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University Life

Campus Policy, Data and Important Definitions

Interpersonal violence affects everyone in our community. Understanding the prevalence and experiences of community members, the impact on our community and common definitions for acts of sexual misconduct are one way we can become informed and empowered to create a healthier and supportive environment.

Important Policies

The Title IX and Gender-Based Discrimination Policies outline all gender-based and sex-based misconduct at Bentley. While the policy is lengthy, we recognize that you may have some concerns about reporting because of worry that your choices or behaviors (ie underage drinking) may subject you to disciplinary action. 

This is not the case. There is a leniency clause in our policies. If you choose to report to the university, proceedings will focus is on the reported instance of sexual or gender based misconduct. 

Further, some students may be concerned to report out of worry that the person who hurt them or their friends will retaliate against them for reporting. We have policies that prohibit retaliation and procedures in place to protect you. 

Campus Data

Every 3 years, Bentley facilitates a Campus Climate survey. Campus climate surveys are designed to help institutions of higher education assess prevalence of experiences and instances of interpersonal violence, attitudes and beliefs that can contribute to violence or a culture that is harmful, and knowledge about reporting options.

Most recently, Bentley administered a climate survey in the Spring of 2019. A link to a data summary sheet can be found below.

2019 Campus Climate Survey Summary Presentation

2019 EAB Campus Quick Takes Report

Bentley uses this data to:

  • increase knowledge and awareness of concerns in our community
  • inform prevention and response programming
  • advocate for resources for survivors

Specific questions about the climate survey can be directed to

Terms and Definitions

There are a lot of words and definitions associated with gender-based violence and sexual misconduct. Below are some common terms you may hear peers or community members mention or are referenced in our policies.  As a reminder, if you experienced any of these, there are people you can talk to and options for reporting accessible via the buttons below.

Sexual Violence

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Sexual Violence refers to crimes where someone "forces or manipulates someone else into unwanted sexual activity without their consent". Sexual violence can include:

  • Sexual assault
  • non-consensual completed or attempted sexual contact 
  • non-consensual acts of a sexual nature not involving contact (such as voyeurism or sexual harassment)
  • acts of sexual trafficking committed against someone who is unable to consent or refuse
  • online exploitation


Sexual Assault

Any sexual activity that is forced, coerced, or unwanted. This includes rape and non-consensual sexual contact without penetration.

Grope / Groping

Touching a person in a sexual way, for sexual pleasure without consent

Sexual Harassment

Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that may take the form of sexual advances, inappropriate sexual or suggestive comments, inquiry, sounds or jokes; unsolicited touching or fondling; unwanted intercourse, or assault.  


Penetration (oral, anal, or vaginal) no matter how slight, of any orifice with a body part or any object without effective consent. 

Rape Myths

Rape myths are false beliefs people hold about sexual assault that shift blame from the perpetrator to the survivor. Rape myths have grown out of the long-standing gender roles, acceptance of violence, and incorrect information concerning sexual violence that exist in our society. 

SOURCE: Retrieved from 

Relationship Violence

Umbrella term that encompasses dating violence and domestic violence and can involve current or former intimate partners, spouses, social or dating relationships

Dating Violence

Dating violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating or sexual partner. 

Dating violence can include:

Emotional and verbal abuse such as name-calling, yelling, bullying, gaslighting, isolating a person from others, controlling or constantly needing to know a person's whereabouts, stalking and more

Sexual violence where a person is forced or manipulated into sexual acts without their consent

Physical abuse such as hitting, shoving, kicking, biting, throwing objects, choking, or any   other aggressive contact

Domestic Violence

Similar to dating violence(above) but when people are living in the same dwelling


A persistent course of conduct directed at a specific person that is unwelcome, repeated, and would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, fear for the safety of others, or suffer emotional distress. Stalking can occur between strangers, individuals who know each other, or individuals who are or were previously in a relationship. Stalking behaviors may include unwanted following or watching, unwelcome gifts, or communications in person, in writing, or through the use of technology. It also includes accessing personal information to monitor a person's activity. Any stalking behavior can be done directly, indirectly, or through a third-party

Victim Blaming

Questions or comments that attributes actions or inactions of the victim/survivor as partially or fully causing the harm that was done to them. Examples can include, "She should not have been leading him on." Or "Did you tell her no?" Victim blaming is problematic because not only are survivors not supported but also those who perpetrate harm are not held responsible.


Exerting influence or control over someone for their own advantage. 


Psychological manipulation to control a partner by causing them to question their reality. Examples include, "Why are you so sensitive about this?" and "Your memory is terrible; that is not what happened."


Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercion can include the use of verbal or physical conduct such as manipulation, intimidation, isolation, force, or threats.  


Taking non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.


The act of observing, spying on, or listening to a person involved in sexual contact/activity, or in a state of undress without their knowledge or consent. This is a form of sexual exploitation according to Bentley University policy.


Secretly removing a condom during sex without consent of other sexual partner(s) 

SOURCE: What is Stealthing? Retrieved from


Adverse action such as hostility, intimidation, threats, coercion, exclusion, or discrimination taken against an individual for raising concerns about conduct which is prohibited by law or policy. 

Revenge Porn

Distribution of nude or sexually explicit photos and/or videos of a person without their consent.

SOURCE: What is "revenge porn"? Received from 

Prosocial Bystander / Upstander

Individuals who intervene to positively impact a harmful or potentially harmful situation. 

SOURCE: Soteria Solutions Bringing in the Bystander® curriculum 

Responsible Employee / Mandated Reporter

Faculty and staff who are encouraged to call the Title IX Coordinator when an incident of sexual violence, misconduct, gender-based harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation is reported to them. A report to responsible employees constitutes a report to Bentley and obligates the University to respond to the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.  

Confidential Employee

This is an employee who may talk to a student in confidence, and generally only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these employees (e.g., physicians, nurses, professional counselors, clergy) will not trigger an investigation into an incident against the student's wishes. 

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