Any of the following acts without consent constitutes sexual assault:
- Any non-consensual sexual contact that is verbal, emotional or physical.
- An act of violence or aggression involving a sexual attack that is verbal, emotional or physical.
- Unwelcome sexual comments, harassment or threats that make you feel uncomfortable, violated or under attack.
- Touching in a sexual way without permission.
- Forced kissing or fondling.
- Forced oral, anal or vaginal penetration (rape).
What is Consent?
Ongoing, voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activities.
Consent is NOT present if you are sleeping, intoxicated, coerced, coaxed, pressured, intimidated or threatened.
Consent is NOT present where someone is in a position of power over you. Examples include a teacher, coach, family member, employer, landlord, pimp, religious or spiritual leader.
Who are the Victims of Sexual Assault?
Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault.
Victims can be any age and come from diverse backgrounds.
Women are 11 times more likely than men to be sexually assaulted.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Women with disabilities, Indigenous women, transgender women, women of colour, and survival sex trade workers are victimized at significantly higher rates.
Who Commits Sexual Assault?
Perpetrators of sexual violence range in age and come from diverse backgrounds.
It is not possible to tell who is capable of committing sexual violence by looking at them.
3 of 4 assailants are known to the survivor. They are casual acquaintances, friends, intimate partners, spouses, family members, employers, co-workers, service providers, etc.
1 in 4 sexual assaults are committed by a stranger.
At least 98% of assailants are men.
Who is Responsible?
The assailant is 100% responsible for a sexual assault.
The survivor is not to blame, no matter where you are, what you are doing or what you are wearing.
How Do People Respond to Sexual Assault?
All survivors suffer trauma in varying degrees and your reactions to sexual assault may change over time. Some common reactions include shock, denial, self-blame, flashbacks, fear, nightmares, embarrassment, shame, anger, anxiety, mood swings, self-harm, suicide thoughts, changes in eating and sleeping, changes in relationships.
A Note on Language:
We have chosen to use both “survivor” and “victim”. Some people who have experienced sexual assault use neither of these terms. The choice is yours and we will do our best to honour that choice.