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Sexual Violence: Key Terms

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: A sexual act committed against someone without freely given consent. Sexual, gender-based, interpersonal and relationship violence are often used interchangeably to include behavior motivated by gender & power that occurs without consent.

SEXUAL ASSAULT: Any sexual activity that happens without consent, including penetration, sexual touching, or removal of safer sex methods. Power differences, based on identity and role, can contribute to coercion. Consent for one sexual activity does not imply consent for others.

SEXUAL/GENDER-BASED HARASSMENT: Any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, electronic or otherwise, when it effects another's work education or participation in activities or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering in someone's learning working or living environment.

STALKING: Following or monitoring someone, persisting in unwanted communication, interfering with someone's belongings without their permission, or using social media or technology to engage in these behaviors.

RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE: A pattern of behavior within an established relationship, or from someone seeking to enter into a relationship, where tactics are repeatedly used to gain power & control over another person. Tactics can include sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, cultural, identity-based, or physical abuse and can occur in any relationship, including romantic partners, teacher/student, roommates, friends, family, supervisor/employee, etc.

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