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  • Abuser/Perpetrator

Interchangeable terms for people who, through their behavior, establish or maintain power and control over another person in an intimate relationship. These behaviors are conscious, deliberate efforts to manipulate or coerce a person to do what they want them to do through threats to harm the victim, their children or pets, physical violence, isolation, and intimidation. These terms can also apply to someone who commits assault or abuse even if they are not in an intimate relationship with their victim. 

  • Bullying

A willful act which is written, verbal or physical, or a course of conduct on the part of one or more persons which is not otherwise authorized by law and which exposes a person one time or repeatedly and over time to one or more negative actions which is highly offensive to a reasonable person.

Plainly said: actions by someone that make another person feel unsafe or used to intentionally hurt them emotionally or physically.

  • Bystander Intervention

A philosophy and strategy for prevention of various types of violence, including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence. This approach discourages victim blaming, offers the chance to change social norms, and shifts responsibility of intervention to both men and women who have taken notice of the violence.

  • Domestic Violence

A pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery). It can also include threats of physical abuse, sexual abuse, controlling or domineering behavior, intimidation, stalking, passive/covert abuse (like neglect), and economic deprivation or controlling access to resources like money, shelter, medications or food.

  • Empowered/Engaged/Active/Pro-Social Bystander

Someone who identifies, speaks out about or seeks to engage others in responding to specific acts of violence, violent behaviors or attitudes, and practices or policies that contribute to violence.

Examples of engaged bystander involvement include:

      • Challenging peers’ and/or colleagues’ sexist remarks or jokes that condone violence against women;
      • Intervening in actual violent incidences;
      • Challenging social norms and attitudes that perpetuate violence in the community;
      • Believing the victim and supporting them by offering referrals to community-based advocacy programs; and
      • Promoting flexible work policies and leave provisions for employees experiencing violence at an organizational level.
  • Passive/Inactive Bystander

A person who observes an act of violence, discrimination or other unacceptable or offensive behavior and does not take part or fails to act because they might not know what to do, think others will act, or be afraid to do something.

  • Power-Based Personal Violence

A form of violence that has as a primary motivator the assertion of power, control and/or intimidation in order to harm another person. This includes sexual assault, partner violence, stalking, and other uses of force, threat, intimidation, or harassment of an individual. It also includes the use of alcohol or drugs to commit any of these acts.

  • Primary Prevention

Approaches that take place before violence occurs to prevent initial perpetration or victimization. Primary prevention complements intervention strategies or policies. Examples include working with men and boys to promote positive social norms, building bystander skills, and promoting healthy respectful relationships.

  • Sexual Assault

The act of subjecting another person to sexual penetration, or who 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.

  • Stalking

Willfully or maliciously engaging 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.

  • Victim/Survivor

Terms for people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence and/or stalking. People may use these terms interchangeably for themselves or prefer one to the other. 


You are the only person who can define your status. You get to decide if you want to call yourself a survivor or a victim.
This website is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number #5UF2CE002430-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).