The Catholic University of America
What is Sexual Violence?

At CUA we understand the seriousness of sexual violence and the impact it has on our community. The belief in the inherent dignity of each person is the foundation to all Catholic social teaching. The Church teaches that violence against another person, including sexual violence, fails to treat that person as someone worthy of love.

The spectrum of sexual violence includes, but is not limited to the following:
 

Sexual Assault

 
Sexual assault is sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person without consent. Sexual assault is a criminal offense under D.C. law and includes the following:
 
Oral, vaginal, or anal penetration, no matter how slight, with any object or body part without consent.
 
Non-consensual touching of another person in a sexual manner. This includes, but is not limited to, the touching either directly or through clothing of another person’s genitalia, breasts, inner thigh, or buttocks with a clothed or unclothed body part or object.
 

Sexual Harassment

           
Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when either:
 
Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, education, on-campus living environment, or participation in a University activity or program; or
 
Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used or threatened to be used as the basis for decisions affecting employment, education, on-campus living environment, or participation in a University activity or program; or
 
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity or program.
 
Sexual harassment can occur between and among supervisors or managers and subordinates, faculty and staff or students, peers, vendors/subcontractors/visitors and employees or students, or any combination thereof. Often, but not always, the harasser is in a position of authority, trust, or influence that provides the opportunity to take advantage of the unequal positions of the parties. 
           
 

Domestic Violence

 
Domestic violence means violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of D.C. (including past or present marriage, domestic partnership, romantic, dating, or sexual relationship), by a former spouse or similarly situated person against a victim who is in a subsequent relationship with a former spouse or similarly situated person, or by any other person against a victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of D.C.
 

Dating Violence           

 
Dating violence means violence committed by another person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: a) the length of the relationship, b) the type of relationship, or c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
                       

Stalking

 
Stalking means purposely engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable individual to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person, feel seriously alarmed, disturbed or frightened, or suffer emotional distress.
 

Other forms of sexual violence include:

Acquaintance assault
Alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assault
Allowing others to view consensual sexual activity
Indecent exposure      
Non-consensual video or audio recording of sexual activity   
Peeping or other voyeurism                 
Prostitution or the solicitation or employment of a prostitute               
Sending unwanted sexual material and messages via communication systems
Sexual exhibitionism