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To help the UW Oshkosh community better understand the university’s stance on sexual violence, we’ve provided these definitions for sexual violence key terms. We encourage you to explore additional resources and learn more about UWO policies and U.S. laws.

Consent

Consent is an agreement or permission expressed through affirmative, voluntary words or actions that are mutually understandable to all parties involved.

  • Consent is given for a specific sexual act at a specific time and can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be coerced or compelled by duress, threat, or force.
  • Consent cannot be assumed based on silence, the absence of “no” or “stop,” the existence of a prior or current relationship, or prior sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be given by someone who, for any reason, cannot understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the sexual situation occurring. This includes, but is not limited to those who are:
    • under the legal age of consent
    • asleep or unconscious
    • mentally or physically incapacitated through the effects of drugs or alcohol
    • mentally impaired due to an intellectual or other disability

Confidentiality

The university’s policy states that names of individuals involved in sexual misconduct cases will not be disclosed by the university, except on a need-to-know basis or as required by law. Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity—which means not being named or personally identified.

Confidential employees

Confidential employees include only certain, specific individuals on your campus whom are exempt from the reporting requirements of other university employees. These individuals include:

  • Counseling Center Employees
  • Campus Victim Advocate
  • Student Health Center Employees

Complainant

An individual who comes forward to report an incident of sexual misconduct.

Dating violence

Violence committed by a person against another person with whom he or she has been in a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interactions between the persons involved in the relationship. (This definition is based on the VAWA definition 42 U.S.C. 13925 (a).)

Domestic Abuse (Wisconsin Legislature 968.075

“Domestic abuse” is defined as applying to individuals who meet any of the following criteria:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • currently or formerly resided together
  • have a child in common

Human Trafficking (Wisconsin Legislature 940.302) A form of modern-day slavery where traffickers lure victims with false promises of employment or a better life. Traffickers recruit, transport, or obtain victims by force for the purpose of exploiting them. Human trafficking is divided into two categories: sex and labor trafficking. (See specific definition for sex trafficking (Wisconsin Legislature 940.302(1)(a))

Respondent

An individual who is accused of committing one or more acts of sexual misconduct.

Responsible employee (Mandatory Reporter)

An employee who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate university designee, or who an individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • All instructors, including full-time professors, adjuncts, lecturers, AIs, and any others who offer classroom instruction or office hours to students;
  • All advisors;
  • All faculty advisors to recognized student organizations;
  • All coaches, trainers, and other athletic staff that interact directly with students;
  • All student affairs administrators;
  • All residential hall staff;
  • University Police and contracted security personnel;
  • Employees who work in offices that interface with students; and
  • All employees in a supervisory or management role;
  • University officials including but not limited to: Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Department Heads.

Responsible employees must immediately report all known information to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s).

Retaliation

Intimidation, threats, harassment, adverse changes in work or academic environments—or other adverse actions threatened or taken against a complainant or a third party—in an attempt to retaliate against, prevent, or otherwise obstruct the reporting of sexual misconduct.

Sexual assault (Wisconsin Legislature 940.225)

Wisconsin outlines four different degrees of sexual assault (ranging from sexual contact to sexual intercourse). For the details of these four different degrees of sexual assault, see the link above.

Sexual harassment

Unwelcome conduct or behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence (see definition below). Both violent and nonviolent sexual harassment are prohibited by the university. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs or when it affects employment—and it is prohibited.

Sexual misconduct

Sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic assault, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and stalking.

Sexual violence 

Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs or alcohol, or due to an intellectual disability or other disability. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. (This definition is based on the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act.)

Stalking (Wisconsin Legislature 940.32)

A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. To see Wisconsin’s full definition of stalking view the link above.

Title IX coordinator

The Title IX coordinator is the individual designated by the university to coordinate the university’s compliance with Title IX and respond to allegations of sexual misconduct by members of the university community.