Sexual Misconduct Definitions; Intimate Partner Violence; Stalking; Affirmative Consent


Trinity College expressly prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms.  Sexual misconduct includes the following:

Non–consensual Sexual Intercourse: Rape
Any sexual penetration (oral, vaginal, or anal), however slight, with any object or sexual intercourse by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman without effective consent.   Rape is a crime of violence in which one person forces, coerces or manipulates another person into sexual intercourse.  Rape includes vaginal, oral or anal penetration and includes forced or coerced oral sex.

Non-consensual Sexual Contact: Sexual Assault
Any intentional sexual touching by a man or woman upon a man or woman without effective consent, whether such touching is direct or through clothing.  Sexual touching includes any intentional sexual contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or himself or herself with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, even though not involving the previously mentioned body parts. 

Sexual Harassment
Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature (physical, verbal, written, electronic, photos) that is severe or pervasive and creates an intimidating or hostile education and/or work environment; or, unwelcome demands or requests for sexual favors or pressure for dates which occurs between people of differing power (student/professor) and become a term or condition of one's education or employment, i.e. on or employment, i.e. quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is any conduct in which a person takes nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own benefit or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the person being exploited.  This refers to behavior that does not constitute sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.

‘Domestic violence’ is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situation under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic of family violence law. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.

‘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; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • Length and type of the relationship
  • Frequency of interaction

A pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other course or conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.


Affirmative consent means an active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person. Affirmative consent is informed, freely and actively given, and communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of all persons engaged in the sexual activity and that such consent is sustained throughout the sexual activity. Consent may never be given by minors, mentally disabled persons, those who are incapacitated, and those who are by law unable to give consent. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard or being asleep or unconscious.

Consent obtained by fraud or force (actual or implied) is not consent, whether that force is physical force, threats, intimidation, or verbal coercion. A lack of verbal or physical resistance alone does not meet the affirmative-consent standard and does not of itself indicate consent. Past consent on its own cannot be construed as current/future consent. Moreover, consent may be withdrawn at any time. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person. Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to engage in other forms.

References to “consent” in this policy should be construed as meaning “affirmative consent.”