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SexualAssault

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is not only forced intercourse. Sexual assault can be ANY unwanted sexual contact including kissing or being touched against your will.

Sexual assault can happen to you no matter who you are or what you are wearing or doing. You can be sexually assaulted at a party, in an alley, on the bus or even at home. You can be assaulted by a stranger, by an acquaintance, by a partner or by someone you have known all your life.

Have you been sexually assaulted?  Do you know someone who has been sexually assaulted?  If so, you are not alone. This page provides information that can help.

What is sexual assault?

  • Sexual assault can be ANY unwanted sexual touching or kissing. Sexual assault is not just forced vaginal intercourse.

Could I experience sexual assault?

  • ANYONE can experience sexual assault, regardless of gender, age, sexual identity, cultural or ethnic background or any other factors.
  • Most people who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know.

How does it feel to be sexually assaulted?

  • There is no right way to feel if you have been sexually assaulted. You may feel scared, angry, sad, shameful, powerless, guilty, numb or hysterical.
  • You may not feel anything at first and then feel upset and angry later.
  • It is normal to be confused about how you should feel.
  • With the right support, you won’t always feel this way.

What do I do if I have been sexually assaulted?

  • If you have been sexually assaulted or know someone who has, contact any of the resources listed below for support.
  • All services are private and confidential. They won’t call the police or hospital unless you ask them to.
  • These services will comfort you and help you find medical care or file a police report if you choose to.
  • You will be able to talk to them right away and they will be there later for ongoing support.

Sexual assault resources in Toronto

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (link to www.trccmwar.ca)

  • 416.597.8808
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Confidential.

Assaulted Women’s Helpline (link to http://www.awhl.org/)

  • Toll free: 1.800.863.0511, TTY 1.866.863.7868
  • Local: 416.863.0511, TTY 416.364.8762
  • 154 languages. 24/7. Confidential.

Should I involve the police?

  • Reporting sexual assault is your choice. If you are not sure, a sexual assault centre (see list below) can help you explore your options.
  • If you choose to report the assault you can call the police by dialling 911 or contact your local police department. It is never too late to report an assault, even years later.
  • If you choose not to report the assault you can still seek support from a sexual assault centre.

What type of support can I get from sexual assault resources?

  • · Sexual assault resources, such as sexual assault treatment centres, can:
    • Provide medical attention like injury treatment, emergency contraception, etc.
    • Gather evidence within 72 hours of the assault and hold it for you while you make up your mind about your next steps.
    • Assist you to contact police or file a police report.
    • Help you come up with a safety plan for the future.
    • Connect you with other services.

How do I provide physical evidence of an assault?

  • Try not to have a bath, shower or remove your clothes after a sexual assault.
  • Evidence is best if it is collected within 72 hours (3 days) of an assault.

How can I find a sexual assault treatment centre?

  • You can find a centre near you by visiting the websites listed below.