Sexual violence can take on many different forms, from rape to threats. Lack of consent is a critical factor in any sex 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 means 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: engaging in, or attempting to engage in, oral, vaginal, or anal penetration through any means (i.e., penis, tongue, finger, foreign object, etc.) without the consent of the other person (see University Consent Standard below).

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact includes any touching of any sexual body parts (i.e., breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, etc.) or the touching of another with these body parts without consent. It also includes disrobing or exposure of another or to another without consent.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when individuals take non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.  Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, invasion of sexual privacy, prostituting another person, non-consensual digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity, unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity, engaging in voyeurism, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex), knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, sexually transmitted disease, or HIV to another person, intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, inducing others to expose their genitals, and inducing incapacitation with intent to take sexual advantage of another person.  Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

University Consent Standard

  1. Consent is freely given using mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and/or actions of the parties to have reached an 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 affirmative consent from the other partner.
  2. Consent once given, may be withdrawn. If one partner initially offers words or actions that indicate consent, that partner may withdraw consent by indicating with words or actions that consent has been discontinued.
  3. Consent for one sexual activity does not indicate consent for other forms of sexual activity. Similarly, past sexual consent does not imply future consent.

Capacity for Consent

  1. Incapacitation is defined as being in a state in which a person sufficiently lacks the cognitive ability to realize that the situation is sexual, or cannot appreciate (rationally and reasonably) the nature and/or extent of that situation.
  2. Consent can only be given by those with capacity to consent. Minors younger than16 do not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity. For adults, capacity to consent is on a case by case basis. Mentally disabled persons and physically incapacitated persons may not have the capacity to give consent. One may be incapacitated temporarily as a result of mental illness, unconsciousness, or as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption.
  3. One may not engage in sexual activity with another person when one knows or has reasonable cause to believe that person to be incapacitated due to alcohol or other drug consumption or other reasons. Taken in context, some indicators of possible incapacitation may include, but are not limited to the following: vomiting; slurred speech; decreased motor coordination; sleeping; unconsciousness; erratic or extreme behavior; knowledge of person’s consumption; or bloodshot eyes.

Coercion Consent which is obtained through the use of fraud or force, whether by physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion invalidates the consent.

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.