Illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (such as a doctor) in a position of trust or authority

What does sexual assault include?

Sexual assault can include.

  • Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage (as defined by state laws), has an intellectual disability, or is passed out (such as from drugs or alcohol) or unable to respond (such as from sleeping)
  • Any type of sexual contact with someone who does not consent
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes

Sexual assault can also be verbal, visual, or non-contact. It is anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual activities or attention. Other examples can include:4

  • Voyeurism, or peeping (when someone watches private sexual acts without consent)
  • Exhibitionism (when someone exposes himself or herself in public)
  • Sexual harassment or threats
  • Forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures
  • Sending someone unwanted texts or “sexts” (texting sexual photos or messages)

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment means unwanted, inappropriate sexual advances, including suggestive gestures, language, or touching.

Often, it’s used as a way to humiliate, insult, or degrade someone, or it’s done by someone who shouldn’t be making sexual advances — like your boss, someone older, a teacher, or someone else who has more power than you, even if it’s just more social power.

But it doesn’t just happen at work or school. It can happen anywhere — in public and private, among friends, or from strangers on the street.

What should I do if I experience sexual assault or harassment?

If you’ve experienced sexual assault or harassment, it’s not your fault. Know that you’re not alone and that there are people who will believe you and who are ready to help you if you want.

Your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can give you medical attention and connect you with services in your area. If you want to talk with someone anonymously, The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) has 24/7 phone and chat hotlines for people who have experienced sexual assault.What can I do if I have been sexually assaulted?

If it has just happened then:

  • If you are able to, get to a place where you will be safe.
  • Dial 999 and ask for police.
  • Do not shower or bathe as that may destroy forensic evidence.
  • Try to avoid going to the toilet as that may also destroy forensic evidence.
  • Do not wash or throw away the clothing you were wearing during the assault as you may also destroy forensic evidence.
  • Do not tidy up or move things in the place where the sexual assault occurred.

If it has not just happened:

  • You can still report a rape or sexual assault if it happened to you days, weeks, months or even years ago.
  • Contact the burlington police directly by either phoning or visiting your nearest Police station.

What happens when you contact police?

Contacting Police by phone

  • Phone your nearest Police station and tell the person who answers the phone that you want to report a sexual assault.
  • They will make an appointment for you to come in to the station or they will arrange for an officer to come to you.
  • If your nearest police station is not open 24 hours and you call outside opening hours, there will be a message telling you which other station near you will be open and what number to call.

Contacting Police in person

  • Go to your nearest Police station and tell the person on the front counter that you need to speak with a police officer in private to make a report.
  • You don’t need to make an appointment and you may be able to speak to an officer straight away.
  • You can ask to speak with either a male or female officer and we will do our best to provide this.
  • A Police officer will take brief notes of what has happened to decide what to do next, and make sure you are safe.