• To contact an SOS Victim Advocate, call the UD Helpline 24/7/365 at 302-831-1001 and press 1. The clinician will check to make sure you are safe, then take a first name & phone number and have an Advocate call you back within 10 minutes.



Rape refers to forced penetration, either vaginal, oral, or anal. (Use of alcohol or other drugs to lower the survivor’s resistance to sexual contact is considered use of force.)
Sexual Assault is a generic term that refers to any sexual contact that occurs without consent, including touching, fondling, kissing, intercourse, penetration that is oral, vaginal or anal, (with an object or any body part) or any other unwanted sexual contact. 1 in 4 college women and 1 in 16 college men experience sexual assault. 1 in 6 American women experience some form of sexual assault at some point in their lifetime.
Coercion is generally defined as using persuasive tools, pressure, guilt, drugs, alcohol, threats, promises, bargaining, or force to wear down resistance and obtain sexual contact with someone who does not want to engage in it.  Use of coercion to obtain sex that the victim does not wish to engage in, is a form of sexual assault.  For more on coercion, visit loveisrespect.org.
Date Rape Drugs are any drugs used to incapacitate a victim so that the perpetrator can commit a sexual assault or rape. Alcohol, ecstacy (“E”), GHB (“G”), Ketamine (“Special K”), and Rohypnol (“roofies”), are common club drugs used both with and without the knowledge of the victim for the purpose of committing rape. For more information about these drugs, their characteristics, nicknames, dangerous effects, etc, visit our page about Date Rape Drugs with links to sites for more information.  Any sexual contact that takes place when the victim is in an altered mental state due to alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications, and/or is unconscious or passed out, is sexual assault.
Sexual Exploitation is a broad term like “sexual misconduct” that covers most forms of sexual or intimate abuse.  In this case we are referring to situations in which one person uses another’s sexuality without their consent, often for purposes of sexual gratification, financial gain, or personal advantage. It can take many forms, including non-consensual observing, recording, streaming or sharing of images or video of the person nude or engaged in a sex act; prostituting another person; exposing another’s genitals without their consent; knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection without their knowledge.  A comprehensive site about all forms of sexual exploitation is the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
Child Sexual Assault refers to sexual contact between a minor (someone under 18 years of age) and an adult, or between two minors when one exerts power over the other. According to the laws of many states, the assailant must be 4 to 5 years older than the child for it to legally qualify as child sexual assault. However, psychologically, the effect of sexual abuse can be devastating regardless of the victim and perpetrators’ ages. For more information about child sexual abuse, see Darkness 2 Light.
Incest refers to child sexual assault in which the perpetrator is a relative (parent/step-parent, sibling, uncle, grandparent, cousin, etc.)
Sexual Harassment includes any unwanted sexual attention such as staring, leering, teasing, jokes, gestures, sexually demeaning comments, inappropriate touching, pressure for dates or sex, or being subjected to sexually explicit images, and/or the suggestions that dates or sexual contact can be exchanged for a perk, grade or job promotion. It can come from anyone, including a peer or a person in a position of power over the victim (ex: a supervisor or professor).
Dating/Domestic Violence (or Intimate Partner Violence) includes a broad spectrum of abusive behaviors. You do NOT have to be hit or beaten to be a victim of this kind of abuse. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual, and/or physical. Abusive behaviors are oppressive, coercive, and controlling. Examples: strong jealousy or possessiveness, isolating the victim from friends/family/supportive others, trying to control the victim, making all decisions, controlling access to finances or transportation or education or resources, tracking the victim’s whereabouts, stalking the victim, blaming victim for their behaviors or fights, detaining the victim & not letting them leave, using technology to spy on or track the victim, using victim’s passwords to track email/texts/bank accounts etc., pushing/shoving/hitting/punching/burning etc. are all forms of dating violence.  Typically dating/domestic violence involves a pattern of behavior that includes more than one type of abuse.
Reproductive Coercion is a form of intimate partner violence that occurs when one partner controls another’s reproductive choices.  It can include destroying or rendering ineffective the person’s contraception, pressuring them to get pregnant or to use contraception when they do not wish to, forcing an abortion, forcing the person not to have an abortion, or using coercion to control the person’s reproductive choices and timeline.  A good list of examples is provided at loveisrespect.org.
Revenge Porn is revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person posted on the internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment.  It is illegal in 38 states (including Delaware).
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) unwanted contact.  It can include visual or physical proximity, non-consensual communication (verbal, written, through technology), and/or implied threats that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.  [Note that the victim does not have to state that they feel fearful in order for the perpetrator’s behavior to qualify as stalking.  Victims may express fear through their words or behaviors.  If their level of discomfort leads them to changing their behavioral patterns, alter the path they take to get from one point to another (ex: their route from home to work), change their phone number, block the person, avoid certain people/places/situations, etc., then the threshold for “fear” has been reached.]
Stealthing occurs when consensual sex is taking place, but one person opts to remove a safer sex device (condom, dental dam, or contraception) without the other person’s knowledge or consent.
Sex Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims perform a commercial sex act through force, coercion or fraud.  Sex traffickers frequently target victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry for their own profit.  A wealth of information is provided about sex trafficking at Polaris.
“Survivor” vs. “Victim” When a crime has been committed against a person, the common and legal term for their status is “victim”.  For some, this word is validating because it acknowledges that a wrong has been done to them.  For others the term “survivor” is preferable because it focuses on the person’s strength, resilience, and power to  heal and overcome what has happened to them.  Throughout this website S.O.S. uses these terms interchangeably in order to acknowledge both components.  We also understand that some people do not identify with or prefer either term, and may identify a different term to use.  We wish to honor whatever term(s) are preferred by the individuals we are assisting.

**The Delaware laws related to these crimes are listed within Title 11, Chapter 5 of the Delaware Code, which is available on the State of Delaware website.

UD defines many of these terms and outlines how violations can be reported and addressed on campus in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

National U.S. statistics on Sexual Assault

Comments are closed