The terms below are commonly used when talking about Title IX, sexual assault, and relationship violence.
It is important to know that the term sexual assault includes relationship violence and stalking. All of these behaviors are forms of sex-based discrimination.
Glossary of Terms
It is the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity throughout the duration of that activity. Affirmative consent means affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Without affirmative consent, sexual activity is unlawful and violates District policy.
Consent must be informed. Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.
Consent must be voluntary. It must be given without coercion, force, threats or intimidation. Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act pursuant to an exercise of free will.
Consent is revocable. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Don’t assume that previous permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately. Accept the other person’s decision. “No” means “no.” Don’t read other meanings into the answer. Don’t continue after “no”— regardless of how compliant the person seems. Don’t assume anything. Ask! Communicate! Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated or otherwise unable or incapable of providing consent. A person cannot consent if he or she is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person cannot consent if he or she is under the threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion. A person cannot consent if his or her understanding of the act is affected by a physical or mental impairment. Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs. Both interfere with clear thinking and effective communication.
For purposes of District policy, the age of consent is 18 years of age.
Dating violence is a form of relationship violence. It means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person against whom the violence is perpetrated; 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
- the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
Dating violence is also considered sexual harassment.
Domestic violence is a form of relationship violence. It means abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant or person with whom the person who commits the act has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. “Cohabitant” means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. This is also considered sexual harassment.
Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to the following (Penal Code, § 13700, sub. (b).):
- sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters
- sharing of income or expenses
- joint use or ownership of property
- whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife
- the continuity of the relationship
- the length of the relationship
Equity officers receive complaints and conduct investigations to determine if misconduct (meaning discrimination, harassment, or retaliation) occurred. Equity officers work with Title IX officers ensure that we comply with our obligations under Title IX to eliminate gender-based discrimination and harassment.
The primary focus of a sexual assault evidentiary exam is to assess a person’s immediate health care needs, as well as to collect and preserve evidence. The exam does two things: provides sensitive and thorough medical care and collects evidence that may be helpful to the prosecution of your case.
Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe and/or pervasive, objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to the college’s benefits, programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the college’s resources and opportunities.
Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or other drugs consumed affect a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences and ability to make fully informed judgments. Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent. The factors to be considered when determining whether consent was given include whether the person accused (responding party) knew, or whether a reasonable person should have known, that the reporting party was incapacitated.
Relationship violence (also known as intimate partner violence) includes dating violence and domestic violence. Relationship violence is physical violence related to a current or former romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of the length of the relationship or gender or gender identity of the individuals in the relationship.
Relationship violence includes conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be fearful for his or her safety and cuts across lines of race, nationality, language, culture, economics, sexual orientation, and religion.
Relationship violence is considered sexual harassment.
Warning signs of relationship violence
The following traits are warning signs of an abusive partner:
- Jealousy of time spent with co-workers, friends and family
- Controlling behavior, such as closely monitoring a person’s comings and goings or money or insisting on “helping” a person make personal decisions
- Isolation, or cutting a person off from supportive resources such as friends, co-workers and close family members
- Blaming others for their problems
- Using “playful” force in sex (for example, throwing a person and holding them down during sex, initiating sex with a person when that person is sleeping, or demanding sex when a person is ill or tired)
- Verbal abuse, such as saying cruel and hurtful things and degrading or humiliating a person
- Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality – charming in public but abusive in private
- History of battering
If any of the following are true for you, then you may be experiencing relationship violence:
- You are afraid of your partner
- You constantly watch what you say to avoid a fight
- You have feelings of low self-worth and helplessness about your relationship
- You hide bruises or other injuries from family or friends
- You are prevented from working, studying, going home, and/or using technology
- You are forced or pressured to do anything you don't want to do
A reporting party is a person who alleges they have been sexual assaulted or the victim of sexual violence, relationship violence including domestic violence and dating violence, or stalking.
A responding party is the person alleged to have committed sexual assault including sexual violence, relationship violence including domestic violence and dating violence, or stalking.
Sexual assault is broader than sexual violence and includes, but is not limited to, rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, rape by a foreign object, sexual battery, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or threat of sexual assault. This is also considered sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone from or in the work or educational setting, under any of the following conditions:
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or a condition of an individual’s employment, academic status, or progress
- Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment or an academic decision affecting the individual
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment
- Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through Los Rios Community College District and its colleges.
Sexual harassment may include incidents between any members of the college community, including faculty and other academic appointees, staff, student employees, students, coaches, interns, and non-student or non-employee participants in college programs (such as vendors, contractors, visitors, and so on). Sexual harassment may occur in hierarchical relationships, between peers or between individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. To determine whether the reported conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record of the conduct as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the conduct occurred.
Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to his or her use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. This is also considered sexual harassment.
Stalking is when one person commits a series of willful and malicious actions that harass another person and make that person fear for their safety. For example, a stalker may continually call or follow another person or leave unwanted notes or gifts. Stalking can also be done online with offensive or threatening messages.
The stalker may be someone with whom the victim has had a relationship, such as a former boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. The stalker may also be a casual acquaintance or a complete stranger.
Stalking is considered sexual harassment.
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Each college has a Title IX Officer who is responsible for the coordination and administration of the District’s non-discrimination and harassment policies based on sex. In this role, the Title IX Officers are responsible for overseeing the college’s Title IX compliance efforts and its complaint resolution procedures. All colleges also have an Equity Officer, the Equity Officer conducts the actual investigation into all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault.
WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence in Sacramento County. The WEAVE representative can help you talk through your options and provide support, accompaniment and resources.
The WEAVE Confidential Advocate is a person who will confidentially assist the reporting party or third party with information and referrals to medical and counseling resources. The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will help the reporting party report the matter to the police or the college Title IX Officer if requested to do so by the reporting party. The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will accompany the reporting party to any medical visits, court proceedings or college proceedings, as requested. The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will keep the report confidential unless they are required to disclose it by law. The WEAVE confidential Advocate will be required to disclose the report if the reporting party is a minor or the conduct occurred while he or she was a minor or if a court compels the WEAVE Confidential Advocate to testify. The WEAVE Confidential Advocate is not an employee of Los Rios. Reports to the WEAVE Confidential Advocate are not official reports to the college. No further college or police action will occur unless the reporting party files a formal complaint.