Sexual Misconduct Policy Definitions
Dating Violence means violence or threat of violence between individuals who have been or are currently in a personal and private social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic Violence means violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner, by a person with whom a child is shared in common, by a person cohabitating with or who has cohabitated with the individual as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse, or by any other person similarly situated to a spouse, or any other person against an adult or youth protected from those acts by domestic or family violence laws of Maryland. Domestic violence includes threats or a pattern of abusive behavior of a physical or sexual nature by one partner intended to control, intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, frighten, coerce or injure the other.
Sexual Assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Sexual assault can include incest, non-consensual sexual contact, and non-consensual sexual intercourse as defined by this policy. A) Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. B) Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight and with any object or body part, by a person upon another person, or exposure or disrobing of another, that is without consent (as defined below) or by force or coercion. This includes intentional contact with breasts, buttocks, groin, mouth, or genitals, as well as any other intentional bodily contact that occurs in a sexual manner. C) Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual penetration or copulation, however slight and with any object or body part, by a person upon another person, that is without consent (as defined below) or by force or coercion. Intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth and genital/anal contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Sexual Exploitation means taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another to benefit anyone other than the person being exploited. Examples include: Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or engaged in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed), invading privacy, prostituting another person, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in a closet to observe consensual sex or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent), taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act, or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity, engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI) without informing the other person of the infection, administering alcohol or drugs (such as date rape drugs) to another person without their knowledge or consent, sexually-based stalking or bullying, or exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, written, online, or physical conduct of a sexual, sex-based, and/or gender-based nature when: (1) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s basis for or evaluation of academic work, employment, or participation in any aspect of a college program or activity (2) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment. A hostile environment is created when harassment is severe, or pervasive or persistent, and objectively offensive such that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program, employment, or activities. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to the following: (1) verbal harassment or abuse; (2) pressure for sexual activity; (3) unwelcome touching; (4) suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, job, etc.; (5) displaying pornographic or sexually suggestive images in a place or manner where others could view such images and be offended; (6) using sexually suggestive language in a place or manner where others could hear such language and be offended; or (7) threatening to commit a violation of sexual misconduct against another person.
Stalking means a course of conduct directed at or the intentional, repetitive or menacing pursuit, following, harassment of another person, or other interference with the peace or safety of another person or their immediate family members that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress; including cyber-stalking. The definition of stalking also includes intentionally following another person in or about a public place without their consent. Stalking, harassment, and cyber-stalking behaviors may include, but are not limited to: (1) repeated, unwanted/unsolicited contact that includes face-to-face contact, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, electronic mail, instant messages, written letters, or unwanted gifts; (2) repeated, unwanted/unsolicited communication on public and college community internet sites; (3) disturbing online messages; (4) persistent physical approaches or requests for dates, meetings, etc.; (5) threats that create fear for one’s life or safety, or fear for the safety of one’s family, friends, roommates, or others; (6) unwanted touching; (7) pursuing or following another person, repeatedly showing up or waiting outside a person’s home, classroom, place of employment, or vehicle; (8) using surveillance or other types of observation, either in person or through the use of electronic devices or software to track or obtain private information; (9) harassing another person, either in person or through a third party; (10) using threatening gestures; (11) trespassing or breaking into a person’s vehicle or residence; or (12) vandalism or destruction of a person’s personal property.
Sex Offense is any act or behavior which fails to comply with or violates sexual offenses as defined by Maryland law.
Responsible EmployeeResponsible Employee includes any college employee who (1) has the authority to take action regarding sexual misconduct; (2) is an employee who has been given the duty of reporting sexual misconduct; or (3) is someone another individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. HCC has designated all HCC non-confidential college employees as responsible employees. This includes: the Title IX coordinators and all Title IX team members, all non-confidential administrators, all professional and technical staff, all support staff, all faculty, all athletic coaches, and all college public safety staff members. The college employees who are designated as confidential include: employees of HCC Counseling Services licensed for and acting as personal counselors and employees licensed for and acting in a medical capacity for a patient.
Retaliation is any adverse action, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Participation can include making a report, opposing in a reasonable manner an act or policy believed to constitute discrimination or harassment, or testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to a protected activity. Retaliation includes retaliatory discrimination or harassment.
Interim MeasuresInterim Measures means reasonably available steps the college may take to protect the parties while a sexual misconduct investigation is pending.