Examples of Sexual Harassment
- A professor offers for a student to have sex or go on a date with them in exchange for a good grade. This constitutes sexual harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised or a bad grade is threatened.
- A student repeatedly sends graphic, sexually-oriented jokes and pictures around campus via social media to hundreds of other students. Many don’t find it funny and ask them to stop, but they do not. Because of these jokes, one student avoids the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live, eventually asking to move to a different building and dropping a class they had together.
- A professor engages students in class in discussions about the students’ past sexual experiences, yet the conversations are not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. The professor inquires about explicit details and demands that students answer them, though the students are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
- An ex-partner widely spreads false stories about their sex life with their former partner to the clear discomfort and frustration of the former partner, turning the former partner into a social pariah on campus.
- Student A has recently transitioned from male to non-binary, but primarily expresses as a female. Since their transition, Student A has noticed that their African Studies professor, Professor B, pays them a lot more attention. Student A is sexually attracted to Professor B and believes the attraction is mutual. Student A decides to act on the attraction. One day, Student A visits Professor B during office hours, and after a long conversation about being non-binary, Student A kisses Professor B. Professor B is taken aback, stops the kiss, and tells Student A not to do that. Professor B explains to Student A that they are not interested in Student A sexually or romantically. Student A takes it hard, crying to Professor B about how hard it is to find someone who is interested in them now based on their identity. Professor B feels sorry for Student A and softens the blow by telling them that no matter whether they like Student A or not, faculty-student relationships are prohibited by the university. Student A takes this as encouragement. One night, Student A goes to a gay bar some distance from campus and sees Professor B at the bar. Student A tries to buy Professor B a drink and, again, tries to kiss Professor B. Professor B leaves the bar abruptly. The next day, Student A makes several online posts that out Professor B as gay and raise questions about whether they are sexually involved with students. Professor B contacts the Title IX Office and alleges that Student A is sexually harassing him.
Examples of Stalking
- Students A and B were friends with benefits. Student A wanted a more serious relationship, which caused student B to break it off. Student A could not let go, and pursued student B relentlessly. Student B obtained a campus no-contact order. Subsequently, Student B discovered their social media accounts were being accessed, and things were being posted and messaged as if they were from them, but they were not. Whoever accessed their account posted a picture of a penis, making it look as if they had sent out a picture of themselves, though it was not their penis. This caused them considerable embarrassment and social anxiety. They changed their passwords, only to have it happen again. Seeking help from the Title IX Coordinator, Student B met with the IT department, which discovered an app on their phone and a keystroke recorder on their laptop, both of which were being used to transmit their data to a third party.
- A graduate student working as an on-campus tutor received flowers and gifts delivered to their office. After learning the gifts were from a student they recently tutored, the graduate student thanked the student and stated that it was not necessary and would appreciate it if the gift deliveries stopped. The student then started leaving notes of love and gratitude on the tutor’s car, both on-campus and at home. Asked again to stop, the student stated by email, “You can ask me to stop, but I’m not giving up. We are meant to be together, and I’ll do anything to make you have the feelings for me that I have for you.” When the tutor did not respond, the student emailed again, “You cannot escape me. I will track you to the ends of the earth. If I can’t have you, no one will.”
Examples of Sexual Assault
- Student A and Student B meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Student B convinces Student A to come up to his room. From 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., Student B uses every line he can think of to convince Student A to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. Despite her clear communications that she is not interested in doing anything sexual with him, Student B keeps at her, questions her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” He brings up several rumors that he has heard about how she performed oral sex on a number of other guys. Finally, it seems to Student B that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to “jerk him off” (hand to genital contact). Student A would have never done it but for Student B’s incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her and that she wanted to do it all along but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn't want it, she could have left.
- Student A is a junior. Student B is a sophomore. Student A comes to Student B’s residence hall room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Student A and Student B, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Student A and Student B are alone. They hit it off, soon become more intimate, and start to make out. Student A verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Student B. Student B, who was abused by a babysitter at the age of five and avoids sexual relations as a result, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Student A takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses, and begins to have intercourse with Student B, Student B has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Student A to stop but cannot. Student B is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse.
- Student K and Student J are at a party. Student K is not sure how much Student J has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Student J to his apartment, and Student J comes on to Student K, initiating sexual activity. Student K asks Student J if he is really up to this, and Student J says yes. They remove each other’s clothes, and they end up in Student J’s bed. Suddenly, Student J runs for the bathroom. When he returns, his face is pale, and Student K thinks he may have thrown up. Student J gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Student K is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that Student J seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks Student J may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he came to again. When Student K runs into Student J the next day, he thanks him for the great night. Student J remembers nothing and decides to make a report to the Dean.
Examples of Retaliation
- Student-athlete A alleges sexual harassment by a coach; the coach subsequently cuts the student-athlete’s playing time without a legitimate justification.
- A faculty member alleges gender inequity in pay within her department; the Department Chair then revokes his approval for her to attend a national conference, citing the faculty member’s tendency to “ruffle feathers.”
- A student from Organization A participates in a sexual misconduct investigation as a witness whose testimony is damaging to the Respondent, who is also a member of Organization A; the student is subsequently removed as a member of Organization A because of their participation in the investigation.
These examples have been provided by ATIXA and are reproduced here with permission.