Rutgers University-Camden Title IX : Important Definitions You Need To Know


Dating Violence

Dating violence is when one person purposely hurts or scares someone they are dating. Dating violence happens to people of all races, cultures, incomes, and education levels. It can happen on a first date, or when you are deeply in love. It can happen whether you are young or old, and in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Dating violence is always wrong, and you can get help.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviours used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

Gender-Based Harassment

Gender-based harassment refers to acts of aggression, intimidation, stalking, or hostility based on gender, gender identity, or gender-stereotyping. Gender-based harassment can occur if students are harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic of their sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. To constitute harassment, the conduct must unreasonably interfere with an individual's education or academic activities or create an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive academic or living environment.

Hostile Environment

The US Departments of Education and Justice define hostile environment as an occurrence where : “a student is sexually harassed and the harassing conduct is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the program.”*

*US Dept. of Ed. Office for Civil Rights and US Dept of Justice, Civil Rights Division, University of Montana Letter of Findings, May 9, 2013, pg. 4-5. Relationship Violence

Relationship violence refers to any act of physical, sexual, and/or psychological harm against an individual by a current or former intimate or romantic partner, or by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common. Intimate or romantic partners may be dating, cohabitating, married, separate or divorced, and may be of the same or different sex. Dating violence and domestic violence are both considered “relationship violence” under this Policy.

Relationship Violence

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault or non-consensual sexual contact refers to any one or more of the following acts: - Touching of an unwilling or non-consenting person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, or mouth under or over a person’s clothes). - Touching an unwilling person or non-consenting person with one’s own intimate parts. - Forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts. - Penetrating an unwilling person orally, anally, or vaginally with any object or body part. This includes, but is not limited to, penetration of a bodily opening without consent, through the use of coercion, or through exploitation of another’s inability to give consent. - Penetrating an unwilling person orally, anally, or vaginally with any object or body part by use of force, threat, and/or intimidation.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation refers to non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: - Observing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe nudity or sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all participants; - Non-consensual streaming of images, photography, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all participants; - Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; or inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity. Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, sexual exploitation may also violate the provision of the Code of Student Conduct prohibiting Invasion of Privacy.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct, or communication of a sexual nature when: - submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education, educational or campus life activities; or - submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or student life decisions affecting that individual; or - such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's education or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive campus, work or living environment. Sexual harassment may be committed by anyone regardless of gender identity and may occur between members of the same or different sex.

Sexual Intimidation

Sexual intimidation refers to threatening behavior of a sexual nature directed at another person or group that reasonably leads the target(s) to fear for their physical well-being or to engage in sexual conduct for self-protection, such as threatening to sexually assault another person or engaging in indecent exposure.


Stalking refers to any course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to be fearful of serious harm or danger to themselves or to individuals close to them. Examples Include: - non-consensual communication and physical contact; - waiting or showing up at locations visited by the other person; - trespassing/vandalism; - gathering of information about a person from others; - following or pursuing the other person - spying on a person - manipulating and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the victim.