Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Procedure
If this is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.
Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the victim and involves a range of behaviours from any unwanted touching to penetration. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to, or is incapable of consenting to.
Sexual violence is a broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This violence takes different forms including sexual abuse and sexual assault.
Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault:
- Silence or non-communication must never be interpreted as consent and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot consent.
- A person is incapable of giving consent if they are asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
- A person who has been threatened or coerced into engaging in the sexual activity is not consenting to it.
- A person who is drugged is unable to consent.
- A person may be unable to give consent they have a mental disability.
- The fact that consent was given in the past to a sexual or dating relationship does not mean that consent is deemed to exist for all future sexual activity.
- A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
- A person is incapable of giving consent to a person in a position of trust, power or authority.
- It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement.