Silence Isn't Consent

Sexual assault is an issue that many of us hear about but many may not fully understand the magnitude of the issue.

Sexual assault can affect anyone, although it often gets depicted as an offense that only affects females. Regardless of one’s gender, it is important to speak up and seek help. Many victims tend to believe that the assault was their fault and are too ashamed to come forward to seek help.

This, however, only allows the suspect to repeat their actions on other innocent persons. It’s important to end the vicious cycle and seek help by calling the authorities without delay.

In our best efforts to ensure our community is free of unreasonable disruption and fear of harm, we have created an effort entitled ‘Silence isn’t Consent.’ We aim to promote awareness and education towards the issue of sexual assault. We are also supported by the women’s safety grant sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Training.

Prevention

Educate yourself by knowing how to read the signs of a bad relationship/situation.

What to look for

Consent:

  • Is never assumed or implied
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion
  • Can't be legally given if you're drunk or high
  • Is no longer present if someone changes their mind
  • Is not silence

Many assaults take place because the suspect feels like they are in a position of power and control. Here are some of the signs you need to look out for:

  • Coercion and Threats (intentionally hurting someone)
  • Intimidation (making someone feel afraid by using looks, actions, gestures)
  • Emotional Abuse (name calling/humiliating)
  • Isolation (using jealousy to justify actions)
  • Minimizing, Denying and Blaming (saying the abuse didn't happen)
  • Using Children
  • Using Male Privilege (being the one to define men's and women's roles)
  • Using Economic Abuse (withholding money in a relationship as a sign of being superior)

Getting Help:

  • Take whatever steps to make yourself safe.
  • You can call 911 for immediate police protection and assistance. Do not wait to report it. Be sure to call a crisis centre if you would like additional support.
  • Go to your local hospital and get the proper care you need from a medical professional.
  • For the purposes of evidence collection, it is best to avoid showering, combing your hair or changing your clothes before going to the hospital. If you must change clothes, put the items in separate paper bags, again to be used in evidence testing. Do not use plastic bags as they may contaminate evidence.
  • Decide who you want to tell. Tell someone you trust who can support and assist you.
  • Do not blame yourself.

Resources of Help

Whether you need help immediately or just aren't sure what the next steps are to get help, this section will put you on the right path. If you're unsure if you should contact someone about something that's happened to you, you should always reach out to someone if that's the case.

Our General Security Line is 416-289-5240 or Extension 5240
Our Security Emergency Helpline is 416-437-HELP(4357)
Our Emergency Extension is 2020
911 Emergency
(24 hour) Access to all types of emergency services including police, fire and ambulance.

Toronto Police Services
(24 hour) All types of police assistance for non-emergencies.
416-808-2222