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Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment can be a single, serious incident or a series of related, repeated incidents.  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (verbal or physical conduct) when the conduct:

  • is reasonably perceived as creating an intimidating or hostile work, learning or living environment,
  • unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from any educational program and/or activities, and is
  • is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation

In addition to the above, specific types of sexual harassment constituting violations of this Policy include:

Sexual Assault: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or oral sex, without Consent. Sexual intercourse means anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.

The Federal definition (from VAWA) of sexual assault:

Sexual Assault: An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Per the National Incident-Based Reporting System User Manual from the FBI UCR Program, A sex offense is “any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.”

A)   Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

B)   Fondling: The touching of the private parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

C)   Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

D)   Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

 

Pennsylvania Law Defines Sexual Assault as:

Rape ¿ Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Statutory offenses (no force used ¿victim under age of consent) are excluded.

 

Other Sex offenses (except forcible rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice) ¿Statutory rape, offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and the like. Attempts are included.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching or attempted sexual touching, without Consent.

 

Sexual Exploitation: An act attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or other advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, non-consensual observation of individuals who are undressed or engaging in sexual acts, non-consensual audio- or video recording or streaming of sexual activity, prostituting another person, and allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or consent of all involved parties.

 

Coercion: The use or attempted use of pressure and/or oppressive behavior, including express or implied threats, intimidation, or physical force such that the application of pressure or oppression causes the recipient of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Coercion includes administering or pressuring another to consume a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance with the intent to impair that person’s ability to consent prior to engaging in sexual activity.

 

Complicity: Assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of the

Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.

 

Harm to Others: Physical violence including (but not limited to) physical abuse, assault, threats of violence, striking, shoving or subjecting another person to unwanted physical contact.

 

Harassing Conduct: Intentionally or recklessly endangering, threatening, or causing emotional harm to any person. This may also include causing physical damage to their property.

 

Harassment: Harassment includes any written, verbal or physical acts (including electronically transmitted acts) that is reasonably perceived as creating an intimidating or hostile work, learning or living environment, particularly if questionable behavior is repeated and/or if it continues after the offending party is informed of the objectionable and/or inappropriate nature of the behavior. Harassment can be a single incident, or a series of repeated incidents.

 

Sexually Inappropriate Behavior: Conduct that is lewd or obscene including sexually suggestive gestures or communication.  Public masturbation, disrobing or exposure of one’s self to another person without that person’s consent is one example. This may be an isolated occurrence.

 

Relationship Violence

Relationship Violence is a violation of this policy and is defined as:

 

Domestic Violence:

The Federal definition (from VAWA) of domestic violence.

 

A Felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed—

 

A)   By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;

B)   By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;

C)   By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;

D)   By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or

E)   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 jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

 

Pennsylvania law defines domestic abuse as knowingly, intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury of any kind, causing fear of bodily injury of any kind, assault (sexual or not sexual), rape, sexually abusing minor children, or knowingly engaging in a repetitive conduct toward a certain person that puts them in fear of bodily injury. These acts can take place between family or household members, sexual partners or those who share biological parenthood in order to qualify as domestic abuse.

 

Stalking:

The Federal definition (from VAWA) of stalking.

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

A)   Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or

B)   Suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purposes of this definition—

A)   Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker 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.

B)   Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

C)   Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

 

Pennsylvania law defines stalking when a person either:

           

(1)   Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or

 

(2)   Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.

 

Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence: Causing or attempting to cause physical or emotional harm, sexual assault or abuse, placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, restraining another’s liberty or freedom of movement, or stalking, where such conduct is directed against the Complainant by someone with whom they have been in a romantic or intimate relationship. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction. Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse.

 

Dating Violence is defined by the Federal Government (VAWA) as:

 

The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

  • Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and,
  • The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement with consideration of:
    • The length of the relationship;
    • The type of relationship;
    • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  • Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.