We want you to know that you are not alone and what happened is not your fault. Nothing you did or didn’t do made this happen. No one ‘asks’ to be assaulted or abused. The person who committed the assault is responsible for their behaviour.
Also, know that there are people who can support you. Whether you choose to disclose to someone you trust, perhaps a family member, friend and/or a professional at one of our Centres or other community agency, there is always help available.
There is support for victim/survivors. Find a location near you.
- Sexual Assault:
- Domestic Violence:
- Child Sexual Abuse/Assault:
Sexual assault is any form of sexual activity with another person without their consent. There are many forms of sexual assault, including forced kissing, grabbing, fondling, sexual harassment, and attempted or completed rape (vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object).
Sexual assault is about power and control being asserted over another person. With sexual assault, a person’s right to determine what happens with their own body, mind, and spirit is taken away.
- A higher risk of sexual assault is noted among individuals who are women, young, Indigenous, single, homosexual or bisexual, and those who have poorer mental health
- Individuals with certain experiences, such as childhood abuse and homelessness, also have a higher risk of sexual assault
- Over 50% of victim/survivors know the person who sexually assaulted them
- Most often, offenders are a friend, acquaintance or neighbour
- Most commonly, sexual assault victims report feeling angry, or upset, confused or frustrated after the incident. One in four victim/survivors have difficulty carrying out everyday activities because of the incident. (General Social Survey on Canadians’ Safety, 2014).
Domestic Violence, or intimate partner violence, involves one person asserting their power over another person in order to control or maintain control over them. What characterizes intimate partner violence is the ongoing effort to assert power and maintain control over one’s partner. It often increases in frequency and intensity. The abuse can occur in intimate relationships regardless of gender and/or sexual identities. All persons can be survivors/victims of intimate partner violence. The violence can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, intimidation/ psychological, spiritual, and financial abuse. Often, more than one of these forms of violence are used together, along with manipulation tactics that transfer responsibility for the abuse from the assailant to the victim/survivor.
- Four out of five victim/survivors who report domestic violence to the police are women
- More than half of police-reported domestic violence incidents are committed by a dating partner (55%), while a spouse is the perpetrator for less than half (47%)
- Physical assault (77%) is the most common offence experienced by victim/survivors of police-reported domestic violence, followed by uttering threats, and criminal harassment
- Sexual assault is ten times more common among female victim/survivors of domestic violence than male victim/survivors
- Females 25 to 29 years old are at the highest risk of intimate partner homicide (Family Violence in Canada, Statistical Report, 2014).
The law states that a child is not in a position to give consent to sexual activity. Child sexual abuse occurs when a child is used for sexual purposes by an adult or adolescent. It involves exposing a child to any sexual activity or behaviour. Examples include where a child is encouraged, coerced, forced or enticed into such acts as sexual molestation, fondling, sexual intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, exhibitionism, or any form of sexual exploitation such as juvenile prostitution or pornography. (Age of Protection (Consent) Law In effect May 1, 2008)
Any sexual activity without consent is sexual assault and a criminal offence. Consent is a clearly understood agreement between two people; it is an ongoing and active choice and it is revocable (ie. anyone can change their mind). Consent to one sexual activity does not constitute consent to future activity, or other forms of activity. Consent is required each time people are engaging in sexual intimacy or contact. This is true even within the context of intimate relationships. Consenting to be in an intimate or dating relationship with someone does not automatically mean that consent for sexual activity has been provided. Coercion is never a part of consent. This means that someone cannot threaten, pressure or talk another person into sexual activity, or misuse their position of trust or authority.