Learn More about Sexual Assault and Prevention

Click the tabs below to learn more about what sexual assault is, how it is defined legally, and further educational resources.


There are a lot of different terms associated with sexual misconduct. Below are some of the most common terms you may hear. These definitions are taken directly from  UM-Flint's Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, which you can find in full by clicking here

Sexual Assault:  Unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, including hugging, kissing, fondling, oral sex, anal or vaginal intercourse, or other physical sexual activity that occurs without valid consent. 
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature if:
1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity;
2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity; or
3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity.
Sexual harassment may occur via various communication devices, via social media or via the Internet

Stalking: Any unwanted contact between a Respondent and their target of a sexual or romantic nature that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the target in fear. This includes but is not limited to: following a person; repeated and unwanted telephone calls; making repeated and unwanted contact by email or on social media sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook); or leaving gifts for their target.

Intimate Partner Violence: Unwanted or unwelcomed touching of a sexual nature or use of physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual or economic abuse directed towards a partner in an intimate relationship, such as domestic violence and dating violence. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Intimate partner violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships.

Intimate partner relationships can include both short or long-term relationships (current or former) between persons intended to provide some emotional/romantic and/or physical intimacy.

Consent: Clear, freely given, and unambiguous agreement to engage in a particular activity. Consent cannot be procured by the use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior or coercion. A person who is incapacitated or who is unable to give consent due to age or an intellectual and/or other disability cannot validly give consent. Either party at any point can withdraw consent. Moreover, consent to engage in one sexual activity, or past agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity, cannot be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage again in sexual activity.

Laws and Rights

Michigan law

Each  state  has  its own specific laws around criminal sexual conduct. Click here for the Michigan Legislature page on Michigan's criminal sexual conduct penal code. Includes definitions of offenses, sentencing, evidence processing, and rights. 

um-flint policy

UM-Flint has its own Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. The university defines sexual misconduct as: 

Sexual Misconduct – umbrella term used to encompass unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is committed without valid consent, including sexual assault, sexual harassment (including stalking), and other forms of sex-based discrimination. Men or women can engage in sexual misconduct, and sexual misconduct can occur between people of the same or different sexes. Sexual misconduct can include both intentional conduct and conduct that results in negative effects. Sexual misconduct can also include retaliation in connection with the Complainant’s allegations under this policy.

Title ix

As a public university, UM-Flint must also comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX states that: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Sexual harassment and sexual violence are both covered under Title IX. This means that public schools are legally required to respond to and remedy hostile educational environments. Failure to do so could result in the school losing its federal funding. For more information about Title IX visit Know Your IX.