Definitions of gender-based or sexual misconduct

Members of the Kishwaukee College community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from gender-based or sexual misconduct including sexual violence, as further defined below. This detailed definition is provided to educate the campus community about what types of behaviors constitute gender-based or sexual misconduct, and to accompany the College’s policy prohibiting such misconduct.


Gender-based or sexual misconduct may occur between individuals or groups of individuals of any sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender identity. Forms of gender-based or sexual misconduct include:

  1. Sexual harassment:  Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from College educational programs or activities.
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:  Any intentional sexual touching, however slight and with any object or body part, that is without consent (as defined below) and/or is accomplished by force or coercion. This includes intentional contact with breasts, buttocks, groin, mouth, or genitals, as well as any other intentional bodily contact that occurs in a sexual manner.
  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse:  Any sexual penetration or copulation, however slight and with any object or body part, which is without consent and/or by force.  Intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth and genital/anal contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
  4. Sexual Exploitation:  Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of an individual to benefit anyone other than the person being exploited.  Examples include: invading privacy, video or audio recording sexual acts without consent, knowingly transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), sexually-based stalking or bullying, or exposing one’s genitals.
  5. Other Gender-Based Misconduct:  Physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person on the basis of actual, expressed, or perceived gender identity, including:
    1. Discrimination: Actions that deprive others of access, benefits, or opportunities based on irrelevant criteria
    2. Hazing: Acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social exclusion or humiliation
    3. Bullying:  Repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or degrade another person physically or mentally
    4. Intimate Relationship Violence:  Violence between those in a sexual and/or comparably personal and private relationship
    5. Stalking: Repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment, or other interference with the peace and/or safety of another person or that of his or her immediate family members

Consent is defined as permission to act. It may be given by words or actions, so long as those words or actions create clear, mutually understood permission to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Consent must be:

  • Active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. There is no requirement that an individual resist a sexual act or advance, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. It is the responsibility of the initiator of the act to receive permission for the specific act. As a result, consent may be requested and given several times by multiple parties during a sexual encounter involving multiple acts.
  • Given freely.  A person cannot give consent under force, threats, or unreasonable pressure (coercion). Coercion includes continued pressure after an individual has made it clear he/she does not want to engage in the behavior.
  • Provided knowingly.  A person must be of legal age (17 years old in Illinois) to give consent. Legally valid consent to sexual activity cannot be given by an individual who is known to be (or based on the circumstances should reasonably be known to be) mentally or physically incapacitated. An incapacitated individual is someone who cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he or she lacks the capacity to understand the "who, what, when, where, why, or how" of a sexual interaction. This includes a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, unconsciousness, or use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Specific.  Permission to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply permission for another activity. In addition, previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts.

(This information is adapted from the ATIXA Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) and the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), 2011).

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