No! Nobody has ever asked to be sexually assaulted, ever. In fact, believing the victim has any kind of fault in the situation at all is called victim blaming and it’s not cool. The abuser is the only one to blame in this situation, regardless of circumstances.
Yes! Here at SASS, we will never force you to report your assault. We are here to help you heal and overcome by matching you with the right counsellor to meet your needs.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell for sure. You should however, keep an eye out for warning signs. Warning signs may be noticed as excessive sexual jokes, rude sexual comments, asking you repeatedly for sex, following you or staying close by. If you know this person has assaulted someone else before don’t assume they won’t do it again. Always be cautious as there may not always be behavioural cues.
There is no set time required to report however, reporting a sexual assault within the first 72 hours will increase your chances of proving your case.
Services offered at Sexual Assault Support Services for Women of SDG&A are free of charge, available in both English and French and completely confidential.
Sexual assault is a traumatic event, we do not have control over how our bodies will react. Our mind and body will react with a stress response which is either fight, flight, or freeze. Assuming that a victim was okay with the sexual act because she did not fight back or say no is part of the reason so many victims are afraid to come forward. Unless the abuser was given consent every step of the way, it’s sexual assault.
You can report a sexual assault by calling 911, the operator will keep you on the line to ensure your safety and guide the police to your location. The police will then take your statement and ensure your well-being. The officer may suggest you attend ASAP for a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit to be performed although this is your choice and is in no way mandatory. Victim Services will typically attend with the police as well to provide you with resources to keep you safe. You will also have the option to fill out a Victim Impact Statement to be used in court to speak on your behalf.
Sexual violence is often thought of as rape, but it is so much more than that. It can be anything of a sexual nature you do not consent to. This includes but is not limited to:
Unfortunately, more than 80% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows personally. This can be a friend, family member, neighbour, co-worker or even your partner. Whether you are dating or married, if your partner does not have your consent for any sexual acts, it is still assault.
Everyone. It can happen to literally anyone regardless of their age, gender, relationship status, sexual orientation, geographical location, financial status, etc. However, it has been shown that women have an increased risk of sexual assault with 1 in every 3 women having experienced sexual violence in their life.
Should you choose to report, your case will be brought to court where the Crown Attorney will do their best to prove your case. In this situation, a victim impact statement would be very helpful. SASS may also accompany you to court if needed to offer you support as it can be a difficult process to face alone. The court or police will likely put a no contact order in place as part of the offender’s conditions and depending on the judge’s decision of guilty or not guilty the offender may go to prison. Should the offender be found not guilty the no contact order will likely still be in place for set period of time to protect you.