Levels of Sexual Assault in Canada

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).


References

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


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missINFORMED is a national non-profit designed to provide health education & to promote informed advocacy, through evidence-based teachings and by centring the lived experiences of womxn and gender diverse folx.

missINFORMED primarily operates on the traditional land belonging to the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral Peoples as well as the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We acknowledge that our actions contribute to the land we live on, and as such we are tasked to be caretakers of this land and the people that inhabit it. On behalf of the individuals of immigrant and settler Canadian descent who are present on our team, we acknowledge that our positions on health, and our accessibility to healthcare, have been largely shaped by our own lived experiences which encompass many privileges. We are committed to continually evaluate & decolonize our practices, and doing our best to incorporate the lived experiences of the land defenders and protectors within our work. We plan to use our platform to be inclusive of all womxn who call the geographical confines of what is currently known as Canada, home, and hope to build our organization to represent and support womxn of all identities including but not limited to queer, trans, two-spirit, and non-binary folx, as well as those that identify as Black, Indigenous, or Womxn of Colour. As an organization, we will try our utmost best to ensure that only individuals with lived experiences are speaking on behalf of their communities, while still recognizing that communities of colour and the LGBTQ2S+ community, are not a monolith. While each member of missINFORMED brings their own experiences, education and expertise, we are always motivated to keep learning and to keep expanding our repertoire and knowledge capacity. We hope that through this platform, we can build an inclusive, diverse and equitable community of empowered and informed womxn.

Womxn, in our use of the word, refers to those who identify as cis or trans women, folx assigned female at birth and those who are comfortable in a space that centres on the experiences of women. Gender diverse folx are welcome in our space and we hope to provide them with the necessary health resources to inform and educate their decisions. 

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