Sexual Violence

This page will give legal definitions of prevalent acts of sexual violence.

It is important to note that colleges and universities create their own definitions for their Title IX policy. Please refer to Part II on the Allegheny Title IX policy.

Varying state definitions should be considered when choosing which path of healing is best from them.


Definitions of Sexual Violence below.

“Sexual violence is sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not freely given”

Center for Disease Control

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment”

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

“Any non-consensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent”

U.S. Department of Justice – DOJ

“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim”

U.S. Department of Justice – DOJ

“The use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct”

“Any unwanted and non-consensual sexual contact that involved forced touching of a sexual nature, not involving penetration. This could include forced kissing, touching, grabbing, or fondling of sexual body parts”

Bureau of Justice Statistics Research and Development Series

“Unwanted sexual activity that happens when you are pressured, tricked, threatened, or forced in a nonphysical way”

Office on Women’s Health

“[When a] person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant – without consent and/or by force”

Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Laws