Sexual Violence

What is considered sexual violence?

Sexual violence is an umbrella term for a range of acts of a sexual nature that are threatened, attempted or committed towards a person without that person’s consent. It may be directed towards a person's sexual orientation, sexual or gender expression, or gender identity. Sexual violence includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, cyberviolence, voyeurism, etc.

The Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) has more information about sexual violence on its website. Their website also contains a glossary of terms.

Policy Definition

The official McGill definition of sexual violence can be found in section 7(j) of McGill's Policy against Sexual Violence:

“Sexual Violence” means sexual act or acts targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a person without the person’s Consent and may occur in person, in writing, by phone, or by any means of communication, including online and social media. Sexual Violence includes:

  1. sexual assault, meaning intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s Consent;
  2. sexual harassment, meaning Conduct of a Sexual Nature
    1. whereby sexual activity:
      1. is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program, or activity; or
      2. is used as a basis for an employment or educational decision affecting an individual; OR
    2. the effect of which is to impair that person’s work or educational performance where it is known or ought to be known that the conduct is unwelcome;
  3. stalking, meaning repeatedly watching or following another person, where the person making a Disclosure or Report feels that the stalking is connected with gender or sexual identity;
  4. indecent exposure, meaning exposing one’s genitals in a public place or to another person with the intention to threaten or offend;
  5. voyeurism, meaning the surreptitious observation or recording of a person by mechanical or electronic means;
  6. distribution of sexual images, meaning the distribution of an image, photo, or video of a person of a sexual nature, without that person’s Consent; and
  7. sexual exploitation, meaning abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.
Notebook and pen

File a Report

Learn about the process of filing a report under the Policy through the Special Investigator.

Question mark


See our Frequently Asked Questions for answers and more information.


Need support?
OSVRSE can help.

The Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) provides support and resources for all members of the McGill community who have been impacted by sexual violence. You can access support from OSVRSE at any time, whether or not you decide to file a report.

They provide services like crisis intervention, short-term counselling, reporting assistance, and more.

McGill University is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations. We recognize and respect the Kanien’kehà:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet today.

Back to top