Definitions of Sexual Harassment Terms

The University of Georgia’s Equal Opportunity Office uses the following definitions when investigating sexual harassment complaints.

Consent – Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation.  (See separate definition of "Incapacitation.") Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given.  Past consent does not imply present or future consent.  Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

Dating Violence - Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim.

Domestic ViolenceViolence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim, by a person with whom the alleged victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Domestic violence that involves a sexual or amorous relationship aspect or a prohibited bias factor (e.g., race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability status or veteran status) will be addressed by the Equal Opportunity Office.  Where there is no sexual or amorous relationship aspect and no prohibited bias factor involved, domestic violence by an employee will be addressed by Human Resources or the Office of Legal Affairs and domestic violence by a student will be addressed by the Office of Student Conduct.

Force – Physical violence, threats, intimidation or sexual coercion (see separate definition of "Sexual Coercion" below).

Incapacitation - The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments, and can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs.  Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.

Intercourse – Vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact - An intentional sexual touching upon a person, without consent or where the person is incapacitated, and/or by force, by another person or with any object.  Sexual contact includes but is not limited to, intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with these body parts, or making another touch the alleged victim or themselves with or on any of these body parts.

Rape – Any sexual intercourse, however slight including with any object, by one person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Assault – An umbrella term referring to a range of non-consensual sexual contact, which can occur in many forms, including but not limited to, rape and sexual battery.

Sexual BatteryAny sexual contact, including with an object, by one person upon another, that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Coercion - The application of an unreasonable amount of pressure or emotional/psychological manipulation to gain sexual access.

Sexual ExploitationOccurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.

Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following
1. Invasion of sexual privacy;
2. Prostituting another individual;
3. Non-consensual video or audio of sexual activity;
4. Non-consensual distribution of video or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity or video or audio taken of sexual activity was consensual;
5. Intentional observation of unconsenting individual who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;
6. Knowingly transmitted an STD or HIV to another individual;
7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one's breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or
8. Sexually-based bullying.

Stalking - Engaging in a course of conduct directed at another person based upon sex that would cause a reasonable person (i) to fear for his or her safety or the safety of immediate family members or close acquaintances, or (ii) to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Stalking that involves a sexual or amorous relationship aspect or a prohibited bias factor (e.g., race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability status or veteran status) will be addressed by the Equal Opportunity Office.  Where there is no sexual or amorous relationship aspect and no prohibited bias factor involved, stalking by an employee will be addressed by Human Resources or the Office of Legal Affairs and stalking by a student will be addressed by the Office of Student Conduct.

Category: 
Types of Discrimination