Domestic violence, also called intimate partner abuse, is a crime. It occurs in opposite sex relationships and in same sex relationships. Not all survivors are physically battered or beaten. Domestic violence can include other forms of abuse such as constant threats, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, material, spiritual, and verbal abuse. Partner abuse happens to many people at all income and educational levels, in all social classes, in all religions, racial, and cultural groups.
Consent is generally defined as the permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. In terms of sex, consent is permission to perform a sexual act or agreement to a sexual experience. Consent must meet several criteria in order to be considered valid.
Sexual assault can be defined as any form of unwanted sexual activity including fondling, touching, and/or penetration that is forced upon another person without that person’s consent. Anyone regardless of gender can be sexually assaulted. It is up to an individual to define or name their experience as sexual assault. People can respond to sexual assault in a myriad of ways - one may or may not experience trauma symptoms and/or go through a process of healing.
Sexual assault may or may not be a part of domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV), which means those who are dating or in committed relationships can be assaulted by their partner(s). IPV can include other forms of abuse such as such as constant threats, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, material, spiritual, and verbal abuse.
If you or someone you know is a survivor or victim of sexual assault and/or IPV, there are resources to help you. Please reach out to us to find resources (i.e., medical services, shelter services, counselling services, reporting services, etc.) appropriate for your needs. We also provide confidential accompaniments to the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (SA/DV) Unit at KGH. We are a survivor-centered organization, which means we leave the choice to access services up to you. We will never push any services on you that you are not comfortable with.