There are many resources available to help and to make the process easier, we have consolidated some of them in this section. If you are unable to find the answer you were looking for, please Contact Us.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is any unwanted contact of a sexual nature perpetrated on a person by others regardless of gender. Non-consensual physical contact can range from sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse. The gravity of the assault can be elevated by: having a position of trust or authority over the victim, the use of physical force, the use of a weapon, assault by more than one assailant at a time, and physical wounding or bodily harm.

How do I know if I was sexually assaulted?

Many people are unsure if what happened to them was rape or sexual assault. Some believe that since they are married to the person or have a sexual relationship with a person, that it cannot be rape. This is not true.

Sexual assault is any uninvited sexual activity including but not limited to vaginal, anal, and oral penetration, or sexual touching.

It’s important to note that no circumstances can change this. It is still sexual assault even if:

  • You were drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • You were sleeping
  • You can’t remember it happening
  • You didn’t resist
  • You are married to the person
  • You have a current or past sexual history with a person.
  • You didn’t say no (in Ontario, consent now requires both parties saying “yes”)

If the person did not consent to sexual activity – or if the person cannot legally consent to sexual activity due to circumstances including age (i.e. a minor) or diminished capacity – then any sexual activity including sexual touching is sexual assault.

If you are not sure whether it was a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay and talk to a worker, or refer to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood Sexual Abuse is an umbrella term which refers to a number of sexual offences perpetrated upon children. This can range from inappropriate sexual touching to sexual intercourse. It can occur between people of different genders or those of the same gender.

For further information, please contact the Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay and talk to a worker, or refer to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any behaviour, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that could be considered objectionable or offensive.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, sexual harassment includes: repeated sexual remarks or physical contact that are degrading; sexual advances or invitations made by a person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to another; and threats or reprisals against the person who rejected the sexual advance. Almost exclusively, it is men who sexually harass women although it can occur between people of the same gender.

Sexual harassment occurs not only in the workplace, but also on the street, at home, and in the classroom. The sexual harasser may be a supervisor, a co-worker, a landlord, a client, a customer, an acquaintance, a neighbour, or a stranger.

Read the Ontario Human Rights Code for further clarification.

How to Deal With Life After Abuse

Information about recognizing and processing triggers, and setting personal boundaries can be accessed below.

Processing TriggersPersonal Boundaries