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Sexual Misconduct | Consent | Force | Coercion | Incapacitation | Stalking | Sexual Harassment | Sexual Exploitation | Domestic and Dating Violence

Sexual Misconduct

  • Sexual Misconduct is a broad term that includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, with another person without the consent of that person.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any anal, oral, or vaginal penetration, however slight, with any object, with another person without consent of that person.

Prohibited conduct includes, but not limited to:

  • Unwanted sexual intercourse with a stranger or a friend, acquaintance, spouse, current dating partner, or former intimate partner (including date or acquaintance rape)
  • Unwanted sexual intercourse committed by force, threat, surprise, coercion, intimidation, or through use of mental or physical helplessness
  • The use of force, including hitting, pushing, or otherwise acting upon violently to engage in sexual activity
  • The use of force, including holding a person down, restraining, or otherwise preventing a person from leaving, to engage in sexual activity
  • The use of threats, including a direct threat of death, grave bodily injury, or a negative consequence
  • The use of one’s size, power or authority to imply a threat, whether communicated verbally or nonverbally and/or physically
  • Sexual intercourse with an individual who is incapacitated due to alcohol and/or drug use, and that incapacity is known or should have been known
  • Sexual intercourse with an individual who is incapacitated due to mental disorder, developmental disability, intellectual disability, physical disability, age (being under 16), or family relations 
  • Sexual intercourse with an individual who was temporarily incapacitated or unconscious due to sleep or a medical condition such as an epileptic episode, panic attack, and PTSD.

Consent

  • Consent is a knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
  • Silence or passivity is not consent.  Consent is not passive, but is active and freely given.  Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. 
  • Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
  • Initiators of sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent. 
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity, nor does it automatically imply consent of any sexual contact in the future.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot automatically imply consent to future sexual acts. 
  • Consent granted to one individual does not automatically imply consent to any other parties. 
  • Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as that withdrawal is clearly communicated. Once consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must stop reasonably immediately.
  • Consent cannot be obtained from an individual who is incapacitated due to lack of consciousness, age, disability, or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol. 

Force

  • Force includes any intentional physical violence, restraint or the presence of a weapon to gain sexual access to a person.  Force includes threats, that overcomes resistance or produces reluctant compliance or acquiescence. 

Coercion

  • Coercion is an unreasonable pressure to engage in sexual activity.  Coercion is distinguishable from seduction, where sexual advances are welcome and persuasion is reasonable. When an individual verbally and/or physically expresses that they do not want to engage in or continue in a sexual act, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. For the purposes of coercion, determining what is unreasonable may be a function of duration, frequency, isolation, and intensity.

Incapacitation

  • Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). 
  • Incapacitation can occur mentally or physically, from developmental disability, by alcohol or other drug use, or blackout.  Incapacity may also result from mental disability, sleep, unconsciousness, or from the ingestion of rape drugs. Drinking and/or drug use may render an individual incapable of giving consent for sexual activity. For example, someone who is incapacitated may agree to have sex at the time, but have no memory of the consent. This person may have been functioning in a “blackout” and could not give effective consent. 
  • If unsure of the state of a person, avoid sexual activity.

Stalking

  • Two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property shall constitute stalking.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • purposefully following/appearing within the sight of that individual
  • approaching/confronting that individual
  • threatening or making obscene gestures
  • unwanted repeated communication or contact
  • engaging in surveillance or any other types of unwanted observation

Helpful Tips!

  • Trust your instincts! DO NOT downplay the danger
  • Call 911 if in immediate danger
  • Do not communicate with the stalker/respond to their attempts to contact you. This encourages them.
  • Seek support from friends and family. You don't have to go through this alone.
  • Change email, screen names and phone numbers and be selective about who you give your new ones out to.
  • Document/save/preserve any evidence of harassment

Resources

  • Walk with friends and use UCO's Safe Walk, which is available free of charge 24/7.
  • Contact UCO police department/law enforcement for assistance.
  • Consult with Project SPEAK Office for assistance in determining steps you make take for your safety.

Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual harassment shall be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, online, or physical conduct of a sexual nature in the following context:
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any University programs and/or activities or is used as the basis for University decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment)
  • Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A “hostile environment” exists when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs or activities.
  • Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the conduct is physical. In contrast, the perceived offensiveness of a single verbal or written expression, standing alone, is typically not sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.

Prohibited Conduct

Conduct, whether in person, in writing, by telephone, through social media, by electronic means, or otherwise, which is prohibited by this policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome sexual flirtation, advances, or propositions for sexual activity.
  • Continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature, such as suggestive comments and sexually explicit jokes.
  • Sexually degrading language used to describe an individual.
  • Remarks of a sexual nature used to describe a person’s body or clothing.
  • Display of sexually demeaning objects and pictures.
  • Offensive physical contact, such as unwelcome touching, pinching, or brushing the body.

Sexual Exploitation

  • Sexual exploitation is taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit a person other than the one being exploited.  
  • Prohibited conduct includes, but not limited to:
  • Sexual voyeurism (such as watching another person undress, use the bathroom or engage in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed)
  • Taking pictures or video or audio recording, or providing for the observation by a third-party of another in a sexual act, or in any other personal/private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity
  • Disseminating sexual pictures, audio, video, or other media without the depicted person’s consent
  • Communications that are obscene, lewd, or indecent.
  • Intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
  • Engaging in prostitution or prostituting another student
  • Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of the infection
  • Administering alcohol or other drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without his or her knowledge or consent.

Domestic and Dating Violence

  • Domestic violence is violence or abuse (verbal, physical, and/or psychological) committed by a current or former spouse of an individual, person with whom an individual shares a child in common, person who is cohabitating with an individual or has cohabitated with as a spouse, or person similarly situated to a spouse of the individual under domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  • Dating violence or abuse (verbal, physical, and/or psychological) committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with an individual.  The existence of such relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the following factors: length of relationship, type of relationship and, frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.  Dating partners can be dating each other exclusively or dating other people concurrently. Dating relationships may have a sexual component, but do not have to. Dating violence does not include acts by a person who meets the definition of domestic violence.

Acts generally fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Physical battering -  physical attacks or aggressive behavior
  • Sexual abuse - forced sexual intercourse, unwanted sexual activity
  • Psychological battering - constant verbal abuse, isolating victims, deprivation of resources