Sexual assaults

A social issue

To commit sexual assault is to impose attitudes, words, and gestures with a sexual connotation against a person’s will, using intimidation, threats, blackmail and verbal, physical and psychological violence.

Sexual assault is not an individual problem but a broader societal problem rooted in relationships of inequality.

Such aggressions are an act of domination, humiliation, abuse of power, and violence, mainly committed against women and children.

There is an intersection between patriarchy and other contexts of oppression, discrimination and exclusion – such as racism, neo-colonialism, capitalism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism and classism – which is conducive to exploitation and sexual assault.

These systems of oppression, discrimination and exclusion act simultaneously on each other, contributing to women’s political, economic, social, psychological and geographical isolation and preventing their full participation in society.


Sexual assaults can have significant consequences for the physical integrity, psychological well-being and economic security of victims and survivors. They may experience shame, guilt, post-traumatic stress and isolation. These symptoms often affect various parts of their lives and those around them.

Sexual assaults in figures


In Canada, only 5% of sex crimes are reported to the police

Statistics Canada, 2019

Only 3 out of 1,000 sexual assault complaints result in a conviction

L'Actualité, 2017
+ 8/10

More than 8 out of 10 victims knew their attacker

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, 2022
96,8 %

In more than 9 out of 10 cases (96.8%), the alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault is a boy or a man

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, 2022
15 to 24

Young people aged 15 to 24 represent the age group with the highest proportion of victims of sexual assault

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, 2022
+ 1/2

More than half of sexual assaults committed against adults are perpetrated in a house or private property

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, 2022
Consult the internal statistics of the CALACS (Sexual Assault Help Centers) in highlights inside our activity reports.

To find a center near you, browse through the list of resources like CALACS (Sexual Assault Help Centers) or use our service locator.  

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