If you are in immediate danger, call 911 or the GW Police Department.
If you are not in immediate danger, call GW Sexual Assault Response & Consultation (SARC) for help.
If you would like to report an incident of sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence or stalking.
GW is committed to providing an environment free of harassment and violence, but we need your help. All of us have a role to play in preventing sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, or stalking.
Knowing the basics about consent, sexual violence, and healthy relationships are essential steps. Educate yourself so that you can help your friends and your community be safe and healthy.
Consent and Sexual Assault
Consent is a voluntary, informed and freely given agreement, through workds and/or actions to engage in mutually-agreed upon sexual intercourse, sexual contact or other sexual activity. Consent is a requirement for any sexual behavior.
Any sexual activity that occurs without consent is sexual assault. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and is also forbidden by the GW Student Code of Conduct, the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy and other policies.
Healthy Relationships and Intimate Partner Violence
You deserve to be safe and healthy in all of your relationships, whether it is a friendship, a dating relationship, a sexual relationship, a long term romantic partnership, or something else.
Educate yourself about the essential components of healthy relationships; think about what matters most to you in your relationships.
Intimate partner violence (sometimes called dating or domestic violence, or relationship abuse) refers to patterns of power and controlling behavior exerted by one partner. These patterns can occur through use of force, threats of violence, manipulation, or other means.
Intimate partner violence happens to people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races and ethnicities, cultural and religious backgrounds, economic situations, geographical settings, and other social identities.
Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to a range of unwanted sexual behaviors or attention. These can be targeted at an individual and can also impact larger environments. People of all genders can commit sexual harassment, and also be victimized by it.
Gender-Based Harassment includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation or hostility, whether verbal or nonverbal, graphic, physical or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve contact of a sexual nature, when one of the conditions outlined in (1), (2) or (3), below, is present.
(1) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of a person’s instruction, academic standing, employment, or participation in any university program, activity or benefit.
(2) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions.
(3) Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the university’s 9 educational, employment, and/or campus-residential experience when viewed through both a subjective and objective standard.
A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the conduct is physical. A single incident of sexual assault, for example, may be sufficiently severe to constitute a hostile environment.
Stalking refers to 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 or experience substantial emotional distress. It’s a crime that police take very seriously, both by itself and when it is part of other kinds of interpersonal violence.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person violates the sexual privacy of another or takes advantage of another person’s sexuality without Consent. Sexual Exploitation may include:
- Surreptitiously observing another individual's nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved.
- Recording, photographing, transmitting, showing, viewing, streaming or distributing intimate or sexual images, audio recordings or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved; or
- Exposing one's genitals or causing another to expose their own genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
Retaliation includes words or acts, as described below, committed against an individual or group of individuals involved in a protected activity. Protected activity includes making a good faith report under this policy; filing an external complaint; or opposing in a reasonable manner and consistent with university policy an action reasonably believed to constitute a violation of this policy. Retaliation may also include words or acts committed against an individual or group of individuals because they have participated in proceedings under this policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including, but not limited to, adverse action or violence, threats and intimidation that would discourage a reasonable person (under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the targeted individual or group) from engaging in protected activity. See also the university’s Policy on Non-Retaliation.
Learn More About Prevention & Response
Take some time to learn more about sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence or stalking. Knowing about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, about sexual assault prevention strategies, and the dynamics of stalking can help prepare you to be an active and engaged member of a safe community.
Find out more about the effects of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and other trauma. Learn about how survivors might respond and how you can help. Knowing how to respond when sexual violence happens or when a friend is in an unsafe relationship is also important.
Having a good understanding of GW resources is important so that you can help a friend in need.