In Canada, sexual assault is the legal term used to refer to any form of unwanted sexual contact. Forced and unwanted kissing, fondling, sexual intercourse, anal intercourse and oral sex are all examples of sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a crime. The Criminal Code of Canada states a sexual assault occurs when:
- a person intentionally “applies force” to another person;
- this is done without the victim’s consent or voluntary agreement; and
- sexual activity is involved.
If consent is obtained through intimidation, pressure, coercion, force, or threats of force – this is not voluntary consent and a sexual assault may have occurred. Consent is also not given if:
- it is given by someone else
- the person is unconscious, drunk, stoned, or sleeping
- it is an abuse of power, trust, or authority
- a person says no, or their words or behavior implies they mean no
- a person changes their or his mind
Sexual assaults can result in physical, emotional and psychological harm. Trust, vulnerability, and intimacy are seriously impacted when a person is sexually assaulted. Sexual violence can happen in any relationship when one person has the potential to have power and control over another.
If you believe you have been sexually assaulted and you wish to know how the police can assist you, please contact the police service closest to you or the police service where the assault occurred. If you are considering reporting this sexual assault to the police and would like to know what you can expect from the criminal justice system please refer to the Alberta government`s Victims of Crime Protocol.
If you have been sexually assaulted and have reported this assault to the police, you may be:
- eligible to apply for Financial Benefits for Victims of Crime
- able to make a Request for Restitution
- eligible to complete a Victim Impact Statements
If you would like more information regarding any of the topics listed below, please contact Lethbridge Corridor Victim Services at (403) 329-5042. We would be pleased to be of assistance to you.
- Distress line
- Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services
- Crisis Intervention Team
- Sexual Health Centre