Glossary/Definitions

Sexual misconduct takes on many forms, but its basis is unwelcome sexual activity.

Domestic Violence is physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or psychological abuse or threats of abuse against another person who is a family or household member.

Gender based harassment is a form of sex based harassment and refers to unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex. Gender based harassment involves verbal, physical, or electronic conduct based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, or sex stereotyping that creates a hostile, intimidating or abusive environment, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.  
Gender based harassment also includes harassment for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of the individuals involved.

Stalking is two or more acts of unwanted and harassing behavior, directed at a specific person that is sufficiently serious to cause physical, emotional, or psychological fear or to create a hostile, intimidating or abusive environment.
The conduct must be both objectively and subjectively perceived as hostile, intimidating or abusive.  That is, the reporting party must view the conduct as hostile, intimidating or abusive, and a reasonable person with the same fundamental characteristics as the reporting party (e.g., actual or perceived sex, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression) must also view the conduct as hostile, intimidating or abusive if they were in similar circumstances. Stalking may occur:

  • In person or through mail, electronic mail, text messaging, instant messaging, telephone, facsimile, social websites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.), or other internet communications. 
  • several days or for many years.

Sex discrimination is any unlawful distinction, preference, or detriment to an individual as compared to others that is based on an individual’s sex or gender and is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit:

  • A student’s or admission applicant’s ability to participate in, access, or benefit from educational programs, services, or activities (e.g. admission, academic standing, grades, assignment, campus housing);
  • An employee’s or applicant for employment’s access to employment or conditions and benefits of employment (e.g. hiring, advancement, assignment);
  • An authorized volunteer’s ability to participate in a volunteer activity; or
  • A guest’s or visitor’s ability to participate in, access, or benefit from the University’s programs
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University program, activity, or service;
  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as a basis in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University program, activity, or service; or
    • When such conduct is unwelcome to the person to whom it is directed or to others directly aware of it, and when such conduct is:
    • Severe or pervasive; and
    • Has the purpose or effect of either:
      • Unreasonably interfering with the employee’s work performance or student’s academic performance; or
      • Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

The conduct must be both objectively and subjectively perceived as offensive. That is, the reporting party must view the conduct as offensive, and a reasonable person with the same fundamental characteristics as the reporting party (e.g., actual or perceived sex, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression) must also view the conduct as offensive.

The following are examples of behavior that may constitute hostile environment sexual harassment if unwelcome and persistent, pervasive, or severe:

  • Sexually offensive jokes or ridicule of a person’s sexuality, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body
  • Remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experiences
  • Unnecessary and unwanted touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s clothing or body
  • Pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be nonverbal conduct, such as repeated and unwanted staring or sexually suggestive gestures
  • Displays of offensive objects or pictures, including the use of electronic technology to send derogatory, demeaning, threatening, or hostile materials based on sex
  • Requests for sexual favors accompanied by direct or implied rewards or threats
  • Taking, sending, or sharing photos, videos, or audio recordings of sexual activity without the person’s consent, regardless of whether the sexual activity itself was consensual Intimidation, threats of harm, or actual assaults against a person based on their actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The above list of examples is not all-inclusive; in addition, each situation must be considered in light of the specific facts and circumstances to determine if there has been a violation of this Policy.  The determination as to whether behavior is sexual harassment will take into account the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the behavior and the context in which it occurred.  Harassing conduct often involves a pattern of offensive behavior. However, a serious incident, such as sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient to establish a hostile environment and a violation of this Policy. Factors considered include the severity or pervasiveness of the conduct; the degree to which the conduct affected the student’s education or the employee’s work environment; the type and duration of the conduct; and the identity of and relationship between the respondent and the student or employee.

Sexual Exploitation is violating the sexual privacy of another, or taking unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another, without Consent (as defined in Section II.C.2. below), and when such behavior does not otherwise constitute Sexual Assault.

Sexual Exploitation includes but is not limited to:

  • Photographing or taping someone involved in sexual activity, sexual intercourse/penetration, or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or Consent
  • Sharing photographs or video/audio of someone involved in sexual activity, intercourse/penetration, or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or Consent
  • Watching someone currently involved in sexual activity without their knowledge or Consent
  • Allowing others to watch sexual activity without knowledge or Consent from all parties involved
  • Exposing one’s intimate parts, such as genitalia, groin, breast and/or buttocks to someone without their Consent
  • Engaging in sexual activity in public and being witnessed by a non-consenting person
  • Tampering with a drink, intending to impair a person’s ability to withhold Consent or knowingly
  • Consent to sexual activity, regardless of whether sexual activity actually takes place
Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is the act of committing unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger. Such contact is unwanted when it occurs:

  • Without the Consent (as defined in Section II.C.2.) of at least one of the individuals; or
  • When at least one of the individuals is incapacitated or otherwise incapable of giving Consent.
Sexual contact is intentional touching or penetration of another person’s clothed or unclothed body, including, but not limited to, the mouth, neck, buttocks, anus, genitalia, or breast, by another with any part of the body or any object in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes causing another person to touch their own or another body in the manner described above.

Consent is affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in agreed upon forms of sexual contact.

A person cannot give Consent if the person is under the age of consent for sexual contact4, the person is developmentally or intellectually disabled, or the person is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.

Lack of protest or resistance cannot be interpreted as Consent. Silence cannot be interpreted as Consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout any sexual contact and can be revoked at any time.

The existence of a dating relationship, domestic partnership or marriage between the persons involved, or the existence of past sexual relations between the persons involved, is never by itself an indicator of Consent.

The University of Hawaii, in accordance with Title IX, uses the following glossary: Click here to read.


KCC Commitment statement
Members of the Kauai Community College community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.