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Prohibited Conduct Definitions

This Policy prohibits Sexual Harassment, Other Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation as set forth below. Prohibited Conduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Prohibited Conduct can be committed by any person, regardless of gender identity, and can occur between people of the same or different sex, sexual orientation, or gender expression. For more information, view University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct.

Sexual Harassment Definitions / Other Sexual Misconduct Definitions / Retaliation Definition

A. Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

1.      Quid Pro Quo: An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

2.      Hostile Environment: Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s Education Program or Activity.

3.      Sexual Assault: An offense classified as a sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sex offenses are any sexual acts directed against another person, without the Consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving Consent (Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration or Fondling); also, unlawful sexual intercourse (Incest or Statutory Rape).

a.       Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the genital or anal opening of the body of another person with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the Consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving Consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.[1]

b.   Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without the Consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving Consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

c.   Incest: Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

d.   Statutory Rape: Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.[2]

4.      Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

a.       The length of the relationship;

b.      The type of relationship; and

c.       The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

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

6.      Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

a.       Fear for their own safety or the safety of others; or

b.      Suffer substantial emotional distress.

B.    Other Sexual Misconduct means the following conduct:

1.      Sexual Harassment that occurred against a person outside of the United States or not within an Education Program or Activity, or otherwise does not fall under Title IX.

2.      Sexual Coercion: The use of unreasonable pressure in an effort to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against the individual’s will. A person’s words or conduct are sufficient to constitute Sexual Coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Sexual Coercion includes but is not limited to intimidation, manipulation, express or implied threats of emotional or physical harm, and/or blackmail. Examples of Sexual Coercion include but are not limited to causing the deliberate Incapacitation of another person; conditioning an academic benefit or employment advantage on submission to the sexual contact; threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in sexual contact; or threatening to disclose an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or other personal sensitive information if the other party does not engage in the sexual contact.

3.      Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited.

4.      Sexual Intimidation: Threatening behavior of a sexual nature directed at another person, such as threatening to sexually assault another person or engaging in indecent exposure.

5.      Attempted Sexual Assault: An attempt to commit Sexual Assault.

6.      Other Sex-Based Offenses: Unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other behavior of a sexual or gender-based nature where:

a.       Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in a University-sponsored educational program or activity;

b.      Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an academic, employment, or activity or program participation decision affecting that individual; or

c.       Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, i.e., it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment.

C.     Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against, or otherwise taking an adverse action against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or University policy relating to Prohibited Conduct, or because an individual has made a report, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to Prohibited Conduct. Adverse actions include but are not limited to impeding an individual’s academic advancement; terminating, refusing to hire, or refusing to promote an individual; or transferring or assigning an individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, hours, job classification, or job security. Retaliation includes retaliatory harassment. Adverse actions, including charges against an individual for violations of other University policies that do not involve sex discrimination or Prohibited Conduct, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or complaint of Prohibited Conduct, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law, constitutes Retaliation. However, charging an individual with a violation of other University policies for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a proceeding does not constitute Retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any Party made a materially false statement in bad faith. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute Retaliation. The University will keep confidential, to the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the identity of any individual who has made a report of Prohibited Conduct.

[1] This definition encompasses the FBI uniform crime reporting system offenses required by Title IX.

[2] The statutory age of consent in Maryland is 16. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §§ 3-301 to -307.

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