Rice University

Prohibited Behaviors

Rice's Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits a wide array of behaviors that fall under the umbrella of sexual misconduct. All forms of sexual misconduct are behaviors without a person's consent. These behaviors can be perpetrated by people of all genders, just as people of all genders can experience these behaviors.

Sexual assault, harassment, stalking, or relationship violence are not your fault. If you have experienced any of these behaviors, there are resources available for you at Rice to seek support or make a report.

  • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual assault, which may also be called rape or sexual violence, is defined under Rice's Sexual Misconduct Policy as "intentional and physical sexual acts without a person's consent. [It] includes non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse."
  • Sexual Harassment
    • Sexual harassment is defined under the Sexual Misconduct Policy as including, "without limitation, unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

      i. Submission to the conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's education or employment; or

      ii. A person's submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions affecting that person; or

      iii. The conduct is reasonably regarded as offensive and has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person's employment or education, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment."

      Sexual harassment is also a Title IX violation, and includes sexual assault and other unwanted sexual contact.

  • Unwanted Sexual Contact
    • Under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, unwanted sexual contact is defined as "non-consensual intimate touching of a sexual nature that does not necessarily constitute a sexual act." This could include grabbing the body parts of another person without their consent or other non-consensual contact.
  • Relationship Violence
    • Relationship Violence

      Relationship violence, which includes and may also be called intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, or dating violence, is a pattern of behaviors by an intimate partner to gain power and control. It can include physical violence, sexual violence, emotional or psychological violence, economic abuse, threats, or stalking.

      Relationship violence can be perpetrated by someone you are in a relationship with or have had a previous relationship with, of any duration, or by someone with whom you have had sexual contact.

      Examples of behaviors that a partner or ex-partner may use are:

      • Constantly putting you down or demeaning you
      • Threatening to hurt or spread rumors about you if you don't comply with partner's demands
      • Demanding to know where you are at all times
      • Not letting you hang out with friends or participate in activities outside the relationship
      • Pushing, hitting, pinching, slapping, kicking, or other physically violent actions
      • Making you go further than you want to sexually
      • Blaming you for these actions or denying that they happened
      • Other abusive actions

      Relationship violence can feel scary. If you need help staying safe, you can get tips and ideas by downloading a safety plan here.

  • Stalking
    • Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or other actions directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person fear.

      Stalking can come from someone you know or someone you don't, including friends, sexual or dating partners, spouses, coworkers, family members, or strangers.

      Examples of unwanted behaviors that a perpetrator of stalking may use are:

      • Following you around
      • Constantly calling or texting you
      • Leaving gifts, cards, or other items in your room or on your car
      • Threatening you
      • Showing up at your home, work, classes, etc
      • Spying on or monitoring you by hacking into your email account or Facebook, tracking your cell phone, etc
      • Other unwanted behaviors

      If you think you are being stalked, you can create a log of the the behaviors and incidents. You can find a log to use here. This will help you remember what happened when and if you choose to report to the police.

  • Sexual Exploitation
    • The Sexual Misconduct Policy defines sexual exploitation as "taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person, including behaviors that, while not involving sexual contact, are meant to take sexual advantage of that person, or sexually benefit anyone other than that person."

      Examples of behaviors that might constitute sexual exploitation are:

      • Taking pictures and/or distributing sexual pictures of a person without their consent
      • Watching someone undress or engage in sexual activity without them knowing
      • Recording video of sexual activity or of someone undressing without their consent
      • Exposing your genitals or 'flashing' someone
      • Forcing someone to watch porn
      • Other invasions of sexual privacy
  • Intimidation/Retaliation
    • Intimidation is behavior designed to cause fear in and/or to control another person. Retaliatory behavior either by or on behalf of the alleged perpetrator may occur after a report is filed. This means that the responding/accused student finds means to intimidate, pressure and/or harm the complainant into inaction.

      Intimidation/Retaliatory tactics may include:

      • Threats of violence or other actions
      • Verbal or physical harassment
      • Spreading rumors
      • Coercing friends into intimidating you
      • Actualized grade changes/achievements
        Threats to spread embarrassing and/or inaccurate information  

      It is important to note that intimidation/retaliation may overlap with stalking. A stalking log is available here.