The Northwest College Sexual Misconduct Policy addresses acts of sexual misconduct, such as sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and sex-based discrimination.
Acts of sexual misconduct are prohibited at Northwest College.
Northwest College policy, as well as applicable federal and state laws, prohibits retaliation, intimidation, or reprisal against anyone who files a complaint and/or who cooperates with or participates in any procedures or investigations related to complaints of sexual misconduct.
The following definitions detail different types of sexual misconduct.
Date rape involves act(s) of sexual violence committed in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The most prevalent form of sexual assault on college campuses is “acquaintance rape (assault).” Those involved know each other either through classes, activities, mutual friends, in a residence hall, or in another social venue.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), 7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim (RAINN, 2016).
Domestic violence is committed by a current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, or any other person who has or had a primary legal or social connection. The following domestic violence behaviors from the Northwest College Sexual Misconduct Policy involve the perpetrator having a substantial relationship with the victim:
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) broadens the definition of Domestic Violence to include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. Any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone can also be a part of domestic violence (DOJ, 2016).
The following descriptions from the Department of Justice provide more details about the different types of domestic violence:
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It affects people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. It can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating (DOJ, 2016).
Dating violence involves controlling, abusive, or aggressive behaviors in a romantic relationship. Dating violence behaviors can include:
The National Center for Victims of Crime expands on the behaviors involved in dating violence to include:
Sexual assault is a general term that covers a range of crimes, including the following:
Sexual coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity OR the use of words or actions that cause a person to fear the “coercer” shall inflict bodily harm.
When a person says “no” or “stop” or physically indicates a desire to stop the sexual activity, any further coercive pressure to continue constitutes as sexual coercion.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:
Non-consensual sexual contact is any unwarranted or unwanted touching of another’s body on areas such as the breasts, buttocks, genital area, or the inner thigh. It could also involve subjecting another person to sexually suggestive acts or gestures.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (Rape):
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse or penetration, no matter how slight (anal, oral, or vaginal), by a penis, tongue, finger, or other body part or any object. This penetration is without consent or is via force (NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy)
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It also includes acts of intimidation, bullying, aggression, or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
The following are examples of sexual harassment explained in the NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy:
Consequences to education or employment
Sexual harassment could include a situation when submission or consent to the unwelcome behavior is reasonably believed to carry consequences for the individual’s education, employment, on-campus living environment, or participation in a college activity. This type of harassment could include the following situations:
Severe or Pervasive Conduct
Sexual harassment could include a situation when the behavior is so severe or pervasive that is has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a college activity. Examples of this situation may be:
Determining a Hostile Environment
Offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment; however, repeated incidents increase the likelihood that this harassment has created a hostile environment. A serious incident, even if isolated, can be sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.
In determining whether harassment creates a hostile environment, the harassment shall be considered not only from the perspective of the individual who feels harassed, but also from the perspective of a reasonable person in a similar situation. Also, factors such as the following shall be considered (this list is not exhaustive):
Harassment does not include verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject material or curriculum, and the NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy shall not abridge academic freedom or the College's educational mission. In particular, the NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy does not limit classroom teaching concerning topics legitimately related to the content or purposes of a course, even though such topics may elicit discomfort in a class member. Nor is the policy intended to limit scholarly research, publication, or public speaking on gender-related or protected class-related topics (NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy).
Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. The NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy provides the following examples of sexual exploitation:
Stalking, according to the NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy, means engaging in a course of conduct, either directly or indirectly, that is directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
The National Center for Victims of Crime expands the definition of stalking. Stalking is a pattern of behaviors that make a person feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It could involve repeated contact, following a person, sending someone items, unwanted verbal contact, or threats. Stalking behaviors can include:
Conduct that is based upon an individual’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation that excludes an individual from participation, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual unfavorably, or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a college program (NWC Sexual Misconduct Policy)