A sexual violence dictionary

Sexual Violence

Any sexual activity that is forced or nonconsensual by means of psychological coercion or physical abuse. It includes all acts of sexual violence such as rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, acts committed with foreign objects, sexual threats and intimidation, incest, sexual assault by intimate partners, child sexual abuse, human sexual trafficking, sexual harassment, street harassment and any other unwanted sexual activity. Sexual assault or rape can happen to anyone. People of any age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability can experience sexual assault.



Can be defined as forced sexual acts. In a legal proceeding or prosecution rape refers to vaginal penetration against one’s will. Rape is a widespread problem that negatively affects individuals, relationships, families and communities.

Sexual assault or rape occurs when a person is forced, coerced or manipulated into participating in a sexual act to which she or he has not freely consented.


Consent is

  • Willing participation

  • Based on choice

  • Active, not passive

  • Based on equal power


Consent is not

  • Agreeing or giving in to sex because of fear or threats
  • Going along in order to gain approval


Respectful Sexuality

Is how we honor ourselves and how we treat others. It is about having knowledge of all the risks and ramifications of engaging in sexual behavior and choosing a path that respects both parties involved. Consent and communication are essential to respectful sexuality.