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Title IX

Types of Violence

Sexual Violence means physical sexual acts (such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery and rape) perpetrated against an individual without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to that individual's use of drugs or alcohol, or disability.

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

Types of Dating/Domestic Violence That Includes Sexual Misconduct
There usually is a pattern or a repeated cycle of dating violence, starting with the first instance of abuse.

General Pattern of Behavior:

  • 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.

Definitions of What Dating/Domestic Violence Looks Like
Any actions used for the intent of gaining power and control over a person:

  • 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

Warnings or Signs of Potential Dating/Domestic Violence
Ask yourself if your partner engages in one or any of the following activities:

  • 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.

Sexual Violence- Risk Reduction Tips

“What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being a victim of sexual violence?”
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non- consensual sexual act:

  • If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1

“What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being an initiator of sexual violence?”
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, about someone’s sexual availability, about whether they are attracted to you, about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves. Incapacitation means a person is unable to give valid consent.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.