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What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual Misconduct, often referred to as Sexual Violence, consists of three basic categories of behavior, all of which are a violation of the Texas Tech Student Code of Conduct and illegal under state and federal law.

Sexual Harassment

"Unwelcome  verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with the victim's educational experience."

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, etc.
  • Sexual Assault – i.e., both Non-Consensual Sexual Contact and Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration – is a form of Sexual Harassment. 

    • Sexual Exploitation: situations that don’t fit into “contact” or “intercourse,” but are considered sexual harassment, including but not limited to the following:
  • Invasion of Sexual Privacy
  • Sexual Voyeurism – watching someone undress, “peeping tom,” etc.
  • Recording (pictures, video, audio) another person engaged in a sexual act or other private activity.
  • Inducing another student to expose his/her genitals or private areas
  • Prostituting another student.
  • Engaging in sexual activity while knowing infected with an STD.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

"Intentional sexual touching of another’s private areas without consent."

  • Touch: however slight / with any part of one’s body / with any object.
  • Private Areas: butt, breasts, mouth, genitals, groin area, or other bodily orifice.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

"Sexual penetration or intercourse without consent. (Note: unlike sexual contact, the act of intercourse is inherently intentional)

  • Penetration: However slight / with any part of one’s body / with any object.
    • Penetration can be: Anal, oral, or vaginal.

Visual Breakdown of Sexual Misconduct Terminology


What is Consent?


"Mutually understandable words or actions, actively communicated both knowingly and voluntarily, that clearly convey permission for sexual activity."

  • Clear words or actions
  • Must be Active -- not passive or implied
  • Informed / knowingly
  • Voluntary / freely given

You DO NOT have Consent when:

Consent is invalid if it is COMPELLED by:

  • Physical Force
    • When someone acts physically upon you.
    • Hitting, kicking, restraining, or otherwise exerting physical control over you.

  • Threats
    • A threat exists when a reasonable person would have been compelled to give permission to sexual contact when they would not have otherwise.
      • (Ex.) If you do not have sex with me … 
        • ... I will harm you.
        • ... I will tell people you are gay.
        • ... I will fail you.
  • Intimidation
    • An implied threat.
    • When someone uses his/her physical presence to menace you, without contact.
    • When someone uses your knowledge of his/her past violent tendencies, coupled with his/her menacing behavior, implying a threat.

  • Coercion
    • When someone consistently sexually pressures another into unwanted sexual behavior, when it’s been made clear that it is unwanted.
    • Differs from seduction:
      • Seduction: trying to persuade someone
      • Coercion: trying to persuade someone who doesn’t want to be persuaded.

  • Incapacitation
    • If the respondent knew or should reasonably have known that the victim was incapacitated, then it is impossible for consent to have been given.
    • Difficult evaluation because people reach incapacitation at different points.
    • Incapacity is dependent on many factors, including but not limited to:
      • Body weight, height, size, BMI
      • Tolerance for alcohol/drugs
      • Amount of alcohol/drugs consumed
      • Food intake prior to consumption
      • Voluntariness of consumption
    • Evidence of Incapacity:
      • Slurred speech
      • Bloodshot eyes
      • Smell of alcohol on breath
      • Appears shaky and unbalanced
      • Vomiting
      • Unusual or questionable behavior
      • Unconsciousness (in and of itself conveys incapacity)
    • “Blacking out” [two types]
      • One may maintain mental awareness of the situation, but lose the physical ability to react to it.
      • One may maintain physical ability and control, but lose all conscious awareness or memory of their actions.
      • Both constitute incapacity and thus consent is not possible.

Consent can never be given by:

  • A minor [to an adult]
  • Mentally disabled persons (they lack the "informed / knowing" element)
  • Physically incapacitated persons (see "Incapacitation" above)

Consent FAQ

"Only women can be victims of sexual assault, right?"

  • No.  While the majority of sexual assaults do tend to involve a female victim and a male assailant, both the victim and the assailant can be either male or female, respectively.  

"She didn't fight back or resist, so she consented, right?

  • No.  A victim is not required to actively resist his/her aggressor.

"Well, he didn't actually "say no," so that means he consented, right?"

  • No.  Silence is not consent -- consent must be "actively given."

"It's her responsibility to let me know that she doesn't want to, right?"

  • No.  It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain consent prior to acting.  As is referenced above, simply because he/she didn't "say no" and/or actively resist your advances doesn't mean she consented.

"Once he's consented and we actually start having sex, he can't just suddenly decide to stop, right?"

  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and if communicated clearly, all sexual activity must cease immediately.

"I know she was drunk, but she clearly said that she wanted to have sex, so we did.  That's okay right?"

  • No, it's not.  It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain consent prior to engaging in sexual activity, and consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated (in this case: drunk).  If you knew or should have known that she was incapacitated, she cannot give valid consent.

"Well it was his choice to get drunk (or take drugs), that's gotta count for something, right?"

  • Nope.  Someone's intentional use of alcohol/drugs does not affect determinations of incapacity and consent.

"She consented earlier this evening, but we got interrupted before anything happened.  We can simply resume later tonight no-questions-asked, right?"

  • No.  Consent has an expiration date.  Whether consent continues is relative to the situation and mood of the encounter, and is determined on a case by case basis.  If, for whatever reason, consensual sexual activity is interrupted or ceases for notable period of time, consent must likely be reobtained.


Processes and Procedures - What Happens If/When I Make a Report?

What do I do if something like this happens to me?

Keeping your Options Open: Preservation of Evidence

  • First and foremost, if you need immediate medical attention, you should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Secondly, if you have been sexually assaulted within the past 96 hours, it is strongly encouraged that you seek medical attention at an emergency room for a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE). You should do this even if you are unsure whether you want to report the incident, as this type of evidence is no longer available after 96 hours, and could be of significant importance if you decide you would like to report sometime in the future.
    • University Medical Center
      • 602 Indiana Ave, Lubbock, TX 79415
      • (806) 775-8200
    • Covenant Medical Center
      • 3615 19th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410
      • (806) 725-0000

If you just need to talk ...

  • If you have family or friends that you trust, it is always encouraged that you tell someone what happened.
  • However, if you simply want someone to listen but are unsure whether you want to involve your family and friends, and are hesitant to report to the police or the university, there are several resources available to you. These resources offer confidential assistance and support, and are free for Texas Tech students.
    • Student Counseling Center
      • Second floor of the Student Wellness Center, 
Room 201
(on the NE corner of Flint Ave. & Main St.)
      • Visit www.depts.ttu.edu/scc/ for more information.
    • Voice of Hope (Rape Crisis Center)

How do I make a report and what happens if I do?

Reporting to Texas Tech University
  • There are several different ways to make a report to the university. Visit the Get Help page for contact information and an online reporting form. 
  • It is highly encouraged that you speak with one of the administrators listed on the Get Help page, even if you are unsure whether you want to file a formal report. Student reports are kept confidential and shared only with essential university personnel in order to better remedy the student's situation (housing, parking, class schedule, etc.). Administrators will not contact the respondent (suspect) or otherwise escalate the situation without first consulting with the student.
  • Texas Tech University's primary concern is always to ensure that students are taken care of. Accordingly, administrators will assist in any way they can, offering various remedies and resources, even if you do not wish to pursue formal student conduct process.
  • Texas Tech wants you to feel safe. Remedies and resources will be provided on a case-by-case basis and will correspond with the needs of each individual student and each specific situation – regardless of whether the student decides to make a report. Those remedies and resources include, but are not limited to:
    • A No Contact Order;
    • A change or modification to residence hall or living options;
    • Academic scheduling or class modifications;
    • Employment options or work schedule modifications;
    • Assistance with extracurriculars, organization(s), activities;
    • On-campus parking considerations;
    • Police escort to your vehicle.
  • Once the university receives a report, an investigator will be assigned to gather information, create a full report, and present the incident to a hearing body for a decision. If a provision of the TTU Code of Student Conduct has been violated, this process can lead to sanctioning against involved student(s) or student organization(s). The range of potential sanctions are reprimand, probation, deferred suspension, suspension, and expulsion.
  • Texas Tech University's jurisdiction for addressing sexual misconduct is not limited to on-campus (or near-campus) incidents. If the alleged misconduct impacts the educational environment of a member of the Texas Tech community, regardless of where the incident occurred, the university is required by federal law to address the situation.
Reporting to the Texas Tech Police Department
  • If the alleged conduct violates state or federal law, you should report the incident to the Texas Tech Police Department. Reporting to TTU PD can lead to criminal charges and prosecution.
    • Texas Tech Police Department
      413 Flint Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79409
      (806) 742-3931
  • In most cases, incidents involving sexual misconduct will violate both state law as well as a provision(s) of the TTU Code of Student Conduct. In those cases, an investigator from Texas Tech University will coordinate with TTU PD detectives so that the student only has to give a statement one time. This would be scheduled at the earliest convenience of the student and TTPD/TTU investigators.
  • If you feel more comfortable speaking with a female officer, TTU PD will assign a female detective when available.
  • TTU PD will also explain your Crime Victim Compensation rights and are happy to assist you in filling out the necessary documentation.

Will I get in trouble if I was doing something wrong when the incident occurred?

  • Texas Tech is committed to facilitating an environment that supports students reporting incidents of sexual misconduct. As such, the university will attempt to provide educational options rather than formal conduct proceedings for what would otherwise be minor violations. This is what is known as an Amnesty Provision. You can read more about TTU's Amnesty Provision in Part 1, Subsection C of the 2014-2015 Student Handbook.

What if I would like to make a report, but I want to remain anonymous?

  • Texas Tech understands the sensitive nature of incidents involving sexual misconduct. Further, the university is mindful of complainants' desire, in many cases, to report an incident without disclosing their name or other identifying information. Here's what you should know about these types of situations: Texas Tech will always do its absolute best to protect a student's anonymity, if that is the student's wish. Doing so, however, will likely make it rather difficult to thoroughly and effectively investigate the occurrence. The university will walk through a student's various options at this point and determine which approach best fits the student's wants and needs.
  • The only time Texas Tech may be forced to disclose a complainant's name during an investigation is when the alleged misconduct presents a real and substantial threat to the campus community. This is required by federal law. That said, Texas Tech will always do the utmost to work with students who report incidents of sexual misconduct, protecting anonymity and confidentiality whenever possible.

Is my report confidential?

  • Any report of sexual misconduct made to Texas Tech administrators will be maintained with the highest possible level of confidentiality. Information provided by the student will only be shared with essential staff members and only as is necessary for the effective investigation and adjudication of the case.