Important Definitions for Survey Takers

a. Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a sexual act to which the victim does not consent.

In Singapore, sexual assault may include the following offences:

  • Rape;
  • Sexual assault by penetration;
  • Sexual penetration of minor;
  • Sexual grooming of minor;
  • Sexual abuse and exploitation of child or young person;
  • Procurement of sexual activity with person with mental disability;
  • Outrage of modesty

This definition is provided by the Singapore Police Force.

b. Consent

Consent refers to an affirmative, informed, voluntary and ongoing choice by an individual with legal capacity.

For consent to be present, the following elements must be present:

  • given by an individual with legal capacity (i.e. cannot be given by persons who are under the statutory age of consent and/or deemed minors under the law or mentally disabled);
  • conveyed by an affirmative statement or action which clearly indicates an individual’s intentions understood by both parties (e.g. silence or the absence of resistance or protest does not necessarily represent Consent, an ongoing or past social, dating or otherwise intimate relationship between individuals does not imply Consent);
  • specific, informed and knowing (i.e. must be given specifically for the occasion of sexual activity without any mistake or deception as to the identity or the nature of the act);
  • given freely and voluntarily (i.e. cannot be obtained by improper detention, confinement or incarceration, force, threat, intimidation, duress, manipulation, bullying, coercion, an individual exerting his/her position of power, authority or control or any form of pressure etc. or given during a time when an individual’s ability to comprehend is compromised in any way); and
  • ongoing (i.e. not withdrawn) throughout the entire duration of sexual activity.

This definition is provided by NUS Code of Student Conduct.

c. Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct is a general term used to refer to a range of acts of a sexual nature committed against a person by force, intimidation, manipulation, coercion or without that person’s consent, or at a point when that person is incapable of giving consent. 

Acts of Sexual Misconduct:

  • can be perpetrated by or against anyone, irrespective of:
    • gender
    • sexual orientation
    • relationship between complainants and respondents (e.g. strangers oracquaintances, or people who know each other well)
  • may differ in gravity

Whether any act constitutes Sexual Misconduct is determined objectively.

This information is provided in the NUS Code of Student Conduct.

Resources:

Reporting sexual misconduct at NUS

Services for NUS students