Sexual Violence and Harassment
Ithaca College is committed to ensuring that sexual harassment and sexual assault does not occur in any area or activity of the college. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Title IX requirements specifically address the responsibilities of schools to take immediate and effective steps to respond to sexual violence. The U.S. Department of Education defines sexual violence as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual Rights and Responsibilities
- Every person’s wishes and decisions need to be respected. Accept the fact that “no” means no.When someone says no, he or she means it. Don’t read other meanings into the answer. Don’t coerce a person to change his or her mind. If the person you are with agrees to have sex and then changes his or her mind at any time, you must respect that decision.
- Don’t assume that someone wants to have sexual activity or intercourse based on his or her nonverbal cues, such as style of dress, flirtatious acts, mannerisms, or silence. People have the right to dress and act the way they want without having to worry about being sexually assaulted.
- Communicate your intentions as well as your sexual limits clearly. Ask your partner whether physical contact is okay. Don’t interpret passivity or silence as permission.
- Don’t assume that previous permission for intimate contact applies to the current situation. If you have had sex with someone before, don’t assume that he or she has agreed to have sex in the future.
- If someone starts to offend you, firmly tell him or her to stop. Be assertive.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs as they can interfere with clear thinking and effective communication.
- Trust your feelings. If you sense that you are being pressured into unwanted sex, make your feelings clear and, if possible, take steps to ensure your safety including leaving the situation, if necessary.