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Gender-based Violence is violence directed against a person on the basis of gender.  This term is used to capture all forms of power-based violence (such as sexual assault and harassment, intimate partner dating violence, and stalking). Gender-based violence is about getting and maintaining power and control over another individual. For more detailed information about each form of gender-based violence, click on the definitions below.

Sexual Misconduct - Washington College defines Sexual Misconduct as deliberate sexual behavior, contact, or threat of sexual contact without the other person’s consent. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Crude, obscene, or sexually offensive gestures
  • Unwanted touching, fondling, or groping of a sexual nature or coercion to force someone else to touch, fondle, grope
  • Rape, forcible sodomy, or penetration with inanimate object, sexual intercourse without consent
  • Coercing a person to consume alcohol or other drugs for the purpose of inducing sexual activity
  • Any act involving sexually related behavior which places another person in a degrading, exploitative, abusive, or humiliating situation including (but not limited to): placing photographs of a sexual nature on the internet without permission

Sexual Harassment - Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors (including when submission to or rejection of such conduct is a condition or basis for employment or educational decisions), or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with one’s academic or work performance or working, educational, or living environment by creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or violent environment. Sexual violence/assault is also considered sexual harassment.

Most notably, the final regulations redefine sexual harassment under Title IX to include the following three categories:

  1. Quid Pro Quo Harassment: instances where a school employee conditions education benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  2. Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denied a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity; or
  3. Sexual assault, as defined in the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), and dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a).

Examples include:

  • An action of an individual in position of authority or power who misuses that position to subject an individual to unwanted sexual attention of either a verbal or physical nature when that conduct is explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or academic status;
  • Demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats or promises concerning grades, recommendations, or evaluations;
  • Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s educational program or activity. This prohibition applies to all relationships at the institution between members of the College community.
  • Inappropriate conduct against an individual that interferes with an individual’s work performance or educational experience by creating an uncomfortable environment that would not occur but for the sex of the individual.

Stalking - A pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear (U.S. Department of Justice)

Examples of stalking

  • Repeated calls, including hang ups
  • Follow and show up wherever you are
  • Send unwanted gifts, texts, letters, emails, messages
  • Damage property
  • Monitor phone calls, computer use
  • Use GPS technology to track where you go
  • Drive by home, work, school to ensure you are there or for intimidation purposes
  • Threaten to hurt you, family, friends, pets
  • Find out information about you using public records, online searches, investigators, going through garbage, contacting friends

Dating Violence - Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner (U.S.Department of Justice, 2013).

Are you wondering if you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship? Check out these red flags for dating violence below. This is not an exhaustive list, and if you still have questions you can call the S.A.R.A. Coordinator, Sarah Tansits at 410-778-6118.

  • Possessiveness & jealousy: wants to control what you do, where you go, and gets jealous about things like friendships with others.
  • Calls and texts you all the time: chatting throughout the day is fine, but when it becomes incessant and he/she gets angry when you don’t respond, it could be a problem.
  • Wanting to know where you are all the time.
  • Withdrawal from family/friends/activities: if you find that you are not spending a lot of time, if at all, with your regular friends and activities because you feel guilty, this might be a sign of unhealthy behavior.
  • Yelling, name calling, insults
  • Threats of harm against you, friends, family, pets, themselves
  • If your partner easily is angered and you feel you are “walking on egg shells” a lot with him/her.
  • Blames you for the fights and conflicts and won’t take any responsibility for actions.
  • Shows up unexpectedly to places you are at to “check in” or make sure that you are there.
  • Demands that you provide passwords for social media accounts, email, or cellphone.
  • Leave unwanted gifts
  • Pressure for sex or other sexual acts
  • Sexual assault: just because you are in a relationship does not mean you owe your significant other anything.

If you are afraid to break up with your significant other,  feel like you have to check-in all the time, and/or worrying about how to please your partner and keep them unhappy, this may indicate that you or a friend are in an unhealthy and abusive relationship.