What is sexual violence?

At Langara, we believe that every individual has the right to be treated with respect and to feel safe on campus. Sexual violence of any kind is not OK. This site will give you information about sexual violence and how to access support services.

To get you started, have a look at this video for a great explanation of sexual violence and sexual consent. It was produced by Ryerson University. 

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is an umbrella term that describes any unwanted action carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality.  

Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexualized stalking.
  • Indecent exposure and voyeurism.
  • Cyber harassment and cyberstalking of a sexual nature.
  • Stealthing (the removal of a condom without a partners knowledge or consent)
  • Sexual trafficking and exploitation and the distribution of sexually explicit images of a person or persons without consent.
  • Any attempt or threat to commit an act of sexual violence

Sexual assault is any kind of sexual touching without consent. This can include unwanted kissing, touching and forced sexual intercourse. Sexual assault is the legal term used in Canada and is a crime.

Sexual harassment is also unwanted touching, but it also includes unwanted comments, jokes, images, and gestures that are of a sexual nature.

Sexual violence is not about sexual desire but about power and privilege.

The terms used to describe sexual violence can be found in our Definitions.

What is sexual consent?

Consent is an enthusiastic (and not coerced) yes! It is an active, direct, voluntary, unimpaired and conscious choice and agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to obtain consent at all stages of sexual engagement. More specifically, consent:

  • Cannot be obtained if the respondent abuses a position of trust, power or authority;
  • Cannot be assumed from previous consent to similar activities;
  • Cannot be assumed or implied;
  • Cannot be given by an individual incapacitated by alcohol, drugs or some other reason and/or who is unconscious, or otherwise incapable of providing consent;
  • Can never be obtained through an abuse of power, threats, intimidation, coercion or other pressure tactics;
  • Can be revoked at any time, whatever other sexual activities have taken place; and/or is not silence or the absence of “no.”

To learn more about consent, check out this video by RockStarDinosaurPiratePrincess and Blue Seat Studio.