Definitions of Various Types of Violence

These are definitions found in Safe@Weber Online Training, the sexual assault prevention training for undergraduates program provided by Safe@Weber for all WSU students and employees. Find out more about Safe@Weber Online Training and completing it here.

For university definitions, see WSU Policies & Procedure 3-32 Discrimination and Harassment

"Specifically, sexual harassment is a type of discriminatory harassment involving unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature directed against a person based on that person’s sex, sexual orientation or their gender identity/expression. Sexual harassment can range from unwelcome compliments, invitations or requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature, to the other more serious behavior such as sexual assault, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. No person may engage in sex-based harassment that creates a hostile environment. This includes harassment which is so severe or pervasive that it denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s program, unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating or offensive work environment. Both subjective and objective factors are considered when evaluating whether a hostile climate exists" (WSU Safe@Weber Fine Print website, 2017). 


Must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Silence or absence or resistance does not imply consent. Past consent of sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard or being asleep or unconscious.

Sexual Assault

Actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Includes but is not limited to: Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or rape which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.

Domestic Violence

A felony or misdemeanor crime committed--by a 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 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, 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 in which the crime of violence occurred. 

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purpose of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence. 


Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to--fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purpose of this definition--course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. 


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