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What is personal power-based violence?

Personal power-based violence includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Below are definitions that will help you to understand personal power-based violence looks like.

Sexual Assault

Actual, attempted or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual Assault often is a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota state law, as well as under the Student Conduct Code and employee discipline procedures.


Consent is defined by Minnesota state statute 609.341 Subdivision 4 as words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. Consent does not mean the existence of a prior or current social relationship between the actor and the complainant or that the complainant failed to resist a particular sexual act.

A person who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless as defined by this section cannot consent to a sexual act.

Affirmative Consent

Affirmative consent is freely and affirmatively communicated words or actions given by an informed individual that a sober reasonable person under the circumstances would believe communicate a willingness to participate in the sexual contact. This definition of consent does not vary based upon an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Domestic Violence

An act causing physical harm or abuse, and threats of harm or abuse, arising out of a personal, intimate relationship. This includes family members and roommates, it does not only apply to those in an intimate dating relationship. MN State Statute 609.2242 defines domestic assault as anyone who commits an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death or intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; A relationship is based on the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.


MN State Statute 609.749 defines stalking as engaging in conduct that the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim.