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Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is an act of violence which occurs when any form of sexual contact is forced upon another person without that person's consent, including the threat of sexual contact.

Sexual assault can range from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse. It can involve situations where agreement to sexual activity is obtained by someone abusing a position of trust, power and authority. Sexual assault is a crime, whatever the past or present relationship between the people involved might be. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, help is available through victim services and other resources.

For more information about Sexual Assault, see the Help Starts Here infosheet

What to do next?

  • If the sexual assault has just occurred, go to a safe place.
  • If you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical attention, contact the police or ambulance services, by calling 911 or the emergency number for your community.
  • If you want to report to the police and the situation is not urgent (e.g., the sexual assault is not recent, you are not in danger), call the non-emergency number for police in your community.
  • If you are hesitant or worried about calling the police, contact VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 to find a victim service program nearest you for confidential and anonymous support and help.
  • Tell someone you trust what happened. If a friend or family member can provide emotional support or help you in practical ways, ask for help.
  • Go to a hospital, a walk-in clinic, or your doctor for a medical examination and treatment as soon as possible after a sexual assault. Even if the sexual assault is not recent, it may be important to go for a checkup.
  • If you have questions about a sexual assault, or your rights, don’t hesitate to ask a victim service worker.


What resources are available?

VictimLink BC

VictimLink BC is a toll-free 24/7 information and support line that provides information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse. VictimLink BC provides service in 110 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages.

VictimLink BC can provide information for such services as:

  • Transition and Safe Homes: temporary shelter for women and their children who are fleeing abuse.
  • Second-stage Houses: longer-term housing following a stay in a transition or safe home.
  • Outreach Services: provides supportive counselling, information and referrals, and accompaniment and transportation to other necessary services.
  • Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling: helps children who have witnessed abuse heal from the trauma and learn about healthy relationships.
  • Stopping the Violence Counselling: helps women who have experienced assault or abuse deal with the trauma of the experience.
  • Phone: toll free 1-800-563-0808, 24 hours every day
  • TTY (Teletypewriter): through Information Services Vancouver TTY service at (604) 875-0885 (collect calls accepted)
  • Multilingual

Crime Victim Assistance Program

Crime Victim Assistance Program provides financial benefits to assist victims, immediate family members, and witnesses in dealing with the affects of violent crime.

Victim Safety Unit

Victim Safety Unit allows victims of crime and persons protected by a Family Relations Act restraining order to register for ongoing notification about the status of an adult accused/offender and financial assistance to travel to justice proceedings.

British ColumbiaSociety for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse

The British Columbia Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse is a non-profit society, established to provide therapeutic services for males who have been sexually abused at some time in their lives.

Qmunity Resource Centre

Qmunity Resource Centre provides counselling, resources, programs and peer support to the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual communities.  Qmunity also operates Prideline, a peer support, information and referral helpline.

  • Phone: (604) 684-5307
  • Prideline: (604) 684-6869 or toll free, 1-800-566-1170
  • Website:http://www.qmunity.ca

HealthlinkBC

HealthLinkBCis a gateway to non-emergency health information and services. A phone service, website and print resource provides an expanded health navigation system, access to advice from healthcare professionals and enables community members to look up symptoms and services.

  • Phone: dial 8-1-1, nurses are available to answer questions 24 hours every day
  • TTY: dial 7-1-1
  • Translation services are available in over 130 languages on request
  • Website. www.healthlinkbc.ca

Helpline for Children

Helpline for Children is a toll free helpline staffed by social workers who can provide help and answer questions regarding reports of child abuse or neglect.

  • Phone: 310-1234 (no area code required), 24 hours every day, to report a person under 19 who needs protection to the Ministry of Children and Family Development
  • TTD (Telephone Device for the Deaf): 1-866-660-0505

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