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Bullying: Repeated or targeted mistreatment of others that includes one or more of the following:

  • Physical intimidation, such as invading someone’s space or standing over someone
  • Psychological or emotional abuse, such as humiliating, controlling, isolating, frightening, or gaslighting
  • Written or electronic abuse (e.g., social media or cyber bullying)
  • Undermining or intentionally interfering with someone’s work, leadership efforts, or participation in programs or services. (Learn More)

Caregiver: An individual primarily or secondarily responsible for the care of a dependent, including, children, elderly, or those with disabilities.

Complainant: Individual reporting a policy violation or potential policy violation.

Complaint: Report of policy violation or potential policy violation.

Consent: Voluntary and informed agreement to engage in a specific act, with a specific person or people. Consent must be given prior to the commencement of the act for which it is sought each and every time.

  • Consent cannot be obtained by: pressure, threats, coercion, or force of any kind, whether mental or physical or from someone who is under the age of 18, unconscious, asleep, physically helpless, or incapacitated. A person is incapacitated when they are unable to make a rational decision because the person lacks the ability to understand their decision.
  • Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.
  • Consent means agreeing to the specific activity (e.g., agreeing to one sexual act does not equal agreement to another sexual act)
  • Past consent does not imply ongoing or future consent.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
  • Consent must be obtained prior to commencing the sexual activity; consent does not apply retroactively.

Affirmative Consent: A form of consent that requires clear and explicit agreement (“yes”); agreement cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no” or past consent.

Creed: A set of beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions; may refer to tribal affiliation, geographic distinctions (ie. “Southerners”) and other non-religious affiliations or sects.

Cyberbullying: The use of electronic communication to bully, or instruct others to bully, a person, typically by sending or posting messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Disability: A physical, mental, intellectual and/or developmental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. Some people self-identify as having a disability, others are legally defined as having a disability. Disabilities may be both “visible” and “invisible”.

Disclosure: A process by which an individual conveys or attempts to convey that they are being or have been harmed.

Discrimination: Refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual or group based upon their actual or perceived identity or other characteristic. (Learn More)

Domestic Violence: Physical, sexual, psychological, financial, or spiritual harm by a current or former household member towards another member of the household. The term domestic violence is often used interchangeably with intimate partner violence (below), but can also be used to refer to abuse in the home outside of romantic relationships such as by a parent, sibling or roommate. 

Intimate partner violence (IPV): Abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. “Intimate partner” refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. It can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years.

Gender expression: The manner in which one outwardly expresses, signals, or performs their gender. Can encompass appearance (clothing, haircut, makeup, etc.), behavior, mannerisms, etc.

Gender Identity: A person’s inner understanding of the gender(s) with which they identify. This is each person’s unique knowing or feeling, and is separate from a person’s physical body or appearance (although often related) and from the sex assigned to the individual at birth.

Harassment: Defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a type of discrimination that subjects someone to unwelcome, offensive behavior because of their identity, or makes tolerating such behavior a condition of employment. (Learn More)

Interim Actions: Steps taken upon receipt of a complaint, preceding or simultaneous to the initiation of a fact-finding process, in order to promote psychological and physical safety and/or to avoid the possibility of future misconduct, preserve evidence, manage information, and minimize the likelihood of intimidation or interference with the fact-finding process.

Investigation: A methodical fact-finding process undertaken by an organization or its designees upon notice – via disclosure, complaint or observation – of a policy violation.

Keilim: Hebrew word for tools or vessels.

Organization: For the purpose of Keilim, the term organization is being used loosely to refer to any group of people operating with a particular purpose, whether incorporated, fiscally sponsored, or not, including but not limited to community centers, synagogues, camps, schools, Federations, foundations, social justice organizations, non-profits, and other more informal groups.

Prohibited Conduct: Behaviors that are not permitted in your organization. These include, but need not be limited to: discrimination, harassment, bullying, other abusive behaviors, and retaliation. (Learn More)

Protected Class: An identity category specifically protected by federal (e.g., race, age, gender, disability), state or local law (e.g., marital status and immigration status).

Resilience: The capacity to overcome adversity and thrive.

Respect: Due regard for the agency, feelings, wishes, characteristics, rights, property, culture, or traditions of others.

Retaliation: The imposition of negative consequences on someone who has reported, assisted in the investigation of, or otherwise taken action to identify or address prohibited behavior. (Learn More)

Sex: A person’s physical assignment at birth, based upon a medical provider’s perception of one’s bodily characteristics (genitalia, chromosomes, hormones, etc.) as male, female, or intersex.

Sexual Harassment: A specific form of harassment that can include unwelcome offensive sexual or gender-based behavior such as sexual advances, sexual language, and gender-based hostility, teasing, flirting, and demeaning comments. (Learn More)

Sexual Orientation: A pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions. A sense of one’s personal and social identity based on attractions. Describes whether and to whom one is attracted sexually, physically, romantically, etc.

Stalking: Occurs when someone repeatedly harasses or threatens someone else, causing fear or safety concerns. This includes cyber stalking. Examples of stalking tactics include unwanted communication and watching, following, or tracking a victim.

Third Party Report: When the person making the report is not the target of the conduct being complained of nor the respondent.

Trauma: The immediate or long-lasting somatic, emotional, and psychological effects of experiencing and reacting to a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Trauma-informed: Strategies to ensure that the approach to instances or suspicions of maltreatment acknowledges and focuses on the effects of trauma on the individual’s wellbeing. Trauma-sensitive, trauma-aware, trauma-integrating, and people-centered are all related and evolving terms. Six principles of a trauma-informed approach are: safety; trustworthiness & transparency; peer support; collaboration & mutuality; empowerment & choice; cultural, historical & gender issues.

Victim-Survivor: “Victim” is preferred by some because it clearly communicates the harm that was perpetrated. Others prefer “survivor” because it reclaims some of the power that was taken from them and communicates resiliency. Yet others use the term “thriver” to communicate that they have thrived despite the maltreatment they experienced. Some individuals eschew any of these labels and devise others that they prefer. Best practice when referring to specific individuals who have experienced maltreatment is to use the term they prefer, including no term if preferred. Because on a web platform we are unable to defer to individuals’ wishes, we use the hyphenated “victim-survivor,” recognizing that this term does not resonate universally. You might also introduce the language of “someone with lived experience of ___”.