UNH's obligations in relation to Sexual Violence
UNH's policies prohibit sexual violence! The most comprehensive resources on the University’s policies and procedures on sexual violence and harassment can be found in these two documents, which include complete descriptions of the behaviors summarized below:
Sexual violence and harassment, which includes all prohibited forms of unwanted sexual conduct, are serious violations that can drastically impact a student’s life and academic studies, and potentially threaten an accused student’s continuing enrollment at UNH and/or lead to criminal charges.
Although the information provided on this page is drawn from the UNH Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, individuals and community members are encouraged to read these original documents for questions regarding UNH Policies and Procedures and for the most accurate and up to date information.
Sexual misconduct: Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, any sexual penetration (sexual penetration is sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal intercourse, any intrusion of either the actor's or impacted person's body into genital or anal openings of the impacted person or other forceful intrusion) without seeking and receiving expressed consent. It includes penetration accompanied by threat, force, unwelcome manipulation, intimidation, blackmail, as a substitute for expressed consent. Sexual misconduct includes penetration when a person is incapacitated due to mental/physical disability and/or substance ingestion. Substances can include legal or illegal drugs and alcohol or any combination of the two. For the full definition, which is incorporated by reference herein, please refer to New Hampshire RSA 632-A:1(V).
Unwanted sexual contact: Any sexual contact (the intentional touching whether directly, through clothing, or otherwise, of the impacted person's or actors sexual or intimate parts) that can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification without seeking and receiving expressed consent. It includes sexual contact accompanied by threat, force, unwelcome manipulation, intimidation, blackmail, as a substitute for expressed consent. Sexual contact when a person is incapacitated due to mental /physical disability and/or substance ingestion. Substances can include legal or illegal drugs and alcohol or any combination of the two. For full definition of sexual contact, see New Hampshire RSA 632-A:1(IV), which is incorporated by reference herein.
Stalking: The repetitive, menacing pursuit, following, harassment, or interference with the public peace or a person’s safety, including cyber-stalking.
Relationship abuse: Threats or acts against a person’s safety by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, including discriminatory harassment, stalking, physical harm, threatening or endangering a person’s health or safety, intimidation and implied threats, coercion (pressuring a person to commit an involuntary act), and unwelcome physical contact.
Discriminatory harassment, including Sexual Harassment: Behaviors that deny a person access to University benefits or entitlements because of their protected class status, including gender:
UNH’s consensual amorous relationship policy provides guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest that can occur when two members of the UNH community whose institutional roles place them in an uneven power dynamic engaged in a consensual amorous relationship. UNH believes that such relationships create an uneven power dynamic, and the potential for abuse of power or bias, in situations where for example, the faculty or staff member has the professional responsibility to evaluate the student’s academic or work performance, perform in a “checks and balances” role (such as signing off on the student’s timesheet or expense payment), and/or participate in decisions affecting the student’s academic prospects or employment. Employees in such a relationship, past or current, must notify the department chair/director or immediate supervisor. Any student involved in such a relationship is encouraged to notify the Office of the Provost or the Affirmative Action and Equity Office Director (who is also UNH Title IX Coordinator). Steps may include, but are not limited to, reassignment of the faculty or staff member’s responsibilities and recusal from all institutional decisions related to the student.
Claims of sexual violence often arise out of situations where consent for sexual conduct is not clear. At UNH, we use the term expressed consent when considering whether sexual conduct is or was unwanted, and therefore, in violation of our policies related to sexual violence.
Expressed consent to engage in sexual activity must be given by each partner. We define expressed consent as a mutual agreement, based on shared desire for specific sexual activities, that is expressed verbally or nonverbally. Examples of expressed consent include, but are not limited to: (a) an ongoing verbal interaction, taken one step at a time, to engage in escalating sexual intimacy; (b) mutual awareness of possible unwanted consequences of sexual activities such as pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases and taking precautions to avoid these consequences and (c) an ongoing recognition that consent to some sexual activities does not imply consent to other, different, or more intimate sexual activities.
Examples of nonconsensual sex include but are not limited to: threatening, forcing, manipulating, intimidating, blackmailing, drugging, and causing a person to become intoxicated as a substitute for expressed consent or engaging in unwelcome sexual activity with a sleeping or incapacitated person.
While UNH policy does not expressly define incapacitation, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, Checklist (April 29, 2014) defines incapacitation as:
the physical or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments such as:
a) due to use of alcohol or drugs;
b) when a person is sleeping or unconscious;
c) due to an intellectual or other disability that prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent.
SHARPP also explains certain "signs" where an individual would not be able to give expressed consent. Some of those are:
Nothing contained herein, or in information provided by University employees should be considered legal advice regarding any individual community member’s situation.