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Sexual Violence


Sexualized Violence
is an act of violence, and aggression characterized by an attempt to threaten, intimidate, coerce or engage in any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. Examples include, but are not limited to, creating and/or sharing images non-consensually, sexual harassment, stalking or voyeurism, and sexual assault.

Sexual Assault is defined as: (a) any form of sexual activity, including kissing, fondling, touching, intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration, that is forced onto the complainant without their consent; or (b) any attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to force sexual activity onto the complainant, if the respondent had or caused the complainant to believe the respondent had present ability to act on the threat.

Sexual Harassment means: (a) vexatious sexual conduct or a course of comment that is known or ought reasonably to be known as unwelcome; (b) a sexual solicitation or advance made to an individual by another individual where the other individual is in a position to confer a benefit on, or deny a benefit to, the individual to whom the solicitation or advance is made, where the individual who makes the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome; or (c) a reprisal or threat of reprisal against an individual for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance.

Consent is the active, direct, affirmative and voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question, where there is unimpaired capacity to make a clear and conscious choice free from coercion or pressure imposed by the use of threats and/orĀ intimidationĀ to force another to engage in sexual activity.

Who gets harassed? Anyone, regardless of gender, age, education, employment status, sexual orientation, cultural background, race, ethnicity, ability or disability, ancestry or religion, can be harassed. Sexual harassment is sometimes intertwined with other forms of harassment so, for example, women who are disabled or who are part of a visible or cultural minority may be more at risk than others.

Sexual harassment is often not, or not only, about sex or sexual attraction, but is about power. It involves an abuse of power by a person with greater employment, academic or social power over someone with less power. Individuals who are perceived to have less power because of their employment, academic, economic or social standing may be more vulnerable to harassment than others.