Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without voluntary consent. This can mean sexual touching, grabbing, forced kissing, oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. Many countries, including Canada, use this term to acknowledge that all forms of sexual assault are equally serious. This term is a lot broader than “rape,” which refers only to penile-vaginal penetration. With that said, some survivors chose to identify their experience as rape rather than sexual assault. Of course, each person has the right to chose the words they want to use to describe their experience.
We will often refer to people who have experienced sexual assault as survivors. We recognize that not all people who have experienced sexual assault will identify with this term. However, out of necessity for a term to use in this website, we chose the word “survivor” because it is generally more empowering than the word “victim.”