Glossary of Terms

What constitutes sexual violence can be confusing. Sometimes people are unsure if what has happened to them is sexual violence; possibly even feeling that it wasn’t “violent” enough to be “real” sexual violence. Consent is the critical component in sexual violence. If there is no consent, it is wrong!

Linked here are related official UNM Policies:

To offer clarification, here are the definitions that are utilized throughout our educational materials and trainings.

Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe and/or frequent that it interferes with a person’s ability to learn or work.

Sex/Gender Discrimination:

Sex discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of that person's sex. Sex discrimination can also involve treating someone less favorably because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex. Gender discrimination against an individual because that person does not conform with sex-stereotypes is also considered sex discrimination.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone. It happens within straight communities and LGBTQ communities. It can happen in all, and between, racial and ethic groups, all social economic levels, all religions, and anywhere else you can think of. Statistically, men are most often the perpetrators of violence against both women and other men; but men can be victims too.

Domestic Violence:

A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Sexual Exploitation:

Sexual exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another person without consent, including, without limitation, indecent exposure, voyeurism, non-consensual recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts of another person; and/or allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts.

Sexual Assault:

Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity. Falling under the definition of sexual assault is sexual activity such as forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. It includes sexual acts against people who are unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity.

Dating Violence:

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic and/or intimate nature with the victim.


A pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.


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