Violence Against Women Terms & Definitions

  • CONFIDENTIAL– Entrusted with private or restricted information.
  • CONSENT– Consent is a clear, affirmative, unambiguous and freely given agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated verbally or through actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in the specific sexual activity. Consent for a specific activity does not imply consent for any other activity. Use of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.

    Consent must be knowing and voluntary. To give consent, a person must be awake, of legal age and have the capacity to reasonably understand the nature of their actions. Consent cannot be given by an individual who is mentally or physically incapacitated through the effect of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants or for any other reason. Consent cannot be given when it is coerced, forced, or obtained by use of fear, duress (unlawful pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act that they ordinarily would not perform), threats (spoken or written words tending to intimidate or menace others) or violence (abuse of force).

    Consent is not implied by the existence of a prior or current relationship or participation in prior sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time an is automatically withdrawn by a person who is no longer capable of giving consent. South Suburban College deems that sexual activity ceases immediately when consent is withdrawn.

  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE– According to the Department of Justice, the term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the 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 victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, 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.
  • DATING VIOLENCE– The Department of Justice defines “dating violence” as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • INCAPACITATION– The inability to provide consent or stop what is happening because the person has significant impairments to perform a specified act or function (i.e. say “no” to engaging in a sexual act). Behaviors that may indicate incapacitation include but are not limited to: slurring words, inability to walk or stand, disorganized thinking, inability to answer simple questions correctly (i.e. current location, day of week), nausea and/or vomiting, passed out, asleep. It would also provide the opportunity to explain how incapacitation is evaluated – i.e. did the initiator of sexual activity know or should they have known about the incapacitation.
  • RAPE– Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration initiated against one or more individuals without the consent of those individuals. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated or below the legal age of consent.
  • RETALIATION– Any act of reprisal, including negative or otherwise unwarranted treatment related to the reporting of, or participation in a complaint of sexual assault, dating violence domestic violence or stalking.
  • SEXUAL ASSAULT– Any form of non-consensual sexual activity. Sexual assault includes all unwanted sexual acts that range from fondling to attempted rape or rape. Rape is defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Sexual assault also includes sex with minors, sex between a minor and a person who is 18 years or older and holds a position of authority over the complainant, and sex with a person who is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give consent. SSC believes – unconditionally – that sexual assault is unacceptable under any circumstance.
  • SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION– Read the South Suburban College’s Board of Trustees’ Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Policy 410.01.
  • STALKING– Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking may be comprised of legal and illegal behaviors that occur over time and harassing in nature because of their content, frequency, and unwelcome nature.

    Stalking behaviors may include but are not limited to acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.