Sexual Violence

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, 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.


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 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
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