What is Sexual Assault? (TW)

What is Sexual Assault? (TW)

What is Sexual Assault (S.A.)? Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another. Sexual assault is NEVER OK and if it’s happened to you, know it’s not your fault. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing or what you were doing no one should ever be Sexually Assaulted. Sexual Assault is an act of violence, committed by a person in order to feel power over another person. This assault can come in any form. Many cases are not reported. Sexual Assault includes any unwanted touching of a sexual nature such as kissing, fondling, oral sex or intercourse, including:

  • Sexual touching of any kind that is unwanted or coerced, including kissing or groping
  • Rape means being forced to have vaginal, oral or anal intercourse against your will or without your full consent
  • Other forms of sexual violence include sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and unwanted sexting
  • Forcible sodomy—anal or oral sex against a person’s will
  • Forcible object penetration—penetrating someone’s vagina or anus, or causing that person to penetrate her or himself, against that person’s will
  • Marital rape
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Sexual contact with minors, whether consensual or not
  • Incest (Sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion between family members)
  • Any unwanted or coerced sexual contact

Always know that Sexual Assault is NEVER your fault, it’s the attacker’s fault. The attacker will try and convince you that it was your fault, so they might say things like “They were asking for it, look at what they’re wearing, “etc.

Sexual Assault isn’t always violent, and if you say no or don’t say anything at all, and the person continues, it’s sexual assault because you never gave your permission.

Sexual Assault isn’t always about sex, because sex without consent is an act of violence and aggression, it’s not about love and respect. Someone who cares about you will not force you to do anything sexual without your permission.

What Are You Feeling After You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted? Sexual Assault can be very traumatizing and scary, and it can cause serious things like:

  • shock
  • self-blame
  • shame
  • anger
  • depression
  • fear and anxiety
  • trouble eating
  • difficulties with sleep (including bad dreams)
  • flashbacks
  • mood swings

What Do You Do After You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted?

Get help or find support immediately. Many communities have sexual assault or crisis lines that allow you to talk to someone about what you’re feeling. You can also talk to family, friends, teachers, counsellors or someone else you trust. If you’re comfortable, you may choose to contact the police. Getting help, including contacting the police, is your decision. If you’ve been sexually assaulted and are thinking about reporting it, here are some things to remember:

  • After you have been Sexually Assaulted it is recommended you don’t bathe or change your clothes until you’ve gone to the hospital for an examination.
  • Its very important if you go to the hospital after you’ve been sexually assaulted so the staff can see if you have been physically assaulted.
  • It can be helpful to go to the hospital because the staff can look for physical evidence in case you decide to press charges against the attacker.
  • Hospital staff can talk to you about testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy, if needed.
  • You can call a local sexual assault or crisis line. You can find their numbers online or search Resources Around Me for more information.

REMEMBER: Sexual Assault is not your fault and no one has the right to touch you sexually without your permission.

SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE: 1-800-656-4673