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What’s a sexual assault ?

A sexual assault is a forced sexual act with or without contact…

  • done by one or more persons;
  • done without the consent of the victim often through manipulation or extortion and sometime includes violence and threats;
  • Is an act of power and dominance over the victim.

There is more than one type of sexual assault :

  • Aggression through intoxication: When there is voluntary or involuntary consumption of drugs or alcohol, the consent to participate in a sexual activity is not necessarily valid. In fact, if you are under the influence of x substances, your consent isn’t valid. Also, having a drug put in your drink (date rape drug) is absolutely illegal and negates consent.
  • Sexual assault on a teen or a child : It is illegal to commit sexual acts on a teenager or a child or to ask a teen or child to perform sexual gestures of any kind (masturbation, touch, getting undressed etc…).
  • Sexual assault of people with disabilities or who are in a vulnerable position : Since sexual assault is an act of power and dominance, people with disabilities or, for example, the elderly are also at risk. Indeed, the fact that these people are often in a situation of dependency and constantly need the help of others can make them more vulnerable to sexual assaults.
  • Collective sexual assault : A victim can be assaulted by more than one offender.
  • Multiple sexual assaults : A person may have experienced many sexual assaults in her life with the same or different aggressors.
  • Sexual assault by a husband or partner: Assault can happen in a relationship if the partner commits behaviors or actions that the woman or girl did not consent to. For instance, if your boyfriend wants to have sexual interscourse but you don’t want to and he still continues, he commits a sexual assault.
  • Obscene calls : Telephone calls that intimidate or scare someone with their sexual content are a form of assault.
  • Unwanted sexual touching: Unwanted touching involves someone touching you with his body or with an object in order to attain a sexual activity. If a person touches your breasts or your vagina with his body parts or a bottle or other object, for example, it’s a crime.
  • Sexual exploitation or sex trafficking : If someone asks you any sexual activity in exchange of money, benefits or material possessions, you may be engaging in prostitution or pornography.  If you are being forced or held prisoner in order to engage in such activities, it’s sex trafficking.
  • Exhibitionism ; If a person masturbates  in public where strangers can see him, his acts are a form of exhibitionism.
  • Frotteurism : This type of sex crime involves a person rubbing his genitals on another person’s genitals or on his body. It is often observable in public places such as the metro, the bus, in bars, etc.
  • Incitations to sexual contact : If someone pressures you to touch him, touch another person or yourself, you are being incited to sexual contact.
  • Incest : In incest, the sexual aggressor has a blood relationship or a position of responsibility with the victim. It can be a parent, grandparent, step-father, etc.
  • Sexual harassment : Sexual harassment includes all the action or words that have a sexual content and make you feel uncomfortable. Examples of this can be ‘’cat calls’’, being whistled on the street, inappropriate flirting, comments on your appearance by a colleague, that make you feel vulnerable or threatened.
  • Juvenile pornography : Owning, producing and selling sexual pictures or videos of teens and children under the age of 18 years old are crimes.
  • Voyeurism : Stalking a person without her noticing in order to see her in her intimacy violates her privacy. For example, a person doesn’t have the right to look at you without your consent while you are changing, taking a shower, etc.

***All forms of sexual assault are a crime.***