Reporting Sexual Misconduct

UNTHSC is committed to promoting a welcoming campus environment where sexual assault and harassment are strictly prohibited and unacceptable. If you, or someone you know, have been sexually assaulted, know that there are several avenues of support. Listed below are steps to help with immediate and continuing needs.

Immediate Considerations

  • Take steps to ensure your safety
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Preserve all physical evidence

The primary concern for victims of sexual violence is to address medical issues related to physical injury, sexually transmitted infections, and/or pregnancy. The secondary concern is the collection of evidence to aid in a possible police investigation. Valuable physical evidence can only by obtained within 96 hours of a sexual assault.

Further Considerations

  • Medical treatment and counseling are strongly recommended in all cases.
  • The Police Department is notified of all sexual assault cases reported to HSC Police, but identifying information can be kept private.
  • You may elect to continue with the internal complaint process or stop at any time. Remember that the University has a duty to protect the community at large and may need to proceed.
  • You may choose not to participate in the formal process and decide to utilize Student Health Services. These communications are strictly confidential.

Definitions

State law defines various violent or non-consensual sexual acts as crimes. Additionally, UNTHSC has defined categories of sexual misconduct, for which disciplinary action may be imposed. UNTHSC has the right to impose any level of discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion, for any sexual misconduct or sexual exploitation.

Complainant

Complainant means an individual who files a complaint with the Office of Student Affairs alleging a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline. Complaints can be made by non-students who were students when the violation occurred, as long as the accused is still a student.

Consent

Consent means words or actions that show an active, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, coercion, manipulation, threats, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another when the individual knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacity by use of alcohol or drugs. Consent is absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of previously given consent, or the person in unconscious or otherwise unaware that the prohibited conduct is occurring. Consent may be revoked at any time. A sexual assault under Texas law is without the consent of the other person if:

  • The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence;
  • The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;
  • The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
  • The actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;
  • The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
  • The actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administering any substance without the other’s person’s knowledge;
  • The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
  • The actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;
  • The actor is a mental health service provider or a health care service provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor;
  • The actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser; or
  • The actor is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident, unless the employee and resident are formally or informally married to each other under Chapter 2, Family Code.
Consent Checkpoints
  • A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason.
  • A student who engages in sexual activity when the student knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incompetent has violated this policy
  • If the student accused of sexual misconduct is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and does not realize the incapacity of the Complainant, this policy is still violated.
  • Consent for some sexual activity does not grant automatic consent for other sexual activities.
  • Consent is not based upon a current or previous dating relationship.
  • Consent is not based upon silence or the absence of resistance.
  • A person can withdraw consent at any time.
  • A verbal “no” or other verbal expression of “no” and/or physical resistance, always means “no.”

Dating violence

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence includes a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant; by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with complainant as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of a complaint 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 complainant 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.

Respondent

Respondent means an individual or organization identified as possibly having engaged in conduct prohibited under this policy regardless whether a formal complaint is made.

Sexual assault

Sexual Assault” means an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape:

   a. Rape: 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.

   b. Fondling: The touching of the private body 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.

   c. Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

   d. Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Sexual Coercion

Sexual coercion means the use of manipulation or threat to force someone to have sex.

Sexual exploitation

Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for another’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the person being exploited, including but not limited to, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity or undetected viewing of another’s sexual activity. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual voyeurism
  • Prostitution
  • Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with a sexually transmitted disease and without informing the other person of the infection
  • Administering drugs, such as “date rape” drugs without knowledge or consent
  • Compelling or inducing another person to engage in a sexual act by means of: (i) pressuring, cajoling, or arguing; (ii) instilling fear of dire consequences if a demand is not met; (iii) utilizing drugs or alcohol.

Sexual harassment

These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. UNTHSC also prohibits student behavior that sexually demeans or humiliates other community members, even if the conduct does not violate the law. In assessing a disciplinary sanction, the seriousness of the sexual harassment incident will be evaluated. UNTHSC reserves the right to impose any level of discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion, for any act of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including gender-based and sex-stereotyping conduct of a sexual nature) that in the education context is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that the conduct interferes with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from UNTHSC’s educational programs or activities. For purposes of this policy, conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive in the education context if its frequency, or threatening or humiliating nature unreasonably interferes with or limits the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program or activity, including when the conduct reasonably creates an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive educational environment. Examples of unwelcomed conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under this policy (regardless of the medium or platform) include but are not limited to:

  • repeated requests for dates, sexual flirtations or propositions of a sexual nature;
  • subtle pressure for a sexual relationship;
  • sexist remarks about a person’s clothing, body or sexual activities;
  • unnecessary touching, hugging or brushing against a person’s body;
  • direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will affect or be a condition of employment, work status, grades, or letter of recommendation;
  • comments of a sexual nature that cause humiliation, such as use of inappropriate terms of address;
  • sexual assault; and
  • sexually explicit or sexist comments, questions or jokes.
A determination as to whether harassment occurred depends on the totality of the circumstances. For the purposes of state and federal law, harassment has occurred if a reasonable person would have found the behavior offensive and his or her living or working environment would be compromised as a result of the conduct. UNTHSC reserves the right to discipline offensive conduct that is inconsistent with community standards even if it does not rise to the level of harassment as defined by state or federal law. UNTHSC also prohibits “quid pro quo” (“this for that”) harassment. This form of harassment occurs when a person in a position of control links a benefit to another’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct or requires the other to perform or submit to demeaning or degrading sex acts. “Quid pro quo” harassment can be expressly stated, but it also can be implied by words, actions, or the surrounding circumstances.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual disability or other disability such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sexual violence can occur between friends, classmates, spouses, romantic interests, short acquaintances, or strangers. Examples of sexual violence include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

Stalking

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. Here are a few examples of common stalking incidents:

  • Show up at home or work uninvited
  • Send you unwanted messages
  • Leave unwanted gifts
  • Constantly call you and hang up

This page was last modified on April 9, 2021