Key Definitions

PVCC is committed to increasing awareness and providing comprehensive programs to avert violence and misconduct before it occurs. The definitions below are intended to clarify the terminology that surrounds sexual violence:


Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behaviors used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another person.


Sexual violence is any intentional physical sexual abuse committed against  a person’s will. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault and sexual battery.


Sexual assault is any sexual contact with a person against the person’s will by the use of force, threat, intimidation, or through the use of a person’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness. Sexual assault includes intentionally touching the victim’s genitals, breasts, thighs or buttocks without that person’s consent, as well as forcing someone to touch or fondle another person against his or her will. Sexual battery is a form of sexual assault.


Stalking is the willful, malicious and repeated harassing of an individual by another person including but not limited to:

  • Following the individual
  • Showing up at the individual’s home or workplace
  • Sending unwanted messages ( including email) or objects
  • Vandalizing property
  • Making harassing telephone calls

Stalking is conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear. Do not ignore stalking. If you feel that you have been a victim of stalking, contact campus security.


Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment shall be considered to have occurred in the following instances:

  • Quid Pro Quo: The submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions, affecting the student or employee either explicitly or implicitly; or
  • Hostile Work Environment: Conduct so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it undermines and detracts from an employee’s work performance or a student’s educational experience.


Dating violence is violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury committed by a person who is or has been in a close relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the other person.

The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of the relationship between the persons involved in the relationship


Domestic violence is violence, force, or a threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person’s family or household member.

The term "family or household member" includes a current or former spouse; a person with whom the victim shares a child in common or is cohabitating with; or has cohabited with as a spouse or intimate partner.


The term "without consent" refers to any sexual activity or sex act committed against one’s will, by the use of force, threat, intimidation, or ruse, or through one’ mental incapacity or physical helplessness. Consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.


The term "mental incapacity" refers to the condition of a person existing at the time which prevents the person from understanding the nature or consequences of the sexual act involved (i.e., the who, what, when, where , why, and how) and about which the accused knew or should have known. This includes incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol.


The term "physical helplessness" refers to an individual being unconsciousness or in any other condition existing at the time which otherwise rendered the person physically unable to communicate an unwillingness to act and about which the accused knew or should have known.  Physical helplessness may be reached through the use of alcohol or drugs.