Sexual assault is NEVER your fault!
ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT
- Sexual assault is any sexual activity that happens without your consent. Sexual assault is also referred to as rape. Any form of sexual contact without a person’s consent, including the threat of sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. It includes anything from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse.
- Sexual Assault is an act of violence.
- Sexual assault knows no boundaries with respect to age, race, religion, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation.
- Most survivors of sexual assault are women.
- Most offenders are male. The offender may be a husband, boyfriend, partner, acquaintance, boss, co-worker, date or stranger.
- Sexual assault is a crime in Canada and we support and encourage a criminal justice system response.
Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time for every type of activity. Consenting to one activity, one time, does not mean someone gives consent for other activities or for the same activity on other occasions.
You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. One way to do this is to clearly communicate to your partner that you are no longer comfortable with this activity and wish to stop.
Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious. If someone agrees to an activity under pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given.
A person who is under the age of sixteen cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is five or more years older than them. A person who is under the age of fourteen years cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is two or more years old than them. In any case, a person in authority cannot use consent as a defence of having sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen.