WORKING FOR CHANGE
SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTRE
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
the main difference between sex and sexual assault:CONSENT
when power and control is taken away from a participant, that sense of powerlessness
extends into the rest of their lives.
2001 - 1 in 5 surveyed at the u of a were survivors of sexual assault
1 in 3 females, 1 in 6 males
media is fraught with misconceptions of sexual assault.
when we do hear about sexual assault it is often
RAPE, MALE, STRANGER
we often hear that it happens because of miscommunications.
survivor is typically portrayed as female
we often hear the survivor was drinking, doing something 'dangerous' ie dressing
provocatively, walking alone at night, leading someone on, 'doing something to ask for
'rape' was dropped from the criminal code in canada back in 1983
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS ANY FORM OF SEXUAL CONTACT WITHOUT
forced or unwanted kissing, fondling, oral penetration, vaginal or anal penitration.
sexual assault is a much better term because of its inclusivity
the idea of perpetrator of abnormal creepy stranger driving in a van
in reality, this is not the case.
93% of offenders are ACQUAINTANCES
MALES ARE NOT OFTEN SHOWN AS VICTIMS, BUT 1 IN 6 MEN ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
people don't think it is men because they think of them as always wanting sex and too
strong to be coerced. also, doesn't a man need an erection? there are many sexual
assaults where a man doesn't need an erection.
also, there are natural physiological responses to touch. it makes it difficult to
identify unwanted sexual content as such when the natural physiological processes take
87% in perpetrators in sexual assault against males are males.
- most of these offenders are heterosexual
perpetrators might get off during an assualt but it is not sexual so much as powerful.
they get off on gaining power. sexual activity can be used as a tool to assualt someone just as much as it can be
used to enjoy oneself.
consent is voluntary. consent obtained through coercion is not voluntary.
when people think of force they don't think of coercion. they think physical violence.
not taking no
threats / intimidation
when someone is experiencing coercion they might start BARGAINING DOWN.
this does not mean they wanted to do the less traumatic thing. it is still sexual
assault. the power of coercion makes the survivor wonder if they did consent after
CONSENT IS NOT VALID IF:
1. SOMEONE ELSE SAYS YES
2. IF A PERSON ABUSES A POSITION OF TRUST, POWER, OR AUTHORITY
i.e. teacher, police, employers, babysitters, coaches, clergy, etc.
3. ONE PERSON DOES NOT SAY YES, OR SAYS OR IMPLIES NO THROUGH WORDS OF
i.e. freezing up, pushing back, making excuses, crying, trying to leave. shock reactions tend to be
4. ONE PERSON IS INCAPABLE OF GIVING CONSENT
i.e. sleeping, drunk, high. there is a clear difference between drunk consentual sex and assault. two
kinds of drunk sexual assault: bodily cues indicating no, or too drunk to know what they are doing.
*the myth that if you are drinking and you are sexually assaulted it is your fault—this implies that if
you drink you want to be sexually assaulted. we don't reprimand all the others drinking that night
and say what were you doing out drinking, when they aren't assaulted. we only do this after people
are assaulted. not drinking will not guarantee someone will not be sexually assaulted.
5. ONE PERSON CHANGES THEIR MIND
i.e. before or during
*there is no miscommunication in sexual assault. we are all capable of telling whether someone
wants us to stop. nonperpetrators see those cues and try to stop.
no means no is problematic beca