Defining Sexual & Relationship Violence

Understanding what sexual and relationship violence is and its impact on both individuals and the community can be a good first step. Use the following definitions to stay informed about sexual violence terminology.

Sexual Assault

An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.

Sexual Offenses

Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

  • Rape – The 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, without the consent of the victim.
  • Fondling – the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Incest – Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Non-consensual Sexual Contact
Sexual contact that occurs without consent. Sexual contact means the deliberate touching of a person's intimate parts includes, but is not limited to: genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas, however slight, or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person's intimate parts.
Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse
Sexual intercourse that occurs without consent.

Consent must meet the following standards:

  • A voluntary and affirmative agreement to engage in sexual activity.
  • Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent (see definition below for incapacitation).
  • Past consent does not imply future consent.
  • Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another;
  • Can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent.

Exists when:

  • A person is asleep or unconscious (such as due to the use of drugs or alcohol).
  • A person is still conscious, but has lost the ability to make a judgment to give proper consent and the ability to resist has been taken away (such as due to the use of drugs or alcohol).
  • An intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent.
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:

  • By the victim's current or former spouse or intimate partner 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 or intimate partner;
  • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred:
  • 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.
Dating Violence

Dating violence means violence 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 a consideration of the following factors:

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

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person;
  • Causing the prostitution of another person;
  • Recording, photographing, or transmitting images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including, but not limited to genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) of another person without consent or beyond the consent given;
  • Allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts;
  • Engaging in voyeurism;
  • Knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.
Restriction, interference, coercion or reprisal against someone because they followed a policy or process required by Grand View University. Retaliation constitutes a violation of Grand View University’s harassment policy. All acts of retaliation will be investigated thoroughly. Those found to be responsible for retaliation will be disciplined accordingly.
Threats or other conduct which in any way create a hostile environment, impair the University’s operations; or frighten, alarm, or inhibit others. Psychological intimidation or harassment includes making statements which are false, malicious, disparaging, derogatory, rude, disrespectful, abusive, obnoxious, insubordinate, or which have the intent to hurt others' reputations. Physical intimidation or harassment may include holding, impeding or blocking movement, following, stalking, touching, or any other inappropriate physical contact or advances. Attempting to or actually raping you.
Date Rape

Date or acquaintance rape is one of the most common types of sexual violence and often the least understood. It is rape, even if:

  • The attacker is someone you know.
  • It happens to you on a date.
  • You and your date have engaged in sexual touching and kissing, but then you are forced to have intercourse against your will.
  • You have had sex with this person before, and this time you say no.
  • You didn’t or couldn’t say no.
  • Your body froze and you were unable to yell or physically struggle with the attacker.