Please note, these definitions are separate from legal definitions and therefore are not considered legal advice or counsel. For the Maine Legal Statutes regarding sexual crimes, please visit http://www.maine.gov/. Sexual violence exists on a continuum of behavior that ranges from verbal aggression or coercion to physical assault.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted attention of a sexual nature that interferes with someone’s work or school life. Unwanted attention could take the form of sexual jokes to being coerced to engage in sexual contact (i.e. forcing someone to engage in sexual contact in order to keep their job, get a raise, etc). Sexually harassing behaviors can occur anywhere, but the legal term “sexual harassment” applies only in the workplace and in schools, where it is illegal.
Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. While many crimes consist of a single act, stalking consists of a series of actions which in themselves can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, or emailing, but which, as part of a pattern, create fear in the victim. For more information about stalking, please visit the National Stalking Resource Center at http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center
Human trafficking, also described as trafficking in persons, is a global crime affecting millions of individuals. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, involving the exploitation of people for the gain of the trafficker. Almost fifty percent of the worldwide activity involves the trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation. Traffickers lure people into violent and degrading situations, through force, fraud, or coercion. To learn more about efforts in Maine to combat human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, including our local Sex Trafficking Action Response Team (START), vist the Maine Sex Trafficking and Exploitation network at http://www.mainesten.org.
To learn more about human trafficking, click here to view a presentation created by Catie Borer, BSW. While interning with Dr. Jennifer Middleton, Catie, a University of Maine Social Work student, developed a “Human Trafficking 101” curriculum, in collaboration with START and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This curriculum provides general basic knowledge about human trafficking.
Freely given approval; an agreement made between people who are not incapacitated, which is open to discussion throughout any interaction, and can be revoked at any point by either individual.
To learn more about the effects, costs, and prevention of sexual violence please click here.
If you are concerned or have more questions regarding these definitions, please call our 24/7, free and confidential Helpline at 1-800-310-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.