Prohibited Behavior

Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Stalking and Relationship Violence are Prohibited at UM

Individuals have the right to continue to pursue their education and employment in an environment free from the effects of sexual violence. We encourage students and employees to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action so we can address the effects of sexual misconduct, take measures to stop any ongoing harassment, and prevent future harassment. Reporting and all follow-up activity will be handled in accordance with UM's Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy and Procedures and in a manner that protects the privacy and confidentiality of students and employees.

The Title IX Coordinator can assist individuals in making a criminal report to the police if the individual chooses to do so.

UM's Discrimination Policy prohibits and defines:

Sexual Harassment can include unwelcome: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.

(more about Sexual Harassment)

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual Misconduct is a term that encompasses any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. This behavior is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Victims and perpetrators of sexual misconduct may be of any sex. Examples of behaviors of sexual misconduct include sexual assaultsexual harassmentrape, and stalking.

Sexual Misconduct includes:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Inducing Incapacitation for Sexual Purposes
  • Sexual Exploitation

(more about sexual misconduct)

Relationship Violence is abuse or violence between partners or former partners involving one or more of the following elements:

  • Battering that causes bodily injury;
  • Purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury;
  • Emotional abuse creating apprehension of bodily injury or property damage;
  • Repeated telephonic, electronic, or other forms of communication -- anonymously or directly -- made with the intent to intimidate, terrify, harass, or threaten;

Stalking includes repeatedly following, harassing, threatening, or intimidating another by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media, or any other action, device or method that purposely or knowingly causes substantial emotional distress or reasonable fear of bodily injury or death.

Retaliation is action taken by an accused individual or an action taken by a third party against any person because that person has opposed any practices forbidden under this policy or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation. Action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.

More information on prohibited behavior

Being the target of sexually harassing behavior may make you feel embarrassed, angry, isolated, confused, or helpless. When inappropriate behavior becomes routine, it can affect your quality of life. If you feel you experienced sexual harassment, you can take the following steps:

  • Document the incidents. Write down the date, time, and location, exactly what happened and what was said, and any witnesses. Include any attempts you made to make it clear the behavior was unwelcome, and include how the behavior made you feel.

  • Tell the harasser that their behavior or comments are unwelcome and that you want them to stop.

  • Write a letter or email to the harasser identifying their inappropriate behavior and informing them that if that behavior doesn't stop, you will file a formal grievance against them.

  • Schedule an appointment with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action to talk about the behavior you are experiencing. EOAA can handle your complaint informally and provide you with resources on how to deal with the situation, or you may choose to start a formal process for investigation. EOAA will guide you through the process.

Persons accused of sexual harassment are often surprised to learn that someone has viewed their behavior or comments as offensive. If you have been accused of sexual harassment or worry that you may be accused of sexual harassment, you may want to review your behavior by considering the following points:

  • Do not assume that colleagues, peers, employees, or students are flattered by comments about their appearance, requests to go on a date, or questions about their relationships.

  • Do not assume that colleagues, peers, employees, or students enjoy being touched (including hugs, massages, playful patting).

  • Do not assume that colleagues, peers, employees, or students enjoy sexually oriented comments, jokes, or stories.

  • Do not assume that others will tell you they are offended or feel harassed by what you say and do, especially if you are in a position of power over them.

  • Do not assume that your colleagues, peers, employees, or students enjoy emails or internet sites that contain sexual jokes or innuendoes.  Creating or forwarding the email can be just as offensive as if you had uttered the words yourself.

  • Consider whether you base your behavior (i.e., comments, decisions) on stereotypes of others. Review your behavior and make sure it is sex-neutral and free of bias.

  • Consider the impact that you could have on others' attitudes toward their work, education, and self-esteem.

  • Consider how others respond to what you say and do.

  • Consider whether differences in culture, religion, or background might make someone uncomfortable with your actions.

  • Consider and understand that unwelcome sexual humor and innuendoes may violate the University’s sexual harassment policy.

  • If you have any doubts as to your behavior, ask yourself:

    • whether you would like someone to do the same to your wife/husband/partner, daughter/son, mother/father, grandmother/grandfather, or another considered close to you;

    • whether you would like to see a picture of yourself and a description of the behavior on the front page of the newspaper.

If you answer "NO" to either of these questions, odds are you should refrain from the behavior.

  • Ask yourself many of these same questions with respect to behavior related to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.

  • Remember that it is not the intent behind the behavior that matters, but rather the impact the behavior has on the person who is offended by the behavior.

If you have questions about what behaviors may constitute sexual harassment, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at 243-5710 or eoaa@umontana.edu.