Title IX

Key Concepts Defined

Cabrillo College is committed to providing an open and transparent explanation of college policies and procedures.

For a more detailed description of the terms listed below, please review the College's Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is federal civil rights legislation that prohibits gender discrimination in educational settings. Under Title IX, schools are required to investigate all reports of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct, stop the misconduct and prevent it from occurring in the future, and remedy the harm caused by the misconduct.

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to describe any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender. Examples of sexual misconduct include:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, sexual, sex-based, and/or gender-based verbal, written, online, and/or physical conduct.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object or by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

Dating Violence

Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:

  • a current or former spouse of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under California law; or
  • any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under California law.

Stalking means 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.

What is Consent?

Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission, through word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity or contact.

Since different people may experience the same interactions differently, each party is responsible for making sure that partners have provided ongoing, clear consent to engaging in any sexual activity or contact.

A person may withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity or contact through words or actions. If that happens, the other party must immediately cease the activity or contact. Pressuring another person into sexual activity can constitute coercion, which is also considered to be sexual misconduct.

Silence or the absence of resistance alone does not constitute consent. A victim is not required to resist or say "no" for an offense to be proven.

Consent to some forms of sexual activity (e.g., kissing, fondling, etc.) should not be construed as consent for other kinds of sexual activities (e.g., intercourse).

Being or having been in a dating relationship with the other party does not mean that consent for sexual activity exists.

Previous consent to sexual activity does not imply consent to sexual activity in the future.

To legally give consent in California, individuals must be at least 18 years old.


Force is defined as direct or indirect use of physical violence and/or imposing physically on someone to gain sexual access. Force, unless part of mutually-permissible kink, is a clear demonstration of a lack of consent.


Incapacitation is defined as a state in which individuals are unable to make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to understand the "who, what, when, where, why, or how" of a situation or interaction. Individuals cannot give sexual consent if they can't understand what is happening, or if they are disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason. This applies even if it is because they voluntarily consumed alcohol or drugs. Unless consent is "knowing," it is not valid. Those engaging in sexual activity who know or should have known that the other party is incapacitated are engaging in sexual misconduct.

The fact that a responding party was intoxicated, and thus did not realize the reporting party was incapacitated, does not excuse sexual misconduct.