Harassment of any kind is not acceptable behavior at MIT; it is inconsistent with the commitment to excellence that characterizes MIT’s activities. MIT is committed to creating an environment in which every individual can work, study, and live without being harassed. Harassment may therefore lead to sanctions up to and including termination of employment or student status.
Harassment is any conduct, verbal or physical, on or off campus, that has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s or group’s educational or work performance at MIT or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive education, work, or living environment. Some kinds of harassment are prohibited by civil laws or by MIT policies on conflict of interest and nondiscrimination.
Harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, or age includes harassment of an individual in terms of a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person's identification with a particular group.
Sexual harassment may take many forms. Sexual assault and requests for sexual favors that affect educational or employment decisions constitute sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment may also consist of unwanted physical contact, requests for sexual favors, visual displays of degrading sexual images, sexually suggestive conduct, or offensive remarks of a sexual nature.
The Institute is committed under this policy to stopping harassment and associated retaliatory behavior. All MIT supervisors have a responsibility to act to stop harassment in the areas under their supervision.
Any member of the MIT community who feels harassed is encouraged to seek assistance and resolution of the complaint. MIT provides a variety of avenues by which an individual who feels harassed may proceed, so that each person may choose an avenue appropriate to his or her particular situation. Institute procedures are intended to protect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent, to protect privacy, and to prevent supervisory reprisal.
General complaint procedures are described in MIT Policies and Procedures Section 9.6, and on the website at http://web.mit.edu/policies/9.6.html, and in the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 3.4 at http://web.mit.edu/hr/policy/3-4.html. In addition, Guidelines for Raising Complaints about Harassment can be found at http://web.mit.edu/communications/hg.
Consent/Unwillingness – Expressed verbally or physically
Expressed verbally or physically Consent is agreement that is voluntary, informed, freely and actively given, with mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in an agreed-upon sexual activity. Refusal, lack of consent, or non-consent may be expressed in many ways, verbally or physically. Consent to one type of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other or all types of sexual activity, and a person can withdraw consent at any time. In the absence of a clear, positive indication of consent, it should be presumed that consent is not given. Physical resistance is not necessary to communicate a lack of consent. A person is considered incapable of consent when incapacitated by sleep or the influence of drugs or alcohol; physically helpless, unconscious, mentally disabled or younger than 16 years of age.
Force may include words, conduct or appearance. Force includes causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol. Coercion, intimidation, and non-physical threats are all forms of force.
Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to encompass a range of behavior including rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure and sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature with another person. This contact might include unwanted touching of breasts, the buttocks or genitalia. Sexual misconduct can occur between individuals who know each other, have an established relationship, have previously engaged in consensual sexual activity, and between individuals who do not know each other.
Sexual assault is any unwanted, nonconsensual sexual contact against any individual by another. Sexual assault can occur either forcibly (against a person's will) or when a person cannot give consent (under the age of consent, intoxicated, developmentally disabled, mentally/physically unable to consent, etc.). Sexual assault can include nonconsensual touching or fondling of a sexual nature, which can include touching of breasts, buttocks and/or genitalia.
Rape is defined as nonconsensual or forced sexual intercourse, vaginal, oral or anal penetration with a body part or object. This includes fellatio, cunnilingus, and other intrusions of a part of a person’s body or other object into the mouth, genitals or anal opening of another person’s body.
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