Sexual Assault is defined as 'an assault of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim.'

Sexual assault can range from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse. It can involve situations where agreement to sexual activity is obtained by someone abusing a position of trust, power and authority. Sexual assault is a crime, whatever the past or present relationship between the people involved might be e.g. a spouse may be charged with sexual assault upon the other spouse.


Consent means the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.The principles of consent that apply to assault also apply to sexual assault. The victim of sexual touching must freely consent to the act, and must understand the nature of the act being consented to. The courts have applied the definition of consent to mean that a person cannot consent to having serious bodily harm done to himself or herself. 

Link: Tea Consent


A person who is under the age of sixteen cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is five or more years older than them. A person who is under the age of fourteen years cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is two or more years old than them. In any case, a person in authority cannot use consent as a defence of having sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen.


  • If the sexual assault has just occurred, go to a safe place ASAP.
  • If you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical attention, contact the police or ambulance services, by calling 911 or the emergency number for your community.
  • If you want to report to the police and the situation is not urgent (e.g., the sexual assault is not recent, you are not in danger), call the non-emergency number for police in your community.
  • If you are hesitant or worried about calling the police, contact VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 to find a victim service program, such as ours for confidential support and help.
  • Tell someone you trust what happened. If a friend or family member can provide emotional support or help you in practical ways, ask for help.
  • Go to a hospital, a walk-in clinic, or your doctor for a medical examination and treatment as soon as possible after a sexual assault. Even if the sexual assault is not recent, it may be important to go for a checkup.
  • If you have questions about a sexual assault, or your rights, don’t hesitate to ask a victim service worker.