Individuals from all backgrounds can experience domestic violence. They often suffer for a long time, not wanting to admit they are being abused.
Physical abuse is any aggressive behaviour directed at another person, such as pushing, squeezing, shaking, choking, etc. Many victims have no visible injuries.
Sexual abuse is forced participation in any type of sexual activity. No one, including a spouse or partner, has the right to force someone to participate in sexual activity.
Psychological abuse is the infliction of emotional pain by controlling or degrading another person. This includes controlling access to vehicles or money, name-calling, insults, repeated accusations of infidelity, threats to harm self or others, and isolation from friends and family.
Forced confinement is when someone does not allow another person out of, for example, a house, room or bed.
Abuse towards pets or property can be part of domestic violence and may include the direct or indirect threat that "you are next".
Read about myPlan App, an amazing resource for intimate partner violence!
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual assault is a crime. It involves any sexual contact without your permission (consent). It is unwanted kissing, fondling, touching of sexual body parts and/or forced sexual intercourse. It is any type of sexual activity you don't really want, but are forced, threatened, guilted or convinced into doing (i.e. "If you loved me, you would...") It is any sexual activity that occurs when you are too intoxicated to give consent, or when an offender uses alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, to incapacitate their victim.
There are different options available after sexual assault. Whichever one you choose for yourself is the right option, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You know what is best for yourself. Also know that someone is there for you all the way whether it be your own support person, or someone from RSAC.
We ALL deserve to be in safe relationships
Child sexual abuse does not know socioeconomic boundaries. It is a particularly harmful form of child abuse as people are often unwilling to discuss sexual abuse, leaving victims with few supports. It destroys trust and disrupts normal sexual development, leading to difficulties in adult life.
Child Sexual Abuse is defined as sexual conduct toward a child by an older person, including touching, exposure, sexually explicit conversations and the making or viewing of pornography.
A person under the age of 16 years cannot legally consent to sex with an adult; however, a person must be 18 years of age to legally consent to sexual activity involving pornography, prostitution, or with people who are their teachers, coaches or religious leaders.
Close in Age Rules:
The law allows for "close in age" sexual activity. A 12-13 year old can consent to sexual activity with a partner that is less than 2 years older, provided there is no relationship of trust, dependency or authority. (ex: a 13 year old and a 14 year old is legal; however, a 12 year old and their 13 year old babysitter is not). A 14-15 year old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than 5 years older and there is no relationship of trust, dependency or authority. (ex: a 15 year old and a 19 year old is legal; however, a 15 year old and a 20 year old is not).
myPlan is a tool to help with safety decisions if you, or someone you care about, is experiencing abuse in their intimate relationship. The tool is accessible via a mobile app and website, and designed to assist intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors in identifying and navigating their own safe path forward.
Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse
The Child and Family Services Act (Section 12, Subsection 1 and 4) states that every person who has reasonable suspicion to believe that a child may be in need of protection shall report the information to a child protection worker, Ministry of Social Services or FNCFS Agency or a police officer, and that every police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that a child may be in need of protection shall immediately report the information to a child protection worker.
You are obligated to report any incident of abuse, or any suspicion of abuse. It is not your responsibility to ask questions or “investigate” whether the abuse actually occurred. You only need to have a suspicion that something may have happened, or will happen. A child can be harmed physically, sexually, or mentally/emotionally, as well as suffer from neglect (a lack of basic necessities for life).
After a report is made, child protection staff and police officers are responsible for the investigation of child abuse cases. Child protection staff will investigate to determine if there are reasonable grounds to find the child in need of protection. The police investigate to determine if a criminal offence has been committed and if there are reasonable grounds to lay charges under The Criminal Code of Canada. Note: Other professionals play a critical role in assisting with the investigation, supporting the child during and after the investigation, and providing follow-up services.
What to Report
If you are concerned a child may be at risk of abuse, immediately contact the Ministry of Social Services at: 1-844-787-3760 (Regina)
Your report should include:
your name, telephone number and relationship to the child (this information is confidential and may be provided anonymously; however, if the case is presented to court for a child protection hearing or criminal proceeding, those who identify themselves may be summoned to court);
your immediate concerns about the child’s safety;
the child’s location, the child’s name, age and gender;
information about the situation;
information about the family, caregivers and alleged offenders;
other children who may be affected;
any other relevant information.
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