Women's Center

What is Sexual Assault?

Definition: Sexual Assault is an act of VIOLENCE, POWER, and CONTROL in which one person forces or manipulates another person into unwanted sexual behavior.

This includes:

  • Exposure to inappropriate    materials (pornographic pictures or videos, flashing, or exhibitionism)
  • Sexual contact (unwanted touches)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Rape: actual or attempted vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by an object, body part, or ejaculated bodily fluid.  Assault can be date, acquaintance, by a family member (incest/ child sexual assault), co-habitating or spousal rape or sexual assault by a professional. Sexual assault often includes stalking.


What is Sexual Harassment?

Definition: Sexual Harassment can include any unwanted or unwelcomed behavior that is sexual or sexist in nature, and us an unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or employment environment

This can include:

  • Sexual flirtation, touching, advances or propositions
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature
  • Pressure to engage in sexual activity
  • Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or appearance
  • Use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual
  • Display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or photographs
  • Sexual jokes or stereotypic comments based upon gender
  • Threats, demands or suggestions that retention of one’s educational status is contingent upon toleration of or acquiescence in sexual advances.


What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Definition: A pattern of abusive behaviors in an intimate relationship where one partner tries to control and dominate the other. This includes acts of violence or threats of violence.

  • Also known as, “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “family violence.”
  • Assaulting, threatening, or stalking an intimate partner is a crime in the state of Connecticut.


What is Stalking?

Definition: A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is serious, often violence, and can escalate over time.

  • It involves repeatedly contacting another person when the contacting person knows or should know that the contact is unwanted.
  • Contacting includes communicating with (including communication through technology) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.



Women's Center: Serving families and the community since 1975