Sexual violence can take on many different forms, from rape to threats. Lack of consent is a critical factor in any sexual assault. Persons who engage in sexual conduct because of force, threats of force, or coercion have not consented to contact. Below are the John Carroll University definitions for types of sexual violence and consent. Please keep in mind that each state and university has different definitions for sexual violence.

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive references to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Toleration of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, professional or student status; or
  2. Toleration of or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, educational experience, or living environment, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, educational, or living environment.
  4. Sexual harassment can be verbal, written, physical or pictorial in nature.

Sexual Assault is engaging in, or attempting to engage in anal, oral, or vaginal penetration however slight by anyone with any body part or object without the effective consent of the other person.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any unwelcome intentional sexual touching.  This includes any contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other bodily orifice of another, as well as the touching of another with any of these body parts, by a person upon any other person, without effective consent.

Sexual Exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, regardless of whether such behavior constitutes one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.  Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual recording. Non-consensual digital, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nakedness (full or partial).  This includes the unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nakedness (full or partial).
  • Compelling Prostitution. Forcing or inducing another individual to engage in sexual activity for hire.
  • Voyeurism. This is a form of sexual exploitation in which one individual engages in secretive observation of another for personal sexual pleasure or engages in nonconsensual video or audio recording of sexual acts or nakedness.  This behavior is a form of sexual misconduct and violates the dignity of affected party(ies), even if the person secretively viewed or recorded may be unaware of the observation or recording.
  • Exposure. Disrobing or exposure of one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals without the consent of the other person, or inducing another to disrobe or to expose their breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to another person without their consent.

University Consent Standard

  1. Effective consent is granted when a person freely, actively and knowingly agrees at the time to participate in a particular sexual act with a particular person. Effective consent exists when mutually understandable words and/or actions demonstrate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon activity at every stage of that sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and/or actions of the parties to have reached agreement to engage in the particular sexual activity. In the absence of mutually understandable affirmative words or actions, it becomes the responsibility of the initiator (the person who wants to engage in a specific sexual activity) to obtain effective consent from the other partner.
  2. Effective consent has time boundaries. Consent at one time does not imply consent at any other time.
  3. The existence of a dating/romantic relationship between the persons involved or the fact of a previous sexual relationship does not automatically establish effective consent for future sexual activity.
  4. There is no consent when agreement is only inferred from a person’s silence or lack of resistance; there is threat of physical force, harm or intimidation; or there is coercion.
  5. Minors younger than 16 do not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity.
  6. There is no consent when someone engaging in sexual behavior knew or should have known that the other person was incapacitated.  Regardless of the state of the respondent, the University will use the perspective of a “sober and reasonable person” in determining whether one should have known about the impact of the use of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, etc. on another’s ability to give consent.  Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, the person seeking the sexual behavior is strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume the other person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent.
  7. Incapacitation exists when a person is unaware, blacked out, unconscious, unable to make rational/reasonable decisions and/or otherwise physically or mentally helpless to give effective consent.  Indicators of incapacitation include, but are not limited to: outrageous/unusual behavior, inability or diminished ability to accurately discern one’s environment (who, what, where, when and/or how), slurred speech, vomiting, severe intoxication, loss of voluntary motor skills, loss of involuntary motor skills, disjointed speech patterns (unable to follow a conversation or verbalize complete thoughts), and/or sleepiness that demonstrates an inability to control one’s ability to stay awake.
  8. Coercion exists when a person engages in threats, sexual pressuring or oppressive behavior to force another person to engage in unwanted sexual activity.  Real or perceived power differentials between the individuals involved may create an atmosphere conducive to coercion.  (Coercion can be differentiated from seduction by a repetition of the coercive activity in the face of resistance, the degree of pressure applied or the initiator’s knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.)

For more information on the Interpersonal Violence policy and procedures at John Carroll, please click here to review the Community Standards Manual.

For information on Ohio law, please click here to review the Ohio Revised Code.