May is Sexual Assault Awareness month

Sexual Violence is a crime that deeply impacts entire communities. We need everyone’s help to stop the cycle, so during Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Ottawa Police will focus on education, awareness and prevention.

Sexual Assault is most commonly committed by someone the victim knows. While stranger sexual assaults do occur, a person is more likely to be sexually assaulted by a partner, co-worker, acquaintance, person in authority or family member.

It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Regardless of the circumstances, a sexual assault is the fault of the person who commits the crime.

Sexual Assault is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. It is any assault of a sexual nature that violates a person’s sexual integrity. It includes unwanted touching, kissing, hugging, molestation or penetration.  Groping is just as much a sexual assault as any other form of non consensual sexual activity and they are all crimes.

Quite simply, there are three things everyone should know about consent:

  • Silence is not consent;
  • A person who is unconscious/incapacitated cannot give consent; and
  • Getting consent once doesn’t mean you have consent for future sexual activity.

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence is encouraged to contact police or community sexual assault resources for assistance.

The Ottawa Police also has a sexual assault survivor guide located here.

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