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What constitutes GBV first and what is technology-facilitated GBV second – see the definitions we use

GBH/V means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or other unwelcome conduct based on the gender or sexual orientation of an individual. It includes same-sex harassment and takes on five prominent forms:

  • Physical ( includes but is not limited to assault, rape, impeding or blocking movement, inappropriate touching i.e. kissing, hugging, patting, stroking, rubbing, starring)
  • Verbal (includes but is not limited to comments about a person’s clothing, body, sexual or gender-based jokes or remarks, spreading rumours about a person’s sexual life)
  • Non-verbal (includes but is not limited to Grooming, stalking, whistles, etc.)
  • Visual (includes but is not limited to posters, drawings, screensavers, emails, and texts of a sexual nature)
  • Technologically facilitated GBV (includes but is not limited to social media, sexting, email, and revenge porn)
  • Abuse of authority/quid pro quo (someone in a senior position withholds or grants benefits on the basis of sexual favours)
  • The threat of act of violence (this holds intention and is equivalent to the act being committed)

*Please note that these lists are NOT exhaustive

Common Tactics in TF-GBV

  • Doxing: is the Internet-based practice of researching and publicly broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or organization. Also includes contact details and place of residence (including student accommodation).
  • Hacking : the unauthorised access to or control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose.
  • Threats : a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.
  • Image/Video based abuse : happens when an intimate image or video is shared without the consent of the person pictured.
  • Impersonation: is when someone pretends to be another person.
  • Unwanted messaging or posting: This includes sending bulk messages, excessively posting links, sexting, videos or images of a sexual nature. Also include spam (unsolicited messages).

*Please note that these lists are NOT exhaustive


An individual who actively works to end oppression through the support and advocacy of an oppressed or marginalized population. An ally honours sexual and gender diversity and supports individuals at varying stages of development with sexual and gender identity.


A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth.


An individual who has laid a complaint at the GEO.


Free and informed agreement.

In deciding whether such consent was present in an alleged incident, the University will be guided by the circumstances listed in s1 (3) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 and the following considerations:

i. Parties involved in interpersonal relations must be able to communicate effectively and agree to any interpersonal activities;

ii. It is the responsibility of the person that initiates any type of sexual activity to obtain the other person’s consent;

iii. Consent to one type of sexual act does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activities;

iv. Silence does not imply consent;

v. A previous or present sexual or other relationship between the parties does not imply consent;

vi. Consent is not implicit in a person’s manner of dress;

vii. Accepting a social invitation is not consent, nor does it imply consent; and

viii. Consent will not be effective when it is obtained from a person whose capacity to consent is diminished because they are asleep, unconscious or in an altered state of consciousness resulting from the use of alcohol, medicines or drugs, to the extent that it adversely affects their judgement.


A term used to describe the social status of people as women, men, boys, girls or variously transgendered, including characteristics of masculinity and femininity that are learned or chosen.

Gender fluidity

Not identifying with a single, fixed gender.


Acronym for the community comprised of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgender, Intersex and Asexual individuals. ”Q” refers to individuals who may affiliate with the community and are ‘questioning’ some aspect of their gender or sexuality.” Q” is also used to include those who identify as Queer.


Societal, cultural and institutional privileges that are given to men as a class due to their institutional power in relation to women as a class;

Beliefs and practices fuelled by stereotypes about gender that favour men and subordinate and denigrate women, women-identified values and femininity.

While every man experiences privilege differently due to his own individual position in the social hierarchy, every man, by virtue of being read as male by society, benefits from male privilege.


An umbrella term for people who don’t identify as female/male or woman/man.


The term used to describe the society in which we live today, characterised by current and historic unequal power relations between women and men whereby women are systematically disadvantaged and oppressed. This is evident across almost every sphere of life but is particularly noticeable in women’s under-representation in key state institutions, in decision-making positions and in employment and industry.

Male violence against women is also a key feature of patriarchy. Women in minority groups face multiple oppressions in this society, as race, class and sexuality intersect with sexism for example


Is defined in terms of Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 to mean an unlawful and intentional act of sexual penetration of any part of another person with any body part or object, without their consent.

Rape Culture

A social culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices, and societal institutions support and condone sexual abuse by normalizing, trivializing and eroticizing sexual violence.

These attitudes and practices result in the disbelieving and blaming of victims for their own abuse, the acceptance of street harassment and the hyper-sexualisation of the female body.


: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

Sexual Assault

Is defined in terms of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 to mean an unlawful and intentional act of sexual violation of another person, without their consent.

Sexual Harassment

Rape, sexual assault, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, or other unwelcome conduct based on the gender or sexual orientation of the victim, affecting the dignity of all people working, studying, visiting or living at the University. Sexual harassment includes same-sex harassment. This conduct includes physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct, which is perceived as unwelcome taking account of the following factors:

i. Whether the harassment is on the grounds of the sex and/ or gender and/or gender performance, and/or sexual orientation (self–identified or perceived) of the complainant;

ii. Whether the conduct, either formal or informal, abuses a position of power by the perpetrator over the complainant;

iii. The short- and long-term impact of the sexual conduct on the complainant;

iv. The nature and extent of the sexual conduct; and / or

v. Whether the conduct constitutes a breach of the Relationships between Staff and Students Policy or conduct prohibited by the University Code of Conduct Relating to Staff-Student Engagement.


*Specific Forms of sexual harassment: In addition to the definition of sexual harassment above, sexual harassment may take a number of specific forms, including:

i. Special Victimization, which occurs when a person is victimized or intimidated for refusing to submit to sexual advances;

ii. Grooming, which involves an action or series of actions, which can initially appear to be conducted within the context of the academic project, but are taken with the overall aim of befriending and establishing a psychological and/or material connection with a person in order to facilitate subsequent sexual harassment or sexual assault and/or to hinder the reporting of various acts of harassment or assault. This includes ‘online grooming,’ which refers to grooming by means of modern-day technology, such as mobile phones and the internet;

iii. Quid Pro Quo Harassment of staff, which occurs when an alleged perpetrator influences or attempts to influence a person’s employment circumstances by coercing or attempting to coerce that person to engage in unwelcome sexual conduct; and

iv. Quid Pro Quo Harassment of students, which occurs when: an alleged perpetrator influences or attempts to influence the admission of a student to the University or access to opportunities within the University, by coercing or attempting to coerce that person to engage in unwelcome sexual conduct or offering special treatment in exchange for unwelcome sexual conduct; and / or an alleged perpetrator influences or attempts to influence the grading, evaluation or professional advancement of the student, by coercing or attempting to coerce them to engage in unwelcome sexual conduct;

v. Creation of a Hostile Work or Learning Environment, which occurs where the purpose or effect of the conduct is to interfere with another person’s performance at work or study. 


A person whose gender identity differs from the cultural expectations of the sex they were assigned at birth.


Something that forces you to relive a trauma.

Trigger Warning

A statement that someone is about to experience challenging material that could potentially be disturbing (graphic, racially insensitive, sexually explicit, etc.).


When the victim of a crime or harmful act is held fully or partially responsible for it.

If you hear someone questioning what a victim could have done to prevent a crime, that’s victim- blaming, and it makes it harder for people to come forward and report abuse.

Groups working to eradicate abuse and sexual assault are clear: No victim is guilty for violence committed by a perpetrator.