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Definitions

The University of Hartford prohibits sexual violence and other sexual misconduct, as defined in our Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment and Community Standards Sexual Misconduct. Please consult the policy for more detailed definitions.

Title IX Definitions

Title IX Sexual Assault includes the following:

  • 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 alleged person.
  • The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without the consent of the alleged person.
  • Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Title IX Dating Violence:

Violence, including sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a person (a) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged person; and (b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship, and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Title IX Domestic Violence:

Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged person, by a person with whom the alleged person shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the alleged person as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged person under the domestic or family violence laws of Connecticut, or by any other person against an adult or youth alleged person who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Connecticut.

Title IX Stalking:

Engaging in 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 suffer substantial emotional distress. For purposes of this definition, (a) course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged 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; (b) reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person; and (c) substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Other Sexual Misconduct Constituting a Violation of the Policy

Discrimination on the basis of sex.

Pursuant to Connecticut law, any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic grade, salary, benefit, or service; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment, academic grading, or other decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

Pursuant to Connecticut law, intentional sexual touching however slight with any body part or object by a person upon another person that is without consent.

  • Sexual touching includes: Intentional contact with private parts of the body such as the breasts, groin, genitals, anus, or mouth of another, or making another touch you or their private parts.

Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent pursuant to Connecticut law.

Pursuant to Connecticut law, relationship violence is a pattern of behavior in a domestic, intimate or dating relationship that is used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. This behavior can be verbal, emotional, or physical. Examples include, but are not limited to: striking another person, property damage, public humiliation, harassment, and verbal or physical threats. It includes threatening or causing physical harm or engaging in other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person. Any such conduct or any offense under the University’s Code of Community Standards will be considered Prohibited Conduct and resolved under this Policy if it arises out of an intimate partner, dating or domestic relationship (even if such relationship has ended). The University will evaluate the existence of the relationship taking into consideration such as the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the individuals involved in the relationship.

Taking advantage of a person due to their sex or gender identity for personal gain or gratification, such as abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Recording, photographing, disseminating, or posting images of private sexual activity or a person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks) without consent; o Threatening to disseminate sensitive personal material of a sexual nature (e.g. photos, videos) by any means to any person or entity without consent;
  • Allowing third parties to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location without consent (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g., Skype or livestreaming of images);
  • Stealing articles of clothing for personal sexual gain or satisfaction;
  • Manipulation of contraception;
  • Peeping or voyeurism;
  • Prostituting another person;
  • Intentionally or knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge; or
  • Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography.

Faculty, administrators, coaches, and other employees must avoid and refrain from romantic or sexual relationships, even if consensual, with students whom they teach, advise, or supervise (or whom they may teach or supervise in the future). The relationship between teacher, advisor, or mentor and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and personal development. In addition to creating the potential for coercion, any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process by creating an actual or potential conflict of interest and may impair the educational environment for other students. Employees or students with questions about this policy are advised to consult with the University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy.

Other forms of misconduct, when gender-based, are Prohibited Conduct, including but not limited to:

  • Sex offenses (other than those listed above) under applicable federal and state law;
  • Gender-based Hazing;
  • Assisting another person in committing Prohibited Conduct;
  • Gender-based threats or actions which inflict physical injury or emotional distress on others;
  • Gender-based acts injurious or creating a risk of injury to a person under the age of 18.

Definition of Consent

Consent is defined as an active, knowing, and voluntary exchange of affirmative words and/or actions that indicate and effectively communicate a willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement.

  • In order to give consent, a person must be of the legal age of consent. Under most circumstances, the age of consent in Connecticut is 16.
  • Consent must be freely and actively given.
  • Silence, the lack of resistance, or the lack of a negative response is not consent.
  • A person who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs, whether voluntarily or involuntarily consumed, cannot give consent.
  • A person who is asleep cannot give consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not indicate consent to another form of sexual activity.
  • Neither past consent nor a past relationship indicates current or future consent.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time; and
  • Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent.

Consent must be freely and meaningfully given. Consent cannot be freely and meaningfully given if the person whose consent is needed is incapacitated, or if the consent is obtained by means of force or coercion.

For Purposes of This Policy?

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions due to a lack of capacity to give knowing consent, (i.e., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of sexual interaction).

  • Sexual activity with someone who is—or based on circumstances should reasonably have known to be—mentally or physically incapacitated (i.e., by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout) constitutes a violation of this Sexual Violence Policy.
  • A person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption (voluntary or otherwise) of incapacitating drugs cannot give consent.
  • Alcohol-related incapacity results from a level of alcohol ingestion that is more severe than impairment, being under the influence, drunkenness or intoxication.

Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity, including without limitation the use of threats, intimidation, or emotional manipulation to persuade someone to do something they may not want to do, such as being sexual or performing certain sexual acts. Being coerced into having sex or performing sexual acts is not consenting sex and is considered sexual misconduct.