Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Definitions of Sexual Offenses

Definitions of Sexual Offenses under this policy:

Definitions of Sexual Offenses:
• Rape: the carnal knowledge of a person gained forcibly and/or against that person’s will, or not forcibly or against that person’s will, when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. If a person engages in non-consensual sexual intercourse due to physical force, coercion, or threat— actual or implied—the act is considered rape, a felony in New York state. A person who is asleep, unconscious, physically helpless or impaired due to drug or alcohol consumption, mentally incapacitated, and/or disabled, is considered unable to consent.
• Sexual Abuse: any actual or attempted non-consensual sexual activity, including, but not limited to, attempted intercourse, sexual touching, and certain forms of exhibitionism.
These definitions include, but are not limited to, any form of non-consensual intercourse and/or sexual activity, actual or attempted, by person(s) known or unknown to the victim. Non-consensual activity shall include, but not be limited to, situations where the victim is unable to consent because he/she is mentally incapacitated, is physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, or is unconscious. 

• Sexual Harassment:
Sexual Harassment is defined, under University policy, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any individual’s employment or status in a program, course, or activity;
(2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; or
(3) such conduct is sufficiently pervasive, offensive, or abusive to have the purpose or reasonable effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

Sexual harassment is considered an intolerable offense by University standards. (While the focus of this brochure is rape and sexual abuse, this reference to sexual harassment has been included because of its relevance as a sexual offense.) Sexual violence is a form of sexual  harassment. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or is unable to give consent due to a disability. For more information regarding sexual harassment and related reporting procedures, please refer to your student handbook.

Updated: August 23, 2012

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