Types of Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment Defined
Discriminatory harassment is defined as any verbal, physical, written or symbolic behavior that is directed at an identifiable individual or group and/ or their property and is based on that individual’s or group’s membership (or perceived membership) in a particular demographic group, including race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin or ethnicity, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation, and interferes with a reasonable person’s academic or work performance, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation or environment for a person or that subjects a person to unwanted and unsolicited attention. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to, the use of slurs, epithets, name-calling, gestures, demeaning jokes, derogatory stereotypes, bullying, or conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful or humiliating or cause a person to feel unsafe.
For purposes of Allegheny’s policy, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode as well as in persistent behavior.
Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment, and it includes any type of sexual activity perpetrated against a person’s will, where that person does not give clear and voluntary consent or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to drug or alcohol use or due to intellectual or other disabilities.
Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and it includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure or force to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
Pennsylvania law defines domestic violence 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 repetitive conduct toward a certain person (i.e. stalking) that puts them in fear of bodily injury. These acts can take place between family or household members, current or former spouses, sexual partners or those who share biological parenthood in order to qualify as domestic violence or abuse.
The term “stalking” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others; or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Cyber-stalking, or the repeated use of electronic communications to harass or cause fear, is also included in this definition.
Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary.
Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or some other condition and cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force. Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply ongoing or future consent. Consent can be revoked at any time.
We believe that everyone has the right to sexuality without violence and as part of that, we believe that positive sexuality begins with enthusiastic consent. This means being as excited and into someone else’s enjoyment as we are excited and into our own enjoyment. Only yes means yes – and yes should come from an engaged and enthusiastic partner.
Alcohol & Sexual Violence
Estimates suggest that up to 85% of sexual assaults among college students involve alcohol or other drugs. It is the most commonly used substance to facilitate sexual assault. Even if your child chose to use alcohol or drugs, they DID NOT ASK TO BE or DESERVE TO BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED!