Sexual assault can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.
What is sexual assault?
The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Attempted rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
What is rape?
Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
What is force?
Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.
Who are the perpetrators?
The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. Approximately eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.
The term “date rape” is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend’s significant other, or any number of different roles. It’s important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy, or other acts like kissing do not give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.
In other instances the victim may not know the perpetrator at all. This type of sexual violence is sometimes referred to as stranger rape. Stranger rape can occur in several different ways:
- Blitz sexual assault: when a perpetrator quickly and brutally assaults the victim with no prior contact, usually at night in a public place
- Contact sexual assault: when a perpetrator contacts the victim and tries to gain their trust by flirting, luring the victim to their car, or otherwise trying to coerce the victim into a situation where the sexual assault will occur
- Home invasion sexual assault: when a stranger breaks into the victim’s home to commit the assault
Survivors of both stranger rape and acquaintance rape often blame themselves for behaving in a way that encouraged the perpetrator. It’s important to remember that the victim is a never to blame for the actions of a perpetrator.
Sexual Assault Defence
Sexual Assault charges are taken very seriously by law officials and the courts. It can lead not only to high fines and jail time but also result in social, work and travel consequences.
There are several types of sexually assault charges in Canadian law, all of which fall under the Criminal Code.
Sexual Assault – This can cover any unwanted sexual interaction that was allegedly forced on the victim.
Sexual Assault with a Weapon – If the alleged victim was forced into the act by the use or threat of a weapon, this charge will be laid.
Aggravated Sexual Assault – This is a charge reserved for the most serious incidents. When the alleged victim has suffered serious, deforming or even life-threatening injuries the Crown will apply an Aggravated Sexual Assault charge.
It is important to note that there is no time limit on these types of charges. In fact, we have experience handling cases where the alleged crime happened decades ago.
Because sexual assault is considered a serious crime, it is essential you have a skilled lawyer with a strong background in securing a withdrawal of the charges.
Sexual assault lawyer in Burlington are extremely skilled in defending clients during all stages of the case, including trials. We work hard to get the best results for you.
Criminal Lawyer in Burlington are aware that these charges can be quite sensitive, but we want you to know that we are not here to make your feel judged. We understand that sexual assault allegations can shatter your life, family and reputation. That is why we have dedicated our practice to helping those accused defend themselves and regain their lives.
If you need help defending yourself against sexual assault allegations, contact our offices. Our lines are open 24 hours every day of the week.