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.
Most sexual assaults are committed by someone we know. Whether if it happened recently or historically, we here for support. You do not have to be a York student to access our services.
Sexual assault is about power, not attraction. It occurs in all kinds of relationships, and anyone can be assaulted. No one ever deserves to be assaulted.
Sexual assault occurs when consent is absent. When absent, it is a criminal offense under Canadian law. Consent is expressed permission, agreement, and approval that is freely given. 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. This means that consent must be an active process, without the influence of coercion. One should never assume consent.
University can be be great place to learn, make friends, and create new memories. No matter how much you drink, no matter what you choose to wear NO MEANS NO. Consent should be given enthusiastically and willingly. Consent can be retracted at anytime and the need to clarify consent is ongoing – i.e if someone has kissing, it does not mean they have consented to sex. If someone is drunk or under the influence drugs, they cannot legally consent to engaging in any form of sexual activity.
After an assault, there are many possible reactions you might experience. These could include anxiety, anger, depression, insomnia, self-blame, physical symptoms, denial, decreased sex drive, numbness, or eating disorders, to name a few. These conditions may be brief or they may persist for months or 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. Please know that we are here to support you, and help in any way we can. Call us to explore your options.
- • 80% of sexual assaults occur at home
- • 49% occur in broad daylight
- • According to Stats Canada, Indigenous women are more than three times more at risk of experiencing sexual violence than non- Indigenous women
- • 51% of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence
- • One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives
- • Persons with disabilities are 1.5 to 5 times more at risk of experiencing sexual abuse and assault than persons without disabilities
- • 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