Sexual Assault
[vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]SEXUAL ASSAULT is defined as sexual contact with another person without that other person’s consent.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2122″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_border”][vc_tta_accordion gap=”3″ c_icon=”triangle” c_position=”right” active_section=”1″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”What is Sexual Assault?” tab_id=”1469486440874-8532f1dc-4dd7″][vc_column_text]o-sexual-assault-canada-570Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence that includes rape (such as forced penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse or torture of someone in a sexual manner. Sexual assault is an unwanted attack that violates the sexual integrity of the person being assaulted and can occur without warning, anywhere, anytime. Studies indicate that most victims know their assailants.


Legal Age of Consent in Canada

A person who is under the age of sixteen cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is five or more years older than them. A person who is under the age of fourteen years cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is two or more years older than them. In any case, a person in authority cannot use consent as a defense of having sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen.

Sexual assault can have far reaching impacts on a person’s emotional, social and physical well-being. A person may want to present to a physician or healthcare facility following a sexual assault to get treatment for injuries, potential infections or pregnancy. In some cases with the consent of the person who was sexually assaulted, forensic evidence can be collected to be used for legal purposes. This can be discussed with the physician who is assessing a person following a sexual assault.

Call for Support Services (Big Country Victim Services  |  SARC)[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”What if it Happens?” tab_id=”1469484483193-24da930f-a06b”][vc_column_text]

If you have been sexually assaulted, assistance is available and you should seek help immediately.


Call the Police 911 (Oyen RCMP)

The first step is to call the police who can take you to the hospital. If you wish, ask a friend or relative go with you.

To help the police gather and protect necessary evidence for their investigation, it is best not to clean or move any items at the scene, wash, change your clothes or even comb your hair.

You should not consume any alcohol, drugs or medication.


Go to the Hospital (Big Country Hospital / Oyen Medical Clinic)

Once you are at the hospital, tell the person in charge exactly what happened to you.

Some hospitals have sexual assault units with specially trained people to help you.

If you have been sexually assaulted, assistance is available and you should seek help immediately.


Call for Support Services (Big Country Victim Services  |  SCARC)

Help is available through police or community-based victim services programs.

A victim services worker can provide assistance.

If you are not referred for assistance, ask the investigating police officer to put you in contact with a victim services program.

You may also want to call the crisis line or Sexual Assault Centre in your community. Trained counsellors are usually available to provide you with support 24 hours a day.


Write Down What Happened

It is important that you write down everything you can remember about the incident as soon as possible.

Your written record will be valuable for the police investigation and may be used for court evidence.

The following checklist will help you to record all you can about your assailant including vital details such as:[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

  • age
  • hair/colour/cut
  • beard/mustache
  • complexion
  • weapon
  • coat

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

  • shoes
  • mannerisms
  • voice
  • height/weight
  • type of hair
  • eyes/eyeglasses

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

  • visible scars
  • shirt
  • trousers
  • methods of escape/direction
  • vehicle description
  • license plate

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Myths and Realities” tab_id=”1469486160698-605a810b-948c”][vc_column_text]Myth #1: Only certain types of women get sexually assaulted. It could never happen to me or someone I know.

Reality: Anyone can be sexually assaulted. Women and men from the very young to the elderly; people of all ethnicities; socioeconomic levels; and all sexual orientations are susceptible to sexual assault.


Myth #2: Rapes are committed by strangers at night in dark alleys. 

Reality: Most rapes are committed by someone the woman knows and at any time of day or night. Women are raped most commonly in their own homes.


Myth #3: Men who sexually assault are “psychos.” 

Reality: Men who sexually assault are mostly ordinary, everyday guys. Only a tiny percentage of men who sexually assault would be considered clinically insane by standard psychiatric criteria. The vast majority are indistinguishable from your friends.


Myth #4: Men rape women because they are sexually aroused or have been sexually deprived. 

Reality: The motives for rape are complex and varied but often include hostility against women in general, the desire to exert power and control, the desire to humiliate and degrade, and in some cases, the desire to inflict pain.


Myth #5: Men can’t be sexually assaulted. 

Reality: Men can be and are sexually assaulted. Their attackers are usually other males.


Myth #6: Women provoke sexual assault by the way they dress or the way they flirt. 

Reality: Men sexually assault women because they can get away with it. Women’s dress and behavior are not the cause. Sexual assault is an expression of power and control. A man might justify his assault by pointing to the woman’s behavior, but that is an excuse rather than a reason.


Myth #7: Women lie about being sexually assaulted or use it to get even with their boyfriends. 

Reality: Women do not lie about being sexually assaulted with anymore frequency than men or women lie about any other crime. Survivors do not normally lie about being raped. Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime of all.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Law” tab_id=”1473284594040-d34d804d-189c”][vc_column_text]o-sexual-assault-canada-570Assault means the intentional use of force against the victim’s will. Examples of assault include touching, slapping, kicking, punching or pushing. It is also an assault to threaten to use force.

It is not always possible to fight back and a lack of resistance does not mean you consented to the assault.

If you did fight back, you will not be charged with assault provided you did not use more force than necessary to fight off an attacker.

The Criminal Code of Canada has identified three levels of sexual assault based on the degree of force used.

Sexual assault – occurs if you have been kissed, fondled or forced to have intercourse without your consent. It is a crime because it happened without your permission.

Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm – happens if you are sexually assaulted by someone who has a weapon or imitation weapon and threatens to use it; the offender threatens to harm a third person, a child or friend, if you do not consent to a sexual act; the offender causes you harm; or more than one person assaults you in the same incident.

Aggravated sexual assault – takes place if you are wounded, maimed, disfigured, beaten, or in danger of losing your life while being sexually assaulted.


What to Expect with Reporting

It is natural that a variety of questions will arise at the outset of police investigations into cases of sexual assault. Here are some of those questions, along with answers for the common concerns you might share:

Will the police ask me a lot of questions?

Yes. It is the duty of the police to collect all the evidence they can. They are concerned about you, enforcing the law and finding your attacker.

Is a medical examination necessary?

You should obtain medical attention as quickly as possible. The examination will ensure that you receive prompt and thorough treatment. It will also allow the doctor to conduct tests and obtain samples for use in court.

Can I go to the hospital without calling the police?

Yes, however, calling the police should be your first step.

Will the police want to keep my clothing?

The police may need to keep your clothing for evidence. They may suggest that you arrange for someone to bring you some other clothes from home.

Will I have to be photographed?

Photographs are used as evidence of sexual assault. The police may want to take pictures of your injuries at the hospital or later at the police station.

Why do I have to go to the police station?

After your medical examination, you will be asked to go to the police station to make a statement, which is a record of your complaint.

If you are not well enough to go to the police station, other arrangements will be made for you.

Your statement includes everything you can remember about being sexually assaulted.

The police will want to know as much detail as possible as your statement is the basis of their investigation.

They will ask you to write out what you told them or they will type up the conversation.

You will then be asked to read and sign your statement.

Before you leave the police station, ask the police officers for their names and phone numbers. You may want to call them about details you forgot to give them or you may have questions that later come to mind.

You may also want to ask them for a Victim Impact Statement form, which will provide you with an opportunity to have input at the time of sentencing.

Will I still be involved in the police investigation?

Yes. As soon as possible, the police will go to the scene of the assault to gather necessary evidence. They may ask you to be there.

If you do not know who attacked you, the police may also ask that you look at photos of people, view a lineup of people or describe your attacker’s features to a police artist.

Yes. It is never too late to report a crime.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space][vc_btn title=”SUPPORT SERVICES: SEXUAL ASSAULT” style=”3d” size=”lg” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:%2Fproject%2Fsexual-assault-support%2F|||”][vc_empty_space][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”I NEED HELP” style=”3d” size=”lg” align=”left” button_block=”true” link=”url:%2Fi-need-help%2F|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”HELP A FRIEND” style=”3d” size=”lg” align=”left” button_block=”true” link=”url:%2Fhelp-a-friend%2F|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_text_separator title=”+ Relationship Quiz” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”2977″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://areyouok.org.nz/i-need-help/positive-relationship-quiz/” css=”.vc_custom_1473807504589{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”Codependency?” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3010″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://chealth.canoe.com/Channel/Addiction/Understandingaddiction/Codependency” css=”.vc_custom_1473807513707{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”Power & Control” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3011″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://www.theduluthmodel.org/pdf/powerandcontrol.pdf” css=”.vc_custom_1473807521794{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”Real Stories” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3012″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://www.dvrcv.org.au/stories/anns-story” css=”.vc_custom_1474236782474{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”Self Care Tips” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3013″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://wewillspeakout.us/5-self-care-tips-for-survivors-of-emotional-abuse/” css=”.vc_custom_1473807538985{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”Information Guide for Victims of Sexual Assault” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3334″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://www.solgps.alberta.ca/programs_and_services/victim_services/help_for_victims/Publications/Information%20Guide%20for%20Sexual%20Assault%20Victims.pdf” css=”.vc_custom_1473807547865{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][vc_text_separator title=”ACE: How Trauma Can Affect You” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_right”][vc_single_image image=”3666″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_outline” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://vimeo.com/139998006″ css=”.vc_custom_1476460552690{margin-top: -10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]