means a knowing, voluntary, and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity or behavior. Only a person who has the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational, reasonable judgment can give consent. Consent may be expressed either by words and/or actions, as long as those words and/or actions create a mutually understandable agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in sexual activity to ensure that they have consent from the other party, and that the other party is capable of providing consent.
- Lack of protest or resistance is not consent. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. For that reason, relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.
- Previous relationships, including past sexual relationships, do not imply consent to future sexual acts.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent must be present throughout sexual activity and may be withdrawn at any time. If there is confusion as to whether there is consent or whether prior consent has been withdrawn, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion is resolved.
- Consent cannot be obtained by use of physical force, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.
Coercion includes conduct, intimidation, and expressed or implied threats of physical or emotional harm, that would reasonably place an individual in fear of immediate or future harm and that is employed to persuade or compel someone to engage in sexual contact. Examples of coercion include causing the deliberate incapacitation of another person; conditioning an academic benefit or employment advantage on submission to the sexual contact; threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in sexual contact; or threatening to disclose an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or other personal sensitive information if the other party does not engage in the sexual contact.
Incapacitation means that the person’s decision-making ability is impaired such that they lack the capacity to understand the “who, what, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction. Incapacitation may result from: sleep or unconsciousness, temporary or permanent mental or physical disability, involuntary physical restraint, or the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication, or other substances used to facilitate sexual misconduct.