CofC Logo

What is Sexual Violence

Sex Crimes refers to a narrowly defined group of sexual acts that are considered criminal by a specific local, state, federal, or tribal jurisdiction. The governing jurisdiction in which the college or university is located codifies which acts are considered sex crimes. Examples of specific crimes include rape, sexual assault, and sexual battery. South Carolina has three degrees of criminal sexual conduct and two degrees of criminal sexual conduct against a minor.

Sexual Violence is used in the U.S. Department of educations' Dear Colleague Letter of April 2011 to refer to "physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol." The letter also specifies that an individual may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability.

Campus Sexual Misconduct refers to forms of sexual behavior that a college or university identifies as a violation of its institutional policies (e.g., The College of Charleston Student Code of Conduct). Campus sexual misconduct covers sex crimes as well as other sexual behaviors that may not be criminal in nature.

Sexual Harassment under Title IX (the federal statute enforcing gender equity within institutions of higher education), refers to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Harassment creates a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the school's programs. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.