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Types of Sexual Violence

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Dating or Intimate Partner Violence

What is Dating Violence or Domestic Violence?

Dating/Intimate Partner violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. Dating/Intimate Partner 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. Dating/Intimate Partner violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, social economics, education, age, religion, etc. Dating/Intimate Partner violence can also affect family, friends, co-workers and members in the community, in addition to the victim and abuser. Intimate Partner violence can occur regardless of the relationship status, including individuals who are dating, cohabitating, or married. There is usually a pattern or repeated cycle of dating violence, starting with the first instance of abuse:

  • Tension Building: Relationship begins to get strained or tense between partners
  • Explosion: Outburst that includes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse
  • Honeymoon: Apologies where the abuser tries to re-connect with his/her partner by shifting the blame onto someone or something else

What does Dating/Intimate Partner Violence Look Like?

  • Physical Abuse: any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause injury (i.e. grabbing in a way to inflict pain, hitting, shoving, strangling, kicking)
  • Emotional Abuse: non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, silent treatment, or stalking
  • Sexual Abuse: any action that impacts the partner’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstance which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control
  • Social Abuse: involves preventing a person from having social contact with friends or family or access to social activities

What are the warning signs of Dating/Domestic Violence?

When your partner:

  • Checks my cell phone or email without my permission
  • Monitors where I’m going, who I’m going with, what I’m doing
  • Repeatedly says or does things to make me feel inadequate or inferior to him/her
  • Extreme jealously or insecurity
  • Isolates me from my friends and family
  • Explosive temper
  • Mood swings
  • Assumes financial control over my access to financial resources
  • Tells me what to do
  • Possessiveness
  • Physically hurts me in any way

Rape and Sexual Assault

Crimes of a sexual nature may be reported to campus or local law enforcement in addition to being reported administratively on campus. Both men and women can be victims of rape or sexual assault. For purposes of this notice, Rape and Sexual Assault are defined below:

Rape is non-consensual intercourse that involves the threat of force, violence, immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress.

Sexual assault is broader in definition than rape. Any non-consensual sexual act may be considered sexual assault. Examples of sexual assault include unwanted oral, anal or vaginal intercourse, penetration of the anus or vagina with a foreign object, or unwanted touching on an intimate area of a person’s body. Sexual assault can include unwanted kissing or bodily contact that is sexual in nature.

In order for a sexual act to be considered rape or sexual assault, the act must be non-consensual.

What is consent?

Consent for sexual contact means that you are a willing participant in the sexual act. You are unable to give consent if you are incapacitated by the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you have a physical or mental disorder that makes you incapable of giving consent. Likewise, if you are a minor (under 18), you are unable to give legal consent for sexual intercourse.

Consent is enthusiastic, free-willing, clear, concise, mutual and ongoing. Consent can be verbal or non-verbal (high-five, thumbs-up, head nod, etc.).


Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don't want them to or threatens you. Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Damaging your property
  • Knowing your schedule
  • Showing up at places you go
  • Sending mail, e-mail, texts and pictures
  • Creating a website about you
  • Sending gifts
  • Stealing things that belong to you
  • Calling you repeatedly
  • Any other actions that the stalker takes to contact, harass, track or frighten you

You can be stalked by someone you know casually, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you dated in the past or a stranger. Getting notes and gifts at your home, on your car or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people. But if you don't want the gifts, phone calls, messages, letters or e-mails, it doesn't feel sweet or harmless. It can be scary and frustrating.

Sometimes people stalk their boyfriends or girlfriends while they're dating. They check up on them, text or call them all the time, expect instant responses, follow them, use GPS to secretly monitor them and generally keep track of them, even when they haven't made plans to be together. These stalking behaviors can be part of an abusive relationship. If this is happening to you or someone you know, you should talk to a trusted person.

Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. California Penal Code section 646.9, in part, states, “Any person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking."