Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without voluntary consent. This can mean sexual touching, grabbing, forced kissing, oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. This term is a lot broader than “rape,” which refers only to penile-vaginal penetration. Many countries, including Canada, use this term to acknowledge that all forms of sexual assault are equally serious.
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.”