Glossary of Key Terms

This Glossary is a compilation of essential terminology that we use and reference at Sakhi and within the field.

Last Updated: June 2022

Arranged Marriage

An arranged marriage maintains the consent of both parties.

The family takes the lead to find a marriage partner for their child. Both parties are free to choose whether they enter into that marriage.

Child Abuse

Child Abuse is defined as  “A child whose parent or other person legally responsible for his/her care inflicts upon the child serious physical injury, creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury, or commits an act of sex abuse against the child. ” (Office of Children and Family Services, 2021)

Child Maltreatment

Child Maltreatment is defined as “when a parent or other person legally responsible for the care of a child harms a child, or places a child in imminent danger of harm by failing to exercise the minimum degree of care in providing the child with any of the following: food, clothing, shelter, education or medical care when financially able to do so.” ((Office of Children and Family Services, 2021)

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage means that one or both parties don’t or can’t consent.

A forced marriage also involves pressure, which is used to coerce one or both parties to marry. Pressure can be physical, psychological, financial, sexual or emotional.

Gender-based Violence (GBV)

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate person. Anyone can be a survivor of violence, regardless of their identity.

There are several types of GBV, which is an umbrella term for various forms of interpersonal violence. In particular, the term “domestic violence,” although still relevant, has gained counterparts within the gender justice movement. Terms such as intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, sexual violence—among others, are essential to addressing violence in its many forms.

GBV can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

GBV can look like:

  • Physical violence: when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
  • Sexual violence: forcing or attempting to force a person to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
  • Stalking: a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
  • Financial abuse: Financial abuse can take many forms, including controlling a survivor’s financial resources, income, work hours etc. 99% of domestic violence survivors experience financial abuse. Financial insecurity is one of the major reasons survivors of domestic violence stay or return to their abusers. On average it takes a survivor 7 attempts to permanently leave an abusive situation.
  • Psychological aggression: is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or to exert control over another person.
  • Forced Marriage: Forced marriage refers to a marriage in which at least one person did not consent to the union. Tactics such as fear, guilt, fraud, or shaming are often used to coerce a person into marriage.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. It is covered by federal, state, and local laws. Quid pro quo harassment generally refers to situations in which an employer or supervisor has offered to trade an employment benefit for a sexual favor. A hostile work environment refers to sexual or gender-based harassment that can create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or interfere with one’s job performance.

Mandated Reporting

All social service workers are mandatory reporters, and as such, are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment when, in their professional capacity, are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment.

All members of the Sakhi for South Asian Women team, including interns, are mandated reporters. Therefore, in their professional capacity, if they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect/maltreatment, they are mandated to contact the Administration for Children’s Services to make a report.

Safety Planning

Safety planning is an important tool for folks who are experiencing or suspecting harm. 

Safety planning is used to: create a detailed plan in case dangerous situations arise, even if you do not feel at risk in the current moment; identify safe friends and safe places; identify the essential items to have on hand or to take should one need or decide to leave home.