Sexualized Violence

It's intimidation even when it's unintended

Sexualized violence is unwanted attention of a sexual nature by someone who knows or ought reasonably to know that the attention is unwelcome to the recipient(s). Dalhousie defines sexualized violence as, “any sexually oriented behaviour of a deliberate or negligent nature which adversely affects the working or learning environment. It may involve conduct or comments that are unintentional as well as intentional.”

It’s defined by the impact of the behaviour on the recipient, not the intent of the perpetrator. So, no matter what the perpetrator intended, it’s sexualized violence if the recipient feels uncomfortable, threatened, or offended. And it’s discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender and is prohibited under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.

View Dalhousie's Sexualized Violence Policy.

Sexualized violence can include:


  • Sexual innuendo
  • Gender specific insults
  • Suggestive and/or derogatory humour, jokes or comments emphasizing sex, gender-specific traits or sexual orientation
  • Sexual propositions or invitations
  • Threats of a sexual nature
  • Homophobic remarks
  • Inappropriate or uncalled for comments about one's body or dress
  • Persistent unwanted contact after the end of a consensual relationship


  • Suggestive staring or leering
  • Suggestive and/or derogatory sounds or gestures emphasizing sex or sexual orientation
  • Inappropriate displays or distribution of sexually suggestive and/or derogatory pictures, objects, writing or graffiti, including electronic and hard copy forms
  • Unauthorized distribution of sexually-explicit material involving specific individuals
  • Persistent unwanted contact after the end of a consensual relationship
  • Stalking

Physical contact:

  • Unnecessary or unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature such as patting, touching, pinching or brushing against a person’s body
  • Persistent unwanted physical contact after the end of a consensual relationship
  • Sexual assault

If you need help

There are several resources at Dalhousie to assist you if have experienced sexualized violence. If you live in residence, you can speak with your RA or Residence Life Manager. All students can contact Human Rights & Equity Services or In an emergency, contact Dalhousie Security at 902-494-4109.