Updated: 4 days ago
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Content warning: sexual assault
Written by Brittany Pompilii, BA (Hons)
My name is Brittany Pompilii, and my pronouns are she/her. I reside on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabewaki, Attiwonderonk, Mississauga, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations peoples. This land is currently known as Niagara, Ontario. As the author of this post, I acknowledge that my privilege, and therefore my experiences, inform my perspectives on sexual violence, the criminal justice system, and reporting sexual assault. I want to acknowledge that my privilege has provided me safety and protection within the criminal justice system across my life as a white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender woman. I do not intend to speak on behalf of all womxn who have experienced sexual assault or have reported sexual assault to police, especially the experiences of BIPOC, disabled, and LGBTQ2S+ folx.
As a research team member, I am committed to using my research and writing skills to contribute to helping all womxn access public health information - a right that all womxn are entitled to yet do not always receive. I hope that one day, the public health system represents all peoples’ experiences and treats all people equitably. Until that day, I hope to continue advocating for womxn and their health and safety in any way I can.
Lastly, as you read this post, please keep in mind that previous research indicates that BIPOC, disabled, and LGBTQ2S+ folx are disproportionately impacted by sexual assault and are treated differently within the criminal justice system than white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender womxn. Since womxn who identify as BIPOC, disabled, and/or LGBTQ2S+ do not fit the criminal justice system’s view of an ‘ideal victim’ of sexual assault, these folx are often dismissed, trivialized, and treated unfairly during sexual assault reporting processes for any level of sexual assault.
If you would like more information about Sexual Assault Evidence Kits (i.e. rape kits), please read our FAQ here.
For more information about how to report sexual assault in Canada, please read our FAQ here.
In Canada, there are varying degrees of sexual assault that can be summarized into three levels (1).
1. Brennan S & Taylor-Butts A. Sexual assault in Canada: 2004 and 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics; Statistics Canada. 2008 Dec. Available from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2008019-eng.pdf?st=WHBV2NES