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Also see the FAQ sections under Counseling and Policy

  • Acquaintance Rape: Sexual assault committed by someone known to the survivor. This could include neighbors, family friends, etc.
  • Bystander Intervention: Bystander Intervention is a social science model that predicts that most people are unlikely to help others in certain situations. A bystander is anyone who observes an emergency or a situation that looks like someone could use some help. They must then decide if they are comfortable stepping in and offering assistance. Bystander Intervention programs teach people to overcome their resistance to checking in and helping out.
  • Child Sexual Abuse: An adult or older peer coercing a child into sexual activity. Child Sexual Abuse can be overt and covert, as well as physical, emotional, verbal and auditory.
  • Coercion: Using pressure or manipulation to get another person to engage in a sexual act. Coercion restricts someone from being able to give consent freely and voluntarily.
  • Consent: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something based on a shared understanding of circumstances. Legal consent in given voluntarily and soberly.
  • Coping: A strategy used to manage pain and release stress.
  • Cyber Bullying: The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature, often times anonymously.
  • Date Rape: Sexual assault committed by someone with whom the survivor has a previous or current romantic relationship.
  • Disclosure: Refers to the disclosure, or the admission, of an experience of sexual violence to another person, often an adult or a helping professional.
  • Domestic Violence: The Department of Justice defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
  • Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: Sexual assault where drugs or alcohol are used to compromise a person’s ability to consent freely.
  • Exhibitionism: Exposing one’s genitalia to another person without their consent.
  • Force: Any action that undermines or disregards the consent of another person. Examples can include physically restraining someone, outnumbering, using a weapon, threatening harm, use of authority or dependence, or administering substances that confuse or weaken someone’s resistence.
  • Gang Rape: Sexual assault committed by more than one person.
  • Gender Based Violence: A form of violence that targets someone based on their gender identity or expression. Sexual violence is considered a form of gender based violence.
  • Groping: The touching or fondling another person in a sexual way using the hands.
  • Harassment: Behaviors intended to annoy, threaten, intimidate, alarm, or scare another person. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment.
  • Hate Crime: The victimization of an individual based on that individual’s race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender identification, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.
  • Human Trafficking: The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons using force or the threat or force or coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, or the abuse of power for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
  • Incest: Sexual contact between persons who are family members or so closely related that they are like family members, including step families and fictive kin (people who are so close to the family that they are considered and accepted as family members).
  • Mandated Reporting: Is intended to protect minors, the elderly and disabled adults by requiring helping professionals and care givers to report suspected abuse of these persons.
  • Marital Rape: Sexual assault committed from one spouse to another.
  • Molestation: Sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children, and variations of these acts. Molestation also applies to incest by a relative with a minor family member, and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape.
  • Partner Rape: Sexual acts committed without a person’s consent and/or against a person’s will when the perpetrator is the individual’s current partner, previous partner, or co-habitator. Partner rape is also commonly referred to as intimate partner violence.
  • Pedophilia: Identified as the romantic and sexual attraction to children.
  • Perpetrator: A person who commits an act of sexual violence.
  • Power: The ability to make something happen or not happen.
  • Rape: A form of sexual assault that involves penetration by an object or a body part of the vagina, anus or mouth.
  • Rape Culture: Refers to the attitudes, norms, and beliefs that reinforce that sexual assault is normal and tolerated. It is a way of socializing acceptance of sexual violence and promoting myths and mixed messages about what one does to make themselves a victim.
  • Rape Trauma Syndrome: Refers to a form a post traumatic stress that many survivors of sexual assault experience.
  • Rape As Warfare: A method used during war as psychological warfare – humiliating the enemy soldiers and undermining the morale as giving them signal of being unable to protect what is valuable to them. It is often systematic and thorough.
  • Revenge Porn: The posting of nude or sexually explicit photographs or videos of people online without their consent, even if the photograph itself was taken with consent. An ex may get revenge by uploading photographs to websites, many of which are set up specifically for these kinds of photos or videos. The victim’s name, address and links to social media profiles are often included with the images, and some websites charge a fee to have the materials removed.
  • Risk Reduction: A technique intended to promote individual and group safety. Risk reduction is used to differentiate between prevention efforts, because only a person who commits a crime can prevent a crime from happening directly.
  • Same Sex Assault: A sexual assault that is perpetrated and experienced by individuals who have the same gender identity.
  • Secondary Survivor: A loved one of a person who has been sexually assaulted.
  • Self Care: Intentional ways of prioritizing and taking care of one’s physical, emotional, mental, psychological, spiritual, intellectual, and or social well being.
  • Sexual Assault: Forced sexual contact on one person by another.
  • Sexual Harassment: Any unwanted sexual attention; unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is aimed at a person based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Types of sexual harassment include:
    • Unwelcomed sexual advances
    • Requests for sexual favors
    • Verbal harassment of a sexual nature
  • Sex Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.
  • Sexual Violence: Is any sexual contact forced upon a person without their consent. It does not have to involve physical force.
  • Sodomy: Forced anal or oral penetration.
  • Stalking: Occurs when an individual follows a pattern of behavior that leaves someone else feeling afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger.
  • Statutory Rape: Sexual contact with someone who is a minor and is unable to legally have intercourse with an adult. This depends on the local laws.
  • Stranger Rape: Sexual assault committed by a stranger. (Important to note that while this is the type of sexual assault most commonly mentioned in the news and media, this is the LEAST common type of sexual assault.)
  • Survivor: A term used by advocates to refer to a victim of sexual assault.
  • Trauma: An event that threatens one’s life or livelihood that is outside the range of tolerance.
  • Triggers: Anything that causes a feeling of panic or anxiety by reminding someone of their sexual assault. Triggers typically fuel symptoms associated with re-experiencing a traumatic incident and cause physical and emotional distress.
  • Victim: A term used by legal and criminal processes to refer to a person who has reported a sexual assault.
  • Voyeurism: The practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexual objects or acts, especially secretively.
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