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Sexual Assault

How to recognize sexual assault

Following a sexual assault, victims may react in their own individual ways. These reactions may be influenced by various factors, such as their age, their personality, the type of sexual assault sustained, their relationship with their aggressor, the degree of violence used and the frequency of the assaults.

However, in the first few days, an underage or adult victim in a state of shock may present the following reactions:

  • anger and aggression toward loved ones over trivial things
  • intense fear
  • depressive state, depression, sadness
  • frequent mood swings
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty eating
  • reduced tolerance of situations perceived as a threat to personal safety
  • disorganization, anxiety
  • isolation

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is an act that is sexual in nature, with or without physical contact, committed by an individual without the consent of the victim, or in some cases, through emotional manipulation or blackmail, especially when children are involved. It is an act that subjects another person to the perpetrator’s desires through an abuse of power, and/or the use of force or coercion, and/or implicit or explicit threats. Sexual assault violates fundamental rights, particularly with regard to physical and psychological integrity and security of the person.

Date de mise à jour : 16 novembre 2017

Gouvernement du Québec

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