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Canadian Law on Sexual Assault - No Means No...


You have a choice, you can have your assailant charged criminally, and/or you can bring a civil suit against your assailant.



Criminal

"Consent" is the key. Consent is defined in the Criminal Code of Canada as, "a voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question."

Consent is not voluntary where it is obtained through pressure, coercion, force, or threats of force. Forcing a person to have sex, under any condition, is assault - even if you "made the first move", went home with someone, engaged in foreplay - if at any point you revoked consent, and the assailant continued, you were assaulted.

Consent is deemed not to be obtained if:

  • "the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant", or
  • "the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity, i.e. blacked out, impaired by alcohol or narcotics, unconscious, sleeping", or
  • "the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power, or authority", or
  • "the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity", or
  • "the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity."

The assailant can face up to 10 years in prison. If a weapon was involved, the assailant may be given a life sentence