Sexual Violence

Any act sexual in nature, whether verbal or physical, that breaks a person’s trust, violates their safety, or impedes upon their sexual autonomy. Sexual violence includes and is not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape. It also does not specify a gender or age and can be understood to encompass domestic violence or any violence based on one’s sexual identity.


A clearly and freely given word or overt action confirming a willing desire towards and limited to a specific sexual request or experience; consent cannot be obtained from minors (under age of consent, 16 in NH) or individuals whom are mentally impaired, including impairment by intoxication through drugs or alcohol (voluntarily or involuntarily); it is also an affirmative response, not a lack of one.

Sexual Assault

A spectrum of sexual violence including any sexual contact or activity without consent. Click here to explore the state law defining sexual assault in New Hampshire.

  • Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: when drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. In addition, drugs and alcohol are often used in order to minimize the resistance and memory of the victim of a sexual assault. Click here to read more on drug facilitated assault from RAINN.

Click here to learn about New Beginnings in-person accompaniment to the hospital following a sexual assault.

Advocates are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to provide information on victims rights and options and offer non-judgmental support.


Any penetration (vaginal, anal, oral) with anything (penis, fingers, objects) done without consent


Any form of significant pressure employed to overcome one’s ability to freely and willingly consent, such as by use of threats, blackmail, imprisonment, etc.

Sexual Harassment

Any unwanted attention or advances regarding sexual gratification, favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

The above definitions above are from PAVE's website, adapted from legal 
definitions, and refined based off the concept of sexual autonomy and 
strives to be inclusive to all individuals’ experiences of sexual harm.


The act of sending or receiving sexually suggestive or explicit messages or images via some form of technology. It is not always abusive, but can be very risky and illegal.

Does your partner ask for inappropriate pictures of you? Or send themt comfortable with, no matter how much your partner pressures you. s phone or online. Seriously consider playing it safe and making a policy of not exchanging sexts even with a policy of instantly deleting them. The same goes for the exchange of inappropriate material using webcams or instant messaging. These private messages could be seen by potential employers, family members, new partners, etc.

Sexting can also have legal consequences. Any nude photos or video of someone under 18 could be considered child pornography, which is always illegal. Even if whoever sent the image did so willingly, the recipient can still get in a lot of trouble.*


As a Victim of Sexual Violence You May Feel:

  • Alone and won’t tell anyone about the abuse
  • Fearful of how others will react
  • Depressed
  • “jumpy” and on alert
  • Fearful of seeing the assailant again
  • At fault or to blame for the violence
  • Fearful of leaving home or meeting new people
  • Fearful of being alone
  • Calm or numb
  • Powerless or helpless
  • A sense of denial
  • An aversion to touch
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Anxiety and flashbacks
  • A loss of trust in others