Sexual Assault- Sexual assault (often known as rape) is forcing or coercing an individual to engage in any non-consensual sexual contact or sexual penetration. In Michigan, the law regarding sexual assault is called the Criminal Sexual Conduct Act. It is gender neutral and includes marital, stranger, date, acquaintance, and child sexual assault.

There are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct. First and third degrees involve forced or coerced penetration. This can involve vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, or putting a finger or object in another person's genital or anal opening.

The second and fourth degrees involve forced or coerced sexual contact. This includes touching the groin, genital area, inner thighs, buttocks, breasts or the clothing covering these parts. 

Sexual Harassment- conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress.

Stalking- Stalking is illegal in Michigan. The Michigan statute defines stalking as "a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested" (MCLA 750.411h).

Stalking can take many forms, such as:

  • Following or appearing within sight of the targeted victim.
  • Approaching or confronting the targeted victim in a public or private place.
  • Appearing at the workplace or the home of the targeted victim.
  • Entering or remaining on the targeted victim's property.
  • Contacting the targeted victim by telephone over and over again.
  • Sending repeated mail or email to the targeted victim.
  • Using cell phones, computers or surveillance equipment to keep tabs on the targeted victim.
  • Using the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone. This is commonly known as CYBERSTALKING. The stalker may use search engines, bulletin and discussion boards, online forums, chat rooms as well as online communities like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and Indymedia to stalk the victim, sometimes without the victim even knowing it. (www.michigan.gov/datingviolence)

Consent- Consent is to give permission or to agree to do something. Consent is also acceptance of, or agreement to do something that is proposed or desired by another person.

Unconsented- Consent is a key element of a stalking charge. Unconsented contact is any contact that the other party does not want and can include:

  • Sending email or posted mail
  • Being in visual contact with
  • Approaching
  • Confronting
  • Calling
  • Entering that persons property or workplace

Domestic Violence-Domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to control another person.

Dating Violence- Abuse can fall into one of four categories: emotional, psychological, sexual and physical. Dating violence is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power in the relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation and humiliation to control the other person. Forms of abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and psychological.