What is Sexual Violence?

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 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 (see University Consent Standard) of the other person.

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 without consent.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when one engages in activity of a sexual nature which involves another person. Examples include (but are not limited to): the non-consensual filming, photographing or otherwise recording and/or transmission of sexual activity or nudity, voyeurism or complicity in voyeurism, the knowing transmission of a sexually transmitted infection, and inducing incapacitation in another with intent to take sexual advantage of another (whether or not sexual activity actually takes place).

Consent is the freely given and mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent once given, may be withdrawn. If one partner initially offers words or actions that indicate consent, that partner may withdraw consent by indicating by word or action that consent has been discontinued. 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: Consent can only be given by those with capacity to consent. Mentally disabled persons and physically incapacitated persons may not have the capacity to give consent. One may temporarily have a substan­tial impairment as a result of mental illness, uncon­sciousness, or as a result of alcohol or drug-induced impairment. One may not engage in sexual activity with another person when one knows or has reason­able cause to believe that person to be substantially impaired due to alcohol or drug consumption or other incapacitation.

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

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.