The Sexual Violence Umbrella: Terminology

  1. Sexual Violence: An all-encompassing, non-legal term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse.  Sexual violence is accomplished through threat, coercion, exploitation, deceit, force, physical or mental incapacitation, and/or power of authority.
  2. Consent: Words or overt actions by a person who is legally or functionally competent to give informed approval, indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
  3. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome and uninvited sexual conduct.
  4. Sexual Assault:  Sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.  This can include attempted rape, fondling/unwanted sexual touching, incest, statutory rape, or penetration of the victim’s body (rape).
  5. Sexual Exploitation:  Non-Consensual or abusive sexual advantage for one’s own benefit or the benefit of another.
  6. Sexual Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
  7. Non-consensual sexual contact:  Intentional touching of intimate parts or causing someone to touch one’s intimate parts.
  8. Sexual intimidation:  Threatening to sexually assault another, stalking, indecent exposure.
  9. Rape: Non-Consensual penetration of the victim’s body (vaginal, anal, or oral penetration).
  10. Stalking:  Acting in a way that would cause a person to fear for their safety.
  11. Dating Violence:  Violence committed by a person in a romantic relationship.
  12. Child Sexual Abuse:  Any act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member. Sexual abuse includes allowing or encouraging a child to engage in obscene photography, films, poses, or similar activity; pornographic photography, films, poses, or similar activity; or prostitution; human trafficking; incest; rape; sexual offense in any degree; sodomy; and unnatural or perverted sexual practices.
  13. Sexual grooming:  Involves an abuser befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to prepare a child for sexual abuse.

Terms provided by the Maryland State Department of Education
www.erinlevitas.org 1/11/2019