Some of this information is courtesy of Rainn.org.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a crime of power and control—it has nothing to do with love, lust, or passion. The blame for sexual assault rests entirely with the perpetrator(s), no matter if the victim was drinking, flirting, accepted a drink, walked home alone, accepted a ride…you get the idea.
The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim (i.e. an enthusiastic YES).
Sexual assault can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.
Sexual assault can include:
- Penetration of the victim’s body (with a penis, fingers, or other objects); also known as rape
- Attempted rape
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage, has physical or mental disability, or is unconscious/passed out
- Sexual coercion (coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens after someone is pressured, tricked, or forced in a nonphysical way)
- Sexual contact with a child
- Incest (sexual contact between family members)
- Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes
Sexual Assault & the Canadian Criminal Code
The Criminal Code recognizes three types of sexual assault in Canada, which result in different charges. All are considered to be sexual assault.
- The First type of sexual assault causes little or no physical injury
- The second type of sexual assault involves a weapon, threat, or bodily harm
- The third type of sexual assault involve physical wounds, disfigurement, or threaten the life of the survivor.
While most sexual assaults fall into the first category, all types of sexual assault can have long-term effects on a survivor’s psychological well-being.
What is consent?
Consent means that the person is:
- Of age
- Saying yes (with words or enthusiastic expression)
For more information on consent, click here.
What is force?
Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.
If you are dealing with issues related to sexual abuse or assault:
To speak with someone who is trained to help, call our Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 306-244-2224. Our volunteers can meet you at the hospital or police station, walk you through the reporting process, or support the loved ones of someone who has survived sexual assault.
For more information on SSAIC counselling services, click here.
For more information on our support services for victims of sexual assault, click here.
For more information on how to support victims of sexual assault, click here.