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The Toronto Police Services is here to provide assistance and support. For further information on the community support resources available to you, sexual assault investigations, possible outcomes and the criminal court process visit our Guide for Survivors of Sexual Assault, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Along the bottom you will see quick exit instructions. If at any time you feel you are in danger please call 911.

I Know Someone Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted

People who have been sexually assaulted need the support of their families and friends. Survivors may feel ashamed, embarrassed, depressed and frightened. They may not want to talk about what happened. Be ready to listen when they are ready to talk. Let them know you care about them and do not judge or blame them for what happened. Be there to support them in the choices that they make during the process. They may feel guilty, but what happened is never their fault. You can be of great help by giving them this message.

Friends and family can also be impacted by supporting their loved one. On our community resources page, you will find a list of agencies and their contact information that may assist you and your loved one during this difficult time.

What is Sexual Assault?

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A sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, unwanted kissing, touching, penetration or attempted penetration. You can be sexually assaulted once or many times. You can be sexually assaulted even if you have engaged in consensual sexual activity in the past. You can be sexually assaulted by anyone; a stranger, a friend, a partner, or a person in authority. Sexual assault is never your fault.

What is Consent?

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Consent is the free and active agreement, given by both partners, to engage in a specific sexual activity. You cannot give consent if:

  • You are incapacitated by alcohol or drugs;
  • You feel threatened, intimidated, coerced;
  • You have been physically forced to comply;
  • You have a disability or mental impairment that prevents you from making an informed choice;
  • The person you are engaging with is in a position of authority over you.

You give consent when you say yes and willfully participate in every sexual activity, every single time.

If your child is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

There are signs that may indicate your child has been, or is being, sexually assaulted. These include but are not limited to: having pain, itching, bleeding, or bruising around the genital area. Having difficulty walking or sitting, possibly because of genital pain, demonstrating sexual knowledge, curiosity, or behaviour beyond his/her age. Being secretive or wanting to be alone much of the time. Keep in mind, that most children who are sexually abused have no physical signs or complaints. As a parent or caregiver, it is important to go with your “gut instinct”. No one knows your child better than you do. If you think something is wrong, speak to your child and if needed, contact the police or your doctor.

The Toronto Police Service is a member of the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). The objective of the CYAC is to have a collaborative team focused on the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse. The result is a seamless response to child abuse victims in a “child- friendly” environment. The Centre brings together dedicated and specially trained police officers, child protection workers , medical and mental health experts. Victims and their families can access crisis support, specialized assessment, treatment and court preparation under one roof.

The Toronto Police Service also has a team dedicated to the investigation of child sexual abuse images (child pornography) and child luring. To learn more about the Child Exploitation Section, visit our website or visit the Community Supports page to learn about our partners in the fight against child sexual abuse and online exploitation.

Age of Consent in Canada

Any sexual activity without consent is against the law.

The law states:

If you are under 12 years of age, you can never legally consent to sexual activity.

If you are 12 or 13 years old, you can legally consent to sexual activity with someone who is less than two years older.

If you are 14 or 15 years old, you can legally consent to sexual activity with someone who is less than five years older.

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can legally consent to sexual activity unless the other person is:

  • In a position of trust or authority over you (e.g. teacher, coach, faith leader)
  • The person you depend on for care (e.g. step parent, guardian, foster parent)
  • Is exploiting you (e.g. blackmailing you or selling you for sex)

In Ontario, everyone has a role to play in protecting children. The law requires everyone, not just teachers, doctors and police officers, to report child abuse. If you have reasonable grounds to believe a child is being abused physically, sexually or emotionally, you must report it. Call your local Children’s Aid Society, the police or Crime Stoppers. Call 9-1-1 if you think the child is in immediate danger. You won’t get into trouble if you do. The law will protect you from civil action.

If your teenager is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

Sexual Human Trafficking is defined as the recruiting, transporting, transferring, holding, concealing or harboring of a person, or the exercise of control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of sexually exploiting them or facilitating their sexual exploitation.

There are signs that may indicate your teenage is involved in the sex trade. They include, but are not limited to; isolating themselves from their usual friends and family; a new boyfriend/girlfriend they’re keeping secretive; not coming home as often as they used to; being more private and secretive than usual; looking more “done up” than usual (hair, nails, new clothes); increased or unexplained money and gifts; evidence of recent drugs or alcohol abuse; advanced portrayal of sexuality for their age; overactive social media and possession of multiple electronic devices; using language associated with “the game” (i.e. “daddy” = pimp, “stable” = organization).

The Toronto Police Service’s Human Trafficking Enforcement Team (HTET) is committed to developing and maintaining a victim-centered approach to human trafficking investigations, ensuring that victims are rescued and their recovery is a priority. This approach places emphasis on Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships.

There are also a number of resources available to you in the community. Please visit our Community Resources page to find a location near you.

If your elderly parent or loved one is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

There are signs that may indicate your elderly parent or loved one has been, or is being, sexually assaulted. These include but are not limited to: bruising around the breasts, inner thighs or genital area; unexplained sexually transmitted infections or genital infections; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing; difficulty walking or sitting; inappropriate sexual comments.

Keep in mind, that sexual assault can be very difficult to identify as embarrassment and shame may prevent the issue from being talked about. As a caregiver, it is important to go with your “gut instinct”. If you think something is wrong, contact the police or your doctor.

Sexual abuse includes sexual contact with seniors who are unable to grant consent and unwanted sexual contact between service providers and their elderly clients. It can include, but is not limited to, inappropriate touching, sexualized kissing, making sexual remarks and/or suggestions to another person, forcing a person to perform a sexual act, forced penetration, coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing.

There are also a number of resources available to you in the community. Please visit our Community Resources page to find a location near you.

Sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent due to physical and/or intellectual disabilities is a sexual assault.

Please reassure your loved one that the Toronto Police Service is accessible in many ways to people with disabilities. This website and the Service’s website are compliant with the provincial Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. A TTY system for those with hearing loss is available if you choose to call the police. Or, if your loved one is unable to communicate, you can report the assault on their behalf.

Please go to the Reporting to the Police section for more information.

Download a copy of the Guide to Sexual Assault in your language

This Project has been made possible by a grant from the Government of Ontario

For the purpose of this website, the Toronto Police Service has used “survivor” as an umbrella term to refer to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. However, we support a person’s right to choose how they wish to be identified. It is also important to note, this is not legal advice. Every effort is made to provide precise information, however your rights and a police officer’s responsibilities depend on the situation. If, at any time, you're unsure of your rights you can ask the police officer. They are required to tell you. The Toronto Police Service bears no responsibility for information on other websites. While we strive to maintain accurate and survivor-focused resources, it cannot be guaranteed. This project has been made possible by a grant from the Government of Ontario.