TITLE IX – Frequently Asked Questions
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct refers to a broad spectrum of behavior encompassing sexual harassment and all forms of non-consensual sexual activity. For the purposes of this policy, the University prohibits the following specific forms of sexual misconduct: sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment and retaliation. Sexual misconduct affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientation and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.
How do I know if I’ve been sexually harassed?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal/physical conduct of a sexual nature when: – Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, student status or participation in University activities. – Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it substantially interferes with an individual's education, employment, or participation in University activities; or – Such conduct is intentionally directed towards a specific individual and unreasonably interferes with that individual's education, employment, or participation in University activities.
Are women the only victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence?
No, sexual harassment and violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientation and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.
Is it possible to be sexually harassed/assaulted by someone of the same gender?
Yes. If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment, your gender and the gender of the alleged perpetrator are irrelevant. Such conduct is prohibited by Title IX and Wesleyan policy.
If I think I’ve been victimized and I don’t feel safe, what can I do?
Find a safe place away from the assailant and call Public Safety at 860-685-3333 or the Middletown Police at 860-644-9200 or Dial 911. Public Safety, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Dean of Student’s Office, and Human Resources can coordinate other assistance including no contact orders, escort services, relocation of the individuals involved, and reassignment of schedules.
The definition of sexual assault says it can occur either forcibly (against a person's will) or when a person cannot give consent. What does “when a person cannot give consent" mean?
In certain situations, a person does not have the capacity to agree to participate in consensual sex. Examples include individuals who are under the age of consent, intoxicated, developmentally disabled, mentally/physically unable to consent, etc. Anyone engaging in sexual contact with someone who is unable to give consent may be committing sexual assault.
How does Wesleyan define consent?
- Sexual consent is when all parties agree to engage in sexual activity. Consent should always be mutual, voluntary and given without pressure, intimidation, or fear.
- Consent must be freely and affirmatively communicated between all individuals in order to participate in sexual activity or behavior. It can be expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in sexual activity to insure consent of their partner(s).
- Consent must be obtained at each step and present throughout the sexual activity - - at any time, a participant can communicate that they no longer consent to continuing the activity. If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.
- Silence, lack of protest, or no resistance does not mean consent.
- Consent is not present if it results from the use of physical force, threat of physical force, intimidation, coercion, incapacitation or any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contact.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, a willingness to engage in sexual activity must be freely and affirmatively communicated.
If an incident of sexual violence occurs off-campus, can the University investigate?
Yes, if the incident has sufficient ties to Wesleyan (if it occurs at a WES event, if it involves a Wesleyan student, staff member or faculty member, etc.) then the university can investigate and provide resolution.
If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?
Wesleyan’s primary focus is to address the sexual harassment or violence. The university does not want the involvement of alcohol or drugs to prevent the reporting of such serious misconduct. Also, the use of alcohol or drugs will not excuse sexual violence or harassment.
What is a No-Contact Order? No Contact Orders are (temporary) directives issued by the Office of Equity & Inclusion, Dean of Students Office, and/or Public Safety; they prohibit contact and communication between or among designated students.
Someone has filed a complaint against me, what do I do?
Do not contact the alleged victim through any means – in person, by phone, by mail, by social media or electronic communication or through someone else. Familiarize yourself with Wesleyan’s policy/process for investigating complaints of sexual harassment so that you know what to expect. If you have questions about the process, contact the Dean of Student’s Office or the Office of Equity and Inclusion. If you need support, contact CAPS.
If the investigation leads to a hearing, can I have an advisor and who can serve in this role?
The Student Handbook guarantees any student going through the university’s judicial process the right to a “Process Advisor.” The Process Advisor’s role is to aid the student in understanding the judicial system, the rules, and the proceedings. In a Title IX Administrative Hearing, a student may have an advisory of their choice.