It is the policy of Biola University to maintain the university environment as a Christian community that provides a place for spiritual growth, work and study free of all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation. All students, staff and faculty should be aware that the university is prepared to take action to prevent such intimidation and exploitation and that individuals who engage in such behavior are subject to discipline. Sexual violence is a criminal act that violates the standards of our community and is unacceptable at the university. Sexual violence can be devastating to the person who experiences it directly and can be traumatic to the person’s family, friends and larger community as well.
This pledge is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.
It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.
Learn more at itsonus.org/pledge/.
This infographic courtesy of www.speakupbiola.com and is used by permission.
The following terms are used as defined below by the university in our Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Consent: Consent means affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Under the law, a person under the age of 18 (a minor) is incapable of giving consent. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never, by itself, be assumed to be an indicator of consent. In cases of prior relationships, however, the manner and nature of prior communications between the parties and the context of the relationship may be factors in determining whether there was consent.
The following, while not an exhaustive list, are important factors to consider when determining if consent was obtained:
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is any non-consensual act of penetration, however slight, of a person’s vaginal or anal openings with any body part and/or object (including a finger) or non-consensual oral-genital contact.
Sexual Battery: Sexual battery is any intentional non-consensual sexual contact, however slight, with any object (including any body part). Sexual contact includes contact with intimate body parts (breasts, buttocks, genitals or areas directly adjacent to the genitals (e.g., inner thigh)), whether directly or over or under clothing; forcing a person to touch another’s intimate body parts; or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
Coercion: Coercion generally (sexual coercion is defined below) is conduct or intimidation that would compel an individual to do something against his or her will by the use of unreasonable psychological pressure, physical force or threats of severely damaging consequences that would reasonably place an individual in fear of immediate or future harm. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade or attract another person to engage in sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the degree and type of pressure someone uses to obtain consent from another. For example, simply asking someone repeatedly to have sex generally is not considered coercion but seduction. However, if threats were made alongside the repeated requests, it may be considered coercion.
Sexual Coercion: Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure (including physical, verbal or emotional pressure), alcohol, medications, drugs or force to have sexual contact against someone's will or with someone who has already refused.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and objectively offensive that it substantially and unreasonably interferes with a student’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, the University’s educational programs and activities or their living environment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive comments or other conduct based on sex, sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. This definition will be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the accepted standards of mature behavior, academic freedom and the mission of the university.
Examples of sexual harassment may, depending on the circumstances, include, but are not limited to:
Domestic Violence: Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of California or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of California. Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Domestic violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior.
Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s characterization of that relationship, and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Stalking: The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purpose of this definition: 1) “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property; 2) “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim; 3) “substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Examples of stalking behavior are:
Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: