Definitions of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual/Gender-Based Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, written, or physical behavior of a sexual nature, directed at someone, or against a particular group, because of that person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or based on gender stereotypes, when that behavior is unwelcome and meets either of the following criteria:

  • Submission or consent to the behavior is reasonably believed to carry consequences, positive or negative, for the student’s education, employment, University living environment, or participation in a University activity or program. Examples of this type of sexual harassment include:
    • Pressuring a student to engage in sexual behavior for some educational or employment benefit, or
    • Making a real or perceived threat that rejecting sexual behavior will carry a negative consequence for the student.
  • The behavior has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, University living, or participation in a University activity or program. Examples of this type of sexual harassment can include:
    • Persistent unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
    • Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
    • Unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;
    • Repeated and unwelcome sexually-oriented teasing, joking, or flirting; and
    • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature.

Behaviors or communications may be verbal or nonverbal, written, or electronic. Such conduct does not need to be directed at or to a specific student in order to constitute sexual harassment, but may consist of generalized unwelcome and inappropriate behaviors or communications based on sex, gender identity, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or gender stereotypes.

Determination of whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment requires consideration of all the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, frequency or pervasiveness of the alleged incidents, severity of the alleged incidents, whether the alleged incidents were based upon sex or gender, and whether the alleged incidents were unwelcome at the time of the alleged incidents. A determination will be based upon a reasonable person standard.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is defined as an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:

  • Non-consensual attempted or completed penetration.  Attempted or completed penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or any object, by a person upon another person, without effective consent. This includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
  • Sexualized touching (including disrobing or exposure), however slight, with any body part or any object, by a person upon another person, without effective consent. Sexual touching includes any contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch the other person or themselves with or on any of these body parts, when such touching would be reasonably and objectively offensive.
  • Sexual exploitation, defined as taking non-consensual, unjust 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. Sexual exploitation encompasses a wide range of behaviors which may include, but are not limited to:
    • Inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault another student;
    • Non-consensual video or audio-recording of sexual activity;
    • Allowing others to observe a personal act of consensual sex without knowledge or consent of the partner;
    • Engaging in Peeping Tommery (voyeurism);
    • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV, to another student;
    • Prostituting another student (i.e. – personally gaining money, privilege, or power from the sexual activities of another student).

Sexual Intimidation

Sexual intimidation is defined as:

  • Threatening to commit a sexual act upon another person.
  • Sexual intimidation also includes acts of intimidation, bullying, aggression, or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotypes, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Engaging in indecent exposure.

Stalking or Cyberstalking

Stalking or cyberstalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct (2 acts) directed at a specific person (in person or through electronic means) that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Fear for the individual’s safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person:

  • Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  • Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    • The length of the relationship
    • The type of relationship
    • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of North Carolina, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of North Carolina.