Consent is an affirmative, clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence or lack of resistance cannot be interpreted as consent. Seeking and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the participants does not constitute consent to any other sexual act.

The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout the sexual activity and may be withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or cannot be given, sexual activity must stop.

Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the ability to fully, knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation includes impairment due to drugs or alcohol (whether such use is voluntary of involuntary); inability to communicate due to a mental or physical condition; the lack of consciousness or being asleep; being involuntarily restrained; if any of the parties are under the age of 18; or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.

Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.

Get more information on consent.

Often what we think of as sexual assault comes from movies and TV shows where the situation involves a stranger that is scary, there is violence and weapons, and it occurs in a threatening environment. These situations do occur, however a majority of sexual assaults, especially on a college campus, occur with people that know each other, where there may be very little to no aggression or violence, where the weapon involved is alcohol or other drugs, and in an environment that appeared to be (and should be) safe.

It is not uncommon to be unsure of what to call experiences that don’t feel right, that feel uncomfortable or are confusing. Some questions that you might have are: Is that sexual assault? Is that rape? Is this serious enough to report? Will someone believe me? What are my options?

Know that if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. No matter the circumstances or what happened, sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. It doesn’t matter if alcohol or other drugs were consumed, how the person was dressed, if there was flirting, if there is dating or romantic relationship, if sex happened in the past, or anything else. The only person at fault for sexual assault is the perpetrator. You also don’t have to name your experience or give it a label if you don’t want to.

The Basics:

Sexual assault/rape is any act of sexual intercourse or sexual penetration of any orifice of the body with a body part or other object that takes place against a person’s will or without consent. This may be accompanied by coercion, threatening statements, intimidation, or the threat of physical harm/safety. Sexual assault is not about sex… it is about having power and control over another person.

Examples of sexual assault include unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, or penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with a finger, penis or object.

I think I might have been sexually assaulted (link to I might need help section on website)

Learn more about sexual assault, statistics, and more.

What the University of Nevada, Reno says:

SEXUAL ASSAULTWhen a person subjects another person to sexual penetration, or forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment affecting the person rejecting or submitting to the conduct
  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an affected person’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: A severe form of sexual harassment, and refers to physical sexual acts or attempted sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion or similar acts in violation of state or federal law.

To see more visit the Title IX website

What Nevada law says:

A person is guilty of sexual assault if he or she:

Subjects another person to sexual penetration, or forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct. NRS 200.366

Dating or domestic violence is a pattern of ongoing power and control by one dating partner over another. Examples of dating or domestic violence include threatening a partner or their family, coercing them into doing something they don’t want to do, constantly belittling them, controlling what they can and cannot do, deciding who they can go out with and when, isolating them from friends and family, controlling their finances and access to resources, or physically hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, or scratching. Dating and domestic violence can also include sexual violence or stalking.

Domestic violence can happen to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and religions. It occurs in heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships. While it is important to remember that we all have different cultural practices, beliefs, and experiences that shape our view of what intimate relationships look like, everyone deserves to feel safe and respected.

Dating or domestic violence comes in many different forms: physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, digital abuse, and stalking. All forms of abuse are serious and are worthy of being heard and validated. Get more information about the types of abuse, red flags in relationships, quizzes, and more.

No one deserves to be abused and abuse is never the victim’s fault. If you have been the victim of dating or domestic violence, you are not alone. Help is available. You can find resources and ways to get support here.

What the University of Nevada, Reno says:

DATING VIOLENCE: Dating Violence is an act committed by a person who is or has been in a “dating relationship” with the reporting party:

  1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. “Dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement.   The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.
  2. For the purpose of this definition Dating Violence includes but is not limited to:
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, magazines, cartoons, or screen savers;
  • Inquiries, remarks, or discussions about an individual’s sexual experiences or activities and other written or oral references to sexual conduct including but not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: An act that includes but is not limited to violence which occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:

  1. A battery.
  2. An assault.
  3. Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.
  4. A sexual assault.
  5. A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:
  6. Stalking.
  7. Arson.
  8. Trespassing.
  9. Larceny.
  10. Destruction of private property.
  11. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
  12. Injuring or killing an animal.
  13. A false imprisonment.

Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

To see more visit the title IX website

What Nevada law says:

1.  Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:

  • A battery.
  • An assault.
  • Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.
  • A sexual assault.
  • A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:
  • Stalking.
  • Arson.
  • Trespassing.
  • Larceny.
  • Destruction of private property.
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
  • Injuring or killing an animal.
  • A false imprisonment.
  • Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

2.  As used in this section, “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.  NRS 33.018

Stalking is repeated harassment that creates an intense amount of fear for the victim. Stalkers often are trying to intimidate, harass, and control their victims. They may do this in a number of ways and the behavior may start slowly and escalate.

Anyone can stalk or be stalked, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, age, or income level. Stalking may involve family members, friends, intimate partners, classmates, coworkers, casual acquaintances, or even total strangers.

Most often, stalkers know their victims. Most female victims and many male victims are stalked by intimate partners. Stalking is most dangerous when it occurs as part of an abusive relationship. An attempt to end an abusive relationship often causes the abuser to become more possessive. Sometimes this leads to stalking.

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email, or other telecommunication technologies to harass, threaten, or intimidate another person. It is an extension of stalking from physical space to cyberspace. A cyberstalker is someone who methodically, deliberately, and persistently sends unwanted communications that do not stop even after you have requested that he or she end all contact with you.

Learn more about stalking and ways to get help.

What the University of Nevada, Reno says:

STALKING: When a person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member.  Stalking includes but is not limited to:

  1.  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
  2. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  3. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
  4. For the purpose of this definition:
  5. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.b.    Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.c.    Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

To see more visit the title IX website.

What Nevada law says:

1.  A person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, commits the crime of stalking.

2.  A person who commits the crime of stalking and in conjunction therewith threatens the person with the intent to cause the person to be placed in reasonable fear of death or substantial bodily harm commits the crime of aggravated stalking.

3.  A person who commits the crime of stalking with the use of an Internet or network site, electronic mail, text messaging or any other similar means of communication to publish, display or distribute information in a manner that substantially increases the risk of harm or violence to the victim.  NRS 200.575