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About Sexualized Violence

Sexualized violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act (touching, verbal, and physical intimidation) directed against a person’s sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression, including use of coercion or under circumstances in which consent cannot be given (e.g. alcohol or drug intoxication), by any person regardless of their relationship to the individual in any setting.

Sexualized violence is part of a spectrum that may include sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual coercion, sexual cyber-bullying, stalking, indecent exposure, threats, voyeurism, and sexual exploitation.

You can speak to the SVREC and get support no matter what words you choose to describe your experience. Many people are not ready to name their experience as sexualized violence. Some people never choose to use this language, and that’s okay. If you have experienced harm and feel like our office could help you, you can always find support with us no matter what labels feel right to you or if you prefer not to label your experience at all. We will never pressure you to use language or terms that do not feel comfortable. We will always honour your right to tell your story in your own way. You deserve support no matter what.

Myths About Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is often misunderstood or misrepresented in popular culture. Myths include:

  • Sexual assault is always committed by a stranger.
  • If the victim did not fight back, it was not sexual assault.
  • Agreeing to kiss or participate in foreplay means agreement to have sexual intercourse.
  • If you let someone buy you dinner or pay for a movie or drinks, you owe that person sex.
  • "I was too drunk to know what I was doing; I can't be found guilty of sexual assault."