The first step to preventing sexual violence is to know it accurately.
Here, we provide you with some definitions to know more about sexual violence and its different forms.


Consent requires the voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.

An individual must actively and willingly give consent to sexual activity. Simply stated, sexual activity without consent is sexual assault. "No one consents to be sexually assaulted." Consent:

  • Is never assumed or implied;
  • Is not silence or the absence of "no";
  • Cannot be given if the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs, is unconscious or asleep;
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion;
  • Can be revoked at any time;
  • Cannot be obtained if the perpetrator abuses a position of trust, power or authority;
  • Might not be given properly if an individual has a condition that limits his or her verbal or physical means of interaction - in such instances, it is extremely important to determine how consent will be established.
  • "You’re not my type."
  • "Not now."
  • "I don’t know if I’m ready."
  • "Please stop."
  • "I don’t really know if I want to."
  • Doing nothing
  • Silence
  • Getting into someone’s vehicle
  • Going inside someone’s residence

Contact us

Human Rights Office

1 Stewart St.
(Main Floor – Room 121)
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5222
Email: [email protected]

Office Hours                  

Monday to Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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