Basic definitions

Sexual violence is an umbrella term used to encompass sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and stalking. All forms of sexual violence attack a person’s sense of self, their sexuality, their body, and/or their feeling of safety.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact without voluntary consent. 

Sexual contact can mean touching, grabbing, forced kissing, fondling, oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

Sexual harassment is any behaviour or communication directed at someone with the intention of attacking their sexuality, sexual identity, or sense of safety. Unlike sexual assault, sexual harassment is not physical.

Perpetrator is a term for the person causing the sexual violence.

“Perpy” is a colloquial term to describe a person’s actions that make us question if they are a perpetrator.

Survivor is a term for an individual who has experienced an act of sexual violence. This could mean any form of sexual assault, stalking, or sexual harassment. The word survivor is often used in place of ‘victim’ in order to empower those affected by sexual violence. Keep in mind that many people will not identify with this term.

Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. In other words, it means communicating yes on your own terms.

Coercion is using manipulation against someone until they give in to the sexual assault. Coercion could involve blackmailing, pressuring, intimidating, threatening or guilting someone.