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Sexual Misconduct

Students and recognized organizations are prohibited from engaging in sexual misconduct of any kind. The wide spectrum of behaviors encompassed by this regulation calls for a variety of sanctions. The most egregious behaviors encompassed by this regulation, and cases of repeated violations, will incur the most serious sanctions the College can impose, up to and including permanent separation from the College. Students found responsible for engaging in actual or attempted penetration without consent, or who are found responsible for repeated sexual misconduct, should be prepared for permanent separation.

Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

•Conduct of a sexual nature which reasonably would be expected to have the effect of threatening or intimidating the person at who such conduct is directed;

•Intentional physical contact with an intimate part of the body of another person without that person's consent;

•Sexual penetration when such contact is achieved without consent; through physical force, coercion, or threat; or in situations in which the victim is unable to give consent because of physical or mental incapacitation by reason of drug or alcohol consumption, sleep, or unconsciousness.

Some examples of sexual misconduct may be:

• Two students had been flirting with one another earlier in the evening. One of the students misinterprets responses from the other student and forces sexual intimacy without consent, ignoring requests that it stop.

• During the course of an evening, a couple is initially comfortable with sexual contact, but then one says the intimacy has gone too far and asks for it to stop. The other continues without consent.

• A student feels justified in forcing a partner to engage in sexual activity because the couple has had a previous sexual relationship.

• A student says "no" quietly or timidly, yet another student continues to proceed with sexual contact or penetration without consent.

• Any inappropriate or non-consensual contact such as pinching a person's buttocks.

Reporting Immunity

A student who reports sexual misconduct will not be charged for violations of Dartmouth's Alcohol or Other Drug Policy for activities that are related to the events leading to the report of misconduct.

Consent versus Non-Consent

Intimate sexual activity requires consent. In adjudicating alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Standard, the Committee on Standards will be informed by its judgment as to whether a reasonable person should have known that the reporting student did not consent or was unable to give consent because of his or her incapacitation. As stated in the policy above, an individual may be unable to give consent "because of physical or mental incapacitation by reason of drug or alcohol consumption, sleep, or unconsciousness."

Consent to sexual activity may be communicated in a variety of ways, both verbal and non-verbal. Verbal communication prior to engaging in sexual activity certainly can help to clarify for the individuals involved whether or not there is consent. One should presume that there is no consent in the absence of a clear positive indication of consent.

Likewise, non-consent or lack of consent may also be communicated in a variety of ways both verbal and nonverbal. A verbal "no" (or its verbal or non-verbal equivalent) indicates an unwillingness to participate in sexual activity. Non-consent can also be communicated in a variety of other ways, depending on the circumstances or context. Even in the absence of a verbal "no," physical resistance is not necessary to communicate a lack of consent.

Discussion of Consent

Frequently, students express confusion about the concept of consent, what it looks like and sounds like. There's a great deal of misunderstanding and differently held beliefs about what is meant by a gesture, a word, a sigh -- even between long-time friends or sexual partners. People who have been intimate in the past may mistakenly assume that the same forms of intimacy will always be welcome in the future. The use of alcohol or other drugs can cloud people's understanding of whether consent has been given (or even sought).

Consent and non-consent comes in many forms, and it is important for all sexually active persons to seek clarity and mutuality with regard to the consensual nature of their sexual activity. It is also important to recognize that, however potentially awkward, talking about your own and your partner's sexual desires, needs, and limitations is a basis for a positive relationship.

New Hampshire Law

New Hampshire RSA 632-A establishes three categories of sexual assault and related offenses. (Please keep in mind that the following is a partial review of the statutes covering sexual assault and related crimes in New Hampshire. It is intended only for purposes of information and guidance, does not cover all acts that may constitute criminal sexual behavior or all parts of the sex crime statutes, and should not be construed as legal advice.)

1. Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault (a Class A felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison), includes engaging in "sexual penetration" of another, in pertinent part, under any of the following circumstances:

• through application of physical force, violence or superior physical strength;
• through application of physical force, violence or superior physical strength;
• when the victim is physically helpless to resist;
• when the victim is less than 13;
• when at the time of the assault the victim indicates by speech or conduct that consent is not freely given to performance of the sexual act;
• when there is a pattern of sexual assault with a victim under the age of 16;
• when the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatened use of physical violence or physical strength and the victim believes the actor has the ability to execute these threats;
• when the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate and the victim believes the actor has the ability to execute these threats;
• when the victim submits under circumstances involving false imprisonment, kidnapping or extortion;
• when the actor, without prior knowledge or consent of the victim administers or has knowledge of another person administering to the victim any intoxicating substance which mentally incapacitates the victim;
• when the actor provides therapy, medical treatment or examination of the victim in the course of a
therapeutic relationship under certain circumstances. See, NH RSA 632-A:2.

2. Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault (a Class A felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison) includes intentional touching through clothing, or otherwise, the genitalia of a person under the age of 13 under circumstances that can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

3. Felonious Sexual Assault (a Class B felony punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment), includes, in part, "sexual contact", (intentional touching, reasonably construed as being for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification) when the accused:

• causes serious personal injury to the victim;
• engages in sexual penetration with the person between the ages of 13 and 16, where the age difference is three years or more;
• engages in sexual contact with a person under the age of 13;
• engages in sexual contact with a person when the actor is in a position of authority over the person and uses that authority to coerce the victim. See, NH RSA 632-A:3.

4. Sexual Assault (a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $2000 and up to one year imprisonment), includes, in part, "sexual contact" (intentional touching, reasonably construed as being for the purposes of sexual arousal or gratification) with a person 13 years of age or older under the circumstances described regarding aggravated felonious sexual assault, and/or engages in sexual penetration with a person between the ages of 13 and 16 where the age difference between the actor and the other person is three years or less. See, NH RSA 623-A:4.

Last Updated: 9/10/13