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Levels of Sexual Assault in Canada

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

If you are in immediate danger, please dial 9-1-1. If in Nunavut, call your local RCMP detachment. See local numbers by clicking here.

Content warning: sexual assault

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 women who have experienced sexual assault or have reported sexual assault to police, especially the experiences of BIPOC, disabled, and LGBTQ2S+ folks.

As a research team member, I am committed to using my research and writing skills to contribute to helping all women access public health information - a right that all women 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 women 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+ folks are disproportionately impacted by sexual assault and are treated differently within the criminal justice system than white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender women. Since women 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 folks 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).

Please click here to learn the process on how to report a sexual assault in Canada

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1. Brennan S & Taylor-Butts A. Sexual assault in Canada: 2004 and 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics; Statistics Canada. 2008 Dec. Available from:

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