If you have been sexually assaulted – either recently, some time ago, or even as a child – know that:
- you are not to blame.
- you are not responsible for being assaulted or abused.
- giving in is not consent.
- nothing you did “provoked” the assault or abuse.
- it’s not unusual to feel angry, guilty, ashamed, or frightened.
- if your memory of childhood sexual abuse is just coming to the surface now, it’s likely you buried it to cope with the trauma.
- there is support and help for you to overcome the assault and abuse.
“I found the courage to get on with my life and learned to trust again.”
Sexual assault is a violent and intrusive act and many people feel the effects years after it happens. Some survivors experience:
- a sense of helplessness.
- difficulty sleeping.
- a reluctance to leave the house or spend time with family and friends.
- difficulty forming intimate relationships.
- sexual difficulties.
- crying spells and/or anxiety attacks.
- unspecified health problems.
- nightmares and flashbacks.
- alcohol or drug abuse.
Counselling can help you regain trust in others and faith in yourself. Support for male and female survivors of sexual assault/abuse is available by calling 519-941-HELP (4357), 905-584-HELP (4357) or 1-800-265-9178.
Sexual abuse includes:
- being taunted, harassed or manipulated into having sex.
- being offended or humiliated by someone repeatedly saying things of a sexual nature to you.
- having unwanted comments made about your sex, sexuality or body parts.
- being drugged by alcohol or other drugs in order to have sex.
- unwanted touching of a sexual nature.
- being forced into a sexual act, including rape.
Sexual abuse can happen between strangers, friends, dates, even within a marriage.
One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before they turn 18. Its impact can last a lifetime.
For more information about sexual assault and sexual abuse, visit the Ontario Women’s Directorate website.
(Note: The Family Transition Place webpage will still be open. You can return to it by closing the Ontario Women’s Directorate window.)
If you have been sexually assaulted recently, you may be at risk for internal injuries, unwanted pregnancy and/or a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV or Hepatitis C. Medical attention is available at the Emergency Department of Headwaters Health Care Centre. The Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program is there to respond to the need of any victim of a recent sexual assault. It features a non-clinical treatment room, waiting room, and children’s play area. There is also an interview room where you can meet with police or other supportive professionals in an atmosphere designed to be less threatening for victims. Call 519-941-2702.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.