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Sexual Coercion

There are a variety of behaviors that could be considered coercive; behaviors ranging from non-physical pressure to the use of a weapon that compel someone to engage in an activity against their will.

When viewing the spectrum of possible behaviors a person can use to coerce another to engage in sexual activity, it is evident that not all of the behaviors on the spectrum are considered illegal (against Virginia sexual assault statutes) or defined under William & Mary policy as constituting Sexual Misconduct. However, indiviudals who use any form of coercive behavior on our campus undermine the sense of trust and loyalty that is valued in the William and Mary community.

You are being coerced if:
  • You feel like you lack a choice
  • You face potential social consequences if you don't engage in a behavior
  • You are relentlessly pressured
  • You feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you resist
  • A person abuses authority and rank to get you to complyA person continues pressure after you have said no
Examples of coercion:
  • threatening to harm someone if they do not do what you want
  • using a weapon to get someone to do what your want
  • abusing power or authority to get someone to do what you want
  • using physical force to get what you want
  • using emotional pressure to get someone to do what you want
  • using social/peer pressure or your social standing to get someone to do what you want