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.

Sexual Violence Prevention

It's On Us Biola

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.


  • To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
  • To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
  • To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
  • To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

Learn more at


Was It Sexual Assault?

infographic defining sexual assault

This infographic courtesy of and is used by permission.


What the Words Mean...

The following terms are used as defined below by the university in our policy and procedures.

Consent: The State of California has adopted an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. 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 a 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 addition, in the evaluation of complaints in any disciplinary process:

  1. It shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:
    1. The accused’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.
    2. The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.
  2. It shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:
    1. The complainant was asleep or unconscious.
    2. The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.
    3. The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Sexual violence: As used in this policy, refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated without the affirmative consent of the parties or where a person is incapable of giving consent and includes, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are also processed under this policy.

Sexual Assault: The term “sexual assault” is used to mean an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Rape is defined as the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Fondling is defined as the touching of the private parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

Incest is defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Statutory Rape is defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Domestic Violence: The term “domestic violence” means a felony or misdemeanor crime 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 intimate partner;
  • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred: 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 the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Dating Violence: The term “dating violence” means 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 reporting party’s statement 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.

For the purpose of this definition:

  • Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  • 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:

  • Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purpose of this definition:

  • “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, devise, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  • “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  • “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Sexual misconduct: Can include sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.

Sexual harassment: Can vary with particular circumstances, but, generally, it is defined as unwelcome or offensive sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwanted or uninvited verbal suggestions or comments of a sexual nature, or objectionable physical contact. This includes suggestions that academic or employment reprisals or reward will follow the refusal or granting of sexual favors, or conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Complainant: The complainant is an individual or group of individuals who believe that unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct may have or has occurred.

Respondent (or "accused"): The respondent is an individual or group of individuals against whom an allegation of unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct is made.

Complaint: A complaint is an allegation that a student, employee, or applicant for admission or employment has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct.

Preponderance of Evidence: Standard of determining the validity/outcome of a complaint. Preponderance infers it is more likely than not, that the alleged incident did or did not occur.

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