Government guidelines dating from 2001 give this definition of “sexual assault”:
“A sexual assault is an act of a sexual nature, whether or not it involves physical contact, carried out by an individual without the consent of the person to whom it is addressed or, in some cases, notably those involving children, by manipulation of feelings or blackmail.
It’s an act that aims to impose the assailant’s own desires on another person through the abuse of power, through the use of force or constraint, or through implied or explicit threats. Sexual assault interferes with fundamental rights, notably the right to bodily security and inviolability, and to physical and psychological security.”
This definition applies regardless of the age, sex, culture, religion or sexual orientation of the victim or of the sexual assailants, regardless of the type of sexual act committed or the place or life setting in which it is committed and regardless of the relationship between the victim and the sexual assailant.
Consult Sexual Assault: What Is It? on the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ)’s website to:
- Better understand what sexual assault is
- Familiarize yourself with forms of sexual assault
- Know what sexual offences are included in the Criminal Code
Last update: 29 November 2016, 16:16