Sexual Respect & Title IX

Hood College is committed to providing a community where all can feel safe and free from harassment.

Sexual respect is a commitment to communicating and acting with integrity and respect for others. 

Hood College prohibits sexual harassment and misconduct. We are committed to providing a community built on trust and mutual respect. Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking, violates a person’s rights, dignity and integrity. (See definitions below.)

Help for Victims

Consent (also referred to as effective consent) means a knowing, voluntary, and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity or behavior. It must be given by a person with the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational, reasonable judgment. Consent may be expressed by either words or clear, unambiguous actions.

Words or actions constituting consent create a mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in (initiate) sexual activity to ensure that they have the consent of the other(s) to engage in the activity. Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity and may be withdrawn at any time. If there is confusion as to whether there is consent or whether prior consent has been withdrawn, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion is resolved.

To give consent, one must be of legal age. Lack of protest or resistance is not consent. Nor may silence, in and of itself, be interpreted as consent. Previous relationships, including past sexual relationships, do not imply consent to future sexual acts, nor does consent to one form of sexual activity automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

Intimate partner violence refers to dating violence, domestic violence or relationship violence. Intimate partner violence includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is in, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship.

Examples of intimate partner violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Striking, grabbing, punching, choking, or pushing one’s partner, or threatening to do any of the foregoing;
  • Throwing, smashing, or breaking objects;
  • Restricting one’s partner’s physical movements;
  • Constantly texting or calling when not together;
  • Threatening to “out” or disclose personal information of one’s partner;
  • Insisting on knowing where one’s partner is located;
  • Forcing faith practices on one’s partner;
  • Mocking or ridiculing one’s religious or spiritual beliefs; or
  • Hiding or destroying one’s visa, immigration paperwork, or other important legal documents.

Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object by one person upon another person without effective consent, or forcing an unwilling person to engage in sexual touching of another. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another, or the clothing covering such parts, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner (including other nonconsensual contact undertaken with the intention of sexual pleasure or arousal for a person or persons involved).

Acts, threats or a pattern of abusive behavior of a physical or sexual nature by one partner intended to control, intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, frighten, coerce, or injure the other constitute relationship violence. Relationship violence can occur between current or former romantic/intimate partners who have dated, lived together, currently reside together (on or off campus), or who are otherwise connected through a past or existing relationship. It can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can be perpetrated by a spouse, ex-spouse, a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend or a current or former dating partner. Relationship violence is sometimes referred to as intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or dating violence.

Sexual assault offenses include, but are not limited to, forcible and non-forcible sex acts such as rape, forcible sodomy, incest, or any forcible or non-forcible sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object; sexual intercourse by a person upon another person without effective consent also constitutes sexual assault. Effective consent is defined above (see “Consent”). Sexual penetration includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger and oral copulation by mouth-to-genital or genital-to-mouth contact. Sexual assault may also include unwanted sexually obscene communications (in person, by phone, texting, email or social networking).

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault, nonconsensual sexual contact, or sexual harassment.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: making public sexual activity with another, without that person’s consent; prostituting or causing the prostitution of another; photographing, video recording (or transmission), or audio recording (or transmission) of private sexual activity and/or intimate body parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without the knowledge and consent of all persons involved; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts of a participant without the participant’s consent); voyeurism; and/or knowingly transmitting HIV or an STI to another person.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature when a) submission to such conduct is made a condition of one’s employment or participation in an educational program, or b) when submission to (or rejection of) such conduct is used by the offender as the basis for making personnel or educational decisions, or c) when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with one’s work or academic performance or creating a hostile or offensive work/educational environment or limiting one’s ability to participate based on sex.

Threatening to sexually assault another person, stalking (including cyber-stalking), and any nonconsensual disrobing of another or nonconsensual (or indecent) exposure by one person to another person or persons are examples of sexual intimidation.

Sexual misconduct, as defined in Hood's policies, is prohibited. Sexual misconduct is a broad term that encompasses sexual violence, nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation (including stalking or bullying that is prompted by sex), and relationship violence. This policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint under this policy or who participates in any investigation into the circumstances of a complaint.

  • Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women and can occur between people of the same or different sex.
  • Sexual misconduct may be forcible or non-forcible. When an act constituting sexual misconduct is committed either by force, threat, intimidation, or through the use of the victim’s mental or physical helplessness (of which the accused was aware or should have been aware) the act is considered forcible. 
  • Sexual misconduct may be a form of sex discrimination prohibited by federal and state discrimination laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Examples of stalking include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual communication including telephone calls, text messages, email messages, social network site postings, letters, gifts, or any other communications that are unwanted and/or place another person in fear;
  • Following, pursuing, waiting or showing up uninvited at a classroom, workplace, residence, or other locations frequented by the person;
  • Leaving unwanted written messages, objects or gifts;
  • Vandalizing a person’s property;
  • Surveillance and other types of observation by physical proximity or electronic means,
  • Accessing email and social media accounts;
  • Spreading lies or rumors about a person, for example, filing false reports, posting or distributing personal or false information;
  • Manipulative or controlling behaviors, such as threats to harm oneself in order to force contact;
  • Assaulting or killing the victim’s pet;
  • Threatening physical contact against a person or their friends and family; or
  • Any combination of these behaviors directed toward an individual person.