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Definitions Within the Policy

“Accused” shall mean an individual accused of a violation who has not yet entered Pratt’s conduct process.

“Affirmative consent” is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 

  • Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
  • Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity.  Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.  Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
  • When consent is withdrawn, or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

“Bystander” means an individual who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of rules or policies of the Institute.

“Complainant” means the individual making the allegation(s) of sexual misconduct.

 “Dating Violence” means violence or coercive behavior 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 complainant’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. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual, physical, or psychological abuse, or the threat of such abuse.

“Domestic Violence” means felony or misdemeanor crimes 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 New York, 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 New York.

“Intimidation” means implied threats or acts that reasonably cause another to fear for his/her safety or well-being.  

“No-Contact Order” means a directive prohibiting contact between or among designated individuals through any means, direct or indirect, including personal contact, email, telephone, text message, social media, or by means of a third party.

“Respondent” means the individual accused of a violation who has entered the Institute’s conduct process, including formal and informal resolution.

“Retaliation” means taking any adverse action or attempting to take adverse action, including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint of sexual misconduct or participation in an investigation or proceeding related to alleged sexual misconduct.

“Sexual Assault” includes non-consensual sexual intercourse and non-consensual sexual contact. “Non-consensual sexual intercourse” means any form of sexual penetration or intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral), however slight, with any object by an individual upon another individual without consent and/or by force. Intercourse means: vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact). “Non-consensual sexual contact” means any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object by an individual upon another individual without consent. Intentional sexual contact includes contact with the breasts, buttocks, or groin, or touching another with any of these body parts; making another person touch any of these body parts; and any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

“Sexual Coercion” is the application of unreasonable pressure, including emotionally or physically manipulative actions or statements, or direct or implied threats, in order to compel the person to engage in sexual activity.

“Sexual Exploitation” means abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality without consent, for the perpetrators own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited. Sexual Exploitation includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over that person; causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and/or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, to another person.

“Sexual Harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: (1) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education or campus life activities, or used as the basis of any academic, student life or employment decision (quid pro quo); or (2) such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it limits an individual’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, the Institute’s education or work programs or activities (hostile environment).

“Sexual Misconduct” means a range of unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by intimidation, coercion, threat or force.  Sexual Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

For 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, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, 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 person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Conduct that violates the Institute policy may also violate New York State laws and subject the perpetrator to criminal prosecution. Sex Offenses under New York law are described in Sections 130.00 to 130.96 of the New York State penal Code, available at