SASSL’s Definition of Sexual Assault:
Sexual assault is any unwanted advance, phrase, gesture, implied meaning, touch, or any other sexual act to which you have not consented. It also includes the event of someone being forced to perform sexual acts against their will. Sexual assault violates a person’s boundaries, trust and feelings of safety. It is determined by a lack of consent, and not by the act itself.
Sexual assault is a crime of power, not attraction. It occurs in all kinds of relationships, and anyone can be assaulted. No one ever deserves to be assaulted.
Consent is expressed permission, agreement and approval that is freely given.
Consent is a two-way street! You and your partner(s) are responsible for ensuring there is consent prior to and during any sexual act. At any point during a sexual act you and your partner(s) have the right to withdraw consent. Consent is always required when engaging in sexual activity.
If consent is absent, it is sexual assault.
Anyone can be assaulted:
After an assault there are many possible reactions you might experience. These could include anxiety, anger, depression, problems sleeping, self-blame, physical symptoms, denial, problems with sex, numbness, or eating disorders, to name a few. These conditions may be brief, or they may persist for months or even years after an assault.
Everyone is different, and their responses will be different too. All reactions are normal. It’s alright to feel however you feel. Support is available to you. Call us to explore your options.
Call anytime you:
- feel confused, sad, violated
- feel uncomfortable talking to people you know
- are unsure about your feelings
- need someone to listen
- need support
- need information or referrals on: sexual health, medical conditions, a safe place to stay, counselling, other support lines, where to get legal advice
Did you know?
- 80% of sexual assaults occur at home
- 49% occur in broad daylight
- 51% of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence
- Persons with disabilities are 1.5 to 5 times more at risk of experiencing sexual abuse and assault than non-disabled persons
- Up to 2/3 of known sexual assault survivors are 15 years of age or younger
- 8% of adult survivors of sexual assault are men, as reported to 154 police agencies across Canada