The Project Dinah Dictionary

There are a lot of words/terms/acronyms that seem to be unique to interpersonal violence prevention. Here’s a quick guide to help keep you up to speed!




PD – Project Dinah (that’s us!)


OCRCC – The Orange County Rape Crisis Center provides 24-hour crisis intervention services to survivors of sexual violence in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and surrounding communities. Project Dinah partners with the OCRCC throughout the year and uses its amazing staff for resources and support.HAVEN-208x300

HAVEN – Helping Advocate Violence Ending Now is a UNC-Duke program that works to develop a better understanding of key issues related to sexual and relationship violence, as well as an increased comfort level in addressing sexual and relationship violence issues as a resource and advocate. This four-hour training also lists the services on campus that support students affected by sexual and relationship violence. You also get free pizza! Click here to sign up for HAVEN training.

SAAM_Logo-TealRibbon-150x210SAAM – Sexual Assault Awareness Month, occurring each April, is nationally recognized as a time to educate our communities about the impact of sexual assault and interpersonal violence and to promote prevention. At UNC, the SAAM committee plans events for the entire month of April in conjunction with student organizations, including PD. Our Alliance Against Violence week falls during SAAM, and we also co-sponsor other organizations’ events. Click here to learn more about SAAM at UNC.

RVAM – Relationship Violence Awareness Month (also known as DVAM – Domestic Violence Awareness Month) is nationally recognized each October. During this month, PD partners with the Carolina Women’s Center (CWC) and other organizations to raise awareness about relationship violence.

IPV – Interpersonal Violence – any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm to those in the relationship. This is an umbrella term for a number of different actions, including sexual assault, rape, and stalking.

IPVP –  Interpersonal Violence Prevention – any action that works towards preventing interpersonal violence. Many organizations at UNC focus on IPVP, including OneAct.

DV – Domestic Violence – behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

raise-the-bar-chapel-hill-caps-not-boldDFSA – Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault – sexual assault that occurs when drugs or alcohol have been used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent, minimize resistance, or reduce memory of unwanted sexual contact. Legally, an individual who is intoxicated in any way cannot consent to sexual activity.

CWC – The Carolina Women’s Center is responsible for much of the gender equity work happening at UNC. The staff and students take on many diverse projects throughout the year, including speaker series on gender equality and alternative break trips where students volunteer at rape crisis centers across NC. PD partners with the CWC for many events, and the CWC director Christi Hurt serves as our faculty advisor. Click here to learn more about the Carolina Women’s Center.

AAV – Alliance Against Violence (see our events guide!)

OYP – Orgasm? Yes, Please! (see our events guide!)

Other Terms:

387374_147451505419007_1336183223_nPrimary survivor (aka survivor): someone who is/was the victim of sexual or interpersonal violence.

Secondary survivor: somebody very close to a survivor of sexual or interpersonal violence (i.e., a parent, friend, or partner). Click here to learn more.

Vicarious trauma: distressing feelings (overwhelm, upset, shock, grief, etc.) experience by individuals who are in close contact with survivors. This trauma can be experienced by friends, co-workers, partners, medical practitioners, and activists.

Ally: someone who supports survivors of interpersonal violence and advocates against this type of violence.

Consent: the communication of an affirmative, conscious and freely-made decision.

Rape: generally, any sexual penetration without consent, including both coercion and physical force of the vagina, anus and mouth by any object, finger or penis is considered rape. Under North Carolina state law, rape refers only to penile penetration of the vagina. The other forms of rape described above are considered sexual offenses. UNC’s policy is currently being updated by the Title IX task force.

Sexual assault: any form of unwanted physical sexual contact in which consent is not given.

531650_289441587854354_1275214354_nTitle IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. UNC is one of the many schools where students/employees have filed a Title IX complaint based on its handling of sexual violence cases. Click here to learn more about Title IX at UNC.

one actOne Act: An Interpersonal Violence Prevention (IPV) training available to students, faculty, and staff at UNC. One Act strives to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to recognize signs of IPV and take preventive action. Click here to sign up for a One Act training.

Trigger(ing): A trigger is anything that may remind a survivor of the trauma she/he endured. It is often a good idea to include a trigger warning on materials that may contain something triggering. For example, you will see us write “*trigger warning*” at the top of many Facebook posts. It is also important to keep in mind that you, your friends, fellow activists, etc. may be triggered at any time and must practice self care.

Self Care: checking in and taking care of yourself, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Interpersonal violence (IPV) is a serious issue, and working in IPV prevention can be draining. Make sure to take care of yourself by checking in and getting some quality “me time”, be it working out, reading, painting your nails, etc. For group self care, and to get to know each other better, PD holds self care nights.

Officers: Members who have been elected to a leadership position (co-chair (2), secretary, treasurer, PR, online PR). Elections are held at the end of each semester, though not all positions are elected in the same semester. Terms last 2 semesters and can begin in either the Fall or Spring semester depending on when the previous position-holder’s term will end.