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Definitions and Examples of Prohibited Behavior

CU-Boulder Definitions of Prohibited Behavior

Coercion: Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity; coercion differs from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, and other factors such as isolation. When someone makes it clear that they do not want sex, do not want to go past a certain point, or want it to stop, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Force: The use of physical violence or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.

Intimate partner abuse: Any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the individual is or has been involved in a sexual or dating relationship. This includes threats, assault, property damage, and violence or threat of violence to one’s self or to the family members of the sexual or romantic partner when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation or revenge.

Intimidation: Intimidation occurs when someone uses their physical presence to menace you, although no physical contact occurs, or where your knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, places you in fear as an implied threat.

Non-consensual sexual contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by any person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; or any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

Non-consensual sexual intercourse: Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by any person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Sexual exploitation: Occurs when a student takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples include: Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances or inducing someone to expose their genitals; Observing or taking a photograph of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent, in a situation where the person observed or photographed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, for the purpose of the observer’s own sexual gratification or the gratification of another. “Photograph” includes a photograph, motion picture, videotape, live feed, print, negative, slide, or other mechanically, electronically, or chemically produced or reproduced visual material; Non-consensual recording of sexual activity.

Sexual harassment: Interaction between individuals of the same or opposite sex that is characterized by unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, living conditions, and/or educational evaluation; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for tangible employment or educational decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Hostile environment sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile, or offensive. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” is a fact specific inquiry based upon subjective and objective factors of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating.

Stalking: Directly or indirectly through another person repeatedly following, approaching, contacting, placing under surveillance, or making any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or; (b) suffer substantial emotional distress, including causing a person to respond by altering their activities. When stalking is gender based, it is considered Protected Class harassment.

Threats:  Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given. For example, threats to kill you, themselves, or to harm someone you care for constitute threats.

Examples of Prohibited Actions

  • An instructor suggests that a higher grade might be given to a student if the student submits to sexual advances.
  • A supervisor implicitly or explicitly threatens termination if a subordinate refuses the supervisor's sexual advances
  • A student repeatedly follows an instructor around campus and sends sexually explicit messages to the instructor's voicemail or email.
  • A student or employee touches you in an unwelcome, sexual manner without your consent.
  • A student or employee repeatedly makes unwelcome comments about your body in person, on the phone, or in any other way.
  • A student or employee records you engaged in sexual activity without your consent.
  • Students in a residence hall repeatedly draw sexually explicit graffiti on the whiteboard on your door.
  • A student or employee exposes their sexual organs to you without your consent and in an unwelcome manner.

State of Colorado Definitions of Criminal Behavior 

Much of the behavior prohibited by the University of Colorado is also prohibited by the laws of the state of Colorado. For the State of Colorado definitions and criminal penalties, please refer to the Colorado Revised Statutes, section 18-3-402, et. seq.

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