Definitions and Terms

Affirmative Consent: Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

A person is incapable of consent when:
(1) less than seventeen years of age,
(2) mentally disabled,
(3) mentally incapacitated,
(4) physically helpless, or
(5) physically unable to give consent.

Bystander Intervention: is an approach to sexual violence prevention. A bystander (or witness) is someone who sees a situation but may or may not know what to do, may think others will act, or may be afraid to take action. Bystander education programs teach potential witnesses safe and positive ways that they can act to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for sexual violence.

Domestic Violence: Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the applicable jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Dating (Intimate Partner) Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and, where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the following factors:

  • The length of the relationship
  • The type of relationship
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Stalking: Unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring him or her, including use of social media or other technology.

Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent (for example, due to the person’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, fellow students, students from other schools, or third parties. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.

Sexual Misconduct: A range of offensive behavior of a sexual nature that is unwelcome. Types of Sexual Misconduct include:

  • Rape: When, without consent, there is penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, or use of a person’s mouth on another person’s genitalia.
  • Sexual Abuse: Touching of the sexual or other private parts of another person by forcible compulsion or without the latter's consent or with someone who is incapable of consent. Sexual abuse is a type of sexual assault.
  • Sexual Assault: A broad category that includes, but is not limited to, public lewdness, rape, sexual battery, and sexual abuse.
  • Sexual Battery: Touching of a sexual nature of a person by another person by forcible compulsion or without the latter's consent or with someone who is incapable of consent.