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Criminal Definitions

These are the definitions as described in Oklahoma State Statues and not necessarily the definition the university has for these terms.

These definitions can be found in the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act and in the Domestic Abuse Reporting Act.

  • Assault: Assault is any willful and unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another.
  • Domestic Abuse: Any act of physical harm, or threat of imminent physical harm which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor child thirteen (13) years of age or older against another adult, emancipated minor or minor child who are family or household members or who are or were in a dating relationships.
  • Harassment: A knowingly and willful course or pattern of conduct by a family or household member or an individual who is or has been involved in a dating relationship with the person, directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial distress to the person. “Harassment” shall include, but not be limited to, harassing or obscene telephone calls in violation of Section 1172 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes and fear of death or bodily harm
    • “Family of household members” means:
      • spouses,
      • ex-spouses,
      • present spouses of ex-spouses,
      • parents, including grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents and foster parents,
      • children, including grandchildren, stepchildren, adoptive children and foster children,
      • persons otherwise related by blood or marriage,
      • persons living in the same household or who formerly lived in the same household, and
      • persons who are the biological parents of the same child, regardless of their marital status, or whether they have lived together at any time. This shall include the elderly and handicapped
    • “Dating relationship” means a courtship or engagement relationship. For purposes of this act, [FN1] a casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business of social context shall not constitute a dating relationship
  • Stalking: The willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassment of a person by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor thirteen (13) years of age of older, in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Stalking also means a course of conduct composed of a series of two or more separate acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose or unconsented contact with a person that is initiated or continued without the consent of the individual or in disregard of the expressed desire of the individual that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact or course of conduct includes, but is not limited to:
    • following or appearing within the sight of that individual,
    • approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property,
    • appearing at the workplace or residence of that individual,
    • entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual,
    • contacting that individual by telephone,
    • sending mail or electronic communications to that individual, or
    • placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased or occupied by that individual
  • Rape is an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator and who may be of the same or the opposite sex as the perpetrator under any of the following circumstances:

1. Where the victim is under sixteen (16) years of age;

2. Where the victim is incapable through mental illness or any other unsoundness of mind, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent;

3. Where force or violence is used or threatened, accompanied by apparent power of execution to the victim or to another person;

4. Where the victim is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent, administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the victim to submit;

5. Where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this fact is known to the accused;

6. Where the victim submits to sexual intercourse under the belief that the person committing the act is a spouse, and this belief is induced by artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused or by the accused in collusion with the spouse with intent to induce that belief. In all cases of collusion between the accused and the spouse to accomplish such act, both the spouse and the accused, upon conviction, shall be deemed guilty of rape;

7. Where the victim is under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a federal agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision and engages in sexual intercourse with a state, federal, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or an employee of a contractor of the state, the federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim; or

8. Where the victim is at least sixteen (16) years of age and is less than twenty (20) years of age and is a student, or under the legal custody or supervision of any public or private elementary or secondary school, junior high or high school, or public vocational school, and engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and is an employee of the same school system.

Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a male or female who is the spouse of the perpetrator if force or violence is used or threatened, accompanied by apparent power of execution to the victim or to another person.


Am I Being Stalked?

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, stalking generally refers to a course of conduct that involves a broad range of behavior directed at the victim. The conduct can be varied and involve actions that harass, frighten, threaten and/or force the stalker into the life and consciousness of the victim.

Stalking behavior may be difficult to identify, since some can seem kind, friendly or romantic (e.g. sending cards, candy or flowers). However, if the object of the abuser’s attention has indicated s/he wants no contact, these behaviors may constitute stalking.

It is important to examine the pattern of behavior in the apparent stalking incidents – type of action, frequency, consistency, if the behavior stops when the stalker is told to cease contact, etc.

Indicators of Stalking Behavior

The following actions are some behaviors stalkers use. This is not an exhaustive list, and it is important to consider the intensity of each behaviors in deciding if stalking is the intent.

  • Persistent phone calls despite being told not to make contact in any form
  • Waiting for the victim at workplace, in the neighborhood/residence hall, after class, and where the stalker knows the victim goes
  • Threats to family, friends, property or pets of the victim. (Threats or actual abuse toward pets is a particularly strong indicator of potential to escalate to more or lethal violence)
  • Manipulative behavior (e.g. threatening to commit suicide in order to get a response).
  • Defamation: The stalker often lies to others about the victim (e.g. reporting infidelity to the victim's partner)
  • Sending the victim written messages, such as letters, email, graffiti, text messages, IMs, etc
  • Objectification: The stalker demeans the victim, reducing him/her to an object, allowing the stalker to feel angry with the victim without experiencing empathy
  • Sending unwanted gifts

What to do if someone is stalking you.

  • Don’t answer the phone or door unless you know who it is.
  • End all communication with the person who is stalking you. Don’t get into arguments with them or pay attention to them – that’s what they want!
  • Let family, friends, and your employer know you are being stalked. Show them a picture of the stalker.
  • Talk to a teacher, friend, administrator or counselor who can help you decide how to deal with the situation.
  • Write down the times, places, and detailed summaries of each incident. Keep all emails or texts.
  • Contact the police if stalking persists despite your efforts to end it.
  • Consider obtaining a restraining order, but evaluate the pros and cons of doing so. Sometimes it can escalate the violence.
  • Change your routine so the stalker is less able to predict your whereabouts.
  • Keep any written messages (including electronic) and recorded voice communications

What to do about cyber stalking

  • Do not meet anyone you've met on the internet in person.
  • Don’t share personal information (name, phone numbers, addresses, etc.) in online public places.
  • Consider creating separate email accounts for social networking sites or other sites that require personal logins. (Good way to reduce your spam too!)
  • Use filters and blockers to block unwanted emails.
  • Send a clear message to a cyber stalker that you do not want further communication and will contact authorities if messaging continues.
  • Save all communications from a cyber stalker.

If you are a victim of stalking:

Know it is not your fault and there are numerous On and Off Campus Resources


It could be abuse if...

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner violence is a pattern of behavior in which one partner uses fear and intimidation to establish power and control over the other partner. This often includes the threat or use of violence. This abuse happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another. It may or may not include sexual assault.

Intimate Partner violence can occur in straight/heterosexual relationships, same-sex/gender relationships and in intimate relationships that do not involve romantic feelings. Intimate partner violence can happen with roommates, friends, classmates, or teammates. Intimate Partner violence impacts people of all ethnicities, races, classes, abilities and nationalities.

Although there are some general patterns in intimate partner violence, there is no typical abusive behavior. To wear down and control his/her victim, an abuser may use emotional harassment, physical contact, intimidation, or other means. The controlling behavior usually escalates, particularly if the object of the abuse tries to resist or leave.

Types and Forms of Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner violence is a crime. Behaviors that are used to maintain fear, intimidation, and power over another person may include threats, economic abuse, sexual abuse or taking advantage of male privilege. These behaviors may take the form of physical, sexual, emotional, and/or psychological violence.

General descriptions of the types of domestic and dating violence are as follows:

Physical violence: The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts, which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks. Physical abuse may include, but is not limited to, pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, choking, restraining with force, or throwing things.

Sexual abuse: Physical attack is often accompanied by or culminates in some type of sexual intercourse with the victim, or forcing her/him to take part in unwanted sexual activity. Sexual violence may include, but is not limited to, treating the victim and other people as objects via actions and remarks, using sexual names, insisting on dressing or not dressing in a certain ways, touching in ways that make a person uncomfortable, rape, or accusing the victim of sexual activity with others.

Emotional or Psychological violence: The abuser’s psychological or mental attack may include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property. Emotional or psychological abuse may include, but is not limited to, withholding approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment; ridiculing her/his most valued beliefs, religion, race, or heritage; humiliating and criticizing her/him in public or private; or controlling all her/his actions and decisions.

It Could Be Intimate Partner Abuse If….

One person:

  • Constantly blames his/her partner for everything - including his/her own abusive behavior/temper.
  • Makes mean and degrading comments about a partner's appearance, beliefs or accomplishments.
  • Controls money and time.
  • Gets extremely jealous.
  • Loses his/her temper.
  • Physically and/or sexually assaults another.

Or the other person:

  • Gives up things that are important to her/him.
  • Cancels plans with friends.
  • Becomes isolated from family and/or friends.
  • Worries about making her/his partner angry.
  • Shows signs of physical abuse like bruises or cuts.
  • Feels embarrassed or ashamed about what's going on in her/his relationship.
  • Consistently makes excuses for her/his partner’s behavior

If You are Experiencing Intimate Partner Abuse...

Know it is not your fault and there are numerous On and Off Campus Resources.


What is Consent?

The concept of consent is often misunderstood in comprehending the issues around sexual misconduct. Learning how to talk about consent, gain consent or refuse consent can help clarify each person’s responsibility which can minimize the risk of unwanted sexual contact.

Effective Consent is:

  • informed;
  • freely and actively given;
  • mutually understandable words or actions;
  • words which indicate a willingness or non willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

A person CANNOT give consent:
(Regardless of what he or she might verbalize):

  • The person is incapacitated or unconscious as a result of alcohol and/or drugs
  • The person is physically or mentally disabled
  • The person is not of age to give consent
  • Once a person says “no.” It does not matter if or what kind of sexual behavior has happened previously in the current event, earlier that day, or daily for the previous six months. It does not matter if it is a current long-term relationship, a broken relationship, or marriage. If one partner says, “NO,” and the other forces penetration it is rape.

What does consent mean in intimate relationships?

Consent is when one person agrees to or gives permission to another person to do something. Consent means agreeing to an action based on your knowledge of what that action involves, its likely consequences and having the option of saying no. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes”.Consent is a very important part of a sexual relationship. Each person is responsible for their own comfort and safety. Consent is an important part of healthy sexuality and both people should be involved in the decision to participate in sexual activity.


  • A voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement.
  • An active agreement: Consent cannot be coerced.
  • A process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask.
  • Never implied and cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner.

Kissing Doesn’t Always Need to Lead to Sex

Everyone has the right to say “no” and everyone has the right to change their mind at any time regardless of their past experiences with other people or the person they are with.

The Perks of Consent

  • Shows that you have respect for both yourself and your partner.
  • Enhances communication, respect, and honesty.
  • Having the ability to know and be able to communicate the type of sexual relationship you want.
  • The opportunity to acknowledge that you and your partner have sexual needs and desires.
  • The opportunity to identify your personal beliefs and values and respecting your partner’s personal beliefs and values.
  • Building confidence and self-esteem.
  • Challenging stereotypes that rape is a women’s issue.
  • Challenging sexism and traditional views on gender and sexuality.
  • Gaining positive views on sex and sexuality are empowering.
  • Eliminates the entitlement that one partner might feel over another. Neither your body nor your sexuality belong to anyone else.

What if the person you’re with is unable to give consent?

Drugs and alcohol can affect people’s ability to make decisions, including whether or not they want to be sexual with someone else. This means that if someone is really out of it, they cannot give consent.

Being with them in a sexual way when they don’t know what is going on is the same as rape.

If you see a person who is unable and is being intimate with someone, you should pull them aside and try your best to make sure that person is safe and knows what he or she is doing. If it’s the opposite situation, and your friend is trying to engage in a sexual encounter with someone who is out if it, you should try to pull them aside and stop them from continuing their behavior

Responsibility with Consent

Giving consent is not the sole responsibility of one person. An initiator of sexual activity is also responsible for obtaining effective consent before engaging in sexual behavior.

How do you know if the person you are with has given their consent?

The only way to know for sure if a person has given consent is if they tell you. It’s not always easy to let people know that you are not happy about something. Sometimes the person you’re with might look like they are happy doing something, but inside they are not. They might not know what to say or how to tell you that they are uncomfortable. The best way to determine if someone is uncomfortable or unwilling in any situation, especially a sexual one, is to simply ask. Here are some examples of the questions you might ask:

  • Is there anything you don’t want to do?
  • Are you comfortable?
  • Do you want to stop?
  • Do you want to go further?

However, if the person incapacitated (as described above) even if consent is verbalized, it is not consent!

Recognizing Non-Verbal Communication

There are many ways of communicating. The look on a person's face or their body language are also a way of communicating. Often non verbal communication has more meaning than the words that come out of their mouth.

Some examples of non verbal communication that signal a person is uncomfortable with the situation are:

  • Not responding to your touch
  • Pushing you away
  • Holding their arms tightly around their bodies
  • Turning away from you or hiding their face
  • Stiffening muscles

Asking questions and being aware of body language helps you to determine if the person is consenting and feeling comfortable, or not consenting and feeling uncomfortable. If you get a negative or non-committal answer to any of the questions above, or if the person's body language resembles any of the above examples, you should stop what you are doing and talk to them about it.

Slowing Things Down

Take your time. Making sure you are both comfortable and want the same thing, talk about how far you want to go. This will make the time you spend together more satisfying and enjoyable for you both. Things can move very quickly. Below are ways to say "slow down" if you feel that things are moving too quickly.

  • I don’t want to go any further than kissing, hugging, touching.
  • Let's just stay like this for a while.
  • Let's slow down.


You always have the right to say “no”. You always have the right to change your mind at any time regardless of your past experience with the person or others. Below are some things you can say or do if you want so stop:

  • Say “No”
  • Say “I want to stop”
  • Say “I need to go to the bathroom/toilet”
  • In a situation where the other person isn’t listening to you and you feel unsafe, say you are going feeling sick and might vomit.

If someone has attempted or completed a sexual act without your consent...

Know it is not your fault and there are numerous On and Off Campus Resources.