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Glossary of Terms

Are you looking for a definition that is not in the app? Check out all the terms and their definitions here:

Here is our own Glossary of Terms organized by workshop:

Workshop 1: Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

 

Abusive relationship: An abusive relationship involves someone attempting to control and harming the other. Abuse can take on many forms, like physical, emotional, sexual, and digital. It can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter your age, gender, sexual orientation, the length or type of relationship.

Cisgender: Cisgender refers to people whose gender identity matches with their assigned sex at birth- for example, someone with a vagina who identifies as a woman is considered cisgender.

Dating: We define dating as two (or more) partners in an intimate relationship, having sex or not, committed or not so much, straight or gay, in a relationship happening over the course of a few days or over many many years.

Gender: Gender is how society thinks we should look, think, and act as women and men. Our society has beliefs and unspoken rules (that can evolve) about how we should act based on gender. For example, many people expect men to be more aggressive than women.

Gender expression: This is how you express your gender to others, whether through behaviour, clothing, hairstyle, or the name you choose to go by.

Gender identity: Gender identity refers to how you feel inside about your gender. Your feelings about your gender can emerge early in life. You can feel like a boy or girl, non-binary or two-spirit, genderqueer, agender, or more. There are many more gender identities that exist!

Healthy relationship: When a relationship is healthy, partners feel good about themselves and each other most of the time. Partners feel like they have respect, kindness, trust, honesty, equality, and good communication. And they also give each other space to have their own lives outside the relationship.

​Human trafficking: Human trafficking is the act of controlling another person by means of force, threat or deception for the purpose of exploiting them. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery where victims are treated as possessions that can be bought and sold. Victims can be of any age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, income, or geographic location. Illegal (1).

 

Image-based sexual abuse: The non-consensual distribution of intimate images and videos.

 

Normalization of violence: is accepting violence as “normal, natural, or unchanging over time or unable to be changed” part of life. Normalizing presents violence as not having real life consequences, and that it is the responsibility of the victim, not the perpetrator, to prevent violence (2).

Online luring and grooming: befriending and establishing an emotional connection with youth, and sometimes the family, to gain trust and access to youth, with the objective of sexual abuse (sexual exploitation, child trafficking, child prostitution, cybersex trafficking, child pornography, activities under 18). 

  • In many cases, exploiters take several weeks or months to groom the young victim before the exploitation begins. 

  • Sometime exploiters pretend to be a “boyfriend, partner or friend” of the youth

  • Signs of exploiters include, giving gifts, 

  • Victims can be exploited/trafficked for years at a time and are often unaware that they are being exploited, making them vulnerable to being in more than one exploitative relationship.

Peer-to-peer exploitation: A form of peer-to-peer exploitation is when youth recruit other youth into the exploitative situation.

  • For example, a youth who is being groomed, receiving gifts, and living a luxurious lifestyle may invite their other friends to give it a try.

Rape: Rape is a form of sexual assault. Rape means being forced to have vaginal, oral or anal intercourse against your will or without your full consent.

Sexual assault: Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another.

Sexual exploitation: is “the sexual abuse of a minor that involves youth being manipulated into exchanging a sexual act for something in return”, like “food, shelter, clothing, drugs, alcohol, material items as well as non-material items such as love, belonging and acceptance or any other consideration” (3).

Sexual orientation: This is the label you might use to describe who you are attracted to romantically and sexually- lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual, straight are a few examples. 

 

Teen dating violence: This term refers to abusive relationships experienced by teens.

Transgender: Sometimes this term is used broadly to describe anyone whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex.

Unhealthy relationship: Partners in unhealthy relationships usually have issues around communication, respect, boundaries, safety, and trust (amongst other things). One or more partners may feel anxious, confused, uncertain about the relationship, and unsafe. Some of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship are put-downs, anger, jealousy, feelings of guilt, control issues, and disrespect.​​

 

Workshop 2: Gender and Stereotypes

 

Gender stereotype: Gender stereotypes are oversimplified and generalized ideas, messages, and images about the differences between genders – for example, when we say: “Girls are better at…” or “boys only like…” we are talking about gender stereotypes.

 

Male gaze: This term refers to the ways that women and girls are often depicted in a stereotypical and/or oversexualized manner in art and media. They call it the ‘male gaze’ because it is assumed that art and media audiences are heterosexual males who want to see such depictions of women. Anybody can adopt the male gaze- it’s not just men.

 

Objectification: seeing and/or treating a person, as an object. Often, objectification is targeted at women and reduces them to objects of sexual pleasure and gratification.

Stereotype: Stereotypes come from society’s  oversimplified (and mostly unfair) ideas about groups of people. Stereotypes can vary depending on where you live and what is happening around you.

 

Workshop 3: (Me)mes and Digital Media

 

Cyberbullying: a form of bullying that takes place using electronic technology (cell phone, computer, tablet, gaming console) as well as communication tools (social media site, text message, chatroom, website). The bullying can include mean or derogatory text messages or emails, rumours posted on social networking sites, embarrassing photos/videos and fake profiles. Typically, cyberbullying includes gendered and sexual elements and is often a form of gender-based violence (see gender-based violence in Workshop 5).

Cyberviolence: Cyberviolence is online behaviour that constitutes or leads to harm against the physical, psychological and/or emotional state of an individual or group. This is a form of technology-facilitated violence.

  • online harassment

  • threatening

  • bullying

  • blackmailing

  • unwanted sexting

  • (cyber)stalking

  • hate speech

  • doxing

  • hacking

  • luring

  • non-consensual sharing of images

  • creepshots/digital voyeurism (taking non-consensual photos or videos and sharing them)

  • recording & distribution of sexual assault

Sometimes this violence is happening both online and offline.

Digital media: Digital media is digitized content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks. This can include text, photos, audio, video, and graphics.

 

Filter bubble: This term describes when someone is exposed to more personalized content online based on their digital footprint (what they post or search for). A person is more likely to get ads or links to sites that are based on their beliefs and their likes. For example, sites like Google and Facebook will use algorithms to determine what their users should see.

 

Meme: Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in the 1970s, to explain how an idea goes viral. Today, we use memes to describe digital media (like captioned pictures and videos) that are spread widely online, especially through social media.

Pornography (porn): sexual subject matter or representations designed to cause sexual excitement by showing or describing sexual acts. 

Sexism: Discrimination against someone or a group of people based on their sex.

Slut shaming: the practice of criticizing or bullying someone, especially girls and women for challenging stereotypes, expectations or “norms” of behavior and appearance related to issues of sexuality. It involves using sexuality to shame or disempower someone (especially girls and women). This is form of sexual violence and gender-based violence. 

  • Example: Labelling a girl a ‘slut’ because she has been sexually active or has had one or multiple sexual partners. It often includes both double standards and bullying – form of sexual violence, (see sexual violence in Workshop 5).

 

Workshop 4: Dating Scripts

 

Dating script: A dating script refers to the set of behaviors, actions, or events that are commonly expected when dating. Dating scripts are usually widely shared within a culture, but they can vary across cultures. They also can change in time. Popular dating scripts are often visible in media culture (like movies and Netflix). For example: you might build expectations of first dates or prom dates by what you see on Netflix.

 

Gender script: A gender script looks specifically at the role of gender in dating behaviors. Gender scripts can frame some women and girls as passive, uninterested in sex, 'hard to get', or even overly sexual. Males can be affected by gender scripts too; they can be expected to act masculine, be rough, and pay for things.

Sex scripts: how males and females are supposed to interact with each other, including how each gender should behave in sexual or romantic situations. Sexual scripts are based on shared cultural ideals and social norms. These can be positive, for example, show situations of positive communication or consent in sexual relationships. They can also be negative or unrealistic, for example, porn may not show people asking for consent before a sexual act.

 

Workshop 5: Consent

 

Blackmail: illegal action of threatening and demanding payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them.

Consent: Giving consent means agreeing to do something. In sexual and intimate relationships, sexual consent refers to giving permission for doing or receiving any form of sexual activity (from touching and kissing, to penetration). There are a lot of aspects about sexual consent that are important to understand. Consent:

  • is always needed, no matter the partner, the context, or the types of sexual activity

  • is freely given (no threats, pressure, or coercion)

  • is informed (a person should know what they consent to)

  • is enthusiastic

  • can be revoked at any time

  • can be given for some activities, and not for others

  • is never assumed

  • can be communicated verbally or non-verbally

It cannot happen when:

  • someone is incapacitated

  • someone is less than 16 (sometimes less than 18)

  • there are power dynamics

  • there are threats, coercion, pressure, or force

 

Contraception: the deliberate prevention of conception or pregnancy.

Contraceptive: a method, drug, or device serving to prevent pregnancy.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA): Drug-facilitated sexual assault is when a victim is subjected to sexual acts while incapacitated or unconscious, and is therefore unable to resist or provide consent. This is a serious crime.

Gender-based violence: violence incurred because of someone’s gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This is a human rights violation.

  • GBV is not limited to physical violence and can include any word, action, or attempt to degrade, control, humiliate, intimidate, coerce, deprive, threaten, or harm another person. GBV can take many forms including cyber, physical, sexual, societal, psychological, emotional, and economic. Neglect, discrimination, and harassment can also be forms of GBV.

 

Image-based sexual abuse: The non-consensual creation and/or distribution of intimate images and video. Includes:

  • non-consensually taken images that have been hacked or stolen and then shared (distribution)

  • non-consensual creation of sexual imagery: for example photos and videos created by means of upskirting, forms of voyeurism and sextortion, or recordings of sexual assault  (creation)

  • perpetrators threatening to share images - such as, blackmail, or coercion…

  • Cultural harm: “Image-based sexual abuse is a form of cultural harm. In normalizing non-consensual sexual activity, it sustains a culture in which sexual violence is less likely to be recognized, investigated or prosecuted” (4).

Incapacitated: a person who is unable to provide clear, informed, freely given, and enthusiastic consent due to: the consumption of alcohol or drugs; a mental or physical limitation; or being in an unconscious or sleeping state.

Intimate images: Intimate images can refer to pictures where someone is naked or semi-naked, or engaged in sexual activity

Rape: Rape is a form of sexual assault. Rape means being forced to have vaginal, oral or anal intercourse against your will or without your full consent.

Rape culture: social attitudes that have the effect of normalizing or trivializing (i.e. “not a big deal,” “happens a lot”) sexual assault and abuse.

  • Examples include, but not limited to: rape myths, rape jokes, slut-shaming, victim-blaming, gender-based violence, sexual violence...

Rape myths: prejudicial, stereotyped and false beliefs about sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims. This shifts blame from the perpetrator to the victim of sexual assault (see victim blaming below). Rape myths often serve to excuse sexual aggression and violence, create hostility,  or cast suspicion and doubt on victims and their allegation of sexual assault, and bias criminal prosecution. Rape myths in this way create cultural harm. 

  • Example: “She was asking for it because she was wearing a short skirt, what did she expect!” 

  • This is a false belief: in reality sexual assault happens to people regardless of what they are wearing (this is a rape myth and victim blaming). Most importantly, there is never a justification for sexual assault!

Safer sex: is having protected sex using condoms to prevent the transmissions or contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Sexting: Sexting is sending and receiving sexual messages through technology such as a phone, app, email or webcam. Sexts can involve words, photos or videos such as:

  • a message or post written with sexual language

  • nude or semi-nude photos/videos

  • photos/videos of sexual acts

  • live chats with someone on webcam involving sexual acts

  • screen-captured photos/videos recorded from webcam

Sextortion: sextortion is private images or video that are used to blackmail a victim (illegal). “The practice whereby perpetrators typically coerce victims into creating and sharing images, or performing sexual acts, and then threatening the victim with exposure unless they continue the activities. Other times, the perpetrator hacks into people’s social media profiles and, on finding intimate images, threatens to share them” (5).

Sexual assault: Sexual assault “is any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact. There are a range of behaviors and actions that fall under the definition of sexual assault. Sexual assault is not only unwanted penetration (rape) or oral sex, it is also any unwanted sexual touching, kissing, grabbing, etc." (6).

  • Sexual assault “is about the perpetrator exerting power and control – it is not about love, desire, or sexuality. Sexual assault is never the fault of the survivor” (7).

Sexual coercion: Sexual coercion “is unwanted sexual activity that happens after being manipulated or pressured in nonphysical ways” (8) that can include:

  • Badgering: Being worn down by someone who repeatedly asks for sex.

  • Emotional manipulation: Being lied to or being promised things that weren’t true to trick you into having sex, withdrawing affection,  or giving over-the-top affection and compliments as a tactic of emotional manipulation etc. 

  • Threats: Having someone threaten to end a relationship or spread rumors about you if you don’t have sex with them.

  • Abuse of power dynamics: Having an authority figure, like a teacher, counsellor, boss, property manager etc., use their influence or authority to pressure you into having sex.

In a healthy relationship, you never have to have sexual contact when you don’t want to. Sexual contact without your consent is sexual assault. If a person only consents because they want the other person to stop pressuring or threatening them, or they felt they didn’t have the power to say no, they didn’t really consent. Consent is always voluntary/freely given, ongoing and enthusiastic. Sexual coercion means feeling forced to have sexual contact with someone. Examples:

  • Being worn down by someone who repeatedly asks for sex 

  • Making you feel like it’s too late to say no (i.e. “But you’ve already gotten me all worked up,” “you can’t just stop now”)

  • Telling you that not having sex will hurt your relationship (i.e. “it’s really important for us to have sex, if you want me to stay with you)

  • Lying or threatening to spread rumors about you (i.e. “Everyone thinks we already have, so you might as well,” “I’ll just tell everyone you did it anyway.”)

  • Making promises to reward you for sexual activity (i.e. “I’ll give you a good grade, if you do this”)

  • Threatening your job, home, or school career (i.e. “I really respect your work here. I’d hate for something to change that.” “It’d be a shame for you to not get that A you deserved”

  • Threatening to reveal your sexual orientation publicly or to family or friends (i.e. “if you don’t do this I’ll tell your family you are gay”)

  • Other signs can include: other forms of guilt tripping, blackmail, sextortion, making you feel bad about yourself, withdrawing affection, or giving over-the-top affection and compliments as a tactic of emotional manipulation.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment “is a course of unwanted remarks, behaviours, innuendo, taunting or communications of a sexual nature and/or a course of unwanted remarks, behaviours or communications based on gender, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation where the person responsible for the remarks, behaviours or communications knows or ought reasonably to know that these are unwelcome” (9).

  • Sexual harassment “may consist of unwanted attention of a sexual nature such as personal questions about one’s sex life, unwelcome sexual invitations or requests, or unwelcome remarks about someone’s appearance.”

  • Sexual harassment “may also consist of unwelcome remarks based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation where such remarks may not be of a sexual nature but are nevertheless demeaning such as derogatory gender-based jokes or comments.”

  • “A single serious incidence of such behaviour may constitute harassment if it has the same consequences and if it produces a lasting harmful effect on the survivor” (10).

Sexual violence: Sexual violence “is any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality.”

  • This includes, but is not limited, to sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, degrading sexual imagery, distribution of sexual images or video... without consent, and cyber harassment or cyber stalking of a sexual nature or related to a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or presentation (11).

Stealthing: is the act of non-consensual condom removal, or the damaging of it before sexual intercourse, when the sex partner has only consented to condom-protected sex. This is sexual assault (see sexual assault above).

Victim blaming: is the attitude which suggests that the victim rather than the perpetrator bears responsibility for the assault. The victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for what happened. Victim-blaming occurs when it is assumed that an individual did something to provoke the violence by actions, words, or dress (12). 

  • Example:  Someone is drinking at a party and is sexually assaulted. A person says, “that if the victim wasn’t drinking it would have never happened. They should have been in control and it’s their fault!”

  • There are many things happening at the same time in this example. It is a rape myth (see rape myths above) to say, “it’s not really sexual assault if someone is drinking” (it is sexual assault!). If someone is drinking - their judgement and motor skills are impaired or delayed by alcohol or any drugs - therefore, the person was never in a position to give informed consent (see consent above). It is victim blaming - it is never the victim’s fault. Perpetrators often use alcohol and drugs as a tactic to facilitate sexual assault (see drug-facilitated sexual assault above). Therefore, it is important to challenge this rape myth and victim blaming that comes with alcohol/drug consumption. No one asks to be sexually assaulted. This is a crime.

 

Workshop 6: Be the Change

 

Bystander intervention: is when a person intervenes if they see a situation where another person is at risk or being targeted. This can include intervening if someone’s language and/or behaviour is inappropriate, hurtful, abusive or dangerous. 

  • Bystanders can prevent violence, like teen dating violence when they recognize a situation could escalate and therefore intervene. 

  • This approach is used to address the behaviours of others, with the goal of creating safer relationships and communities by preventing violence (see resources on how to safely intervene as a bystander).

  • It is important to ensure to the best of your ability both your safety and that of the targeted person. Check-in with the targeted person to see how they feel you can best support them to try and prevent any risk or danger at the hands of the perpetrator. 

Consent culture: A culture where consent is normalized and where healthy relationships is actively

encouraged and promoted.

 

Upstander: is someone who sees what happens and intervenes, interrupts, or speaks up to stop the bullying or any form of violence online or offline.

 

References:

(1) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(2)  Modified definition of normalizing violence. Source: WCASA. Social Norms Toolkit: The Normalization of Violence: Explaining the connection between the normalization of violence and sexual assault. (n.d.). Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA).

(3) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(4) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(5) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(6) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(7) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(8) Modified from https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/other-types/sexual-coercion

(9) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(10) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(11) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(12) Harvard Law School Halt: Harassment Assault Law Student Team. (2021). How to Avoid Victim Blaming. Harvard Law School Halt.