Infographic: Sexual violence
Sexual violence: It’s not just “how things are”.
Sexual violence is a form of gender-based violence that’s a serious problem in Canada and around the world. It can happen between people in romantic or dating relationships, within a family, at work, between friends and acquaintances, and to strangers.
Some instances of sexual violence are met with outrage and action, while others are dismissed as just the way things are or worse, blame is placed on the victim/survivor.
To achieve gender equality, we need to work together to prevent and end all types of sexual violence.
It can be words or actions.
Sexual violence references to any unwanted sexual contact, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Unwanted sexual activity (e.g. sexual touching, kissing someone without consent, rape).
Comments, behaviour, and unwanted sexual interactions. Can take the form of jokes, catcalls, whistles, threats, or discriminatory remarks.
It can happen anywhere
Sexual violence doesn’t just happen in the shadows, it often takes place in plain sight.
- 1 in 3 women experienced unwanted sexual behaviour in public which can include unwanted sexual attention or unwanted physical contact. Footnote i
- 1 in 4 women in Canada have experienced inappropriate sexual behaviours in the workplace. Footnote ii
It’s a widespread problem ~4.7 million women in Canada have been sexually assaulted since age of 15.Footnote i
But some groups experience higher rates
Although sexual violence affects everybody, some populations are more likely to experience higher rates of sexual violence.
- LGB+ people are almost 3x more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted. Footnote iii
- Indigenous women are 3x more likely to be sexually assaulted than non-indigenous women. Footnote iv
- People with disabilities are more than 2x as likely to be sexually assaulted as those without disabilities.Footnote iv
Perpetrators are most often somebody known to the victim/survivor
Among sexual assaults where an accused was charged by the police, 87% of victims/survivors knew their assailant. Footnote v
However, victims/survivors can feel blamed or responsible for their experience
1 in 5 victims/survivors of sexual assault felt blamed by their perpetrator or family and friendsFootnote i
Unfortunately, even though
The harm of sexual violence is significant and has long-lasting, widespread impacts on those who experience it. Footnote vi
It’s the only violent crime in Canada not on a decline. Footnote vii
By treating all sexual violence seriously, we can work together to prevent and end it and make Canada a safer place to live.
Learn how to stop dismissing gender-based violence at Canada.ca/ItsNotJust
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