According to Goucher’s policy, consent is expressed in explicit words, and means willingly and knowingly agreeing to engage in mutually understood sexual conduct. Consent must be mutual and ongoing, offered freely and knowingly, and cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. Noncommunication or silence constitutes lack of consent.

Sexual assault

Defined in Goucher’s policy as nonconsensual physical contact of a sexual nature, sexual assault includes rape and any other acts using force, threat, intimidation, or coercion, or using advantage gained by the victim’s inability (whether temporary or permanent) to make rational, reasonable decisions about sex, of which the accused was aware or should have been aware.

Sexual assault includes:
Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, which is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object, between any persons, without consent; and nonconsensual sexual contact, which is any sexual touching (including disrobing the other or exposing oneself), however slight, with any body part or object, between any persons, without consent.


Legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, but but at Goucher stalking is defined as "engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress."

Relationship violence

Goucher defines relationship violence as abuse or violence between romantic, intimate, and/or sexual partners or former partners involving one or more of the following elements:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual violence against a person;
  • Purposely or knowingly causing reasonable fear of physical, emotional, or sexual violence;
  • Purposely or knowingly causing property damage or a reasonable fear of property damage;
  • Repeated telephonic, electronic, or other forms of communication, anonymously or directly, made with the intent to intimidate, frighten, harass, or threaten.

Sexual Harassment

Goucher defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

An action constitutes sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or an individual’s participation in an educational program;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment on the Goucher campus.