Understanding Sexual Violence


Sexual Violence is a non-legal term which refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse as well as other acts of violence that are verbal or emotional, such as coercion or catcalling.1



 Sexual Violence Pyramid

Graphic from Profeminist


Understanding Sexual Violence as a Pyramid

Often times when we talk about sexual violence, we refer to it as something physical, like rape or sexual assault. However, sexual violence is more than that, it's emotional, psychological, and a lot of the time, it's hard to see. The Sexual Violence Pyramid shows how language and things we might see as normal can create stereotypes that lead to violence. We can start to see where and how sexual violence starts so we can learn how to stop it from happening anymore.

Criminal versus Non-Criminal Sexual Violence

The term "sexual violence" is not a legal term but one that is used commonly by community organizations to describe any act of violence that is sexual. In New Mexico, however, there a number of different legal terms for criminal sexual violence, which we have outlined here.

 1 RAINN Types of Sexual Violence. RAINN 2016.



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