Sexual Assault

Case Western Reserve University is a community dependent upon trust and respect for its constituent members: students, faculty, staff and those under temporary contract. Sexual assault is a violation of that trust and respect and will not be tolerated. Sexual assault is a serious crime that can occur to men and women, whether gay, straight, transgender or bisexual.

The following definition of sexual assault is relevant to Case Western Reserve University policies and procedures. All students, faculty, and staff of the University are subject to this policy. To view the complete University Sexual Assault Policy including reporting options, support resources and the university response see the Case Sexual Assault Policy.

An individual who violates this policy may also be subject to criminal prosecution and civil litigation. For legal definitions refer to Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Sexual Assault Definition

Any non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, is a sexual assault. Physical resistance need not occur to fulfill the definition of sexual assault. Consent CAN NEVER be given by anyone under the age of sixteen. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • rape
  • acquaintance rape, (e.g. friend, classmate, peer, co-worker, partner, etc.)
  • incest
  • sexual assault with an object
  • forcible sodomy
  • forcible oral sex
  • forcible fondling

Consent is the equal approval, given freely, willingly, and knowingly of each participant to desired sexual involvement. Consent is an affirmative, conscious decision – indicated clearly by words or actions – to engage in mutually accepted sexual contact. A person forced to engage in sexual contact by force, threat of force, or coercion has not consented to contact. Lack of mutual consent is the crucial factor in any sexual assault. Consent CANNOT be given if a person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or if there is a significant age or perceived power differential. Examples include, but are not limited to being:

  • unconscious
  • frightened
  • physically or psychologically pressured or forced
  • intimidated
  • substantially impaired because of a psychological health condition
  • substantially impaired because of voluntary intoxication
  • substantially impaired because of the deceptive administering of any drug, intoxicant or controlled substance