Definitions

DEFINITION OF TERMS 

Victim refers to an individual who is alleged to have been subject to conduct that violates this policy.

Accused refers to an individual who has been accused of prohibited conduct or communications under this policy.

Complainant refers to the individual filing a complaint with ORU under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  In addition, the term “complainant” may also be used to refer generally to persons alleged to have been   subjected to conduct that violates this policy, whether or not they have filed a complaint.

Respondent refers to the individual named as the accused in a complaint filed with ORU under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Third party refers to any other participant in the process, including a witness to the incident or an individual who makes a report on behalf of someone else.

A report is an account of the sexual misconduct that has allegedly occurred that could be provided to ORU by the complainant, a third party, or an anonymous source.

A complaint is an alleged policy violation that begins a complaint resolution process as set forth in the Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution. 

Retaliation is adverse action taken against a person for making a good faith report of a possible or potential violation of this policy, for supporting another person’s report, or because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of sexual misconduct.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, threats, coercion, reprisal, or harassment.

Sexual Misconduct:  As used in this policy, sexual misconduct means sex discrimination in all forms, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual exploitation.,[1] attempted and actual non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a criminal act under Oklahoma state law.  Links to Oklahoma Statutes concerning sexual assault can be found in Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Chapter 45 Section 1111, et seq.

A.    Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is conduct based upon an individual’s sex that excludes an individual from participation, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently, or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a program or activity.  Sex discrimination encompasses all forms of sexual harassment, sexual violence, differential treatment, and gender-based harassment. 

As discussed above, as a faith-based institution, ORU is exempted from certain laws and regulations concerning discrimination.  ORU maintains the right, with regard to admissions, enrollment, employment, and other matters, to uphold and apply its religious beliefs related to, among other issues, marriage, sex (gender), gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual activity.   

B.    Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.  Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive comments or other conduct based on sex, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature, including sexual violence, when:

·      submission to that conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s educational experience or employment, or the individual’s submission or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis of an educational program or activity decision or employment decision affecting such individual; or

·      such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially and unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or education, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment

Sexual harassment includes any sexual or gender-based verbal, written, or physical conduct that is unwanted and/or unreasonably interferes with or deprives someone of academic, social or work-related access, benefits, or opportunities in the ORU community or creates an environment that interferes with the wellbeing and/or success of an individual.

Some examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

·      Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions.

·      Requests for sexual favors.

·      Punishing or threatening to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual-based request.

·      Offering a benefit (such as a grade, promotion, or athletic participation) in exchange for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

·      Verbal abuse of a sexual nature or obscene language.

·      Gender- or sexually-oriented jokes and comments.

·      Verbal commentary about an individual’s body, sexual innuendo, suggestive commentary about a person’s clothing and appearance.

·      Displaying derogatory or sexually suggestive pictures or other objects in an office, on the exterior of a residence hall door, or on a computer monitor.

·      Visual conduct such as leering or making gestures.

·      Gossip about sexual relations.

·      Videotaping or taking photographs of a sexual nature without consent.

·      Cyber harassment, including but not limited to disseminating information, photos, or video of a sexual nature without consent.

C.   Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent.  Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

·       Prostituting another person.

·       Non‐consensual video and/or audio taping of sexual activity or video taping of intimate body parts.

·       Any distribution of sexually explicit photos or videos without consent, including  posting sexually explicit photos or videos in public or on social media sites

·       Viewing or permitting someone else to view another’s sexual activity or intimate body parts, in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without consent.

·       Exposing one’s genitals or inducing another to expose their genitals in non-consensual circumstances.

·       Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection to another person.

D.   Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent.  As used in this policy, sexual contact includes intentional contact by the accused with the victim’s genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts, whether clothed or unclothed, or coerced touching by the victim of another’ genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts, whether clothed or unclothed.  Sexual assault includes but is not limited to an offense that meets any of the following definitions:

·       Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, or oral contact with the sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

·       Fondling: the touching of the private body parts (including the genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast) of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim.

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

·       Statutory rape: sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent; in Oklahoma the age of consent is 16.

Sexual assault is also prohibited by Oklahoma law. See Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Chapter 45 Section 1111, et seq.  As defined by Oklahoma law, rape is an act of sexual intercourse under a variety of circumstances, including

1. Where the victim is under sixteen (16) years of age;

2. Where the victim is incapable through mental illness or any other unsoundness of mind, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent;

3. Where force or violence is used or threatened, accompanied by apparent power of execution to the victim or to another person;

4. Where the victim is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent, administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the victim to submit; and

5. Where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this fact is known to the accused.

As defined by Oklahoma law, sexual battery is the intentional touching, mauling or feeling of the body or private parts of any person in a lewd and lascivious manner, without out the consent of that person.

E.    Consent

Consent is words or overt actions by a person clearly and affirmatively communicating a freely-given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act. Words or overt actions clearly communicate consent when a reasonable person in the circumstances would believe those words or actions indicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and obtaining consent.  It is the responsibility of the person initiating the specific sexual activity to obtain consent for that activity. 

The definition of consent is subject to the following:

·      Consent can only be given if one is of legal age.  In Oklahoma, the legal age of consent is 16.

·      Consent is a mutually understood and freely given “yes,” not the absence of “no.”

·      Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

·      Consent can be withdrawn at any time.  When consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity for which consent was initially provided must stop.

·      Silence or failing to resist does not imply consent.

·      Previous relationships or previous consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.

·      An existing sexual, romantic, or marital relationship does not imply consent.

·      Prior sexual activity with other individuals does not imply consent.

·      Consent cannot be procured, expressly or implicitly, by use of force, intimidation, threats, or coercion, as that term is defined below. 

·      There can be no consent to sexual activity with someone known to be—or who should be known to be—mentally or physically incapacitated, as that term is defined below.

·      Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.

Consensual Relationship Policy

As described in more detail below, a romantic or sexual relationship between a faculty member and a student, a staff member and a student, or a supervisor and employee (including student supervisors and student employees) are considered inappropriate and against University policy.

The power differential inherent in faculty/student, staff/student, and supervisor/employee relationships compromises the subordinate's ability to freely decide. The respect and trust accorded a professor by a student, as well as the power exercised by the professor in giving praise or blame, grades, recommendations for further study and future employment, greatly diminish the student's actual freedom of choice. The same is true with respect to a staff member and student, and a supervisor and employee.

Faculty and staff members (including student employees) involved in a pre-existing romantic relationship with a student or employee for whom the faculty or staff member has a supervisory or academic responsibility or who is otherwise under the direction of the faculty or staff member must promptly report the relationship to their supervisor. Upon receiving notice, ORU will make alternative staffing arrangements and such other additional arrangements as are necessary under the circumstances. 

F.    Coercion

Coercion refers to intimidation that would compel an individual to do something against their will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats of severely damaging consequences. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade or attract another person to engage in sexual activity.  Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the degree and type of pressure someone used to get consent from another.

G.   Incapacitation

Incapacitation means the physical and/or mental inability to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation.  Incapacitation may result from mental or physical disability, sleep, unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, or from the influence of drugs or alcohol.  With respect to incapacitation due to drug or alcohol ingestion, incapacitation requires more than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol; a person is not incapacitated just because they have been drinking or using drugs.  Where drugs and/or alcohol are involved, incapacitation is determined based on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation looking at whether the individual was able to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, whether the individual was able to communicate decisions regarding consent, non-consent, or the withdrawal of consent, and whether such condition was known or reasonably should have been known to the accused or a reasonable person in the accused’s position.  Use of drugs or alcohol by the accused is not a defense against allegations of sexual misconduct and does not diminish personal accountability or criminal liability.

H.   Dating Violence

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on the statement of the individual alleging the dating violence and with consideration of the following factors:

•       the length of the relationship;

•       the type of relationship; and

•       the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.  Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Dating violence is also prohibited by Oklahoma law.  See Oklahoma Statutes Section 21-644.  

I.      Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by

·      a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim

·      a person with whom the victim shares a child in common

·      a person who is a current or former cohabitant of the victim as a spouse or intimate partner

·      a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under Oklahoma’s domestic or family violence law, or

·      any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under applicable domestic or family violence laws of Oklahoma (or, if the crime occurred outside of Oklahoma, the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred).  In addition to the relationships described above, Oklahoma law also defines domestic violence to include violence committed against parents, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, or between persons involved in a dating relationship as defined by Oklahoma Statutes Section 22-60.1.

Domestic violence is also prohibited by Oklahoma law.  See Oklahoma Statutes Section 21-644.

J.     Stalking

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (2) to suffer substantial emotional distress.

·      Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through others (by any action, method, device, or means), follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.

·      Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

·      Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Stalking is also prohibited by Oklahoma law. See Oklahoma Statutes Section 21-1173.  As defined by Oklahoma law, stalking means to willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass another person in a manner that: (1) would cause a reasonable person or a member of the immediate family of that person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and (2) actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

***Some instances of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking may not be sexual in nature.  For purposes of this policy, the term “sexual misconduct” encompasses all instances of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking (as those terms are defined in this policy), regardless of whether there is a sexual component to the behavior.