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Definitions

In addition to the following definitions, the Wisconsin statutory definitions of violent acts are included in the appendix of this policy.

Student

Any person who is currently enrolled for a course of studies except those on program hiatus.

Consent

Consent is informed, knowing and voluntary participation in any desired sexual activity. Sexual intimacy requires that all participants consent to the activity. Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words and actions create a clear and mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity. The person giving the consent must act freely, voluntarily, and with an understanding of his or her actions when giving the consent. Lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, and silence alone​ cannot be interpreted as consent. Relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. Persons who want to engage in sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent—it should never be assumed. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

Coercion

Coercion is defined as compelling someone to act based on:

  • Harassment
  • Threats
  • Intimidation 
  • An unreasonable amount of pressure

When someone makes clear that he or she does not want to engage in sexual conduct, wants it to stop, or does not wish to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is coercive. 

Reporting Party

Any person who may have been the subject of any Title IX offense by an individual or organization covered under this policy regardless of whether the Reporting Party makes a report or complaint or seeks action under this policy. This person may also be identified as “complainant,” “victim,” and/or “survivor.” 

Responding Party

Any person or organization who has been accused of violating this policy.  This person or organization may also be identified as “respondent,” “accused,” and/or “perpetrator.”

Responsible Employee

An NWTC employee who has the authority to take action, duty of reporting incidents of sexual misconduct, and someone who may be perceived to have the authority or duty to do so. This person may also be identified as a Non-Confidential Reporter.

Retaliation

Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has, in good faith, filed, supported, or participated in an investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct, as defined above, is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint, or to provide false or misleading information, or engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person's educational, living, or work environment. Retaliation also includes similar conduct engaged in by a third party at the complainant’s or respondent’s request. Depending on the circumstances, retaliation may be unlawful and may constitute a violation of this policy, whether or not the Title IX complaint is ultimately found to have merit.

Hate Crime

The victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, political affiliation or disability. 

Sexual Misconduct 

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by force or intimidation, or that is otherwise unwelcome.

Sexual misconduct includes:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Relationship violence (domestic and dating)
  • Hostile environment

Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors or attempted behaviors. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can occur between members of the same or different gender and can also occur while individuals are fully clothed. 

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined very broadly by criminal law. It includes a wide variety of conduct from sexual intercourse to sexual contact, without the consent of the other person. Criminal sexual contact can be as limited as a single instance of touching a woman’s breast, buttocks, or genital area, or touching a man’s buttocks or genital area, without that person’s consent, even if the person touched is fully clothed. Other examples of sexual assault include:

  • Rape
  • Acquaintance rape
  • Forcible fondling
  • Sodomy (oral or anal intercourse)
  • Sexual penetration with an object

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation involves taking non-consensual sexual advantage of another person, even though the behavior might not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone's ability to participate in, or benefit from the College's educational program and/or activities and is based on power differentials. This policy prohibits conduct that would violate Federal and State laws. Sexual harassment includes:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
  • Making submission to, or rejection of, such conduct a factor in academic or employment decisions affecting the student or employee
  • Permitting such conduct to unreasonably interfere with a student’s academic performance or an employee's work performance
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action (Quid pro quo)
  • Adverse educational or employment action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct (retaliatory harassment)

Stalking

Stalking involves harassment, intimidation, surveillance or a similar course of repeated conduct that is intended to cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or suffer substantial emotional distress, serious physical injury, or death. Stalking includes conduct directed at the victim’s immediate family, a spouse, or intimate partner. Stalking can also be a form of sexual harassment and/or it can involve a total stranger.

Relationship Violence

Relationship violence is conduct in which the parties involved know each other or had a prior relationship and may include acquaintance rape, dating violence and domestic violence.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence refers to violence committed by a: 

  • Current or former spouse or intimate partner
  • Current or former cohabitant
  • Person with whom a victim shares a child in common
  • Person similarly situated to a spouse under domestic or family violence law
  • Anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law

Dating Relationship

Dating violence is inappropriate conduct when the parties involved are, or have been, in a romantic or intimate relationship and does not include a causal relationship between two individuals in a business or social context. Whether a relationship exists will depend on the length, type, and frequency of interaction. 

Hostile Environment

Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it alters the conditions of employment or limits, interferes with or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint. 

Other Misconduct Offenses (when gender based) 

  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person
  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another
  • Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally​​
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