Defining Sexual Violence

The term “sexual harassment” includes, but is not limited to, verbal or non-verbal conduct that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, or offensive with an inappropriate focus on sex, sexual history, individual gender-based characteristics, or sexual orientation; unwelcome verbal or physical advances; attempts to subject a person to unwanted sexual attention or to coerce a person into sexual relations; and/or retaliation for a refusal to comply with sexual demands. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.

The term “sexual violence” means any physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Lack of consent means that the person who has alleged the occurrence of sexual violence has not said “yes,” or otherwise specifically and unambiguously indicated agreement to participate in the act, including instances in which she/he is unable to give informed consent because of her/his youth, or temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including, but not limited to, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Acts in this category include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

Sexual contact can include, but is not limited to: unwelcome sexual behavior, including kissing, intentional touching of another person’s intimate body parts or the clothing covering these intimate areas, and unwelcome sexual penetration, which includes sexually intended intrusion, however slight, into any opening of a person’s body, by parts of another person’s body, or any other object. Sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination. (Definition and Source)