Types of Violence

Sexual Assault:

Sexual violence can range from sexual harassment (such as unwanted/ inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances) to sexual assault (non-consensual sexual contact) to sexual exploitation.

Relationship Abuse:

This is also referred to as relationship violence, domestic violence, or intimate partner violence. Interpersonal violence occurs when one person tries to control the other through emotional, physiological, or physical means.


A pattern of repeated, unwanted attention that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of others. Stalking can occur in person, as well as through technology like social media, texting, etc.

Sexual Exploitation:

A type of sexual violence that is any non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage of others, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct.

Causes of  Relationship Abuse and Sexual Assault

First and foremost, victims and survivors are never the cause of the violence they have experienced or are experiencing. An experience with violence is never “asked for” or “provoked”. Instead, acts of relationship abuse and sexual assault are largely rooted in power and control. The Gender & LGBTQIA Center uses a socio-ecological and anti-oppression framework to understand and respond to violence. As such, it must be acknowledged that forms of relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking are inextricably linked to other systems of power and oppression along the lines of gender, race, sexuality, ability, etc.